Policies - Section 3500 » 3515 - (JH) Attendance, Absenteeism, and Truancy

3515 - (JH) Attendance, Absenteeism, and Truancy

3515 (JH) Attendance, Absenteeism, and Truancy 3515 (JH)


The Board requires that school-aged children enrolled in the District attend school in
accordance with all applicable state laws and Board policies. The educational program
offered by the District is predicated upon the presence of the student and requires
continuity of instruction and classroom participation in order for students to achieve
academic standards and consistent educational progress.
Attendance shall be required of all students enrolled in the District during the days and
hours that school is in session. The School Board recognizes that absences from
school may be necessary under certain circumstances. The Board recognizes two
general types of absences; excused and unexcused. School officials determine whether
a student’s absences are excused or unexcused.

In general, The Board considers the following to be excused absences:
  1. Illness (including medical/dental appointments, recovery from an accident, or
    family emergencies)
  2. Required court attendance
  3. Death in the family
  4. Observation or celebration of a bona fide religious holiday
  5. Alternative Learning opportunities preapproved by the Principal
  6. Such other good cause as may be acceptable to the Principal or permitted by
Any absence that has not been excused for any of these reasons will be considered an
unexcused absence. Regardless of whether an absence is considered excused or
unexcused, attendance is vital and required for the success of students. As a result,
even excused absences will be subject to interventions when they are impacting a
child’s education. Interventions are defined in administrative procedure JH-R.

In the event of an illness, parents must call the school and inform the District of the
student's illness and absence. For other absences, parents must provide written notice
or a written excuse that states one of these reasons for non-attendance. The Principal
may require parents to provide additional documentation in support of their written
notice, including but not limited to doctor's notes, court documents, obituaries, or other
documents supporting the claimed reason for non-attendance.

If parents/guardians wish for their child to be absent for reasons other than those listed
above, the parent/guardian must provide a written explanation of the reason for the
absence and the length of time the student will be absent. The Principal/designee shall
make a determination as to whether the request meets good cause. Should the
Principal/designee not authorize the request, the parents/guardians may request a
conference with the Principal to again explain the reasons for non-attendance. The
Principal may then reconsider their initial determination. However, at this juncture, the
Principal's decision shall be final.

Truancy is defined as any unexcused absence from class or school, as determined by
the Principal/designee. Any absence that has not been excused for any of the reasons
listed above will be considered an unexcused absence. Additionally, students may be
considered truant even when absences are excused, if those absences have a
detrimental effect on a child’s academic success.

Five full days of school (or ten half-days) of unexcused absence during a school year
constitutes habitual truancy. A half-day absence is defined as a student missing more
than two hours of instructional time and less than three and one-half hours of
instructional time. Any absence of more than three and one-half hours of instructional
time shall be considered a full-day absence.

The Principal/designee is responsible for overseeing truancy issues.
Intervention Process to Address Truancy

The Principal/designee will implement an intervention process defined in administrative
procedure JH-R. The Board encourages the administration to seek truancy-prevention
and truancy-reduction strategies and Superintendent is authorized to develop and utilize
other means, guidelines and programs aimed at preventing and reducing truancy.
  1. Coordinate truancy-prevention strategies based on the early identification of
    truancy, such as prompt notification of absences to parents.
  2. Assist school staff to develop site attendance plans by providing development
    strategies, resources, and referral procedures.
  3. Encourage and coordinate the adoption of attendance-incentive programs at
    school sites and in individual classrooms that reward and celebrate good
    attendance and significant improvements in attendance.
Parental Notification of Truancy Policy

The Superintendent shall also ensure that this policy is included or referenced in the
student handbook and is provided to parents annually at the beginning of each school


HB 154
RSA 189:34, II
RSA 189:35-a

Adopted: 2/1973
Revised: 5/1975, 8/2001, 11/2010, 1/2014, 3/2024