Policy 501:   Student Attendance

501.1 Compulsory Attendance
Daily, punctual attendance is an integral part of the learning experience and is required of all students to receive the maximum benefit of the educational program.  Attendance is a shared responsibility that requires cooperation and communication among students, parents and school. 

 
Parents within the school district who have children over age six and under age sixteen by September 15, in proper physical and mental condition to attend school, (i.e. free from communicable disease) shall have the children attend the school district at the attendance center designated by the Board.  Students shall attend school the number of days school is in session in accordance with the school calendar.  Students of compulsory attendance age shall attend school a minimum of 175 days or be referred to the county attorney for mediation or prosecution.  Exceptions to this policy include children who:
  • have completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school or have obtained a high school equivalency diploma; 
  • are attending religious services or receiving religious instruction; 
  • are attending an approved or probationary approved  private college preparatory school; 
  • are attending an accredited nonpublic school; 
  • are receiving competent private instruction; or 
  • are excused for sufficient reason by any court of record or judge It is the responsibility of the parent of a child to provide evidence of the child’s mental and physical inability to attend school or of the child’s qualifications for one of the exceptions listed above.  

Legal Reference:  Iowa Code Section 259A; 279.10-11; 299.1-1A(1995); 299.2; 299.6;  978 Op. Att’y Gen. 379   

Date of Adoption:  January 23, 1973   

Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; April 10, 1995; June 9, 1997; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 6, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:  July 14, 1982; March 9, 1992; May 15, 1995; July 14, 1997

 

501.1A Student Absences - Excused
Regular attendance by students is essential for students to obtain the maximum opportunities from the education program.  Parents and students alike are encouraged to ensure an absence from school is a necessary absence.  Students shall attend school unless excused by the principal of their attendance center. 

Student absences approved by the principal shall be excused absences.  Excused absences shall count as days in attendance for purposes of the truancy law.  These absences include, but are not limited to illness, family emergencies, recognized religious observances, appointments that cannot be scheduled outside the school day and school-sponsored or approved activities.  Reasonable excuses may also include family vacations or trips if requests are submitted in advance.  Students whose absences are approved shall make up the work missed and receive full credit for the missed schoolwork.  It shall be the responsibility of the student to initiate a procedure with the student’s teacher to complete the work missed. 

Students who wish to participate in school-sponsored activities must attend school the one-half day the day of the activity unless permission has been  given by the principal for the student to be absent. It shall be the responsibility of the parent to notify the student’s attendance center as soon as the parent knows the student will not be attending school on that day.  The principal may request evidence or written verification of the student’s reason for absence. 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principal, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.  

Date of Adoption:  July 14, 1997  

Legal Reference:  Iowa Code SS 294.4; 299(1995);281 I.A.C. 12.2(4).  

Reviewed:  Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

501.1B Truancy - Unexcused Absences
Regular attendance by the students at school is essential for students to obtain the maximum opportunities from the education program.  Parents and students alike are encouraged to ensure an absence from school is a necessary absence.  Students shall attend school unless excused by the principal of their attendance center. 

Truancy is the failure to attend school for the minimum number of days established in the school calendar by the Board.  Truancy is the act of being absent without an approved excuse.  These absences shall include, but not be limited to:  tardiness, shopping, hunting, concerts, preparation orparticipation in parties and other celebrations and employment.  Truancy will not be tolerated by the board. 

Students are subject to disciplinary action for truancy including suspension and expulsion.  It shall be within the discretion of the principal to determine, in light of the circumstances, whether a student may make up work missed because of truancy.  Students receiving special education services will not be assigned to supervised study hall, in-school suspension unless the goals and objectives of the student’s Individualized Education Program are capable of being met. 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent, in connection with the principal, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.  The administrative regulations shall indicate the disciplinary action to be taken for truancy.  

Date of Adoption:  August 11, 1997  

Legal Reference: Iowa Code SS 294.4; 299 (1995). 281 I.A.C. 12.2(4)  

Reviewed:  Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

501.1C Truancy - Unexcused Absences Regulation
Daily, punctual attendance is an integral part of the learning experience and is required of all students to receive the maximum benefit of the  educational program.  The habit of good attendance established early is one which helps a person be successful throughout his or her lifetime.  More and more, employers, colleges and vocational schools expect good attendance and checking attendance records for absences and tardies.  They are aware that good and prompt attendance indicates dependability in a student.  The education that goes on in the classroom builds from day to day and as a result, absences always cause some disruption in the educational progress of the absent student.
 
Students who are absent may not understand what the teacher is currently presenting, and may also become discouraged with the double burden of keeping current and making up missed work.  In order to maintain interest and understanding in  the instructional program, students should not expect to be absent any more than is absolutely necessary.  Irregular attendance or tardiness by students not only retards their own studies, but also interferes with the progress of those students who are regular and prompt in attendance.  Attendance is a shared responsibility that requires cooperation and communication among students, parents and school.  

Students who are absent without a reasonable excuse, as determined by the principal, will receive appropriate disciplinary sanction.  Reasonable excuses include illness, family emergencies, recognized religious observances and school sponsored or approved activities.  Reasonable excuses may also include family trips or vacations if the student’s work is finished prior to the trip or vacation.  

Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. SS 1681-1683; 1685-1686 (1988).  34 C.F.R. Pt. 106.41  1993).  

Iowa Code SS 216.9; 280.13-.14 (1997).  281 I.A.C. 12.6  

Date of Adoption:  August 11, 1997  

Reviewed:  Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

501.2 Entrance Requirements Evidence of Age
A pupil shall not be admitted to kindergarten unless the pupil is five years of age on or before the fifteenth day of September of the current year. 

A pupil shall not be admitted to the first grade unless the pupil is six years of age on or before thefifteenth day of September of the current year. 

A birth certificate or other satisfactory evidence  of age shall be required of each pupil entering school in this district for the first time.  

Legal Reference:  (Code of Iowa)  Chapter 282.3    

Date of Adoption:  January 23, 1973  

Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

501.3 School Attendance Areas
Attendance areas for each school in this district shall be established upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools and approval of the Board of Directors.  The Superintendent shall study the actual and potential enrollment of the district before making recommendations.  

Date of Adoption:  January 23, 1973  

Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

501.4 Attendance Records
It shall be the duty of each building principal to assure the keeping of adequate attendance records
and to make required reports to the central administrative office.  

Date of Adoption:  January 23, 1973  

Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

501.5 Resident Students
Resident students are those whose legal residence is within the boundary of the district.  A minor student will be considered to have the same legal residence as that of the student's parents or legal guardian.  

Date of Adoption:  January 23, 1973  

Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

501.6 Non-Resident Students
Students who are eligible to attend an Iowa public school but who are not legal residents of this district may be admitted to school at the discretion of the Superintendent upon application and payment of tuition.  The tuition rate shall be the current per-pupil cost of the district as computed by the Board Secretary and as authorized by the State Department of Education. 

Resident students whose families move from the school district after the start of a semester, and who wish to complete the semester in the school district, may be permitted to attend without the payment of tuition at the discretion of the Superintendent.  These students, other than students in grades eleven and twelve, must have the recommendation of the principal as well as a resident guardian identified for purposes of administration.

Students in grades eleven or twelve who are no longer residents of the school district, but were residents in the preceding school year, may continue to attend school until they graduate without the payment of tuition.  These students must have a resident guardian identified for purposes of administration. 

Non-resident students who are eligible to attend an Iowa public school and who have positive evidence they will become legal residents of the school district prior to October 1 may be allowed to attend without the payment of tuition. It shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to develop administrative rules for this policy.    

Legal Reference:  Lakota Consolidated Ind. School v. Buffalo Center-    Rake Comm. School, 334 N.W. 2d 704 (Iowa 1924).    Iowa Code Sect. 282.1, .2, .6, 7, .24, 442.4 (1987 as amended by    H. F. 499, 72nd G. A. lst sess.).   

Date of Adoption:  January 23, 1973 

Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:  January 8, 1980; November 9, 1987

 

501.7 Foreign Students
Qualified foreign students of recognized foreign exchange programs may be enrolled and attend school without charge if they are recommended by the Superintendent and reside within the boundaries of this district.   

Date of Adoption:  January 23, 1973   

Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:  June 9, 1986; January 14, 2002

 

501.8 Open Enrollment Transfers
The school district will participate in open enrollment as a sending district. As a sending district, the board will allow resident students who meet the requirements to open enroll to another public school district.

Parents requesting open enrollment out of the school district for their student will notify the sending and receiving school district no later than March 1 in the school year preceding the first year desired for open enrollment. The notice is made on forms provided by the Department of Education. The forms are available at the central administration office.

Parents of children who will begin kindergarten in the school district are exempt from the open enrollment March 1 deadline. Parents of children who will begin kindergarten will file in the same manner set forth above by September 1 of the current school year. Parents who have good cause as defined by law for failing to meet the March 1 deadline may make an open enrollment request to both the receiving and sending districts in the same manner set forth above. However, the decision on whether good cause exists is solely made by the receiving district.

The receiving district will approve open enrollment requests according to the timelines established by law.

The board may approve a student's request to allow the receiving district to enter the school district for the purposes of transportation.

An open enrollment request out of the school district from parents of a special education student is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The determining factor for approval of such an open enrollment request will be whether the special education program available in the receiving school district is appropriate for the student's needs. The area education agency director of special education serving the receiving district will determine whether the program is appropriate. The special education student will remain in the school district until the final determination is made.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to maintain open enrollment request applications and notice forms. It will also be the responsibility of the superintendent to develop appropriate office procedures and administrative regulations necessary for open enrollment requests.

Date of Adoption: August 14, 1989

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; December 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: January 14, 2002; January 10, 2010

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 139A.8; 274.1; 279.11; 282.1, .3, .8, .18; 299.1 (2009). 281 I.A.C. 17. 1990 Op. Att'y Gen. 75.

 

501.9 Approval of Open Enrollment Transfers
The school district will participate in open enrollment as a receiving district. As a receiving district, the board will allow nonresident students, who meet the legal requirements, to open enroll into the school district. The board will have complete discretion to determine the attendance center of the students attending the school district under open enrollment.

Open Enrollment applications must be filed by March 1st in the school year preceding the first year desired for open enrollment. The superintendent will approve all timely filed applications by June 30; incoming kindergarten applications filed by September 1; good cause application and continuation of an educational program application.

The superintendent will notify the sending school district and parents within 10 days of the school district’s action to approve or deny the open enrollment request.

Open enrollment requests into the school district will not be approved if insufficient classroom space exists. Open enrollment requests into the school district will also not be approved for students who have been suspended or expelled by the administration or the board of the school district the student is or was attending until the student has been reinstated into the school district from which the student was suspended or expelled. Once the student is reinstated, the student's open enrollment request will be considered in the same manner as other open enrollment requests provided the required timelines are met.

Open enrollment requests into the school district that, if denied, would result in students from the same nuclear family being enrolled in different school districts, will be given highest priority. The board, in its discretion, may waive the insufficient classroom space reason for denial for students of the same nuclear family to prevent the division of a nuclear family between two school districts. Other open enrollment requests into the school district are considered in the order received by the school district with the first open enrollment request given a higher priority than the second open enrollment request and so forth.

Generally, students in grades nine through twelve open enrolling into the school district will not be eligible for participation in interscholastic athletics, at the varsity level, during the first ninety days of open enrollment into the school district.

Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from the receiving school district without reimbursement unless the parents qualify for transportation assistance. Upon a parent's request, the board may approve transportation into the sending district. The board's approval is subject to the sending district's approval.

Date of Adoption: August 14, 1989

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: January 14, 2002; January 10, 2010

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 139A.8; 274.1; 279.11; 282.1, .3, .8, .18; 299.1 (2009). 281 I.A.C. 17. 1990 Op. Att'y Gen. 75.

 

501.10 Insufficient Classroom Space
Insufficient classroom space exists when conditions adversely affect the implementation of the educational philosophy and program of the Board. The Board shall determine insufficient classroom space on a case-by-case basis.  Criteria  to be used by the Board in its determination may include, but not be limited to, available personnel, grade level, class size, educational program, instructional method, physical space available, finances available, bargaining agreements in force, and District Goals and Objectives. 

Students granted Open Enrollment into the Mount Pleasant Community School District will not automatically guarantee the granting of Open Enrollment to additional family members in the future. 

Legal Reference:  Iowa Code 282.18    

Date of Adoption:  August 14, 1989   

Reviewed:  April 8, 1991; March 9, 1992; Dec. 3, 2001; Jan. 9, 2006; Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:  April 8, 1991; January 14, 2002

 

501.11 Home School Assistance Enrollment
Students residing in the Mount Pleasant Community School District may enroll in the Home School Assistance Program semi-annually.  Enrollment deadline dates are as follows: First Semester: September 15; Second Semester: January 15.  When moving into the school district,  a student may enroll in the HSAP at the time of initial enrollment.  

Date of Adoption: October 9, 2006 

Reviewed:   Dec. 13, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: