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501.11 Compulsory Attendance

Parents/guardians within the District who have children over age six and under age sixteen by September 15, will have their children attend the school at the attendance center designated by the Board unless allowed otherwise by law or policy.

Students will attend school the number of days school is in session in accordance with the District calendar. Students of compulsory attendance age will attend school a minimum of 170 days. Students not in attendance for (3) consecutive weeks will be unenrolled. Students not attending the minimum days must be exempted by this policy as listed below or, referred to the county attorney.

Exceptions to this policy include children who:

  • are not attending due to a medically certified mental or physical condition;
  • have completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school or have obtained a high school equivalency diploma;
  • are attending religious services or receiving religious instruction;
  • are attending an approved or probationally approved private college preparatory school;
  • are attending an accredited nonpublic school; or,
  • are receiving competent private instruction;
  • are receiving instruction at another accredited school
  • other excused absences allowed by law, Board policy, and/or the student handbook, including but not limited to District-directed absences related to declared disasters, emergencies, and/or urgent public health concerns, as outlined in Policy 501.10.

Except in the case of a District-directed absence where a public health and/or other governmental agency directs the student’s absence from school, it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to provide evidence of the child’s mental and/or physical inability to attend school or of the child’s qualifications for one of the exceptions listed above.

The principal will investigate the cause for a student’s truancy. If the principal is unable to secure the truant student’s attendance, the principal should refer the student to the District juvenile court liaison officer. If truancy persists, the principal will refer to the Superintendent/designee before contacting the county attorney.

The District will participate in mediation if requested by the county attorney. The Superintendent/designee will represent the District in mediation. The District will monitor the student’s compliance with the mediation agreement and will report violations of the mediation agreement to the county attorney.

Children in the school district community will be allowed to enroll in the District’s regular education program beginning at age five. The child must be age five on or prior to September 15 to participate in the District’s kindergarten program. Once enrolled, the student is considered compulsory attendance age unless and until the parent provides the District with written notice of intent to withdraw the kindergarten child from school. The child must be age six on or prior to September 15 of current year to begin the first grade of the education program.

The Board will require evidence of age and residency in the form of a birth certificate or other evidence before the student may enroll in the District’s education program. It is within the discretion of the Superintendent/designee to determine what is satisfactory evidence for proof of age.

Prior to enrollment, the child must provide the administration with their health and immunization certificate. Failure to provide this information within the time period set by the Superintendent/designee is reason for suspension, expulsion or denying admission to the student.

Legal Reference:
Iowa Code §§294.4. 670 Iowa Admin. Code 3.2 (12)
281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.2 (4), 12.3 (8)

Cross Reference:
501.10 Student Absences – Excused504.06 Student Activities
501.40 Attendance Records
501.13 Truancy-Unexcused

Adopted: October 10, 1988

Reviewed: July 20, 2009
May 20, 2013
May 21, 2018
September 21, 2020

July 20, 2009
May 20, 2013
May 21, 2018
September 21, 2020