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JEA-R Student Absences and Excuses
STUDENT ABSENCES AND EXCUSES
Compulsory education is essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people and the continued prosperity of our society and our nation. Maintaining regular student attendance is necessary to achieve the goal of an educated citizenry. Recognizing that regular and consistent school attendance is an essential component if students are to develop a sense of responsibility towards work and satisfy the school’s curriculum requirements, the Board of Education establishes the following administrative guideline:
A. The school administrator shall require satisfactory excuses in person, by phone or by written note, from the parents or guardians of students who have been absent or tardy. The reason for the absence, or for being tardy, must be clearly stated, and must be excusable according to Maine Education and School Statutes and South Portland School Board Policy JEA.
B. School-wide rules and guidelines will be established to provide appropriate consequences for unexcused absences to be administered at the discretion of the principal / designee.
For Grades K-12:
A. Students participating in a school related activity shall be regarded as present for the period of such activity.
B. Students shall be excused for missing classes because of verified illness or injury or for a medical appointment which could not be scheduled outside of the school day. If a student is absent due to illness for three (3) consecutive days, or multiple single days within a two week period, the school administrator may require a note from the student’s physician providing cause for the absence.
C. Students shall be excused for observance of a recognized religious holiday.
D. Students shall be excused in the case of a family emergency.
E. Students shall be excused for personal or educational purposes, at the discretion of the principal, provided that:
1. A request stating the merits of said purpose is presented to the principal in writing at least one week prior to said purpose;
2. The student and family recognize the likely impact of lost class time;
3. All assignments be made up within five school days of return. (Teachers are not required or expected to provide assignments prior to the absence for personal or educational purposes).
4. Exceptions to the above will be granted at the discretion of the principal.
F. A student required to attend school under Policy JEA is truant when an absence of ½ day or greater is unexcused.
For Grades 9-12:
Students who are absent, unexcused, for a full 10 days or 7 consecutive school days are considered truant and may be subject to the loss of credit for the class.
Implementation and Appeals
The following procedures are established to aid in the implementation of this policy:
1. If a student is absent from school, the parent must call each day of the absence. If a student is absent due to illness for three (3) consecutive days, or multiple single days within a two week period, the school administrator may require a note from the student’s physician providing cause for the absence.
2. The school will make every effort to notify the parents/guardians by phone after an unexcused absence is reported. Parents/guardians will be contacted to meet with an administrator or a guidance counselor to discuss unexcused absences.
3. Students and parents have the right to appeal to the principal should they deem the attendance failure to be in error. This must be done within five school days of notification.
4. The student and parents have the right to appeal the principal’s decision to the Superintendent. This must be done within five school days of notification of the principal’s decision. The Superintendent’s decision shall be final.
Legal Reference: Title 20A MRSA Sec. 5001-A
Cross Reference: JEDA – Truancy JFC – Student Withdrawal from School / Dropout Prevention Committee IHBG – Home Schooling
Adopted: August, 1987
Revised: August, 1988
Revised: August 14, 1985
Revised: February 12, 2002
Revised: April 12, 2004
Revised: July 14, 2008
Revised: July 9, 2012