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Attendance Policy

The Oelwein High School absence policy is based on the fact that something important happens in class every day and that the activity or interaction between teacher and student can never be exactly duplicated.

In order for the Oelwein High School staff to do the best possible job of educating the students entrusted to them, the students must be in regular attendance. A successful education program requires the cooperation of the parent, the student, and the school staff at all points in the process, one of the most vital points is that of student attendance. We cannot teach a student who is not present.

Students who know they will be absent must notify the office prior to the absence. If advance notification is not possible, parents must notify the office at 283-2731 on the day of the absence, prior to 9:00 a.m. If notification is not received, the office will attempt to contact the parent at their emergency phone number.

Six unexcused absences may result in removal from class. Excessive absences will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Intervention strategies to be implemented may include, but are not limited to: school nurse, counselor, administrator intervention; instructor intervention as a team approach, truancy referral; and referral to the Regional Education Center.

Iowa law provides a free public education to all qualifying children, including those who might be temporarily homeless. Oelwein Community School stand ready to provide education services to all qualifying children currently residing in our district.

If you have information regarding qualified children not currently enrolled, please contact Barb Schmitz at 319.283.1982. If you are the parent or guardian of a homeless child, please contact our school. We are committed to providing a quality education to all children.

Excused absences include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal illness
  • Medical appointment
  • Legal obligations
  • Family emergency
  • Recognized religious observances
  • School activities

Unexcused absences include, but are not limited to:

  • Truancy
  • Oversleeping
  • Senior pictures
  • DOT
  • Employment
  • Shopping
  • Hair appointments
  • “Personal business” without explanation
  • Leaving school to eat lunch
  • Leaving school during the day without obtaining permission from the office
  • Tardiness (exceeding 10 minutes)
  • Concerts
  • Preparation or participation in parties or other celebrations

An absence count will start only upon a student’s first registered day in a class.

Any student, who is found to be unexcused from a class more than three times in a one-semester period, may be dropped from that class. The student may be withdrawn from that class with all loss of credit. Failing multiple courses due to attendance may cause a student to be dropped from school due to the lack of carrying 24 credits, which are needed to be considered a student.

Another condition: any student that has missed 8 days (excused and/or unexcused) in a quarter can lead to a drop.

Children between the ages of 6 and 16 are compelled to receive an education. Heads of household are responsible for their children. Penalties are as follows:

  • First Offense: up to ten days in jail and/or $100 fine or 40 hours unpaid community service (simple misdemeanor)
  • Second Offense: up to 20 days in jail and/or $500 fine or unspecified number of house community service in lieu of fine or jail sentence (serious misdemeanor)
  • Third Offense: up to 30 days in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000, or an unspecified number of community service hours

A student is tardy if the bell rings; he/she is not in the classroom and not prepared to work. A student who is more than 10 minutes late to class is counted absent.

The tardy policy follows our Boy’s Town Intervention Model where students are referred to detention for their third tardy to a class in a one-semester period.

3 unexcused tardies = 1 unexcused absence (the cycle of tardies begins again after each unexcused absence). In addition, a further penalty may occur, as the classroom teacher has this discretion.

Extenuating circumstances for tardiness to class will be handled in the office.

A student is considered truant if parents have not called the school. The school will attempt to contact the parents at home or work when no call has been made. Any truancy/skipping may result in suspension. The county attorney’s office will be used, when deemed necessary, to assist with matters involving students covered by the state’s compulsory attendance laws. Students missing 8 days a quarter or a total of 32 days a year are subject to having charges filed. Any illness or injury that will be projected to extend over 15 consecutive days should be brought to the attention of the school.

There are NO sanctioned skip days for students. Parents cannot give student permission to skip school these are considered unexcused, and will be handled according to policy.

Students are allowed two days for make-up for each day missed if parents had called in the absence. These days begin when the student returns to school on a full time basis. If a student knew of an exam and reports due prior to his/her absence, he/she will be required to take the exam and turn in reports the day he/she returns to school.

Field trips or school-related absences are not subject to this, and will follow the field trip policy where all make up work must be taken care of in advance.