Students miss school for many reasons including illness, lack of transportation, work, homelessness, and family responsibilities. Families understand the importance of education, however, they may not realize how quickly absences from school can add up. Schools, families, and communities can work together to improve attendance and support the needs of families and students.

Attending school every day will help children as they progress through their academic career. Preschool is a great time to begin building a habit of good attendance. Young children with poor attendance also lose out on valuable learning time and if chronic absence continues into kindergarten, it can pull down academic achievement. Studies show many children who miss too many days in kindergarten and first grade can struggle academically in later years. They often have trouble mastering reading by the end of third grade. Helping your child get to school on time every day is an important way you can promote your child’s academic success.

USD 261 Board Policy PDF

Absences and Excuses - JBD

When a student is absent from school, an attempt shall be made to contact the parent or guardian to determine the reason for the absence. The principal has been designated to determine the acceptability and validity of excuses presented by the parent(s) or the student.

Procedures for notifying parents on the day of a student’s absence shall be published in the student handbook.

Excused/Unexcused Absences

The definition of "excused absence" includes the following:

  • Personal illness;
  • Health-related treatment, examination, or recuperation;
  • Serious illness or death of a member of the family;
  • Obligatory religious observances;
  • Participation in a district-approved or school sponsored activity or course;
  • Absences prearranged by parents and approved by the principal; and
  • Students of active duty military personnel may have additional excused absences at the discretion of the principal for visitations relative to leave or deployment.

All absences which do not fit into one of the above categories would be considered an unexcused absence. A student serving a period of suspension or expulsion from the district shall not be considered inexcusably absent.

Significant Part of a School Day

An absence of two or more hours in any school day shall be considered an absence for a significant part of the school day

Make-Up Work

It is the student’s responsibility to obtain make-up assignments from teachers following an excused or unexcused absence.

Truancy- JBE

The building principal (or designee) shall report students who are inexcusably absent from school to the appropriate authority. Truancy is defined as any three consecutive unexcused absences, any five unexcused absences in a semester or seven unexcused absences in a school year, whichever comes first.

School year means the period from July 1 to June 30. Students who are absent without a valid excuse for a significant part of any school day shall be considered truant.

Prior to reporting to either S.R.S. (if the student is under 13) or the county or district attorney (if the student is 13 or more years of age but less than 18 years of age), a letter shall be sent to the student’s parent(s) or guardian notifying them that the student’s failure to attend school without a valid excuse shall result in the student being reported truant.

Waiver of Compulsory Attendance Requirements

Students 16 or 17 years of age may be exempt from compulsory attendance regulations if the parent(s) or person acting as parent attend(s) the counseling session required by law and signs the appropriate consent and waiver form; if the student earns a GED; or if the student is exempt from compulsory attendance requirements pursuant to a court order.

Involvement of Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officers may return truant children to the school where the child is enrolled, to the child’s parent or guardian or to another location designated by the board to address truancy issues.

Reporting to Parents

If a truant child is returned to school by a law enforcement official, the principal shall notify the parent or guardian.

Concurrent Enrollment Students (See IDCE and JQ)

Eligible students who are enrolled in a board-approved dual enrollment program shall not be considered truant, for the hours during the school day they attend classes at a Regent’s university, community college, technical college, vocational educational school or Washburn University.

Chronic Absenteeism

What is Chronic Absenteeism?

According to the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), "being chronically absent means a student is missing 10 percent or more of school, for both excused and unexcused reasons. This puts the student at a higher risk of not graduating high school and possibly becoming a high school dropout." For students of USD 261, 10 percent is 16 or more days in a school year.

Chronic absenteeism is not the same thing as truancy. Chronic absenteeism considers both excused and unexcused absences. Any student missing 10 percent or more of the days that school has been in session at any point in the school year is considered chronically absent. Truancy occurs when a child is absent from school without a valid excuse.


What is Truancy?

In accordance with the Kansas Statute K.S.A. 72-3121(c)(1) "whenever a child is required by law to attend school and is enrolled in school, and the child is inexcusably absent therefrom on either three consecutive school days or five school days in any semester or seven school days in any school year, whichever of the foregoing occurs first, the child shall be considered to be not attending school as required by law. A child is inexcusably absent from school if the child is absent therefrom all or a significant part of a school day without a valid excuse acceptable to the school employee designated by the board of education to have responsibility for the school attendance of such child."

An inexcusable absence is an absence for which a parent or guardian has not communicated to the school a valid excuse. If a student has excessive absences, the school has the right not to excuse an absence unless the child has seen his/her physician and brings the appropriate documentation to the school.

In compliance with requirements of the Kansas Compulsory School Attendance Law, Haysville Schools are required to file a report with the appropriate authorities when a child is not enrolled in school or when a child is enrolled and is inexcusably absent.