Attendance for all students in Kentucky is calculated based on the amount of time that the student is present in school. Attendance reports show students as tardy, absent, half-day present or present the full day. A student is tardy if he or she misses up to 35% of the instructional day by arriving late, leaving early or a combination of the two.
Students’ daily attendance is calculated as per 702 KAR 7:125:
- A full day of attendance shall be recorded for a pupil who is in attendance more than 84 percent of the regularly-scheduled school day for the pupil’s grade level.
- A tardy shall be recorded for a pupil who is absent less than 35 percent of the regularly-scheduled school day for the pupil’s grade level.
- A half day absence shall be recorded for a pupil who is absent 35 percent to 84 percent of the regularly-scheduled school day for the pupil’s grade level.
- A full day absence shall be recorded for a pupil who is absent more than 84 percent of the regularly-scheduled school day for the pupil’s grade level.
- The percentages described in this subsection shall apply to the regularly scheduled school day approved by the board of education and shall be applicable to entry level through grade level twelve.
An excused absence or tardy is one for which work may be made up. Excused absences and tardies include such circumstances and occasions as a death or severe illness in the student’s immediate family, an illness of the student, religious holidays and practices, one day for attendance at the Kentucky State Fair, and other valid reasons as determined by the principal. After a total of ten cumulative full-day absences due to illness, parents are required to present a written statement from a medical professional (doctor, dentist, psychologist, etc.) for additional absences during the current school year in order for the student to be excused.
Excused absences for the purpose of educational enhancement may be granted for up to ten school days a year in order for a student to pursue an opportunity that the local school administrator determines to be of significant educational value, provided that the date(s) requested does not conflict with state or district testing periods. This opportunity may include, but is not limited to, participation in an educational foreign exchange program or an intensive instructional, experimental, or performance program in one of the core curriculum subjects of English, science, mathematics, social studies, foreign language, and the arts. A principal's determination may be appealed to the superintendent/designee whose decision may then be appealed to the Board. A student receiving an excused absence to pursue an educational enhancement opportunity shall be considered present in school during the excused absence. Also, excused armed forces day absences may be granted for students who have an immediate family member being deployed or coming back from deployment. One day can be granted by the school for each of the occurrences. A student receiving an excused armed forces day absence shall be considered present in school during the excused absence. If a student’s parent/guardian is stationed out of the country and is granted rest and recuperation leave, the student will be allowed up to ten excused absences for visitation. A student receiving an excused absence for these purposes shall be considered present in school and will have the opportunity to make up school work missed and will not have his or her class grades adversely affected for lack of class attendance or class participation due to the excused absence.
All students are required by law to attend school every day and to be on time for school and all classes. The district records excused and unexcused absences daily to comply with Kentucky School Law, KRS 159.50, which states, "Any child who has attained the age of six years but has not reached his or her eighteenth birthday, who has been absent without a valid excuse for three or more days, or [who has been] tardy without a valid excuse on three or more days is a truant. Any student enrolled in a public school who has attained the age of eighteen years but has not reached his or her twenty-first birthday, who has been absent from school without a valid excuse for three or more days, or [who has been] tardy on three or more days is a truant." The law defines an habitual truant as "any student who has been reported as truant two or more times."
Kentucky law holds accountable a public school student who has attained the age of eighteen, but who has not reached his or her twenty-first birthday, if the student fails to comply with school truancy laws; holds accountable the parent, guardian, or custodian of a public school student who has not reached his or her eighteenth birthday if the student fails to comply with truancy laws; and holds accountable the court-appointed guardian of a public school student who has been identified as an exceptional child or youth and has not reached his or her twenty-first birthday if the student fails to comply with school attendance laws.
Any parent, guardian, or custodian who fails to comply with the requirements may face fines of $100 for the first offense and $250 for the second offense and may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for each subsequent offense. Charges of educational neglect and/or unlawful transaction with a minor may also be filed.
When a student is habitually absent, the school clerical and/or administrative staff may:
- refer the student to the Family Resource/Youth Services Center Coordinators, where available , who will work with the student and his or her family in support of regular attendance.
- notify the parent/guardian by telephone or in writing of unexcused absence(s).
- send a letter to the parent/guardian stating that the student is truant after the third unexcused absence.
- notify the parent/guardian after the sixth unexcused absence.
- notify the Pupil Personnel Department electronically after the sixth unexcused absence and state any interventions conducted at the local school.
When a student has six or more unexcused absences:
- an assistant director of Pupil Personnel or a school social worker will visit the home of the student.
- a final notice may be served in person or sent by certified mail to the parent/guardian.
- an assistant director of Pupil Personnel or a school social worker may require a parent/guardian conference and/or file an educational neglect report with Child Protective Services.
- a student may be referred to Family Court by the assistant director of Pupil Personnel and may be subject to legal action if absences continue to accumulate.
May 22, 2013