Improving Student Attendance
"It's our responsibility to ensure students are engaged and excited about learning each day they walk through our doors. Knowledge is ubiquitous. Anyone with a smartphone can find the answer to just about any question. Today, students need to be engaged in their education and ASD will ensure all of our classes provide relevant and rigorous curriculum."
- Dr. Deena Bishop
ASD Goal: Every student will attend school at least 90 percent of the time.
See ASD's strategic plan, Destination 2020, for details.
A missed school day is a lost opportunity for students to learn. There is a direct correlation between students who attend school regularly and higher academic achievement levels. In order to reach our Destination 2020 goal on attendance, students can miss no more than 17 days of school per year. This may seem like a lot but it's less than two absences per month.
Excused and unexcused absences
The school board updated policy 443 in June 2013 to define what constitutes an excused absence from school. Conditions include:
- Death or serious illness in the immediate family
- Participation in a school function
- Attendance at a religious service
- Extenuating circumstances approved by the principal
Pre-arranged absence request
If parents know in advance their child will be absent, please fill out a Prearranged Absence Form.
The principal may deny the request if s/he believes it would harm the student’s academic progress. If the absence is denied and the family still takes the child out of school, the absence will be unexcused. If the pre-approved absence request is denied, the parent or guardian may have that decision reviewed by making a request to the elementary or secondary division within two school days.
If a student misses school, parents are encouraged to work with their child's teacher and principal to determine the appropriate make-up work and timeline to complete the work. The district has updated the make-up procedures for class work, assignments and tests. The procedures are outlined in the student handbooks.
An automated “robocall” attendance phone message goes out to all students with an unexcused absence. Standard practice is for middle and high school calls to go out at the end of the business day. Elementary households will also receive calls, beginning at 11 a.m.
The recorded attendance notification message is the district’s official parent notification of an unexcused absence. The attendance notification messages are translated into five of the district’s most common languages besides English.