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Attendance
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

It is important for every child to attend school.
Connecticut law requires that public schools provide a notice to parents/guardians of their obligations under Connecticut General Statute 10-184. This law provides that each parent or other person having control of a child seven years of age and older and under 16 years of age is obligated to cause the child to attend school regularly during the hours and terms school is in session, unless such parent or other person shows that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction.

Truant
A truant is someone who has four (4) unexcused absences from school in one month or 10 unexcused absences in one school year.

Unexcused absences
A student’s absence from school is considered unexcused unless it meets the criteria below. It is four (4) unexcused absences in a month, or 10 unexcused absences in a year that determine a student to be a truant.

Excused Absences
A student’s absence from school shall be considered excused if written documentation of the reason for the absence has been submitted within 10 school days of the student’s return to school. The written documentation should be a signed note from the student’s parent or guardian. It may also be a signed note from a school official who spoke with the parent or guardian regarding the absence, or a note from the school nurse or a licensed medical professional, as appropriate. This applies for up to nine days of absences.

For the 10th absence and all absences thereafter, a student’s absence from school is considered excused for the following reasons:

  • Student illness (note: verified by appropriately licensed medical professional);

  • Student’s observance of religious holiday;

  • Death in student’s family or other emergency;

  • Mandated court appearances (additional documentation required);

  • Lack of transportation that is normally provided by a district other than the one the student attends;

  • Extraordinary educational opportunities pre-approved by district administrators in accordance with State Department of Education (SDE) guidance. 

What will happen if a child is a truant?
The school is required to have a meeting with the parent/guardian, or another person who is taking care of the student, within 10 school days after a student becomes a truant. The reason for this meeting is to talk about why the student hasn’t been coming to school and to help solve problems that keep the student from coming to school.

What if the parent/guardian doesn’t go to the meeting at school?
If the parent/guardian doesn’t go to the meeting, or if the school feels the parent/guardian is not helping the child to come to school, they can refer the case to court through the “Families with Service Needs” law. In some instances, a referral to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) may also be considered. 
 

Truancy is a serious problem.
Loss of instructional time. 
Less opportunity to socialize and learn behavioral norms with peers. 
Creates dangerous habits for not attending school.
Can foster negative attitudes about school. 
Often leads to anxiety and/or depression.
Indicator for school failure and/or dropout.

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