Putman Elementary

Attendance Policy

I. Goal:

The goal of Blanchester school district is that no student should miss any days of school without legitimate excuse. A significant correlation exists between school attendance and academic and lifelong success. To help ensure that our students achieve that success, Blanchester school district has joined with all of the school districts in Clinton County in adopting a uniform attendance policy as described below.

II. Attendance Guidelines

A. The attendance policy will cover each semester that the student is enrolled;

B. Each Student will be permitted a maximum of sixty (60) hours of absences per school

year without independent verification; i.e. doctor excuse, etc.

C. Until a student accumulates sixty (60) hours of absences in a school year, a note or a

phone call from the parent or guardian will excuse the absence for one of the reasons

listed below. If a note or phone call is not provided to the school by the parent or

guardian within forty-eight (48) hours, i.e. two business days, of the student’s return to

school, the absence will be unexcused;

III. Legitimate Excusable Absences

  After a student has accumulated sixty-five (65) hours of absences (excused or unexcused) in a school year, absences will only be excused under the following circumstances:

A. Short Term Personal Illness: For a student who has been absent for sixty (60) hours in achoolyear, any further absence for personal illness will require a doctor’s excuse. The doctor’s excuse must be signed by the doctor and indicate that the student was seen by the doctor personally and state the reason for the student’s inability to attend school. Any absence greater than sixty-five (65) hours in a school year due to illness that is not accompanied by a doctor’s excuse as described above will be unexcused. A doctor’s excuse must be provided to the school within forty-eight (48) hours, i.e. two business days, of the student’s return toschool or the absence will be unexcused. If an excuse is not accepted by the school, the original will be returned to the student with a notation as to why it was refused, e.g., excuse not provided within the property time period, excuse not written by a doctor, etc.  A copy of the refused excuse will be maintained in the student’s file.

B. Long Term Personal Illness: If the student suffers a long term illness requiring extended absence from school, a doctor’s excuse must be provided to the school every twenty (20) school days. The doctor’s excuse must indicate that the student was seen personally by the doctor, the reason for the student’s continued inability to attend school, and provide specific dates which are to be excused. If an excuse is not accepted by the school, the original will be returned to the student with a notation as to why it was refused, e.g., excuse not provided within the property time period, excuse not written by a doctor, etc. A copy of the refused excuse will be maintained in the student’s file.

C. Chronic Illness: Absences for a chronic medical condition (asthma, migraines, etc.) may be approved in advance by the student’s healthcare provider, i.e. physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, without the need for the student to be seen by the healthcare provider. Parents shall obtain this Waiver from the school nurse, administrator, or administrative assistant. Once approved by the healthcare provider and on file with the school, the parent shall provide written documentation for any absence of the specific chronic condition as long as the chronic condition is mentioned in the parent note. The Waiver is valid for August-December and shall be renewed for January-June.

D. Head Lice: Students who are excluded from school due to head lice are allowed day of discovery plus one additional day, additional days are unexcused. Students need to be checked in prior to returning to school.  If school detects live lice, child will not be able to return but absence will be excused for that day.

E. Illness or Injury in the Family: Independent verification by a physician explaining the nature and severity of the illness or injury to the family member requiring the student to be absent will be required within forty-eight (48) hours, i.e. two business days, of the student’s return to school. If an excuse is not accepted by the school, the original will be returned to the student with a notation as to why it was refused, e.g., excuse not provided within the property time period, excuse not written by a doctor, etc. A copy of the refused excuse will be maintainedin the student’s file. 

F. Quarantine of the Home: Absences will only be excused for the length of quarantine as determined by health officials. Verification from relevant health officials explaining the nature and length of the quarantine must be submitted within forty-eight (48) hours, i.e. two business days, of the student’s return to school. If an excuse is not accepted by the school, the original will be returned to the student with a notation as to why it was refused, e.g., excuse not provided within the proper time period, excuse not written by a doctor, etc. A copy of the refused excuse will be maintained in the student’s file.

G. Death in the Family: Three days absence will be permitted, unless a parent or guardian offers a reasonable explanation that more school absences are necessary. The parent or guardian may provide a note to the school to advise the school of the absence, however under certain circumstances, the school may require additional documentation to confirm the student’s absence was legitimate i.e. funeral service documentation, etc.

H. Observance of Religious Holidays: Any student shall be excused if his/her absence was for the purpose of observing a religious holiday consistent with his/her truly held beliefs and the parent or guardian has notified the school in writing at least forty-eight (48) hours prior, i.e. two business days, to the absence.

I. College Visits, Take Your Student to Work Day, Job Interviews, Job Shadowing, Armed Services Tests, and Professional Appointments: The total of these absences may not exceed twenty-one (21) hours without the specific approval of the principal or superintendent. Students with excessive absences (thirty-five (35) or more hours in a quarter) may have such absences denied. The absence must receive prior approval by the school and verification of the student’s attendance at the activity must be provided to the school within 48 (forty-eight) hours, i.e. two business days, of the student’s return to be excused. For events that require absence for part of a day, the student’s absence will only be excused for the time necessary to attend the

J. Court Appointments: In the instance that the presence of the student is required in a court of law, the absence will be excused if documentation showing that the student’s presence was equired within forty-eight (48) hours, i.e. two business days, of the student’s return to school.

K. Vacations: Vacations shall be excused only if pre-approved by the school principal. Students with excessive absences (thirty-five (35) or more hours in a quarter) may have such absences denied.           

L. Other: The school superintendent or principal must approve, at their discretion, the excusal of absences not otherwise covered in this section.

IV. Unexcused Absences

A. Any absence other than those described above.

B. The school administration will make the final determination as to whether an absence is

excused, but in general, unexcused absences include, but are not limited to:

a. Missing the school bus.

b. Experiencing transportation problems at home or on the way to school.

c. Remaining at home to complete school assignments.

d. Missing school without legitimate illness.

e. Oversleeping.

f. “My mom didn’t get me up.”

g. Not having suitable clothing to wear to school.

h. Working at a job during the school day without a proper work permit.

i. Babysitting.

j. Any form of recreation (unless pre-approved vacation days).

k. Personal business that can be done after school or on the weekends.

l. “Helping at home” or “was needed at home.”

m. “I had a game last night.”

n. Pictures or portraits.

o. Hunting season.

V. Absence Notification Procedures

A. Immediate Notification: As a result of the Missing Student Act, a student’s

parent/guardian is required to contact the school office between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

on the day of the absence;

   i. If the school does not hear from the parent/guardian, school officials are obligated

to attempt to make contact with a parent/guardian to verify the absence. We will

attempt to contact you phone. If phone contact is unsuccessful

   ii.  A reported absence may still be determined to be unexcused according to the

absence policy.

B. Ways of Reporting Absences: Absences will be considered reported if:

   i. A parent or guardian calls the school the day of the absence and provides the reason for the absence;

   ii. A parent or guardian writes a note or provides other required documentation to

the school listing the day(s) missed and the reason for the absence(s);

   iii. School officials make contact with a parent or guardian and receive a satisfactory

explanation for the absence(s).

VI. Truancy Definitions and Intervention Procedures

A. If a student is absent without legitimate excuse for eighteen (18) hours in a school year,

the parent or guardian will be notified by letter.

B. If a student is absent without legitimate excuse for forty-two (42) hours without

legitimate excuse, the student will be referred to the Clinton County Juvenile Mediation

Program. Whether or not mediation is performed is at the discretion of the Mediator.

C. Once a student is absent for thirty-eight (38) hours in a month or sixty five (65) or more

hours in a year, the student’s parent or guardian will be notified of the excessive

absenteeism by letter. The school may, at that time, implement an intervention strategy

that has been adopted by the school. (RC 3321.191(C)(1))

D. Under Ohio law, a student is considered habitually truant if the student is absent from

school without legitimate excuse for thirty (30) consecutive hours, forty-two (42) hours

in one school month, or seventy-two (72) hours in a school year. (RC 2151.011)

E. Once a student becomes habitually truant, the school will intervene with the student for a

period of sixty (60) days. Said intervention may include the participation of an absence

intervention team, if required, or referral to an alternative to adjudication through the

Clinton County Juvenile Court.(RC 3321.191(C)(2))

   a. If the student accumulates significant absences or does not make progress during

this sixty-day period, truancy charges will be referred to the Clinton County

Juvenile Prosecutor for court filing.

F. Charges may be brought against the parent or guardian of a truant student for Failing to

Send a Child to School or Contributing to the Unruliness or Delinquency of a Minor. (RC

2919.24 & RC 3321.38)