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    how many excused absences are allowed in a school year


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    Truancy What is truancy?

    If your child is at least 7 years old or they have not finished 6th grade, they are truant if they have:

    5 unexcused absences from school in a row or

    7 unexcused absences from school in one school year

    If your child has finished 6th grade and is not 17 years old yet, they are truant if they have:

    7 unexcused absences from school in a row or

    10 unexcused absences from school in one school year

    If your child misses 1⁄2 a day or more, and the school considers that a "day," it will count toward the limit.

    What is required school age?

    In Maine, children age 7 and older and teenagers under 17 years old must be in a school program.

    This means your child cannot drop out before they are 17 years old. Until then your child is compulsory school age.

    What is an unexcused absence?

    Any absence that is not excused.

    Maine law defines an "excused absence" as missed school time because of:


    A medical appointment that must be made during the school day

    Observing a recognized religious holiday when the observance is during school

    A family emergency

    A planned absence for a personal or educational purpose that has been approved by the school

    Educational disruption caused by a student's homelessness, unplanned hospitalization, or placement in foster care or a youth development center

    Whose responsibility is it to get my child to school?

    The adult a child lives with is responsible for making sure that child goes to school. So if your child lives with you, this means you!

    If you don't make sure your child attends school regularly, you may be brought to court on a civil violation. The school must follow certain procedures first. We will explain those rules here.

    What is the school's responsibility?

    Maine schools must try to work with parents or legal guardians and students to get students to attend school regularly.

    There is no such thing as a truancy officer in Maine.  Instead, the school principal decides if the student is truant.  The principal will look at the number of unexcused absences your child has in a school year.  If your child meets the minimum number of unexcused absences for their age, the principal must tell the superintendent within 5 school days of your child's last unexcused absence.

    From there, your child will be referred to the school's "student assistance team" or other school intervention team.  You and your child will be invited to the team meeting.  The team will decide:

    What caused your child's unexcused absences

    What is the effect of the unexcused absences on your child

    What will be the effect of more unexcused absences on your child

    If the team decides there is a negative effect on your child, the team will make an "intervention plan."  The intervention plan can include changes, such as:

    Frequent communication between teacher and family

    Changes in learning environment

    Mentoring Student counseling

    Tutoring (including peer tutoring)

    Placement in different classes

    Evaluation for learning in multiple pathways (career and technical education, alternative education, apprenticeships, online courses, adult education, career academies, AP courses,etc)

    Attendance contracts

    Referral to other agencies for family services

    Referral to the school's attendance coordinator

    Referral to the school's student assistance team

    Referral to the school's dropout prevention committee

    What is a Dropout Prevention Committee?

    Schools should have a dropout prevention committee. Members should include:

    One school board member

    A school administrator

    A teacher A school counselor A parent

    A school attendance counselor

    A high school student

    A dropout student, and

    A community resident

    The purpose of this committee is to understand why students drop out and make recommendations to the school board for how to address the problem. The committee should explore the reasons why students drop out, including;

    Keeping in contact with recent dropouts to offer or refer them to alternative education, counseling and human services programs;

    Educating teachers and administrators about the dropout problem in the school district;

    Reviewing the school's disciplinary policies and practices; and

    Reviewing any discriminatory practices and attitudes within the school unit.

    If you do not go to the meeting, the team can still make this plan for your child.

    If your child is still truant after this plan is made, the superintendent must serve you with a written notice. The notice must be given to you in person or sent by registered mail. The notice must say that:

    Your child is required to attend school;

    You have a right to review your child's attendance records;

    The school's attendance coordinator's reports (if any) and the principal's reports;

    Your failure to get your child to school may be a civil violation and what the possible penalties are;

    Local law enforcement or Maine DHHS can be contacted; and

    Source : kidslegal.org

    How Many Days Can You Be Absent From School?

    Have you ever wondered how many days of school can you skip? Read this article to learn everything you need to know about being absent from school.

    Skip to content


    By Own Your Own Future

    In an ideal world, everyone would always go to school. Attending class helps students learn better, faster, and also gives them a way to develop their social skills.

    Unfortunately, sometimes people just can’t go to school. The most common cause for a student being absent is sickness. Feeling unwell makes paying attention to the lecture harder. Plus, some sicknesses are easily transmissible. Going to school with a bad flu would turn you into a biological weapon.

    It is reasonable to skip school when something more important happens. Things like funerals of a loved one or a doctor’s visit are considered good reasons to be absent from school. If something can’t be moved to a different time, and it affects the student’s life, it’s okay to prefer it over school.

    But what about unexcused absences? How are these treated by schools? And how many days of school can you skip, even with a good reason to do so?

    The brief answer: it depends. It depends on your school system, since each district has its rules. Some districts give more leeway with the number of absences a student can take, others are stricter.

    Plus, there are extreme situations that let a student stay absent from school more than what the school usually allows.

    We also must distinguish between excused and unexcused absences. The former means you have a good reason to skip school. The latter means you skipped school for no reason. You just didn’t want to go school.

    In this article, we are going to see when you can skip school, and for how long. We will also see what happens when you don’t respect the limit, and how to go over it without losing a year of school.

    You Need a Good Reason to Skip School

    You can’t skip school willy-nilly. Or well, you can, but there will be consequences.

    There are two types of absences: excused and unexcused. Unexcused absences are bad under all circumstances. It means you skipped school without a good reason to do so.

    Schools see unexcused absences as terrible. 2 or 3 unexcused absences already put you at risk of a suspension, or even losing the school year.

    Excused absences are absences where you have a good reason to not go to school.

    Let’s analyze these two types of absences.

    Excused Absences

    Every school has in its policy a definition of excused absence. An excused absence is a reason officially recognized by the school for a student’s absence. These are the three categories of excused absences:

    Illness Medical visits Family emergencies

    As you can see, they all concern the well being of the student. The rationale here is that the student couldn’t get the most out of lectures if they had any of these conditions. Medical visits are necessary to ensure the student is in good health. Illnesses make paying attention in class way too hard, and some can be transmitted to other students. Family emergencies include events affecting the health of family members.

    Imagine how hard it would be for someone to do well in class when their mother was in a hospital bed after a car crash. The school understands the struggle, so it considers being absent for these situations fine.

    Unexcused Absences

    Unexcused absences happen when a student misses school without a reason, or with a reason not accepted by the school.

    Schools will attempt to figure out what happened to the student, and if they can’t, they will send letters to the student’s home. If students keep being absent without a good reason, the school will declare them as truant.

    Truancy is the last thing you want to have on your resume. If you receive 3 letters of truancy, you will be referred to the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) for legal action. It will leave a stain on the rest of your life. Nobody likes truants.

    Own Your Own Future

    What Is Chronic Absenteeism and Why It’s Bad

    Chronic absenteeism is when a student skips too many days of school. Even excused absences. If you are labeled as one, you will have issues with your school.

    The main issue with this condition is that most students classified as chronic absentees are considered at academic risk. They aren’t expected to complete their schooling smoothly. They are also considered at risk of dropping out.

    It doesn’t matter if your absences are excused or not. Skipping too many days of school is bad. You are jeopardizing your education and wasting your time. Don’t do it.

    But how many is too many? Most school districts allow students to be absent for up to 10% of the school year, provided the absences are excused. The standard school year lasts for 180 days, so you can have up to 18 excused absences.

    Once you go over that number, you’ll be labeled as a chronic absentee.

    Warning: chronic absentees tend to perform worse in their academic path. You are making school harder for yourself by not attending it. And for what? Is it worth it?

    Can You Salvage a Year After too Many Absences?

    Sometimes you don’t have a choice. You just can’t go to school, even if you’d want to. This happens with sicknesses or other health issues that prevent you from physically attending school.

    Source : www.ownyourownfuture.com


    Chronic absence and truancy are not interchangeable terms. They describe different aspects of the absence problem and require different approaches. Truancy is a term that generally refers to unexcused absences. Chronic absence, on the other hand, incorporates all absences: excused, unexcused absences, and suspensions and expulsions served.



    Research shows that absences add up and that good attendance is essential to student achievement and graduation.  In contrast, missing too much school (chronic absence and truancy) can lead to school drop-out, academic failure and juvenile delinquency.

    State law requires school districts and schools to have specific policies and procedures regarding students who are truant. A truant is defined as a student who has has 4 unexcused absences from school in one month (30 consecutive calendar days) or 10 unexcused absences in one school year.

    If a student becomes truant, their school is required to have a meeting with the student’s parent/ guardian within 10 school days. In this meeting, the school should work with the student and guardian to help the student return to school. Schools should also work with community agencies providing child and family services to address the student’s barriers to coming to school.

    Ultimately, the most effective strategy for helping student be present in school is prevention. Attendance monitoring, enhancing school culture and community, increasing student engagement, and mentoring students for academic success are effective school-based strategies for preventing truancy.NOTE:  For more detail on determining if an absence is excused or unexcused, download the Connecticut State Department of Education's (CSDE) Guidelines for Excused and Unexcused Absences.

    Truancy vs. Chronic Absence

    Chronic absence and truancy are not interchangeable terms. They describe different aspects of the absence problem and require different approaches. Truancy is a term that generally refers to unexcused absences. Chronic absence, on the other hand, incorporates all absences: excused, unexcused absences, and suspensions and expulsions served.

    For more information about chronic absence, visit the CSDE’s Chronic Absence web page or download the CSDE chronic absence prevention and intervention guide.

    Source : portal.ct.gov

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