Missouri Compulsory Attendance Law requires all students of ages 7-17 to be in regular attendance. Excessive truancy will be referred to the respective county juvenile office after the parent/guardian has been notified of the student’s activities and given a chance to improve the situation. The final decision on notification of the juvenile office is the discretion of the school. Section 210.115 R.S.Mo. mandates reporting to the Division of Family Services when there is reasonable cause to suspect that a student’s non-attendance is due to the educational neglect of the parents/guardians.
A school absence is defined as not being present at school for all or any part of a regular school day. A class absence will be recorded when a student misses more than 15 minutes of a class; however, any absence due to a student’s participation in school sponsored activities will not be recorded as an absence. The responsibility for school attendance and promptness to class is that of the student. The parent/guardian and the school shall share the cultivation of these attributes.
The following procedures have been established for students attending school at Lakeland R-III:
- To earn credit for a course or become eligible for promotion to the next grade-level, a student must have an attendance rate of 95% or better in each course. Any student missing more than five (5) school days in a particular course during a semester must make-up the time missed. A full school day of being absent would equate to 6.5 hours to be recovered. Students failing to recover attendance time will not receive credit for the course(s).
- 1st semester absences must be recovered within 5 school days of returning for second semester. 2nd semester absences must be recovered by the end of summer school. If no summer school is being offered, then students must recover their time by 3:30 pm on the last teacher workday of the school year.
- Classifications of absences:
- The following do not count towards the five (5) days a semester include: school-sponsored activities, school approved college days, funerals, school nurse holds the student from attending school, home-bound services, long-term doctor’s care (with documentation), and hospitalizations of two (2) or more days.
- The following do count towards the five (5) days a semester and must be made up: doctor and dentist appointments, truancies, prearranged absences such as family trips, and any other call-in reasons parents would excuse their student from school.
- School administration makes the final decision for classification of absences.
- Any time that has been missed can be recovered through the following methods:
- Saturday School Dates from 9am-Noon
- Tutoring before or after school, or summer school
- Community service: students may also recover up to 3 days (19.5 hours)
- Community service must be unpaid, unrelated to any legal or school discipline, and completed and submitted to the principal within the same deadlines as all other recovery methods. Signed documentation must be submitted from the community service supervisor including the number of hours served, what the student did during the time, and contact information of the supervisor.
- Students may serve their time early by attending and of the recovery methods, especially when they know they will miss school for prearranged absences at a later time such as doctor’s appointments, family vacations, etc.
- Truancy: Any student who is absent from school without parent or administration approval will be considered truant.
- When a student is absent except for a school activity, the following procedures will be followed:
- If a student is absent from school, one of the student’s parents should call the school before 9:00 AM or soon thereafter. Parents are to inform the school of the reason for the student’s absence.
- A student not in attendance for at least 4 consecutive full class periods will not be allowed to attend or participate in extra-curricular activities unless excused by the principal.
MAKE-UP WORK AFTER AN ABSENCE
- Students will have the same number of school days they were absent to complete make-up work unless they are counted truant or OSS. Make-up work not completed during the allotted time will be recorded as a zero.
- Assignments or tests which were announced prior to the student’s absence will be due the day the student returns to school, even if the class does not meet that day. Students who know in advance that they will be absent (family vacation, school activity) will be required to complete assignments before the absence.
PRE-ARRANGED ABSENCE MAKE UP WORK: Students going on school sponsored activities or with a pre-arranged absence, which will require them to miss some part of a school day, must obtain the work for the missed classes BEFORE going on the trip or missing school.
PERFECT ATTENDANCE: Perfect attendance is defined as having no time absent from the regular school day. All minutes missed except for a school sponsored activity will count against perfect attendance. The Lakeland R-III School District values education and realizes that students need to be in attendance as much as possible. To help encourage attendance the district may provide incentives on perfect attendance.
LONG-TERM PREARRANGED ABSENCE POLICY: Parents must make a request for a prearranged absence. This request can be made in writing or by a phone call. The purpose of this request is so that a student may keep up with their work. When a student will be gone for an extended amount of time, this is to be approved by the principal. Students must obtain all work prior to the prearranged absence and have all work completed upon return. Prearranged absences will count toward the totally number of days missed in a semester. Any prearranged absence days that contribute to a student missing more than 5 days in a semester must make up the required time.
APPROVED COMMUNITY SERVICE AGENCIES: Students wishing to complete community service to make up for absences or to earn credit for work while suspended out of school (OSS) must complete the community service through an approved agency. Approved agencies include: churches, community centers, city/town government agencies, animal shelters, senior centers, and other nonprofit organizations such as the Samaritan Center or Salvation Army. Students may volunteer for Lakeland Youth Athletic Association events to make up regular absences, but not to make up for OSS as students are not allowed on school ground while suspended out of school. It is recommended students should always get approval from school administration before beginning community service to ensure it is through an approved agency.