Sick or Absent
Any time a student is absent or needs to be dismissed from school, it is the responsibility of the parent to call the Attendance Office to verify the student's absence within 48 hours.
Dismissal from School
If your child needs to be dismissed from school, please call the Attendance Office and a pass will be given to the student.
ATTENDANCE (Handbook 2019-2020)
Regular school attendance is of the utmost importance during a student’s high school career. A primary goal of the Kearney Public Schools is to prepare students for successful transitions throughout life. The world waiting for our students after high school demands that they be present and on-time to their work obligations. Kearney High School attendance rules have been developed to emphasize the importance of each student being in the classroom for the entire block, as well as arriving on time to school every day.
THE LAW: COMPULSORY EDUCATION AND TRUANCY
The state mandates that students attend school from age 6 to age 18.
If a student’s absence is not excused, the student may not receive credit for any classwork missed during the absence and may be required to make up work and the time missed.
Any administrator, teacher, or member of the Board of Education who knows of any failure on the part of any child of mandatory school attendance age to attend school regularly without lawful reason, shall within three days, report such violation to the Superintendent or such person(s) who the Superintendent designates to be the attendance officer. The Superintendent or attendance officer shall immediately cause an investigation into any such report to be made. The Superintendent or attendance officer shall also investigate any case when, with personal knowledge or by report or complaint from any resident of the district, the Superintendent or attendance officer believes there is a violation of the compulsory attendance law. The school shall render all services in its power to compel such child to attend some public, private, denominational, or parochial school, which the person having control of the child shall designate, in an attempt to address the problem of excessive absenteeism. Such services shall include, as appropriate, the services listed under the “Excessive Absenteeism” and “Reporting Excessive Absenteeism” sections of this Rule.
Students who accumulate four (4) “not excused” absences in a quarter shall be deemed to have “excessive absences”. Such absences shall be determined on a per-class basis for secondary students. When a student has excessive absences, the following procedures shall be implemented:
- Written communication by school officials with the person(s) who have a legal or actual charge or control of any child; and
- One or more meetings between the school (attendance officer, school administrator or his/her designee, and/or social worker), the child’s parent or guardian, and the child, when appropriate, to address the barriers to attendance. The result of the meeting(s) shall be to develop a collaborative plan to reduce barriers identified to improve regular attendance. The plan shall consider, but not be limited to:
(i) Illness related to the physical or behavioral health of the child;
(ii) Educational counseling;
(iii) Educational evaluation;
(iv) Referral to community agencies for economic services;
(v) Family or individual counseling; and
(vi) Assisting the family in working with other community agencies.
If the parent or guardian refuses to participate in such meeting, the principal shall place in the child’s attendance records documentation of such refusal. The school social work has access to various community programs so those will be offered and acceptance/rejection documented. Refusal to cooperate may lead to a truancy referral.
GENERAL ATTENDANCE RULES
Classifications of Absences
The Nebraska Department of Education created a two-category classification system for absences, which KHS will follow:
- Excused: Any of the following circumstances that lead to an absence will be identified as a School Excused absence, provided the required attendance procedures have been followed: (a) Impossible or impracticable barriers outside the control of the parent or child which prevent a student from attending school. The parents must provide the school with documentation to demonstrate the absence was beyond the control of the parent or child. This could include but is not limited to documented illness, court, death of a family member, or suspension. (b) Other absences as determined by the principal or the principal’s designee.
- Not excused: Absences that are not school excused may result in a report to the County Attorney and may be classified as follows: (a) Parent-acknowledged absences are those in which the parent communicated with the school in the prescribed manner that the child is absent and is the parent’s responsibility for the extent of the school day. This includes, but is not limited to, illness, vacations, and medical appointments. (b) Other absences are those in which the parent has not communicated the reason for the student’s absence.
PLEASE NOTE: All absences, excused or not excused, count against the total for “excessive absences”. When a student accumulates 20 days or more worth of excessive absences they will be referred to the County Attorney Attendance Office. The Attendance Officer will review the case and determine if the family has violated the compulsory attendance law.
Any time a student is absent from school, it is the responsibility of the parent to call the attendance office (698-8065) to verify the student's absence within 48 hours. Failure to excuse a student's absence may result in school consequences and/or loss of school privileges. The Kearney High School Attendance Office will attempt to notify all students' families regarding periods of absence via telephone and email two times a day (12:00 pm and 4:00 pm). Families wishing to avoid any inconvenience by the school's automated notification system or a call to a place of business should call the Staff & Student Support Office (698-8065) by 8:00 am to report the student's absence. The Staff & Student Support Office prefers to speak to the parents of students directly but will accept written notes (hard copy or electronic) excusing the student's absence.
Late Work / Make-Up Work
No matter the reason, if a student has missed any type of schoolwork, the course assignments MUST be made up, unless the teacher gives an alternate assessment/assignment. If tests and quizzes have been assigned prior to the absence, students can be required to take them as soon as they return to school. Students will be granted one day for each day absent (maximum of 7 days) to make up work for full credit. After this time, partial credit may be earned based on teacher discretion. Students and parents should refer to the teacher’s classroom syllabus for detailed information regarding late / make-up work.
Checking In or Out of School
Students who return from a prearranged absence must immediately go to the Attendance Office and receive a pass before reporting to class, including if entering or exiting the door to the west lot. A student who needs to leave for any reason must sign out from the Attendance Office prior to leaving school. Failure to do so may result in an unexcused absence.
Pursuant to Nebraska law [see “The Law: Compulsory Education and Truancy” above], Kearney High School has established limits on the number of absences a student may accumulate throughout a grading term. These excessive absence limits are enforced on a “per-class”, “per-grading term” basis. The excessive absence limits are as follows:
These days should be thought of as a bank of days to be used for illness, family emergencies, religious retreats, holidays, and family trips. Excused absences—including medical absences--and not excused absences contribute to a student’s excessive absence count.
The principal shall have the discretion to deny approval for any of the foregoing reasons, depending on the circumstances, such as a student’s number of other absences, the student’s academic status, the tests or other projects which may be missed; and in the case of a family trip, whether the trip could be taken during the non-school time and the educational nature of the trip.
Excessive /Unexcused Absences Procedure and Notification
- All students who are not excused from a class period will receive an automated phone call and email at 1 pm and 4 pm on a daily basis.
- Parents will have 48 hours to excuse the absence by making a phone call to the school and providing supporting documentation to verify the unexcused absence. After 48 hours, the absence will remain not excused.
- Teachers are expected to visit with the students after the THIRD unexcused absence.
- Teachers will be responsible for contacting parents after the student accumulates FOUR unexcused absences. For students who exceed 4 unexcused absences, a letter will be sent to parents/guardians notifying them that their child’s name may be turned over to the county attorney for truancy and that they are close to being placed into No Credit Status.
Kearney High School will mail letters home to parents when a student has reached FOUR unexcused absences in a term in a specific class. The letter will notify the parents that their child is at risk of failing and will outline the process of what will happen if the student continues down the path of non-attendance. Additionally, teachers must call home and explain our no-credit process and seek assistance for regular daily attendance. If a SIXTH unexcused absence occurs in that class, teachers will notify the administration and the administrator or designee will notify parents of their child being placed in no-credit status. Within seven days, a meeting will be called possibly involving the student, parent(s)/guardian, counselor/social worker, teacher, and administrator to develop a plan going forward. The student and parent(s)/guardian will have an opportunity to explain why they have accumulated 6 or more unexcused absences to school. This applies to every class the student is enrolled in. Failure to comply with this meeting will result in an automatic loss of credit at the end of the term.
A tardy is a failure by a student to be in the assigned classroom when the tardy bell rings. Tardy students should report directly to class. Teachers will record tardies in the District Student Information System. If students are seen loitering in the school without a pass, they will be escorted to their assigned classroom by school personnel. Classroom teacher will assign consequences for tardies 1-5, 7-8, 10-11 & 13-14. Tardies at intervals of three (6, 9, 12, and 15) to school or to any class equates to an office referral and the student will be assigned administrative detention(s).
Number of Tardies and Consequences:
Tardies 1-5, 7-8, 10-11 & 13-14: Phone call home from teacher and teacher assigned detention before or after school.
6th Tardy: Referral to office, a phone call home, and administrative detention assigned.
9th Tardy: Referral to office, a phone call home, and two (2) administrative detentions assigned.
12th Tardy: Referral to office, phone call home, student suspended one day out of school (Repeated Violations)
15th Tardy: Referral to office, phone call home, student suspended two days out of school. Upon return to school, the student and parent must meet with their assigned administrator. (Repeated Violations)
After School Detention Center / Tuesday - Thursday School (3:45 pm - 4:45 pm)
Tuesday / Thursday School allows students the opportunity to complete consequences for disciplinary infractions that might normally result in suspension from school. This alternative educational program provides students the opportunity to attend school full-time and take advantage of the education regular school attendance affords. It also gives students the opportunity to complete work usually completed at home. All school rules apply to students while in attendance. Failure to attend your assigned Tuesday / Thursday School may result in an out of school suspension (length of suspension to be determined by the number of repeated violations).