Shawnee Mission K-12 Attendance Guidelines
All students enrolled in the Shawnee Mission School District shall be required to attend school on a regular basis to provide students the opportunity to be successful. Daily attendance records shall be maintained for each student. Absences are at times unavoidable due to illness or family concerns. The Shawnee Mission K-12 guidelines represent an effort to be fair in dealing with absences and to encourage good attendance. Building principals are responsible for enforcing Kansas State Statutes and district attendance guidelines.
The Shawnee Mission School Board has approved six (6) reasons for students to be excused from school. The reasons are as follows:
- Personal illness. (Doctor/Dental/Medical appointments) The school may, with notice to the parent, require verification from a physician of absences due to reasons of health.
- Serious illness or death of a member of the family.
- Obligatory religious observances of the student’s own faith.
- Emergency situation requiring immediate action.
- Participation in a Kansas State High School Activities Association activity, a district-approved function, or a school-sponsored activity.
- An absence that has been requested in writing and approved in advance by the building administration.
At the secondary level any student arriving within the first ten minutes of a class period will be considered tardy. Arrival after that time will be recorded as an absence. Excessive tardies will be combined with other unexcused absences for truancy purposes.
If a student arrives late or leaves early for up to three hours, or is gone for three hours during the day for an appointment described above it will be counted as a half-day excused absence. We encourage students to return to school as soon as possible from appointments during the school day. High school attendance is in session from 7:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. Students are expected to attend school daily and arrive on time.
K-12 Reporting and Recording of Absences
An unexcused absence is one that has been classified as such by the building administration. An absence will be classified unexcused if it does not fit one of the board’s six stated reasons for excusable absence or if the parent or legal guardian does not follow the building attendance procedure.
Parents or legal guardians are expected to call the building’s attendance line to report daily absences, late arrivals, or early dismissals. If a call is not received, school personnel will attempt to contact the parent. If no contact is made within 48 hours, the absence will be counted as unexcused.
Absences by parent request for family and personal reasons are acceptable provided arrangements are made through the building principal in advance of the absence. These absences will count toward total absences. Students are responsible to complete all make-up work. Students are encouraged to complete work prior to absences when possible.
Students with excessive absences are at risk of losing credit and/or not mastering grade level standards.
When a student has reached 7 absences during the school year, the parents will be sent a reminder letter. After 10 absences, documentation will be required for all future absences. It is required for each subsequent absence/tardy for illness and appointments the student bring a doctor’s note documenting the reason for the absence.
Per state truancy laws and the Shawnee Mission School District truancy policy, if a student has three (3) unexcused absences in a row, five (5) in a semester, or seven (7) in a year, a truancy report will be filed with the Johnson County District Attorney’s office and the parents will be notified. If the student is under the age of seven (7), a report will also be made with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
At any time a student’s school attendance is a concern, the building administration may require a meeting with the parent or legal guardian to address the issue.