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Provo City School District

Independence High School

Last modified: October 16, 2022

Student Attendance Policy

The Provo City School District Board of Education recognizes the importance of regular student attendance to a successful learning experience. Research supports the fact that attendance is crucial to improving student achievement. The Board further recognizes that:

  1. All students are expected to be in class and on-time every school day, in every class. Provo School District will follow state law and federal guidelines as they pertain to attendance.
  2. Frequent absences and or tardiness of students from regular classroom learning experiences disrupt the continuity of the instructional process. The benefits of classroom instruction, once lost, cannot be entirely regained.
  3. The entire process of education requires a regular continuity of instruction, classroom participation, learning experiences, and study in order to meet student achievement goals.
  4. Holding students and their parents/guardians responsible for attendance is part of the District’s larger mission to train students to be productive citizens who are college and career ready.
  5. State law reflects the importance of regular attendance by establishing compulsory school attendance and charging this Board to enforce that law.
    1. Utah Code 53A-11 101-105 (habitual truancy & compulsory education)
  6. The Board supports citizenship procedures developed within the schools.
    1. Each school will keep accurate records of student daily attendance as required by Utah State Law.
    2. Each school will notify parents/guardians of student unexcused and/or excessive absences. Parent notification may include, but is not limited to one of the following:
      • Voice mail systems
      • Teacher contact
      • Attendance office calls or tracker calls
      • Computer-generated letters
      • Progress reports or student on-line information system (Powerschool)
      • Administrator, counselor, social worker or truancy contact
    3. Each school will develop procedures to address excessive and/or unexcused absences/tardies This program may include and not limited to the following:
      • Teacher notification of parents (attendance concerns, progress report, telephone contact)
      • Student-teacher conference
      • Parent conference
      • Support personnel assistance, (i.e., school nurse, counselor, social worker, administrator, care team, district truancy support programs) Detentions and/or In-School Suspension
      • Administrative suspension
      • Juvenile court referral (for students under age 18)
  7. Teachers will be expected to teach highly engaging lessons.
  8. Each teacher will be responsible for taking and recording accurate class attendance each period.
  9. Each teacher will be required to follow the district’s attendance policies Each teacher will allow students with excused absences to remain current in their class to work by allowing students to make up missed work in a prompt and timely manner.

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

  1. Utah Law under the Compulsory School Attendance subsection places the burden of responsibility for school attendance on the parent.
  2. Parents have the responsibility to assure their student will be in school and on time.
  3. Parents will notify the school attendance office of each student absence.
  4. Parents/guardians will make the necessary arrangements if they plan in advance to take a student out of school.
  5. Parents will be responsible to monitor their child’s attendance either electronically (Powerschool) or by contacting the school.
  6. Students will be expected to be prepared for and to fully participate in classroom lessons.
  7. Students will assume increasing responsibility for regular and prompt school attendance as they progress through the educational system. A conscientious effort will be made to attend daily.
  8. Students will adhere to the attendance procedures as defined by each school.
  9. Students will cooperate with school officials and support personnel to correct any attendance problems that may develop.

Secondary Attendance Policy

Notification of Attendance Letter: 10 unexcused absences/periods

2nd Citation Letter:

  • 15 unexcused absences/periods
  • 18 unexcused absences
  • (Above absences numbers are for the school year)


Notice of Attendance letters are warnings to alert families of attendance concerns and/or providing an opportunity to resolve issues with the school administration.

1st Citation letters are referrals to Provo School District truancy school.

2nd Citation letters are referrals to Provo Attendance Court (PAC) or Juvenile Court.

Students with more than 10 absences (excused or not) in a term (term equals 45 school days) may be contacted by the school administration to schedule a conference with parents to discuss the impact of excessive absenteeism on student learning and to make an attendance plan and/or contract. Students may also be referred to truancy school.

Parent information:

  • Parents are required to excuse their child’s absence by calling the school or sending a note.
  • Student absences must be excused as soon as possible and no later than 72 hours (three school days) after the first absence.
  • Parents with students missing more than 10 school days in a term (term equals 45 days) will be required to make contact with the school administration.
  • Parents may petition the principal to waive attendance penalties for legitimate absences, which include court dates, pre-approved trips and/or family death.
  • Students who are ill (see attached information) are encouraged to stay home.

School site-based decisions/actions:

  • Intervention letters may be sent before the Notification of Attendance letter.
  • Letters are sent as determined by the school administration.
  • Excessive tardies may be cited as determined by the school administration.
  • Unexcused absences are determined by days missed.
  • A truancy letter may be issued to a student for sluffing.
  • School building administration determines appropriate procedures for truancy.

School nurses have outlined the following reasons a child should be kept home:

  • Fever is the body’s way of destroying the germs making it sick, and it’s a common symptom of infections such as flu. Keep your children home if their temperature is 101° F or higher. Wait until children are fever-free before letting them return to school.
  • Diarrhea is often the result of infection, food poisoning, or a side effect to medications like antibiotics. Keep children home until stools are formed and your doctor gives the okay. Make sure your sick child stays well hydrated.
  • Vomiting is another way for the body to rid itself of the germs making it sick, and is usually caused by a stomach virus or stomach infection. Keep children home if they’ve vomited twice or more in the last 24 hours. They can return to school after symptoms clear up or your doctor says they’re no longer contagious.
  • Severe cough and cold symptoms should keep kids home from school. A serious cough could be a sign of contagious conditions like whooping cough, viral bronchitis, or croup. It can also be a sign of asthma or allergies.
  • Sore throats can be a symptom of strep or a common cold. If your child has been diagnosed with strep throat, keep your child at home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics. If your child has a mild cold, it’s okay to go to school.
  • Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is contagious, and children should stay home from school for the first 24 hours after treatment begins. Symptoms of pinkeye include eye redness, irritation, swelling, and pus.
  • Headaches can be a symptom of contagious conditions like viral gastroenteritis, flu, meningitis, and strep throat. Opinions differ on whether a child should be kept home. If your child doesn’t have any other signs of illness, and feels okay, your child can go to school.
  • Rashes can be the sign of contagious conditions such as chickenpox, bacterial meningitis, or impetigo. Children should be kept home until they’re diagnosed. They can return to school after symptoms are gone and their doctor gives the okay.

Reasons a student should NOT be kept home:

  • Earaches aren’t contagious. There’s no need to keep a child with a mild earache home, as long as your child feels well enough to concentrate.
  • Mild cold or respiratory symptoms are no reason to keep children at home so long as their nasal drainage is clear and their cough is mild.