• Compulsory Attendance

    State law requires that a student between the ages of six and 18 attend school, as well as any applicable accelerated instruction program, extended year program, or tutorial session, unless the student is otherwise excused from attendance or legally exempt.
    A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 18th birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year and is subject to compulsory attendance laws, if the student is under 21 years old. In addition, if a student 18 or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester the district may revoke the student’s enrollment. The student’s presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing. [See FEA]

    A student in grades 6–8 will be required to attend any assigned accelerated instruction program, which may occur before or after school or during the summer, if the student does not meet the passing standards on the state assessment for his or her grade level and applicable subject area.

    Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance

    State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences. These include the following activities and events:

    • Religious holy days;
    • Required court appearances;
    • Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship;
    • Service as an election clerk; and
    • Documented health-care appointments, including absences for recognized services for
    • students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

    Failure to Comply with Compulsory Attendance

    School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student absent without permission from school; from any class; from required special programs, such as additional special instruction, termed “accelerated instruction” by the state; or from required tutorials will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance law and subject to disciplinary action.

    A court of law may also impose penalties against both the student and his or her parents if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school. A complaint against the parent may be filed in court if the student:

    • Is absent from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, or
    • Is absent on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period.
    • If the student is over age 18, the student’s parents shall not be subject to penalties as a result of their child’s violation of state compulsory attendance law. [See FEA(LEGAL)]