ROCK SPRINGS — If you’ve recently received a letter in the mail addressed from Sweetwater County School District #1, you may want to open it.
That’s because its an invitation to attend the Board of Education meeting on July 17 where changes to the current attendance policy will be proposed.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the boardroom of the Central Administration Building on Foothill Blvd. where families will have the opportunity to voice their opinions about the changes.
According to Human Resources Director Nicole Bolton, the following changes will be recommended at the meeting:
• A maximum amount of absences that can be excused will be 5 days instead of 10 days per semester in grades K-6 and per semester course increments in grades 7-12 (Designated exceptions may be allowed per the District attendance officer). Medical and faculty excused absences do not count against students.
• Students will no longer receive a zero grade for each class or activity as the result of an unexcused absence or truancy. Students will be expected to follow make-up procedures.
• A student with a total of 5 unexcused absences will be deemed to have demonstrated continued willful disobedience or open defiance of the authority of school personnel and be subject to discipline intervention.
• A student who accumulates five or more unexcused days of absences in any one school year shall be considered to be referred to the board to be declared a habitual truant.
• Upon the fifth unexcused absence, the building principal or designee will schedule a conference with the student, the student’s parents or legal guardians, and appropriate professional staff.
• If a student has five (5) or more unexcused absences in any one (1): semester course increment in grades 7-12; per semester in grades K-6
The new policy also recommends that the principal or designee will contact parents/guardians to schedule a mandatory intervention meeting. Each school will develop an action plan as soon as possible following the fifth unexcused absence for the class or classes with the identified attendance concerns.
Parents/guardians will have one (1) calendar week to arrange for the intervention meeting upon receipt of notification from the school. After reasonable attempts have been made to schedule the intervention meeting, the intervention meeting may be held without parent/guardian involvement.
Organized Sports and Activities
Student absences for organized sports and activities that are not offered by SSD#1 will be faculty excused and not count against the student if the student’s grades satisfy the same eligibility criteria as any school-sanctioned activity. Each principal or designee will identify the process for communicating, notifying and executing this category of absence.
In grades 9-12 a student with eight (8) unexcused absences will not earn credit in the course/s identified, unless the student qualifies for a credit appeal process as an additional intervention.
The credit appeal process will encourage continued class attendance and creates an opportunity for the student to regain course credit. If the student does not qualify or chooses to not participate in the credit appeal process, the student will earn an ‘F’ for the letter grade and factored into the grade point average (GPA).
“Sweetwater School District Number One knows the importance and correlation between school attendance and educational success,” Bolton stated in a letter to district families. “We are looking forward to presenting these proposed changes in order to take proactive steps to increasing attendance during the school year.”
The entire policy can be viewed here.