Attendance Policy

One criterion of a student's success in school is regular and punctual attendance. Frequent absences may lead to poor academic work, lack of social development and possibly academic failure. No single factor may interfere with a student's progress more quickly than frequent tardiness or absence.

According to state law, it is the obligation of every parent/guardian to ensure that every child under their care and supervision receives an adequate education and training and, if of compulsory attendance age, attends school.

Continuity in the learning process and social adaptation is seriously disrupted by excessive absences. In most cases, the work missed cannot be made up adequately. Students who have good attendance generally achieve higher grades, enjoy school more and are more employable after leaving school. For at least these reasons, the Board believes that a student must satisfy two basic requirements in order to earn class credit: (1) satisfy all academic requirements and (2) exhibit good attendance habits as stated in this policy.

Excused Absences

The only legal reasons for an absence from school are:

  • illness
  • medical/dental appointments
  • observance of religious holidays 

As applicable, the district may require suitable proof regarding the above exceptions, including written statements from medical sources.

Unexcused Absences

An unexcused absence is defined as an absence that is not covered by one of the foregoing exceptions. Therefore, the following are not accepted as unexcused absences:

  • Caring for younger sibling or relative
  • Vacationing/trips out of town
  • Caring for an ill relative
  • Transportation difficulties

Absence From School

 Follow these procedures if an absence occurs:

  1. A phone call from the parent/guardian (prior to the absence) or a note is necessary to excuse any absence. Notes are required within two (2) days of returning to school. Please keep in mind that only the above exceptions will be considered as excused.
  2. A physician’s note is required for any absence of five (4) or more consecutive days due to illness.
  3. Notes for absences should be given to the Attendance Secretary for verification.

Pre-Arranged Absences

While acknowledging that a variety of learning experiences take place outside of the classroom, the faculty at Sanford believes that regular attendance is vital to student success. Families should avoid scheduling vacations or travel while school is in session. However, the school understands that occasions may arise where a pre-arranged absence is unavoidable. Pursuant to district procedure, the principal may excuse up to four (4) school days for a  pre-approved absence per student each year. Please see the attached Pre-arranged Absence Form.

Late Arrivals and Tardiness

  • Students not in their assigned classrooms at the sound of the bell are tardy.
  • Missing twenty (20) minutes of any class is an absence from that class.
  • Any student arriving at school after 8:00 am must sign in at the Attendance Office.

Early Departure

  • For security and safety reasons, students may not be excused without permission from their parent/guardian.
  • Upon returning, the student must sign in at the Attendance Office.
  • The student is responsible for making up all class work and assignment.

Loss of Credit Policy

In compliance with Sanford School District Attendance Policies and Procedures, any student who accumulates five (5) or more unexcused absences in any course throughout a semester may receive no credit (NC) in that course. There will be no make-up hours. If a student is in danger of receiving an NC because of five (5) or more unlawful absences, he/she may appeal for grade restoration. To do this, your child must schedule a meeting with his/her counselor and/or administrator to complete an Attendance Intervention Plan. Additionally, you are encouraged to schedule a conference to discuss possible approaches to correct your child’s pattern of unlawful absences. Students with five (5) or more unlawful absences who make no attempt to address the problem will receive an NC for the course, regardless of the earned grade.

Please Note: If a student has 3 unexcused absences in any term, they are considered "at risk" of failing that particular class for the semester. If a student has 5 absences, they will receive an NC for that particular class for the semester. For students who already have 5 absences, in order to have the possibility of getting the credit, the student, parent, teacher, counselor, and the administrator must agree to the terms and conditions on the attached Attendance Intervention Plan. This plan can be turned in to your counselor. If there are any discrepancies in the attendance reporting, please see the attached Attendance Appeal Form. This appeal can be turned in to the Main Office.

Consequences for Unexcused Absences

Include but are not limited to…

  • Students who have an unexcused absence will be awarded a maximum of 70% of the points allocated for the day’s assignments.
  • Students who accumulate five (5) or more unexcused absences in any course throughout a semester may receive no credit (NC) in that course. There will be no make-up hours.
  • Students who accumulate one or more unexcused absences during a school day will be ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities on that day (this includes athletic practices).


When a student misses any part of a school day, and an excuse is not provided, a student becomes truant*. Students who are “skipping” school regularly, or who are absent from school for reasons that do not meet the statutory criteria above, are considered truant from school. Habitually truant students are those students who miss more than four days of school in a month, or ten days of school in one year. Habitually truant students will be placed on an Attendance Intervention Plan.

The building principal will determine if a “ditch day” has occurred and medical excuses will be required of students who are absent on such days. Students who participate in “ditch days” will receive no credit for that day’s assignments, will lose their ability to participate in class trips, and will be assigned Friday school. No student may participate in extra-curricular activities until all disciplinary action has been completed. 

Consequences for Truancy

Truant students will be assigned detention. Violators will be referred to the Principal or designee for discipline.
• First Truancy—Two hours of detention for each period truant.
• Repeated truancies are deemed defiance of school authority and failure to respond to a reasonable request and, therefore, subject to suspension.
• Students who are habitually truant may be suspended or expelled from school. In such cases, a parent/guardian is notified of continued truancies, and a conference will be held with the Principal prior to disciplinary action.