I am at a high school of approx 1300 kids, grades 9-12.
I attend the weekly attendance meeting, where they review students who have chronic or continual absentee issues. At the last meeting, I brought up if we have any policies on file, re. if a parent is continually calling their student in "ill" at what point do we require a medical note?
Apparently as of now, there is no school board approved policy. Some other team members (social work, counseling) piped up that at other schools they've worked at, they all had a policy like this. Where after 5 or 10 call-in's by parent, they must provide a doctor note. Because when a parent calls in, and they're marked "illness" then the teachers have to provide work, etc. Versus "truant" where there is little recourse for the parent/student. We have students sometimes where we know the parent is lying about it, so requesting a note would force them to either send their kid to school or get the truancy mark.
Most team members were in agreement we should have a policy but that would require board approval, so then we should at least have a "high school protocol" I spoke with the medical director (district NP who I work closely with ) who will be bringing it up to the superintendent next week at their monthly meeting.
So what type of policies do your schools/districts have?
We are a private school--so no school board. Our policy is if a student is out 3 days in a row they must have a doctor's note upon returning. Students are not to miss more than 10% of school days (18 absences per year). If we notice they're trending towards missing more than 10% our deans/head teachers will usually get involved and meet with parents to discuss the reasons for missing school. If necessary our principal will get involved (this has happened a few times with high school students) and warn that students may be unable to pass to the next grade if they are missing more than 10% of days. We make accommodations for students experiencing medical issues (backed up by doctors notes) to allow them to keep up with their classwork.
My district is tough! 3 parent notes only for illness and then doc notes required. Now 2-3 (past 3 consecutive needs doc note) days consecutive are counted as 1 parent note so parents could get by with 9 actual days.
If a parent checks their kid out during the day for illness and the kid did not see me / or was not excluded by me - it counts as parent note.
Last edit by EnoughWithTheIce on Nov 30
: Reason: Hip post too quick
The school where I work is very strict about attendance. An absence is excused if a parent calls in before attendance to say the student is ill, or if they provide a doctor's note. Three unexcused tardies = 1 unexcused absence. We have a couple students who were literally late every single day of the school year , which added up to like 60 absences! Ridiculous. That said, they also look at situations - there is a huge difference is showing up two minutes after the front doors lock, and missing the first couple hours of school.
I always find it sort of crazy to automatically require a doctor's note to excuse the kid. If my kid has a fever, I am not even going to consider going to the doctor until at least day three with fever (assuming all else is ok). Same with a vomiting illness- why would I drag my puking kid to the doctor to spread the love when I know he needs a couple days in bed.
At our middle school, parents can write a note for up to 5 absences, I believe? Otherwise they need a doctor's note or they are considered unexcused. Obviously, the nurse sending a student home would be considered excused for that day and the next in some circumstances.
In Pennsylvania there is some info the DOE puts out and that's what our policies are based on.
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