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Attendance & Absence

Two commonly used terms regarding student attendance are “tardy” and “absence.” At Homestead, a “tardy” is defined as a late arrival to class that is any amount of time up to and including 19 minutes. An “absence” is defined as missing any part of a class period for 20 or more minutes.

The following are answers to frequently asked questions regarding attendance and absences. The information aligns with information from the Student/Parent Handbook.

What is the process for reporting absences?

  1. Parents/guardians are asked to call the Student Office at 262-238-5620. Please provide your child’s name, I.D. number, reason for the absence, and estimated length of absence. Written notes are not accepted.
  2. For appointments, parents are asked to call the Student Office at 262-238-5620 prior to their child's departure from school. A student cannot leave school without a parent/guardian’s call to the Student Office providing permission for dismissal.
  3. The student must stop in the Student Office prior to his/her departure to pick up a “Leave School Pass.”
  4. Upon returning to school, the student must check in with the Student Office.

Students and families have five days to excuse an absence. In the event the procedure outlined above is not followed, a student's absence will be marked unexcused. If an absence is unexcused following five school days, a detention will be assigned. Additionally, unexcused absences may result in no credit or reduced credit for classroom assignments and tests missed on the day of the absence. Unexcused absences and tardies also impact a student's eligibility to receive exam exemptions.

If a student misses one or more periods and a call is not received, an automated message will be sent to all phone numbers and email addresses of the primary and secondary guardians on file.

What absences are considered excused?

A student shall be excused from school for the following reasons:

A. Physical or Mental Condition: The student is temporarily not in proper physical or mental condition to attend a school program. Medical verification may be required.

B. Emergency or Crisis: An emergency that requires the student to be absent because of familial responsibilities or other appropriate reasons.

C. Attendance at a Funeral

D. Medical Appointments: Appointments with medical professionals. Such appointments are to be made, whenever possible, when school is not in session. When emergencies arise, appointments as early or as late in the school day as possible are recommended. Verification of appointments may be required.

E. Travel with Family: The intent of this statement is to provide opportunity for students to accompany their parent/ guardian on an out of town trip, which cannot be reasonably scheduled when school is not in session. A parent/ guardian shall notify the building principal/ designee prior to leaving on the trip, of the pending absence for the purposes of attendance maintenance and for reviewing the potential impact to the student’s attendance record and academic standing.

F. Obtaining Religious Instruction: To enable the student to obtain religious instruction outside the school during the required school period (see Policy 5223-Release Time for Religious Instruction)

G. Religious Holiday: Students’ sincerely held religious beliefs shall be reasonable accommodated with respect to academic activities, examinations, co-curricular activities, special events (e.g. dances). For observance of a religious holiday consistent with the student’s creed or belief, see Policy 5223.01-Accommodating Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs

H. Permission of Parent or Guardian: The student has been excused by his/her parent or guardian before the absence for any or no reason. A student may not be excused for more than ten (10) days in a school year under this paragraph and must complete any course work missed during the absence

I. Suspension or Expulsion: The student has been suspended or expelled

J. Program or Curriculum Modification: The District has excused the student from regular school attendance to participate in a program or curriculum modification leading to high school graduation or a high school equivalency diploma as provided by State law.

K. High School Equivalency-Secured Facilities: The District has excused a student from regular school attendance to participate in a program leading to a high school equivalency diploma in a secured correctional facility, a secured child caring institution, a secure detention facility, or a juvenile portion of a county jail, and the student and his/her parent or guardian agree that the student will continue to participate in such a program.

L. Child At Risk: The student is a "child at risk" as defined under State law and is participating in a program at a technical college on either a part-time or full-time basis leading to high school graduation, as provided under State law.

M. Quarantine: Quarantine of the student's home by a public health officer.

N. Illness of an Immediate Family Member: The illness of an immediate family member.

Can a student make up course work following an absence?

Excused Absences

  • A student, whose absence from school was excused, except for an expelled student, shall be permitted to make-up course work and any examinations missed during the absences when they return to school. It is the student's responsibility to contact his/her teachers to determine what coursework and examinations must be made-up. Teachers shall have the discretion to assign substitute coursework and examinations. Teachers shall also have the discretion to specify where and when examinations and course work shall be completed, including outside regular school hours. The time for completing the work shall be determined through alignment of grade level academic expectations by school level administration.

Unexcused Absences

  • Unexcused absences demonstrate a deliberate disregard for the educational program and are considered a serious matter.
  • Credit in a course or subject shall not be denied solely because of a student's unexcused absences from school.
  • Students with unexcused absences may be permitted to make-up course work and any examinations missed during the absence if the student is at risk of receiving no credit in a course or subject if the work is not made up.
  • Subject to the immediately preceding two (2) paragraphs, credit may, but is not required to be given for the completion of make-up work. Further, credit for makeup work may be given only after the student has satisfied consequences imposed for unexcused absences. The extent to which make-up credit is given shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by the principal and the respective teachers.
  • If make-up work has been assigned, it is the student's responsibility to contact his/her teachers to determine what coursework and examinations must be made up. Teachers shall have the discretion to assign substitute coursework and examinations. Teachers shall also have the discretion to specify where and when examinations and course work shall be completed, including outside regular school hours. The time for completing the work shall be commensurate with the length of the absence, unless extended by the principal based upon extenuating circumstances.

When is a child considered truant?

A student will be considered truant if s/he is absent part or all of one (1) or more days from school during which the principal or designee has not been notified of the legal cause of such absence by the parent or guardian of the absent student. A student who is absent intermittently for the purpose of defeating the intent of the Wisconsin Compulsory Attendance Statute Sec. 118.15, Wis. Stats., will also be considered truant.

A student will be considered a habitual truant if s/he is absent from school without an acceptable excuse for part or all of five (5) or more days on which school is held during a school semester.

If habitual truancy occurs, the Principal shall communicate with the proper authorities under State law, the Board’s policies and procedures, and applicable provisions of State law. The District will review and, if appropriate, revise a Truancy Plan at least once every two (2) years.

What is notification of truancy?

The school attendance officer shall notify a truant student's parent or guardian of the student's truancy and direct the parent or guardian to return the student to school no later than the next day on which school is in session or to provide an excuse for the absence. The notice of truancy shall be given before the end of the second school day after receiving a report of an unexcused absence. Notice shall be made by personal contact or telephone call, if possible, and a written record of this notice shall be kept. If such notice is not effective, notice shall be made by mail. This notice must be given every time a student is truant until the student becomes a habitual truant.

What is notification of habitual truancy?

When a student initially becomes a habitual truant, the school attendance officer shall provide a notice to the student's parent or guardian, by registered or certified mail according to state statute.

Truancy cases will be referred to the district attorney as provided in statute. The school attendance officer will ensure that appropriate school personnel have complied with District procedures before referral to the district attorney.