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Health Services: Absentee Policy

Absentee Policy

Philosophy Statement
The Jessamine County School System firmly believes that attendance is a student, school, parent and community responsibility. Research has demonstrated a direct relationship between good attendance and success in school. All students are expected to attend class every day and be on time for school and all classes. A student’s progress at school depends greatly on the punctuality and regularity of attendance.

B. Perfect Attendance Recognition
Any student who has been present every day of the school year, with no partial-day absences, and no more than two (2) excused tardies, will receive a perfect attendance award. 

C. Absence and Tardy Defined - 
Note: The change in these definitions is required by state officials.
Absence is defined as non-attendance for more than one hour of a school day. Tardy is defined as non-attendance for less than one hour during any part of a school day. This includes being late to school, late to class and leaving school before classes are dismissed.

D. Excused Absence From School
Students who are absent from school are required to have a legitimate excuse. Within five days of a student’s return to school, s/he must present a note to a designated staff person. If a note is not received within five days, the absence may be considered unexcused. The note should include the current date, the student’s first and last name, the date(s) of the absence(s), the reason for the absence(s) and the parent/guardian signature. A parent may write a note for a total of six (6) absences per year for the following permissible absences:
1. Illness of the student. If days of absence for illness exceed total allowable number of parent notes, a written statement from a medical professional (physician, dentist, orthodontist, psychologist, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, physical therapist, optometrist, or public heath officer) will be required in order for each additional absence for illness to be excused.
2. Severe illness in the student’s immediate family.
3. Religious holidays and practices approved in advance by the principal.
4. Family emergencies requiring immediate attention, as approved by the principal.
5. Three (3) total visits, no more than two (2) per semester, to colleges or universities approved in advance by the principal and restricted to juniors and seniors. Documentation from the college/university will be required.
6. Other valid reasons as determined by the principal.
Documentation, from sources other than a parent, will be accepted for the following absences:
7. Court appearances requiring the student’s presence. Documentation from the court will be required.
8. Medical and dental appointments. A physician’s excuse shall state the date(s) and/or number of days for which the student will be excused.
a. Any medical statement submitted to the school must be an original; no copy will be accepted.
b. Schools will no longer accept faxed medical statements.
c. Local physician's offices will use the standardized Jessamine County Schools' Medical Statement for Return to School form.
d. When a student exceeds 12 medical statements, the parent/guardian will be asked to sign a Release of Medical Information Permission Form for the treating physician/physicians. This form will allow the Health Attendance Committee to review health information for the purpose of:
*Determining the need for documentation regarding a Chronic Health Condition;
* Addressing the student's academic status;
* Determining the possible need for Home/Hospital services.
e. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis.

E. Confirmation of Medical Statements
If falsification of a medical statement is suspected, the parent/guardian will be asked to sign a Release of Medical Information Permission Form for the treating physician/physicians. This form will allow the Health Attendance Committee to validate the authenticity of the medical statement.
a. If the parent refuses to sign the Release of Medical Information Permission Form, the school will not count the date/dates covered by the medical statement or statements as excused absences.
b. Until the authenticity of the medical statement/statements is verified, the school will not count any of the dates as excused absences.