JE1 - High School Attendance Policy


It is the joint responsibility of the school, the student, and the student’s family to assist students in the development of responsible habits of punctuality and attendance.  A student’s participation in classroom activities is a vital part of his/her education and contributes in a positive way which cannot be adequately replicated outside of the classroom.




Every student has a limited number of allowable absences.  The figures below represent total absences (the total of both excused and unexcused absences):


  • Semester course meeting every other day = 5 absences
  • Semester course meeting every day = 10 absences
  • Full-year course meeting every other day = 10 absences
  • Full-year course meeting every day = 20 absences




Students will receive an EDD for every absence (excused or unexcused) that exceeds the limits set out above.  Students exceeding the absentee limits will not receive demerits. 


Absences due to school sponsored activities (athletic contests, drama productions, field trips, etc.) will not be counted toward total absences. 


Work missed due to an unexcused absence can be made up, however the best grade a student can receive on such an assignment is 50%. 


Under exceptional circumstances, the At Risk/Attendance Committees may recommend to the administration that certain absences be waived.  To initiate this process, the student must submit an Absence Waiver Form to the appropriate At-Risk/Attendance Committee explaining why the absence(s) should be waived. 


If a student misses more than 30 minutes of an 80 minute class due to either being tardy or being dismissed, the student is considered absent.  If a student misses more than 15 minutes of a 40 minute class due to either being tardy or being dismissed, the student is considered absent. 






Under state law, full-time school attendance is required of all children from their 7th to their 17th birthday except:




1.     A person who graduates from high school before that person’s 17th birthday;


2.     A person who has matriculated and is attending an accredited, post-secondary, degree-granting institution as a full-time student.  The commissioner must approve an exception to the attendance in public school under this paragraph.


3.     A person who has:


a.     Reached the age of 15 years or completed the 9th grade;


b.    Permission to leave school from that person’s parent/legal guardian;


c.     Been approved by the principal for a suitable program of work and study or training;


d.    Permission to leave school from the School Board or its designee; and


e.     Agreed in writing with that person’s parent/legal guardian and the School Board or its designee to meet annually until that person’s 17th birthday to review that person’s educational needs.  When the request to be excused from school has been denied pursuant to this paragraph, the student’s parent/legal guardian may appeal to the commissioner;








Make up work policy:




In accordance with procedures established by the high school administration and faculty, class work may be made up for all excused absences.  Work missed due to an unexcused absence can be made up; however, the best grade a student can receive on such an assignment is 50%.  Make-up work must be completed with a specific time frame.  Students will receive the same number of color days (purple or white) that they were absent.  Teachers and students may arrange to extend the deadline for make-up work by mutual agreement.




Pre-assigned work (work due on the day of an absence or scheduled before the student's absence) must be passed in on the day the student returns to school.  




It is important that some long term assignments are passed in on time regardless of circumstances.  If a teacher classifies an assignment as such in writing, then it is due on the specified date regardless of whether a student is in school or not.  Such assignments will be the exception rather than the rule.


Make-up work and assignments will not necessarily be the same as assignments initially completed in the classroom.  For assignments that cannot reasonably be replicated, an alternative assignment will be given or the student will be exempt.




  1. Scenario: A student has excused absences on Monday (purple) and Tuesday (white). 
    1. Purple Day Resolution:


                                          i.     Pre-assigned work: Due when the student returns to school on Wednesday.  Material for block 1 is due block 1, material for block 2 is due block 2, etc. 


                                         ii.     Missed work: The student has the next purple day (Wednesday) to make up the work, so it is due in class on Friday. 


    1. White Day Resolution:


                                          i.     Pre-assigned work: Due when the student returns to school on Wednesday.  It is the student’s responsibility to turn in the work to the teacher even though class does not meet that day.   


                                         ii.     Missed work: The student has the next white day (Thursday) to make up the work, so it is due in class on Monday. 




  1. Scenario: A student misses an entire class because he is dismissed for an athletic contest, a drama production, a field trip or any school sponsored activity. 


Resolution: Students are responsible for meeting all deadlines.  If work is due for the class missed, the student must turn it in before he leaves.  If a homework assignment is given that is due for the next class, the student must have his homework ready to turn in for the next class. 


  1. Scenario: A student attends class but does not pass in assignment because she left it at home (or because the dog ate it).


Resolution: The attendance policy only addresses work missed due to absence.  Consequences for missed work not due to absence remain the prerogative of individual classroom teachers. 






Under Maine law, the school board is required to enforce the truancy laws of the state and has elected principals to serve as attendance coordinators.  A student is habitually truant if the student:


  1. Is subject to compulsory attendance law and has attained the equivalent to 10 full days of non excused absences or seven consecutive school days of non excused absences during the school year.




Alternatives to attendance at public day school:


  1. A person shall be excused from attending public day school if the person obtains equivalent instruction alternatives are as follows:


a.     A private school approved for attendance purposes pursuant to section 2901


b.    A private school recognized by the department as providing equivalent instruction


c.     A manner approved by the commissioner pursuant to subparagraph (2) or


d.    Any other manner arranged for by the School Board and approved by the commissioner




  1. A student is credited with attendance at a private school only if a certificate showing the name, residence and attendance of the person at the school, signed by the person or persons in charge of the school, has been filed with the school officials of the administrative unit in which the student resides.




  1. A person may obtain approval of equivalent instruction under rules established by the commissioner for equivalent instruction through home instruction.




Excusable absence (per State of Maine statute):


A person’s absence is excused when the absence is for the following reasons:


  1. Personal illness
  2. An appointment with a health professional that must be made during the regular school day
  3. Observance of a recognized religious holiday when the observance is required during the regular school day
  4. A family emergency
  5. A planned absence for a personal or educational purpose, which has been pre-approved
  6. Education disruption resulting from homelessness, unplanned psychiatric hospitalization, unplanned hospitalization for a medical emergency, foster care placement, youth development center placement or some other out-of-district placement that is not otherwise authorized by either an individualized education plan or other education plan or a superintendent's agreement developed in accordance with section 5205, subsection 2. This paragraph does not apply to a student who is out of school for 10 or more consecutive school days as a result of a planned absence for a reason such as a family event or a medical absence for planned hospitalization or recovery.












ADOPTED:   June 20, 1988; REVISED: July 24, 1995; REVISED: October 7, 1996; REVISED: 5/3/04; REVISED:  2/14/05; REVISED: 7/19/05; REVISED:  10/3/05; REVISED: 7/20/09; REVISED: 4/5/10; REVISED: 8/20/12








SOURCE:       Board Policy