Students are expected to be in all classes and to make daily attendance a top priority. Only through consistent attendance and class participation do students achieve the benefits of the educational program. Students and their parents/guardians are asked to consider the impact of participating in several activities that may require numerous school absences due to competition or major travel. The Iowa City Community School District Board of Education has outlined policies for the expressed purpose of encouraging regular attendance practices on the part of high school students. These guidelines are described below.
At West High School, a student may lose credit in a course if:
- Absent without school approval a third time from any class.
- Arrives unexcused late/tardy six times to the same class.
A student who loses credit will receive an “F” as a final trimester grade unless he/she receives approval to remain in the course on an audit basis.
Specific conditions must be met in order to remain in a course on an audit basis, please refer to Auditing Program, under Academics (page 14) for more information.
Reporting an Absence
- If a student is going to be absent from school, parents/guardians are asked to call the respective Attendance Office (9th & 10th grade: 319-688-1091; 11th & 12th grade: 319-688-1051) and report the absence before it occurs. Calls can be placed during school hours as well as after hours voicemail is available.
- Parents cannot excuse absences where a student is still on campus but missing class.
- When unable to contact West High School prior to an absence, it is highly recommended that absences be reported within 2 days of the absence for timely resolution; i.e. unresolved absences are unexcused absences.
- While written notes are not accepted, parents may call (#s listed above) or email the Academic Dean: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Parents/Guardians are encouraged to contact the Academic Dean and the West High Guidance Counselors regarding a family or personal health emergency which may affect a child’s school attendance or performance.
- Parents/Guardians can assist in providing the best possible educational experience for the student by only asking to excuse their child from school in cases of emergency or illness; not for conducting business that can be completed on weekends or outside of school time. Therefore, please be aware that parent requests to excuse an absence will not always be granted.
Parents can check on their student’s attendance by accessing PowerSchool at any time.
An approved absence is one in which school officials have approved the parents request to excuse an absence.
Absences can be classified as either excused or unexcused however, regardless of classification the number of days absent can reach a level of concern and be considered excessive.
- Unexcused absences are considered excessive upon the third occurrence. Upon the third unexcused absence to the same class the student may lose credit in that class.
- Absences due to illness without a doctor’s note are considered excessive upon the fifth occurrence and will require a doctor’s note for future absences to be excused-unless approved by a school official.
- Excused absences in excess of nine days in one class in a trimester may result in reduction of one letter grade.
- Excused absences in excess of fourteen days in one class in a trimester may result in reduction of an additional letter grade.
*School sponsored activities, approved medical absences, suspensions, and special circumstances approved by an administrator are not considered as part of excessive absences - however, students are responsible for all missed school work regardless of reason for an absence.
Partial Day Absences/Late Arrivals
- Students must be in attendance at school a minimum of three class periods in order to participate in an after-school activity or event.
- Arriving on time to school and all classes is as important as being in school daily. Arriving late to a class causes students to miss important instructional time and can be disruptive to the class already in session.
- Students arriving after the start of a class with an approved excuse/pass will be marked ET on PowerSchool.
- Students arriving within the first five minutes of class without an approved excuse/pass will be marked unexcused tardy (UT) on PowerSchool.
- Students arriving more than five minutes after the start of class without an approved excuse/pass will be marked late (L) on PowerSchool.
- Six unexcused late arrivals/unexcused tardies to the same class may result in loss of credit in the course. In addition, each teacher may enforce specific consequences for students reporting late/tardy to class.
- Health Office: If a student becomes ill or has a health-related emergency while at school, he/she must report to the Health Office where a school official will notify a parent and/or administrator before a student is sent home.
- Checking In/Out: Students arriving to school after the start of first period must sign in at the Office. Students leaving and/or returning to campus during school hours are required to check out/in at the Office. Failure to follow check in/out procedures through the Office may result in the student’s absence/late arrival being considered unresolved and thus, unexcused.
Unexcused Absences (Additional Information)
A student will be marked absent if a student leaves the classroom without permission or is NOT in class at all. An unexcused absence is an absence which has not been approved by school officials. Parents will be informed of unexcused absences via phone call. Academic & school consequences for unexcused absences include:
- Loss of credit for class work missed the day of an unexcused absence;
- Office referral to meet with the Academic Dean to discuss attendance expectations and additional consequences which may include:
b. Loss of special privileges (e.g. open campus, open hours, etc.)
c. Lunch detention
d. In-school suspension
e. After-school detention
f. Habitual Truancy Referral (to County Attorney’s Office)
g. Reassignment to an off-site district program
- For absences due to illness: The student should complete make-up work in the same number of days as the absence plus one additional day. In cases of prolonged illness, special arrangements may be made with the teacher(s).
- For absences related to school-sponsored activities: The student must have their work made up prior to the absence unless other arrangements have been made with the teacher(s). Upon returning to school, he/she will be expected to participate in scheduled class activities.
- For absences due to suspension: Every effort should be made by the student to make up academic work during the suspension period or as arranged with the teacher(s).