Attendance at school is vital to a child’s educational experience. Child attendance is also the basis for some early childhood program funding. It is important for a child to attend school everyday unless he/she is sick. State Voluntary Prekindegarten (VPK) Uniform Attendance Policy Guidelines allow for three (3) or fewer unexcused absences per month and seven (7) or fewer excused absences per month. Parents should notify the school if a child is going to be absent or late for the day.
Excused Absences may be due to:
- Illness or injury of the child or the child’s family member which requires hospitalization or bed rest.
- Physician or dentist appointment.
- Infectious disease or parasitic infestation.
- Funeral service, memorial service, or bereavement upon the death of the child’s family member.
- Life-threatening illness or injury of the child’s family member.
- Compliance with a court order (e.g. visitation, subpoena).
- Special educator or related services as defined in 10 U.S.C. 1401 (2004) for the child’s disability.
- Observance of a religious holiday or service, because the child’s or parent’s religion forbids secular activity on the instructional day.
- Family vacation, not to exceed five excused absences per program year.
- Extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the child and the child’s parent.
A note that explains the reason for the child’s absence must be sent following each absence. After seven excused absences, someone other than the parent such as a doctor must document the excused absence.
Excessive absences may be cause for permanent dis-enrollment from the program. Students may not miss more than nineteen (19) days of school during the year unless absence is due to an extraordinary circumstance. In this case, students may miss up to twenty-nine (29) days of school. Examples of extraordinary circumstances are:
- Hospitalization of the student, parent, or guardian with appropriate documentation.
- Illness of the student, parent, or guardian, which requires a home-stay as documented.
- Death in the student’s, parents’, or guardian’s immediate family with appropriate documentation (e.g. obituary, death certificate).
- Court ordered visitation with appropriate documentation (e.g., court order).
- The parent’s or guardian’s unforeseen documented military deployment or exercise.