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FAQ March 2019

March 29th, 2019

Dear Parent Consultant,
Why am I getting notification that my daughter may lose credit or stay back due to absences when she has an IEP and a disability that prevent her from going to school some days?
Harriet’s Mom

Dear Harriet’s Mom,
Regular school attendance is important for students to learn. Absences do add up research shows that students who attend school regularly develop stronger academic and social skills, are more connected to their community and have higher graduation rates. Students who are absent as little as several times a month their academic skills decline, grades fall are more likely not to graduate.

Some students are not able to consistently attend school due to their disability. There is a difference between chronic absenteeism and truancy. Truancy is considered unexcused absences and defined as a student who has 4 unexcused absences from school in one month or 10 unexcused absences in one school year. Chronic Absenteeism incorporates all absences: excused, unexcused, suspension and expulsions.
State law requires school districts and schools to have specific policies and procedures regarding students who are truant. If a student becomes truant, their school is required to have a meeting with the student’s parent or guardian within 10 school days to discuss how the parent or guardian can help the student return or attend school on a regular basis. Just as with truancy school districts have a responsibility for adopting school attendance policies and procedures for chronic absenteeism. There are school attendance review teams that will reach out to parents to find out why the student has multiple absences. As a standard practice notification about absences is sent to the home.

If your child is absent due to a disability documentation is necessary. You need to get a letter from the doctor describing how the disability affect your child and why they may miss school intermittently. Anytime the absences are due to an appointment get a note excusing them or if they will be late to school.
For more information go to
https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Truancy/Truancy
https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Chronic-Absence/Chronic-Absence

Sincerely,
Parent Consultant