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All children in Hawaii, ages 6-18, are required by law to attend school (Hawaii Revised Statues, Section 298-9). Succeeding in school is dependent on many factors, one of which is good school attendance. To comply with the School Compulsory Attendance Law, an accurate attendance record of each child will be maintained by your child's teacher. Families will be notified by mail of excessive absences and tardies. According to Hawaii Revised Statues (HRS) 302A. "All school age children must attend either a public or private school unless exempted." This statute also states that, "Any parent or guardian having the responsibility for the care of the child must send the child to school unless exempted by the law." In addition, HRS302A-1135 provides that a parent or guardian who does not enforce the child's regular school attendance may be guilty of a petty misdemeanor. The penalty for a petty misdemeanor is a fine of up to $1000.00 (HRS 706-640) or jail time for up to thirty (30) days (706-663). Also pursuant to HRS 571-11(2), Family Court can place a child under its jurisdiction for truancy if the child is not attending school or is not receiving the educational services required by law. Therefore, per HRS 3023-1131 and 302A-1136, the school is responsible to inform parents when their child(ren) reach or exceed 10 absences or tardies, Jefferson will notify families by mail once child(ren) reach 5, 10 and 15 absences and tardies.

Absence from School

Absences are excused only when parent/guardian notifies the office by the following methods:

  1. Send a note to the office through a sibling or neighbor's child stating the reason for your child's absence

  2. Before 8:30 A.M. call the office at (808) 971-6922 ex. 300

Absences are for one of the following reasons:

  1. Doctor's, parents or guardians note for illness or injury

  2. Death in the Family

  3. Court Attendance

  4. Special cases as approved by the Principal

Procedures and Responsibilities

  1. Teacher records absences at 8:00 a.m. Students arriving after 8:00 a.m. will be marked tardy. A student is marked absent if they arrive at school after 11:00 a.m.

  2. Students arriving after 8:00 a.m. must report to the school office and receive a tardy slip before being admitted to class.

  3. Parents are asked to send a note or call the office to report absences before 8:30 a.m. If the school has not been notified of an absence, the clerk will contact the parent to confirm the reason for absence.

  4. If a student has more than five (5) unexplained absences (no note or phone call), the homeroom teacher will contact with the parent. If contact cannot be made, the teacher will inform the counselor.

  5. If a student accrues more than five (5) unexplained absences, the counselor or administrator will make contact with the parent and schedule a parent conference.

  6. If a student accrues more than fifteen (15) absences (excused or unexcused), an administrator will make contact with the parent and schedule a conference to review compulsory attendance law and possible Educational Neglect petition procedures.

Teacher Responsibilities

  • Inform parents and students of Jefferson's attendance policy. Keep signed policy acknowledgement in students' cumulative folders. Follow up on missing acknowledgements.

  • Record and maintain accurate student attendance records.

  • When a student has accumulated five (5) unexplained absences, make contact with the parent. If phone contact cannot made, notify the counselor.

  • Notify counselor when student has accumulated ten (10) unexplained absences.

  • Notify (vice) principal when student has accumulated fifteen (15) absences (excused or unexcused).

  • Provide information for Educational Neglect petitions.

  • Route homework to the office for pick-up by 2:30 p.m.

Counselor Responsibilities

  • Conduct home visits when phone/email contact is unsuccessful.

  • Schedule and facilitate parent conferences.

  • File petitions for Educational Neglect.

  • Attend court hearings for Educational Neglect.

Office Responsibilities

  • Monitor attendance line.

  • Complete tardy slips.

  • Maintain computerized record of students' attendance.

  • Contact parents when student absences are unexplained.

  • Print daily attendance report and distribute to counselor and administrator(s).

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