Eden Prairie Schools values attendance. We believe that every student should be in school every day. Regular school attendance is directly related to success in academic work, benefits students socially, provides opportunities for important communications between teachers and students, and establishes regular habits of dependability important to the future of the student. Class attendance is a joint responsibility to be shared by the student, parent or guardian, teacher, and administrators. Eden Prairie Schools is a participant in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office be@school program. This program seeks to improve school attendance and increase the opportunity for Hennepin County’s children to realize their potential.In collaboration with the County efforts, Eden Prairie aims to have each student attend school every day. In accordance with the Minnesota Compulsory Instruction Law, Minn. Stat. 120A.22, the students of the school district are REQUIRED to attend all assigned classes and/or study halls every day school is in session, unless the student has been excused by the school board from attendance because the student has already completed state and school district standards required to graduate from high school, has withdrawn, or has a valid excuse for absence.
Late Arrival/ Early Departure
Eden Prairie students arriving late or leaving early must have parents call the attendance line at 952-975-8001. The message should include the parent/guardian’s name, student name, and reason for absence. Excused reasons for being late or leaving early will follow the same listing as excused absences.
The following reasons shall be sufficient to constitute excused absences:
- Serious illness in the student’s immediate family
- A death or funeral in the student’s immediate family or of a close friend or relative
- Medical, dental, or orthodontic treatment, or counseling appointment
- Court appearances occasioned by family or personal action
- Religious instruction not to exceed three hours in any week
- Physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm, etc.
- Official school field trip or other school-sponsored outing
- Removal of a student pursuant to a suspension.
- Religious observance
- Family vacation (limited to 5 days per year) handled as excused absences and students will be permitted to complete make-up work
- Family emergencies
- A student’s condition that requires ongoing treatment for a mental health diagnosis
- Active duty in any military branch of the United States
In order for an absence to be excused, a parent needs to call the school attendance line within 48 hours of the absence. The parent needs to state when the child will be absent and explain the reason for the absence. Students whose absences are excused are required to make up assignments missed or to complete alternative assignments as deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher. Students who accumulate excessive absences, even when excused, will work with the school staff and parents to develop a plan to assure attendance at school daily.
Unexcused Absences or Truancy
These are examples of absences that will not be excused:
- Truancy which is an absence that is not approved by the parent and/or the school district
- Any absence where the student/ family failed to comply with any reporting requirements of the school district’s attendance procedures
- Work at home
- Work at a business, except under a school-sponsored work release program.
- Vacations with family without prior notice and exceeding 5 days
- Missing the bus
- Any other absence not included under the attendance procedures set out in this policy
EPHS has an automated phone calling system that will contact a parent/guardian when a student has an unexcused absence to a class.
Students are expected to be in their assigned area at the start of school or the start of a class. Failure to do so constitutes tardiness.
Procedures for Reporting Tardiness
Students tardy at the start of school must sign in with security. Parents need to report the late arrival on the automated attendance line. Tardiness between class periods will be handled by the teacher.
Valid excuses for tardiness are:
- Serious illness in the student’s immediate family.
- A death or funeral in the student’s immediate family.
- Medical, dental, orthodontic, or mental health treatment.
- Court appearances occasioned by family or personal action.
- Physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm, etc.
- Any tardiness for which the student has been excused in writing by an administrator or faculty member.
An unexcused tardiness is failing to be in an assigned area at the designated time class period commences without a valid excuse.
Consequences of Unexcused Absences
- School district staff will work with the parent, student and the Hennepin County Attorney’s office be@school program and follow the three day notification and six day Parent Group Meeting process.
- If unexcused absences continue after following be@school process, the Hennepin County Attorneys office will follow with necessary legal action to ensure attendance at school.
- Absences resulting from official suspension will be handled in accordance with the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat. 121A.40-121A.56.
- Days during which a student is suspended from school shall not be counted in a student’s total cumulated unexcused absences.
- Along with following the Hennepin County Attorney’s be@school programs, the student or his or her parent or guardian may, within a reasonable time, request a conference with school officials regarding the student’s absences and the prescribed discipline. The notification will state that the school strongly urges the student’s parent or guardian to request such a conference.
Attendance Policy Definitions
- Tardy: not arriving at the set or expected time.
- Excused Absence/Tardy: any absence/tardy called in by a parent/guardian within 48 hours after the class was missed.
- Unexcused Absence or Truancy: any absence not called in by a parent within 48 hours of absence or an absence not known by parent/guardian or school.
- School-excused absence: any absence as a result of a school-sponsored activity (i.e. field trips, activity meetings, or student participation in competition). This absence must include a parent/guardian signed permission slip and does not need to be called in by the parent.
Procedures for Excusing StudentsParents are encouraged to call the school prior to 11 a.m. each day their student is absent. Parents must follow procedures for excusing students. A voice messaging system is available; the phone number is 952-975-8001.
- For Spanish: Mi hijo/a estara ausente de la escuela o tiene una cit ahoy. Llame a la escuela: 952-975-4222.
- For Somolian: Ilmahaygu ma iman doono dugsiga ama wuxuu Leeyahay ballan takjtar. Soo wac dugsiga: 952-975-2444.
Leaving School during the DayNo student is to leave the building or its premises during the school day without having an early dismissal pass, permission from a dean, signing out with the nurse, being on an authorized work program, having a permanent pass (juniors only), or a senior privilege (seniors only). Students who leave without permission will be considered unexcused from the classes missed and disciplinary action will follow. Students leaving the building during the school day must pick up their pass from student center south and sign out with security at an authorized door (north, south, or east). Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
State Tournament AttendanceStudents wishing to be excused from classes to attend a state tournament as a spectator must have a parent/guardian call the student attendance office to excuse the absence. Students will be dismissed at an appropriate time to allow for travel to the tournament. Absences will be counted as part of the student’s absence allocation.