20 Oct Superintendent’s Mailbag – Unverified absences and the importance of attendance

Each week, the Clark County School District (CCSD) responds to some of the emails it receives from district employees, parents or community members. This week, the district responds to a parent inquiry about unverified absences.

A parent asks, “How will unverified absences affect student’s grades or credits? Why is student attendance in school so important?”

Unverified absences may have a negative impact on CCSD students’ grades and/or eligibility for promotion to the next grade. For elementary students, excessive unverified absences may lead to retention in the current grade. According to CCSD Regulation 5113, elementary students who exceed 20 unapproved absences during the school year may be retained in the current grade. For secondary students, excessive unverified absences may lead to denial of credit. A secondary student with a regular schedule may have credit denied for each class period where he or she exceeds 10 unverified absences for that particular semester. A student on a block schedule may have credit denied after 7 unverified absences for that particular semester. According to CCSD Regulation 5113, secondary student absences should be limited to a maximum of 10 total absences per semester.

Student attendance in school is important. Research has proven that there is a high correlation between school attendance and academic performance and success. Learning is a progressive activity and daily lessons build upon those of the previous day. Many CCSD classes use discussions, demonstrations, experiments and participation as part of the daily learning activities. These experiences are difficult to replicate for students who are absent. Furthermore, in Nevada, driving privileges are now tied to school attendance. According to NRS 483.2521, all students under the age of 18 must meet minimum attendance requirements to receive a permit or driver’s license. A student must acquire a DMV-301 form from his/her school demonstrating 90 percent attendance to apply for a permit or driver’s license.