WASHINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT ATTENDANCE POLICY
Students under the age of 18 are required to attend school unless exempted by law. Parents have the responsibility to monitor regular school attendance for their children and to have them at school on time. Please contact the school by 10AM any time your child will be absent. This includes absences for illness, travel, or family emergencies. Please remember that the fewer absences, the better children do in school. Exempt absences include:
- School Sponsored Activity-Involvement in the school sponsored activity is considered part of the educational experience.
- Educational Travel-Requires prior notification by parents and approval by school officials. Paperwork is available in the office or on the district website.
- Homebound-Illness or injury which causes absence in excess of five consecutive days will not be considered an absence if a homebound teacher is requested. Requires verification by a physician.
- Chronic Illness-absence due to a chronic illness. Requires prior notification and an individual attendance plan. Also requires verification by a physician.
- Court Detention-Absence due to required legal consequences. Must be verified.
WASHINGTON DISTRICT ABSENTEE PROCEDURES
Admission Washington County School District - Adopted 9-8-98; Revised 1-12-99; Revised 2-12-02; Revised 2-13-07; Revised 12-9-08; Revised 10-13-09; Revised 11-8-11; Revised 3-5-13; Revised 6-16-15; Revised 6-25-15
1. PURPOSE & PHILOSOPHY:
The Washington County School Board believes that student learning and achievement is directly related to attendance. WCSD strives to make every effort to be in compliance with state law as well as work proactivelytogether with parents, community resources; including the Fifth District Court to encourage the regular attendance of all Washington County students. The District believes this to be in the best interest of the students and the community. The Board, together with Washington County Schools, is committed to work in harmony with parents/guardian and to assist them with their responsibility to have their children in attendance at school.
2.1. The "State Compulsory Education Requirements" (Utah Code, Section 53A-11-101) directs parents and schools as follows:
2.1.1. A person having control of a minor who has reached the age of six years, but has not reached the age of eighteen years, shall send the minor to a public or regularly established private school during the school year of the district in which the minor resides.
2.1.2. It is a class B misdemeanor for a person having control of a minor under subsection (1) to intentionally or recklessly fail to comply with the requirements of chapters 53A-11.
2.1.3. A local board of education shall report cases of willful noncompliance to the appropriate city, county, or district attorney.
2.2. Utah Code 53A-15-1501 Parental Rights in Education grants that the parent or guardian has the right to reasonable academic accommodations. The Washington County School district recognizes that the parent or guardian is the primary person responsible for the education of their student, and the school is in a secondary and supportive role to the parent or guardian. This includes the parent’s right to excuse the parent’s child from school.
2.2.1. Students are responsible for the completion of any work missed due to absence, regardless of the reason for the absence (excused, unexcused, truant).
2.3. As per Utah Code Section 53A-11-103, it is the duty of a school board, school district and principal to attempt to resolve attendance problems by:
- Expecting teachers to acknowledge and reward appropriate behavior in the area of attendance
- Working closely with parents in providing meaningful and consistent academic programming for their child
- Documenting an earnest and persistent effort on the part of the school to provide a meaningful education program, including the following steps, as reasonably feasible.
1) Counseling of the minor by school authorities.
2) Making any necessary adjustment(s) to the curriculum and schedule to meet special needs of the minor.
3) Implementing other appropriate interventions (e.g. School of Life, make-up times) and considering alternatives proposed by the parent.
4) Upon parent request, providing the parent with a list of resources to assist the parent in resolving the minor’s attendance problems.
5) Monitoring the school attendance.
6) Enlisting the assistance of community and law enforcement agencies as appropriate and reasonable feasible (e.g.: Voluntary participation in Attendance Mediation, St. George Police Department Student Resource Officers, Division of Child and Family Services, Child Protective Services).
7) Issuing a notice of compulsory education violation, by personal service or certified mail, to a parent of a school-age child if the school-age child is absent without a valid excuse, consistent with state law and school/District policy, at least five times during the school year. (See Attachment #3; Mandatory Parent Notification)
8) The notice of compulsory education violation shall contain requirements of Section 53A-11-101.5 including:
a. Stating that refusal to respond to the notice and subsequent follow-up is a class B misdemeanor; requesting parental involvement and support; and directing the parent of the school-age child to:
b. Meet with school authorities (designate specifically who), to discuss the school-age student’s school attendance problems; and secure regular attendance by preventing the child from being absent without valid excuse five or more times during the remainder of the year.
9) Referring the student to the WCSD Dept. of Student Services.
10) The Student Services Department shall review the school’s documentation if it is determined that reasonable efforts have been tried and failed, the department may proceed in referring/reporting the student/parent to the Office of the Washington County Attorney and/or Juvenile Court.
2.4.1. This policy will be posted in a prominent place at each school within the District. The policy will also be published in student registration materials; student, parent, and employee handbooks; on the school website, and in other appropriate school publications as directed by the Superintendent.
3. DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS:
3.1. Tardy: A tardy is defined as reporting to class after the bell to start class has sounded.
3.1.1. Tardy rationale. Tardiness not only hinders a student's ability to profit from instruction at the beginning of class, but it interrupts the work of the other students who made the effort to be on time. Research is abundantly clear that punctual students perform better in school and at work.
3.1.2. Each school is required to establish a uniform tardy policy for the school – to include consequences. Each school’s tardy policy will be included in the school’s handbook. All tardies will be recorded on PowerSchool.
3.1.3. It is the responsibility of the student and/or parent(s) to monitor tardies on PowerSchool, through progress reports, and by communication with the teacher. A tardy may be excused by a parent when an emergency situation results in a student arriving at school late. For secondary students, a student may not be excused for tardiness between classes.
3.2. Absences. An absence is defined as any time a student is not in attendance in the classroom to which he or she has been assigned. In order for an absence to be considered an excused absence, the school must be notified by the parent in a timely manner, consistent with state law and this policy.
3.2.1 A parent will be notified by automated phone or e-mail every time the parent’s student is absent without excuse. A parent is responsible to provide the school with a current phone number. Parents are encouraged to monitor their student’s attendance from this notification on, and are invited to call the attendance secretary at the school as often as necessary to improve the student’s attendance.
3.2.2. Excused absence. Pursuant to a WRITTEN request, a parent has the right to excuse a student from attendance for a scheduled family event, or scheduled proactive visit to a health care provider without requiring a note from the provider. For such an absence to be “excused,” (1) the parent must provide the written statement at least one school day prior to the scheduled event, and (2) the student must agree to make up course work for the missed school days consistent with the school/district policy.
In addition a valid excuse means: illness (including chronic or medical need), family emergency, both of which may be excused via phone, in person or note within a reasonable timeframe as determined by the individual school, not to exceed one week after the absence; an approved school activity; an absence permitted by a school age minor’s individual education plan or 504 plan; or any other excuse established by the school district; such as: office excused (if student is detained in the office by school administration); court/detention absences; or homebound.
126.96.36.199. Excused absence status will not be considered when calculating excessive absenteeism unless it affects the student’s academic performance. If absenteeism becomes so excessive that it impacts the student’s ability to progress educationally and/or is affecting the student’s academic performance, the absences may be considered and the school mayprovide opportunities for students to make up lost time and assignments; such as: lunch-time or after school make-up.
188.8.131.52. Illness or accident: A student who is absent for health-related reasons for a period of five (5) or more consecutive days, who is undergoing surgery, or who has been injured in an accident, qualifies for immediate homebound services. School work will be collected for the parent to pick up or an alternative educational program may be developed.
184.108.40.206. Chronic illness. Chronic health problems may or may not interfere with attendance at school and learning in the classroom. It is extremely important that parents notify the school concerning health-related problems that their students may have. Documentation from a health care provider is required in validating the seriousness of the chronic illness. If the chronic illness hinders a student's attendance, the parent is invited to meet with a school administrator to formulate an individual attendance plan that will meet the student's needs. It is the responsibility of the parent to schedule such a meeting.
3.2.3. Unexcused absence, excessive excused absences or truancy situations. An unexcused absence is any absence that is not excused consistent with the definitions and provisions of this policy. A parent, teacher, or a school administrator may request a conference to discuss the attendance of a student whom they deem to have an excessive number of absences; or follow the additional steps outlined in 2.3. of this policy. Such interventions would precede a referral to the Washington County 5th District Courts.
3.2.4. Chronic absenteeism. Student misses ten (10) percent or more school days.
3.3 Absences will be assigned the following marks on PowerSchool:
School Related Activity
4. DEFINITIONS & PROCEDURES APPLICABLE TO ONLY SECONDARY SCHOOLS:
4.1. Truancy. A school-age minor who is enrolled in a public school shall attend the public school in which the school-age minor is enrolled. When a student is absent from the assigned class, without parental or school knowledge and this absence does not meet the standard of an excused or exempt absence, that student is considered truant. Administration must meet with parents and the student to make reasonable efforts to resolve the attendance problems as outlined in WCSD Policy 2.3.
4.1.1. The local school board may impose administrative penalties on a school-age minor who is truant. The board may authorize a school administrator, an administrator’s designee, or a law enforcement officer acting as a school resource officer to issue notices or citations of truancy to school-age minors who are at least 12 years old. Prior to issuance of a notice or citation, truancy prevention and intervention must be attempted and proven unsuccessful, including those described in Section 2.3. The school must notify parents throughmail or personal service. The notice must inform the parent of the opportunity to contest the truancy; as well as include the procedure for doing so. No agent of the school may issue a habitual truancy citation:
- Until a student has been truant at least 5 times.
- To a school-age minor who is less than 12 years of age.
- If the student has at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average and the student is 16 years of age or older.
4.1.2. The parent shall have the right to appeal a notice of truancy in writing to the building level administrator within ten (10) days of being issued.
4.1.3. A student who is issued a truancy notice maybe referred to juvenile court and is subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
5. DEFINITIONS & PROCEDURES APPLICABLE FOR ONLY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.
5.1. A school-age minor under the age of 14 must comply with the requirements of compulsory education as per Utah Code 53A-11-101.5, including the steps outlined in this Policy 2.1 – 2.4.
5.2. Parental refusal to comply with the actions taken by school authorities alone does not constitute educational neglect consistent with Utah Code 78A-6-319. In order for educational neglect to be considered by the courts, the following may be used for evidence:
- The child has failed to make adequate educational progress, and school officials have complied with the requirements of 53A-11-103; and
- The child is two or more years behind his/her age group expectations in one or more basic skills and is not receiving special education services or systematic remediation efforts; and
- The child has been absent from school without good cause, for more than 10 consecutive school days or more than 1/16 of the applicable school term (typically between 3.5 and 4 days)
5.3. For student ages 14 and younger, to further promote and instill early positive attendance patterns additional steps shall be completed, including sending a Courtesy Parent Notification letter from the classroom teacher or school counselor via telephone, email, mail or in person. (See Attachment: Courtesy Parent Notification)
5.3.1. In addition, when a student has accumulated several unexcused absences during the school year, the school will contact parents by: telephone, text, e-mail, mail, or in person. An attendance summary will be provided which includes excused, unexcused absence and tardy totals (See Attachment: Parent Notification with Compulsory Education Requirements). The notice to the parent shall direct the parent to meet with school authorities to discuss the child’s school attendance problems and direct the parent to cooperate with school personnel to secure regular attendance by the child. The notice shall provide the parent with the names or titles of the school personnel with whom the parent is directed to meet. The notice shall tell the parent that it is a class B misdemeanor for the parent to intentionally or recklessly fail to meet with school personnel to resolve the problems or fail to prevent further absences without valid excuse by the child.
5.3.2. If the parent does not attend the meeting, or if the meeting with the parents does not resolve the problem and the student accumulates no less than a total of five (5) unexcused absences, a certified or hand delivered letter home shall be sent to the child’s home. The notice shall: (1) describe the problem, (2) describe necessary corrective action, (3) explain attendance mediation options, (4) direct the parents to meet with school personnel to discuss strategies to improve student’s attendance, and (5) inform the parent(s) that if the situation is not corrected a referral may be sent to the 5thDistrict Court for violation of compulsory education. (See Attachment: Mandatory Parent Notification)
5.3.3. If the parent does not meet with designated school personnel or resolve the child’s attendance problems following receipt from the certified letter or signed receipt of Mandatory Parental Notification Letter, school personnel shall complete the referral form (See Attachment: Referral for Violation of Compulsory Education & Request for Court Action),attach all required documentation and submit this packet to the Washington County School District Director of Student Services for review, possible resolution and/or referral to the Office of the Washington County Attorney for violation of compulsory education.
ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION
CELL PHONES & MUSIC DEVICES
2200 STUDENT DRESS CODE
Students/Parent/Community Washington County School District - Adopted 6-9-98; Revised 5-9-00; Revised 6-12-01; Revised 9-10-02.; Revised 5-9-06.; Revised 05-14-13.
1. PURPOSE AND PHILOSOPHY
The Board of Education of the Washington County School District recognizes that every student in the schools should have the opportunity to learn in an environment which is safe, conducive to the learning process, and free from unnecessary disruption. To foster such an environment the following policy establishes the framework for school dress and grooming.
2.1. Students who attend the schools of Washington County School District are expected to come to school dressed and groomed appropriately for a learning environment and show respect for others by supporting the following dress and grooming standards. These standards are intended to insure that every school in the Washington County School District will be a safe place for each student to learn, free from physical or moral threats and free from intimidation by others, to include gangs and gang appearance.
3.1. Dress and Grooming standards:
3.1.1. The attire (apparel) and grooming of all students should be neat, clean and safe.
3.1.2. Students have the responsibility to avoid apparel that causes a distraction or disruption, interrupting school decorum and adversely affecting the educational process. Students must also avoid apparel that is offensive, represents a risk, or threatens student safety.
220.127.116.11. Printed apparel is acceptable only if it is in good taste. Any apparel displaying profanity, suggestive slogans, pictures or graphics, or promoting substances illegal for consumption by a minor, will not be allowed.
18.104.22.168. Clothes that are mutilated or immodest are not appropriate school wear. Dresses, shorts, skirts, shirts, and blouses should be modest in length and not revealing. (Tank tops, tube tops and garments that reveal undergarments may be considered revealing).
22.214.171.124. Hats are not to be worn in school buildings during regular school hours.
126.96.36.199. Any apparel approved for school wear should be worn in accompaniment with appropriate undergarments.
188.8.131.52. Footwear must be worn and should be safe and hygienic. Shoes, boots and sandals are considered suitable footwear.
184.108.40.206. Clothing attachments or accessories which could be considered weapons are not allowed.
220.127.116.11. Students have a responsibility to cooperate fully with clothing standards required for special classes (such as shop, home economics, laboratories, physical education) and special school activities.
3.1.3. Students have the responsibility to avoid grooming that causes a distraction or disruption, interrupting school decorum and adversely affecting the educational process. Students must also avoid grooming that is offensive, represents a risk, or threatens student safety. (Extremes in body piercings, hair styles and hair colors may be considered a distraction or disruption).
3.1.4. Gang behavior, apparel or grooming is not appropriate at school. (Reference Safe Schools Policy 2110)
18.104.22.168. As gang grooming styles and clothing continually evolve and change, the following prohibited items that have commonly denoted gang membership or affiliation are only representative of prohibited clothing. Additional grooming styles and apparel may be considered gang-affiliated, as identified in consultation with school officials and law enforcement authorities. Bandannas or any article of clothing or accessory bearing gang symbols, names, initials, insignia, or style of dress that indicates gang affiliation will not be allowed.
3.2. Consequences for violation of the Student Dress and Grooming Policy
3.2.1. A student in violation of the "Student Dress and Grooming Policy" may be sent home to make the changes necessary to be in compliance with policy. The student may return as soon as the required changes are made.
3.2.2. Students who dress or groom in a manner that demonstrates gang affiliation may be subject to suspension and/or expulsion.
3.2.3. Suspension from school may occur for continued disregard for the Student Dress and Grooming Policy.
3.3. Every school is to include the Student Dress and Grooming Policy in their student handbooks.
3.4. School employees are held to the same dress and grooming standards as the students.
Elementary schools serve both breakfast and lunch. Morning kindergarten students may participate in the breakfast program. The school secretary will collect breakfast and lunch money the first day of each week. If possible, please pay weekly. All meal money will be receipted; please save your eceipts. WCSD policy does not allow student to charge meals. If your child is unable to pay, please send a sack lunch or make arrangements with the office for free or reduced lunch and breakfast. Visitors may come to lunch anytime. If possible, please call the office before 9am to make a reservation. The school food service prices are as follows
Daily Reduced Adults
Breakfast 1.25 .30 2.00
Lunch 1.90 .40 3.50
FREE & REDUCED LUNCH
All students are expected to follow school rules. Showing respect for people and property allows everyone the opportunity to learn in a safe, pleasant environment. Teachers and staff model socially acceptable behaviors and instruct students to follow the school rules which include being respectful, responsible, and safe. If an administrative intervention in needed parents may be notified. Washington County School District has a zero tolerance policy for:
- Controlled substances, smoking or alcoholic beverages
- Bulling or any kind
- Violence, stealing, or use of profanity
- Sexual harassment
- Possession of a weapon, real of facsimile
- Willful destruction of property
- Child Find
- Resource & Special Education
- Reading & Math remediation
- English Language Learner instruction
- Diagnostic services for speech, hearing, and language delay
- Individual & Group Counseling
- Evaluation and referral to special programs
- Parenting Library
PREVENTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT (EXCERPTS FROM WCSD POLICY 1420)
BULLYING-(WCSD POLICY 3519)
STUDENT COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and District Policy 3260 affords parents and students over 18 years of age("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access. parents or eligible students should submit to the School principal or assistant principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the School to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. Such requests should be in writing and addressed to the school principal or assistant principal. It must clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The following information may be disclosed without consent:
a. Directory Information: The following information is designated as student Directory Information: Student's name, address (to include internet address), phone number, date of birth, grade level, extra-curricular participation, awards or honors, photograph, video or digital images, height and weight (if a member of an athletic team), previous school attended, dates of attendance, and parents's name." Directory Information may be disclosed without prior written consent. The District will also routinely disclose names, addresses, and telephone numbers to military recruiters. parents or eligible students will have two weeks from he beginning of the school year or date a student enrolls to advise the school district, in writing, of any and all items the refuse to permit the district to designate as directory information for the balance of the school year.
b. School Officials: School officials with legitimate educational interests may also have access to records. A school official is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member such as a bus driver including health of medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel; a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
c. Other Schools; The School may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S.. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S.. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
The complainant and the accused have the right to be represented by a person of their choice, at their own expense, during sexual harassment investigations and hearings. Complainants also have the right to register sexual harassment complaints with the U.S.. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights or the Utah Anti-Discrimination Division/EEOC. nothing in this policy shall be construed to limit the right of the complainant to file a lawsuit.
PPRA NOTICE AND CONSENT/OPT OUT FOR SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), 20 U.S.C. 1232h, requires the Washington County School District to notify you and obtain consent or allow you to opt your child out of participating in certain school activities. These activities include a student survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight areas ("protected information surveys")
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student's parent;
- Mental or psychological problems of the student or student's family;
- Sex behavior or attitudes;
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
- Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships
- Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
- Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility
This requirement also applies to the collection, disclosure of use of student information for marketing purposes ("marketing surveys") and certain physical exams and screenings.
The Washington County School District will provide parents, within a reasonable period of time prior to the administration of the surveys and activities, a notification of the surveys and activities and be provided an opportunity opt their child out, as well as an opportunity to review the surveys. (Please note that this notice and consent/opt-out transfers from parents to any student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State law.