Attendance Policy

Appendix I



In accordance with the Michigan Compulsory Attendance Law (380.1561), “Every parent/guardian or other person in this state having control and charge of a child from the age of 6 to the child’s sixteenth birthday, shall send that child to school during the entire  school year.  The child’s attendance shall be continuous and consecutive for the school year fixed by the school district in which the child is enrolled.”


Research has shown a definite correlation between attendance and the amount of educational growth a child makes. Presence in a classroom aids in instilling concepts of self-discipline and exposes a student to group interaction with teachers and fellow students.  Such presence also enables a student to hear and participate in class instruction, discussion and other related learning experiences.


The total number of allowable excused absences per school year is 15.  This does not include school excused/imposed absences or an absence due to extenuating circumstances.


School imposed absences do not count toward the fifteen day limit.  The absences include:


  • School related absences such as field trips, athletic events, service clubs, etc.
  • School imposed absences, such as in/out school suspensions.


Extenuating circumstances may also be taken into consideration. These absences may include:

  • Serious illness, hospitalization, or immediate family emergencies verified by a written medical note.
  • Attendance at a funeral or death in the family verified by a written parental excuse.
  • Professional appointments that cannot be scheduled after school (i.e., dentist, physician and court appointments) verified with a professional excuse submitted to the main office.Otherwise these absences will be deemed unexcused.




On the morning of a child’s absence, the school must be notified by 9:00 a.m.  For your child’s safety, all absences, regardless of duration, should be notified daily.


St Mary’s accepts the responsibility of keeping accurate records of attendance.  The responsibility of regular attendance in school rests with the student and most assuredly with the parents.  The parents or guardian are an integral part of the school’s educational team and will be regularly informed of any attendance problems.  For your child’s safety, all absences, regardless of duration, should be notified daily.


  • When a student is absent a parent/guardian must call the school office by 9:00 a.m. to verify their son’s/daughter’s absence(s). When it is not possible to phone the school, a written parental excuse must be submitted to the school office upon the student’s return or the absence may be considered unexcused.
  • Notification in advance is requested if your child is going to be out of school for a known reason.
  • When a student arrives late to school (see Tardiness section), they must check in at the main office. When a student must leave school early, the student must be signed out by a parent/guardian.  No student will be released without a parent/guardian or designated Emergency Release person signing the student out.




In accordance with the State of Michigan Compulsory Attendance Law and in cooperation with the Chippewa County Prosecutor’s Office, St. Mary’s will also follow the procedures below when excessive absences exist:




After 4 unexcused absences (beyond the 15)

A conference will be held with the student at school.  Parents will be notified of this contact by telephone or certified letter.  A copy of the Chippewa County Truancy Protocol will be mailed home.


After 7 unexcused absences (beyond the 15)

The school will attempt to contact the parent by telephone or certified letter.  A Law Enforcement Referral will be made and a Police officer will attempt a home visit.


After 9 unexcused absences (beyond the 15)

A Letter will be sent to the Intermediate School District (I.S.D). They will send a certified letter to the parent/guardian.


After 12 unexcused absences (beyond the 15)

An attendance-planning meeting will be held at school.  Parent/guardian and student will be required to attend this meeting.  Failure to do so will result in a complaint being immediately sent to the Prosecutor’s office.


Further unexcused absences (beyond the 15)

A complaint will be sent to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.


Any questions regarding the attendance policy or its interpretation should be brought to the attention of the principal.




Tardiness is a grave problem that disrupts the educational process.  Every minute of tardiness will be accumulated.  Sixty minutes of tardiness will equal 1 day of unexcused absence.  A student must be in class and in their seat at the established starting times or they will be considered tardy.  A tardy can be considered excused or *unexcused.


*Tardiness due to personal transportation and/or getting up late will not be considered excused.


Adopted 8/22/06