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Research has shown that a student’s regular attendance in school is one of the most important indicators of academic success. However for many students, regular attendance in school is a significant challenge that can have long lasting effects. In Phoenix #1, a student who misses 10% or more of the school year is considered “chronically absent”. This means that students who miss more than 2 days a month or 18 or more days over the course of the school year are considered at risk academically due to their attendance. Some of the most recent research on chronic absenteeism has found that: 

  • Half of students who miss 2-4 days in September will go on to miss nearly a month of school

  • One in 10 kindergarten and first grade students nationally are chronically absent from school

  • A 9th graders’ attendance is more predictive of high school persistence than their 8th grade test scores

Citation: 10 Facts About School Attendance

In Phoenix #1, we strongly believe that a strong partnership between school and a student’s home is key to supporting their daily attendance and academic success.  As part of this dedication to your child’s success, your school will make contact with the caregiver to ensure the well-being of your child and to support the family as needed.  If you are struggling and need support to ensure your student is attending school every day please contact your school and ask to speak with your child’s principal.

Commonly Asked Questions 

How should I notify the school of my child’s absence? 

Parents and legal guardians should call into school on the day of a student’s absence, within one hour of the school’s start time. 

How do I pick up my child during school hours? 

If you are listed on the enrollment and/or student release form, you may pick up your child by coming to the front office, showing a valid picture ID, and signing out the student before you leave. 

If you are the legal guardian or parent, but want someone else to pick up your child for an educational activity, you must provide prior written approval. 

How will I find out if my child is absent from school without my knowledge or consent? 

Parents are contacted by an auto dialer system for all daily absences if they are marked unexcused from a class. We always want you to know if this circumstance arises, so please let your school know if there are any changes in your contact telephone number or address. 

Attendance Definitions 

Tardy – When a student is up to ten (10) minutes late after the scheduled start of class. 

Partial Day Attendance – When a student arrives to school late or leaves school early. Because this behavior disrupts learning in the classroom for both the absent student and his or her classmates, partial day attendance adds to the total number of full days absent on a student’s attendance record. 

Absence – When a student misses a minimum of one class period per day. If a student arrives more than ten (10) minutes after the scheduled start of class, they are considered absent and must receive a time slip from the front office to enter class. 

Excused Absence – When a student is absent from school due to illness, death in the family, religious observance and other exceptional circumstances. For an absence to be excused, parents and legal guardians must call into school on the day of the absence.

Unexcused Absence – When a student is absent from school, but a parent or legal guardian does not contact the school within 24 hours of the start of the absence. Caregivers will receive a call for all unexcused absences.

Truancy – When a student is absent from school without the prior knowledge and consent of the parent or guardian. An unexcused absence is considered a truant day. 

Habitually Truant – When a student has five (5) or more unexcused absences from school, or is absent more than ten percent of the required school days per year, whether the absence is excused or unexcused. 

Homebound – When a student is unable to attend school due to illness, disease, accident or other health conditions. For a student to be classified as “homebound,” he or she must be certified by a doctor as unable to attend regular classes for a period of at least three months. 

For more information about the homebound classification, contact your school’s nurse. 

Absence due to Chronic Illness – When a student is absent due to circumstances related to a long-term illness or medical condition. In these cases, students should have medical documentation from a licensed physician. 

To utilize available student services for students with chronic illness, contact your school’s nurse. 

Chronic Absenteeism

For students who are chronically absent (missing 10% or more of the current school year) schools will take the following steps: 

  • School staff will reach out to families whose child is or is approaching missing 10% or more of the current school year to determine how they can support them to ensure the student is attending daily.

  • School staff may conduct home visits and interviews to determine what resources a caregiver may need or to better understand the challenges to a student’s attendance.

  • Students who are at risk of chronic abstinence may be assigned an “Attendance Mentor” at the school site or join a skills based support group.

  • Caregivers will be provided with official notification at least quarterly of students who are or at risk of being chronically absent

  • Arizona state statute states that students who miss 10% or more of the school year may be retained and caregivers will be notified in writing if their student will be retained due to chronic absenteeism.

If you are struggling and need support to ensure your student is attending school every day please contact your school and ask to speak with your child’s principal. We are here to support you and have resources available to help.