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Administration and Operations Manual

1.19 Student Attendance Policy - KDES/MSSD

Last Revised: 14 Oct 2009
Refer Questions To: Office of the Vice President, Clerc Center


This policy applies to all Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) and Model Secondary School (MSSD) students.


Regular attendance is necessary if a student is to achieve success in school. The attendance policy is designed to establish clear expectations for all KDES and MSSD students (grades K-8 and 9-12, respectively). On all scheduled school days, KDES and MSSD students are required to be in attendance during all school hours, and on time, so that they may receive the full benefits of their education. Once on campus, students are expected to follow all rules regarding school and class attendance.



School attendance is a cooperative effort between parents/guardians, students, and school personnel. In order to meet the requirements and expectations for promotion to the next grade level or to earn credit towards graduation, KDES and MSSD students must be in attendance at least 90 percent of the days that school is in session.

Students are expected to attend school each weekday for the full day unless otherwise excused. A student will be counted as “present” for a full day if he or she is in attendance four or more hours of the school day. A student will be counted as present for a half-day if he or she is in attendance for at least two hours of the school day but less than four hours. A student scheduled for less than a full day will be counted present based on the amount of time he or she is scheduled (i.e., a student scheduled for a half-day of school will be counted present for a full day if he or she is in attendance for that entire time; if the student is absent for the entire half day, he or she will be counted as absent for the full day).

A student will be counted present if at school or at an activity sponsored by the school and supervised by a member(s) of the school staff. This includes work experience programs, field trips, athletic events, contests, student conferences/workshops, and similar activities when officially authorized by a member of the school administrative team.

Excused and Unexcused Absences

Absences will be considered excused if due to the following:

  • Illness (doctor’s verification required after three consecutive days)
  • Doctor/dental appointments
  • Observance of religious holidays
  • Funerals
  • Home suspensions
  • Court appearances/summons
  • Emergency or other event for which the school administrative team considers an exemption from attendance to be in the best interest of the student

Absences will be considered unexcused if due to the following:

  • Oversleeping
  • Missing the bus
  • Traffic
  • Non-related school events*
  • Family vacations
  • Other reasons deemed unacceptable by the school administrative team

* Parents/guardians must contact the school administrative team prior to the absence. Excused pre-approved absences will be granted for reasons acceptable to the student administrative team. However, pre-approved absences are discouraged and will not be granted for any reason on days when state tests or semester exams are to be given. The principal‘s decision related to pre-arranged absences is final. No more than three pre-approved absences (including travel) will be considered excused during each semester.

Delegation of Authority

The KDES and MSSD school administrative teams will be responsible for all determinations and communications related to student attendance matters.

KDES/MSSD will establish procedures to administer this policy that will include confirming/verifying absences, penalties for excessive absences, an appeal process, and periodic reporting practices.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees
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