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Attendance FAQs for Students and Families

What do I do if my child is going to be absent? 

A parent or guardian must notify the school any time a student will be absent. In non-emergency situations this notification should occur prior to the beginning of the school day. If notification of a student’s absence is not received, attempts will be made by the school to notify the parent or guardian of their student’s absence. If the school does not receive timely notification, the absence will be marked unexcused.

How was Adams 12 Attendance Policy 5020 created?

The Adams 12 Five Star Schools Attendance Policy 5020 is based on the Colorado Compulsory Attendance Law , C.R.S. 22 -33-104. This law states that every child who is age six by August 1st and under seventeen, is required to attend school with specific hour requirements.

Related Policies 

District Policy 5020 (Spanish) | Student Attendance

What is the Adams 12 Excused Absence and Unexcused Absence Policy?

Excused absences are defined as absences caused and excused due to one or more of the reasons defined in District Policy 5020, 6.0. For an absence to be excused the custodial parent/legal guardian must provide the school appropriate documentation which must be submitted within two (2) school days of the school day absent. In the case of multiple consecutive absences, the excuse must be submitted within two (2) school days of the last school day absent. Parents may excuse up to five (5) absences per semester without documentation. Absences beyond five (5) will be considered unexcused unless proper documentation is provided.

Absences that do not meet District Policy 5020, 6.0. will be considered unexcused.

Related Policies 

District Policy 5020 (Spanish) | Student Attendance

What is the difference between chronic absence and habitual truancy?  
A student will be considered chronically absent if they have missed 10% or more days while enrolled in a public school during the school year. Chronically absent students include students who are absent for any reason (e.g., illness, suspension, the need to care for a family member), regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused. Chronically absent students are subject to school and district attendance interventions. 

Under the  Colorado Compulsory Attendance Law, C.R.S. 22-33-107, habitual truancy is defined as a  student having four unexcused absences from school in one month or ten unexcused absences in one school year. Adams 12 will excuse five absences per semester if they are called in by a custodial parent/legal guardian without needing appropriate documentation.  

Why does Adams 12 allow five called-in excused absences per semester?  
Adams 12 excused attendance policy (five called-in excused absences per semester) is based on the  Colorado Compulsory Attendance Law and is intended to give families the ability to excuse a minimal amount of absences without overburdening the family with justification requirements while remaining in line with the definition of habitual truancy. These five excused absences are intended to be used for instances such as illnesses that do not require a doctor’s visit or family emergencies that cannot be avoided and ensure that a student does not go over the ten absences that define habitual truancy without discussions or interventions being put in place.  

How do the schools record tardies and partial absences? 
For elementary schools, a tardy is defined as the student entering or departing a class within 60 minutes of the scheduled start or end time. This differentiation is due to the length of attendance periods. A partial absence for elementary schools is defined as a student entering class more than 60 minutes late but before the midpoint of the attendance period. This also applies to students being in class beyond the midpoint, but  departing more than 60 minutes early. 

For secondary schools, a tardy is defined as the student entering or departing a class within 10 minutes of the  scheduled start or end time. A partial absence for secondary schools is defined as a student entering class more than 10 minutes late, but before the midpoint of the attendance period. This also applies to students  being in class beyond the midpoint, but departing more than 10 minutes early. 

What if my child is going to be gone for an extended period of time? 
Should a family need to take an extended absence, parents should contact the attendance clerk and/or school  administration to discuss next steps.  

Per Adams 12 District Policy 5020, Vacations or non-emergency activities should be scheduled for days or times when students are not in school. Reasonable requests for absences to be excused due to vacation or for other non-emergency reasons will be approved if the student has a 95% or higher attendance rate over the  prior two (2) grading periods, and if the student is otherwise meeting academic performance expectations as determined by school administration. Families can fill out a vacation request to document vacation absences. This form can be requested from school administrators.

Related Policies 

District Policy 5020 (Spanish) | Student Attendance

What do I do if my child is moving to a new school or new school district? 
If the family’s new address is within Adams 12 boundaries, parents should notify their homeschool of the move as soon as possible to verify that a student will remain in their current school or that they will be moving to a different school within the district. Parents will need to provide a proof of residency such as a deed, lease agreement, or utility bill in order to update their address.  

If a family is moving outside of Adams 12, until Adams 12 receives a Confirmation of Enrollment (COE) from the new school, students will remain enrolled in Adams 12 and regular attendance processes will apply. Parents may need to follow up with the new school and the previous Adams 12 school to ensure that a Confirmation of Enrollment has been sent and received.

How do absences and tardies affect learning?  
Students who attend school regularly have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance. A study looking at young children found that absenteeism in kindergarten was associated with negative first grade outcomes such as greater absenteeism in subsequent years and lower achievement in reading, math, and general knowledge.1 Poor attendance has serious implications for later outcomes as well. High school dropouts have been found to exhibit a history of negative behaviors, including high levels of absenteeism throughout their childhood, at higher rates than high school graduates.2 These differences in absentee rates were observed as early as kindergarten, and students who eventually dropped out of high school missed significantly more days of school in first grade than their peers who graduated from high school. In eighth grade, this pattern was even more apparent and, by ninth grade, attendance was shown to be a key indicator significantly correlated with high school graduation.3 

Alternative Schools/Five Star Online/Career & Technical Education/Charter Schools
Most of these school settings follow district policy however, their process and requirements might slightly differ. Please refer to these schools for more information on their attendance practices.

What resources are there for a student struggling with attendance?
Parents are always welcome to reach out to teachers or building administrators to discuss what factors are leading to student absences and how parents and school staff can partner to find solutions. Adams 12 schools and the district have access to a wide variety of resources and interventions such as transportation problem solving, food/clothing/housing resources, mental health partners, and a network of other support partners.

1 Romero, M., and Lee, Y. (2007). A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades. New York, NY: The National Center for Children in Poverty.
2 Hickman, G.P., Bartholomew, M., and Mathwig, J. (2007). The Differential Development Trajectories of Rural High School Dropouts and Graduates: Executive Summary.  Phoenix, AZ: The College of Teacher Education and Leadership at the Arizona State University at the West Campus. 
3 Allensworth, E., and Easton, J.Q. (2005). The On-Track Indicator as a Predictor of High School Graduation. Chicago: Consortium on Chicago School Research


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