1.1 Scope — These rules provide guidelines for the development of local county attendance policies
2.1 The Pocahontas County Board of Education recognizes that a direct relationship exists between students’ daily school attendance, academic performance, graduation, and good work habits. This attendance policy promotes students’ daily attendance. The Pocahontas County Board of Education further believes that it is the responsibility of the parents and/or guardian to see that their child/children attend school regularly and consistently. Daily attendance is necessary for students to meet their schools’ academic~ program standards as each day’s learning builds on the work previously completed.
While students and parents/guardians have the ultimate responsibility for daily school attendance, the laws of West Virginia require school administrators to enforce compulsory school attendance. In accordance with SB Policy 2320, each Pocahontas County school will maintain a minimum attendance rate of 93% during each school year.
§126-81-3. Policy Development
3.1 To insure input into this policy revision, the revision committee will consist of at least the attendance director, one principal, two classroom teachers (1 elementary, 1 secondary), one counselor, two parents,and two community leaders. The annual attendance evaluation will be the individual school attendance percentage, which must be within the minimum percentage as established by SB Policy 2320.
4.1.1. 4.1.1. Absence — Not physically being present in the school facility for any reason. Absences resulting from the suspension of a student due to provisions in § 1 8A-5- 1 a (c) for which W. Va. Code provides that the pupil may be suspended shall be calculated in the school’s/county’s attendance rate.
Under this section of the W. Va. Code, a principal may suspend a student who has
(1) threatened to injure, or in any manner injured, a pupil, teacher, administrator or other school personnel;
(2) willfully disobeyed a teacher;
(3) possessed alcohol in an educational facility, on school grounds, a school bus or at any school-sponsored function;
(4) used profane language directed at a school employee or a pupil;
(5) intentionally defaced any school property;
(6) participated in any physical altercation with another person while under he authority of school personnel;
(7) habitually violated school rules or policies.
4.2. Allowable Deductions – Absences that result from school-approved curricular/co-curricular activities; failure of the bus to run/hazardous conditions, and absences resulting from the suspension of a student due to a “Safe Schools violation”.
4.3. Attendance — For statistical purposes, attendance will be reported and aggregated to the nearest half-day according to definitions in 4.3.1 and 4.3.2.
4.3.1 Full-day attendance is being present at least .74 of the school day.
4.3.2 Half-day attendance is being present at least .26 of the school day.
4.3.3 Each school will compute the times at the beginning of the school year to determine when a student must check in or may check out in order to count as present for either a full or half-day. Any other variations must be computed in accordance with 4.3.1 and 4.3.2 above
4.4 Attendance Rate — The number of days present divided by the number of days of membership, multiplied by one hundred equals attendance rate for students on the attendance registers in classes K-12.
4.5 Dropout — A dropout is an individual who:
4.5.1 was enrolled in the school at some time during the previous school year and was not enrolled on
October 1 of the current school year; or
4.5.2 was not enrolled on October 1 of the previous year although expected to be in membership
(i.e. was not reported as a dropout the year before); and
4.5.3 has not graduated from high school, obtained a GED diploma, or completed a state- or district-approved education program; and
4.5.4 does not meet any of the following exclusionary conditions:
b. Temporary school recognized absence due to suspension or illness; or
4.7 Enrollment — A student is officially enrolled when one of the following conditions occur:
4.7.1 student was enrolled the previous year;
4.7.2 student appears at school to enroll with or without a parent/guardian; or
4.7.3 student and/or parent/guardian appear at school to enroll with or without records.
4.9 Membership Days — The days present plus the days absent.
5.1 The Pocahontas County Board of Education shall:
5.1.1 employ a certified county director of school attendance as required by W.Va. Code §18-
5.2.2 support and require the county attendance director to implement and execute the duties as defined in W.Va. Code § 18-8-4:
1. Instruction in a private, parochial, or other approved school.
5. High school graduation.
7. Serious illness or death in the immediate family of the student.
10. Alternative private, parochial, church or religious home instruction.
5.3 support and require the school principal to implement and execute the duties as defined in W.Va. Code §18-8-5;
a. The principal shall compare school numbers with school enrollment monthly.
§126-81-6. County Attendance Policy Components:
6.1.2 Principles of Operation:
c. The county will define excused and unexcused absences:
• Long-term medical/dental statements must be updated every nine (9) weeks.
• Pocahontas County’s excused absences are:
4. Illness or injury in family when student absence verified as essential by physician.
5. Calamity such as fire, flood or family emergency approved by principal/designee.
7. Leaves of education value in accordance with these stipulations:
• Prior approval of principal/designee;
• Prior submission and approval of educational plan detailing objectives and activities;
• Leave not to exceed ten (10 days requires prior county board approval.
8. School approved curricular or extra-curricular activities.
9. Legal obligation with verification.
10. Failure of bus to run or extremely hazardous conditions
11. Observance of religious holidays.
12. Exceptional students’ absences should be addressed to comply to SB Policy 2419.
6.1.3 Processes and Procedures:
responsibility/accountability for regular school attendance:
• Each school will include a copy of the attendance policy in their handbook and it will be sent home with a verification sheet.
6.1.4 Maintenance of Records:
a. Every school will maintain a daily attendance record for every enrolled student using the WVEIS.
b. Every school will use the following notification procedures regarding student absences.
1. The school attendance coordinator or automated calling device will make daily phone calls to
parents/guardians/custodians of students who are absent. A phone log will be maintained showing the outcome of
each call. If a parent/guardian/custodian cannot be reached, a letter or note may be sent home.
2. The school attendance coordinator shall create a cumulative absence report weekly from all available sources to
determine which student(s) may be attendance concerns.
3. Any time a student accumulates five (5) or more unexcused absences for the year, the school coordinator will contact the attendance director. The attendance director will contact the parent/guardian/custodian by mailed letter requesting a conference. A copy of this letter will be given to the school principal, or designee.
4. Any time a student accumulates more than ten (10) unexcused absences for the year, the school coordinator will contact the attendance director. The attendance director will prepare/mail copies of an Excessive Unexcused
Absence packet for the legal system, the county office, the principal, the parent/guardian/custodian and begin legal action in as timely a manner as possible
c. A student’s attendance record is a legal document. Any student who is not physically in school, whether absent or on a school-sponsored activity off the school grounds, must be appropriately accounted for on1 the WVEIS using the correct absence code.
6.1.5 Preventive and Corrective Measures:
a. Each school will develop and implement a system of incentives and rewards for students who achieve the pre-determined attendance goals at the end of each grading period.
Schools whose grading period is six (6) weeks in duration will recognize students who have missed 0-2 days.
Schools whose grading period is nine (9) weeks in duration will recognize those students who have missed 0-3 days.
The school staff, principals, parents, and students will develop these programs. They may consist of, but are not limited to, recognition programs, privileges, rewards, etc.
b. Parental notification will follow the guidelines given in 6.1 .4.b of this document. Parent involvement will also include personal phone calls, conferences, phone master calls, counseling sessions, and helping to develop incentive programs.
c. The attendance coordinator, principal, or teachers in each school may identify/refer to the school counselor(s) a student as having an attendance problem and possible “at risk.”
The school counselor may develop sessions to encourage regular attendance by whatever means deemed necessary.Parents may be involved in these sessions as well.
d. The schools may utilize other agencies such as Seneca Health Services, Inc., Timberline Health Group, DHHR, etc.for other appropriate services.
e. After-school programs are available to concentrate on academic remediation, truancy, nutrition, etc. in each major community in the county and are in close affiliation with the schools.
f. A student with excessive absences (more than 10 in one semester) will be referred to the school assistance team where positive interventions will be developed. Interventions may include multidisciplinary evaluation, counseling
services referral to an outside agency, etc. Other agencies providing services to the student should be invited to this meeting. The attendance director will conduct an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of the attendance policy.
6.1.6 Individual exception to Four Year Attendance Requirement:
Attendance for the full day for all four years during grades 9-12 is important so that student obtain the full benefit from the educational programs offered in the schools of West Virginia.
Exceptions to this requirement may be made to students meeting requirements for high school graduation and who are enrolled full-time (minimum of 12 hours) in an accredited college or advanced vocational Technical school the second term of their senior year. A student shall submit his/her
intentions to the school principal during the first term of his/her senior year and, upon the principal’s approval,be granted permission to attend college or an advanced vocational/technical school.
§126-817-7. School attendance as a condition for privilege of operation of motor vehicle.
7.1 Any student fifteen years of age, but less than eighteen years of age, who is properly enrolled in a West Virginia public school, or is a West Virginia resident enrolled in an out-of-state school, or is properly enrolled in an
Exempt A, B, or K non-public school may request from the attendance director or high school principal documentation of enrollment/attendance status. This Documentation will be provided upon request at the high school office on a form
provided by the West Virginia Department of Education for presentation to the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles when making application for, or reinstatement of, an instruction permit or license to operate a motor vehicle.
7.2 Students who withdraw from a public school and do not enroll in another school (dropout) as specified in WV Code18-8-1 Id will automatically have their driver’s license suspended if under the age of eighteen.
7.3 Public school students, in order to meet the attendance requirement, must not have 10 or more consecutive unexcused absences or 15 or more cumulative unexcused absences within the school year to obtain/retain a driver’s
license. Pursuant to WV Code 18-8-11, suspension or expulsion from school, or imprisonment in a jail or penitentiary, is not circumstance beyond the control of such person. Once a driver’s license is obtained, the student must maintain the same attendance status or the attendance director will begin the revocation process. This process shall involve:
• Notification by registered mail within five (5) days of intent to revoke the driver’s license.
• Upon the receipt of this intent notice, the student will have five (5) days to request an appeals hearing with the county superintendent or designee and the attendance director. If no request for an appeal is received, the Department of Motor Vehicles will be notified at the
end of five (5) days of the loss of driving privileges.
• The appeals hearing, if requested, will be scheduled as quickly as possible (not to exceed 10 days) In order to resolve this issue in a timely manner.
• If the revocation decision stands, the Department of Motor Vehicles will be notified of the loss of driving privileges within five (5) days of this decision.
Reference: West Virginia State Board Policy 4410
Adopted: February 1988
Revised: July 2003