EXCUSED ABSENCES File: JED
Absences from class shall be excused only for necessary and important reasons at the discretion of the District attendance officers. Excused absences may result from one of two sets of circumstances, absences with prior notice or absences without prior notice.
For absences that occur with prior notice, such as family activities or vacations, professional appointments which cannot be scheduled after school hours, or other reasons prearranged by the parent or legal guardian and approved by the attendance officer, parents or legal guardians are requested to provide written notice to the school within a reasonable amount of time prior to the absence (a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours prior notice is recommended so teachers and students can prepare for the absence with work assignments).
For absences that occur without prior notice, such as personal illness, hospital or emergency-room treatment, accident, serious personal or family problems, or other emergency situations that require that the student be absent, parents or legal guardians are requested to provide notice to the school each day the student is absent. Upon the student’s return to school from an absence that occurs without prior notice, parents or legal guardians are required to provide notice and reason for the absence within forty-eight (48) hours of the student’s return to school. Notice may be provided in writing, signed by the parent or legal guardian. Notice may also be provided by telephone, to the attendance officer or designee, by the parent or legal guardian.
In all situations, the parent or legal guardian shall request that the absence be excused by the attendance officer. Attendance officers have discretion to request further information from parents or legal guardians to verify requests for absences to be excused. The administrative determination of whether or not an absence shall be excused shall be at the discretion of the District attendance officers. The attendance officer shall not count students as absent for prearranged absences due to school activities held during the school day or prearranged conferences with professional school staff held during the school day.
A student whose absence is excused is permitted to perform make-up work or testing, without penalty, provided that the make-up work or testing is performed in the time and manner provided in each school’s Student/Parent Handbook.
An absence which is not approved by parents or legal guardians or not excused by the attendance officer shall be considered an unexcused absence. Unexcused absences are also deemed as truancies which is defined as the willful and unjustified failure to attend school by one who is required to attend.
The student must follow the specific time line of makeup work as defined by each school’s Student/Parent Handbook so that the student may remain prepared to master the curriculum. Except as specifically required by this Policy, parents or legal guardians will be notified, at the telephone numbers or addresses reported at the time of enrollment, of unexcused absences or truancies as provided in each school’s Student/Parent Handbook. In addition, students with unexcused absences will be subject to disciplinary action as provided in each school’s Student/Parent Handbook. A student with a total of 5 unexcused absences will be deemed to have demonstrated continued willful disobedience or open defiance of the authority of school personnel and be subject to intervention.
Compulsory Attendance Age Students
The attendance officer shall provide a written notice to the parent or legal guardian of a student who has not yet attained his or her sixteenth birthday or completed the tenth grade upon the first occurrence of an unexcused absence or truancy. The notice shall notify the parent that the attendance of the student is required by law. Wyo. Stat. § 21-4-104(a)(ii).
If, after the first notice of unexcused absence is sent, the student has a second unexcused absence, which the attendance officer reasonably believes was due to the willful neglect or failure of the parent, legal guardian, or person having custody of the student, then the attendance officer shall make and file a complaint against the parent, legal guardian, or person having custody of the student with the Sweetwater County Prosecuting Attorney. Wyo. Stat. § 21-4-104(a)(ii). A parent, legal guardian, or person having custody of a student who willfully fails, neglects or refuses to comply with provisions of Wyoming’s Compulsory Attendance Act may be found guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to a fine or imprisonment in the county jail or both. Wyo. Stat. § 21-4-105.
A student who accumulates five or more unexcused days of absences in any one school year shall be referred to the board to be declared habitual truant. For purposes of this provision, unexcused absences from individual classroom periods in secondary schools or partial days of unexcused absences in elementary schools equal to five times the number of periods or partial days in the student’s daily schedule (excluding seminary or work/study) shall equal five, unexcused days of absences.