Attendance & Health Office

Classifications of Absences

Verified absences (excused)

  • Illness (V-il), (V-HO health office)
  • Family emergencies (V)
  • Medical/dental appointments (V-DR)
  • College visits (V)
  • Family vacations (V)
  • Absences verified by a principal (PR)

Authorized absences

Written documentation with specific dates and/or hours is required to have any absence classified as "authorized".

  • Funerals (A-FN)
  • Religious holidays (A-R)
  • Court appearances (A-C)
  • Two or more consecutive days of illness with a doctor’s note (A-DR)
  • One-day surgery (A-DR)
  • Hospitalization (A-DR)
  • Extended illness/treatment, (A-IL or A-DR)
  • Special talent related outside activities, e.g., theater (as a performer), competitions (A-PR)
  • Extenuating circumstances* (A-PR)
  • Chronic medical condition, e.g., asthma, physical therapy, counseling (see paragraph below for explanation) (A-CC)

Chronic Condition Rule

To authorize absences resulting from a chronic condition, defined among other reasons by extended illness, treatment or therapy, parents/guardians need to speak with the health office (763-745-6616) to secure a Chronic Condition form, when appropriate, which must be completed by the student’s healthcare provider. This form is utilized to indicate the existence of a chronic condition and a potential for an absence related to the health condition. The form must specify the anticipated frequency of absences and length of time if that applies. Chronic condition forms must be updated each term.

When a parent/guardian calls the school to report an absence due to a chronic condition, he/she needs to state that the absence is related to the chronic condition and that a form is on file in the student’s floor office. In the spirit of the regulation, absences for reasons other than a chronic condition must be identified as such when called to the attendance office.

Unverified absences (unexcused/truant)

  • Arriving late without cause
  • Missing the bus or ride
  • Oversleeping
  • Truancy
  • Car trouble
  • Absences that are reported as unverified by the parent/guardian
  • Absences that are not verified by a phone call or note
  • Leaving school without following procedures defined in these rules

All unverified absences are listed as "U." When notifying the school of absences for any of the above reasons, parents/guardians are asked to report these as unverified. Note: Students arriving to school (or class) more than 20 minutes into any block, will be considered absent.

Absences not verified on the day of the absence are classified as "pending." All pending absences must be verified by a parent/guardian within two days of the student’s return to school or they will be classified as unverified on our records. Students with unverified absences will not receive credit for the class work they miss that day.

School authorized absences (Signified by "S")

These include activities such as field trips, interscholastic events, student government, school testing, support groups and extended office visits.

Sheila Moran-LaPlant, LPN
Health Paraprofessional

Jean Parsons, RN, PHN, LSN, MS
Licensed School Nurse

Attendance Responsibilities

Class attendance is a joint responsibility to be shared by the student, parent or guardian, and school personnel. Meeting the following responsibilities will increase the likelihood that student performance will be enhanced:

Student Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the student to attend all scheduled classes each day and to keep track of the number of his/her absences. The Student/Parent Guide and Planner is an excellent tool for keeping such records. Classroom experiences are the lifeline of the student's educational experience and daily attendance maintains continuity in the learning process and leads to greater understanding and higher achievement. Daily class attendance and punctuality also help instill self-discipline, a common quality of nearly all successful people. Instructional and learning opportunities lost as a result of absences from class are difficult to replicate or sometimes irretrievable.

Parent/Guardian Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to encourage the student to attend school daily and to notify the school when their student is unable to attend. Parents/guardians are to fill out a Skyward Family Access Absence Notification (preferred) or call the attendance office (763-745-6655) by 9:00 a.m. on the day of the absence. If for some reason parents/guardians cannot call by 9:00 a.m., voicemail will accept messages 24 hours a day at the same number. Parents/guardians are encouraged to schedule appointments and family trips after school hours or during vacation periods and will be asked to work with the school to solve any attendance problems that may arise.

Teacher Responsibility

The teacher's responsibility is to hold students accountable for their attendance. This includes maintaining accurate attendance records, making attendance information available to students and following established procedures. Teachers will communicate with students and administrators when attendance problems interfere with a student's opportunity to learn or when the student reaches six absences within a term. Teachers may use additional positive and/or negative consequences to further the spirit and intent of these rules.

Administration Responsibility

The administration's responsibility is to see that the parent/guardian is informed about the student's absences (at four absences and again at seven), to work with students, teachers and parents to improve or maintain positive attendance patterns and to ensure that the attendance rules are followed.


Tardy violations result when students report to class without a verified pass anytime after the bell has rung. Students arriving more than twenty minutes late will be recorded as absent rather than tardy. At the teacher's discretion, tardy students may be required to get a tardy slip from the attendance office on that teacher's floor or she/he may simply admit the student.

Tardiness is viewed as a classroom issue and will be addressed first at that level. Students who do not respond to the efforts by the teacher to help them change their behavior will progress through the following steps once they exceed three unverified tardies per term in any class:

  • On their fifth "unverified" tardy, students will be referred to their Dean of Students.
  • On their sixth "unverified" tardy, students will be referred again to their Dean of Students who may suspend the student from school for one day or assign other consequences. If the student is suspended, a reinstatement conference will be required. After their reinstatement, students may return to class on "probationary" status.

Students who do not adhere to the terms of their probation may be withdrawn from the class.

We recognize that healthy children are better learners. Our district nurses and school-based health paraprofessionals work collaboratively to promote the health and safety of our students.

The role of district nurses

Our licensed school nurses provide care in concert with health paraprofessionals for students at all schools. They perform the following services.

  • provide needed physical assessment, direct nursing care and specialized health procedures to students
  • develop and assist with the implementation of individual health plans for students with chronic health conditions
  • train and support school staff to assist students' needs as identified by their health plans
  • serve as in-house resources, liaisons and advocates for students, parents and community service organizations regarding individual and general health care issues

The role of health paraprofessionals

Our health paraprofessionals work in the school health offices under the supervision of the licensed school nurse. They are certified in CPR and First Aid and receive targeted health education on pertinent school health-related topics such as diabetes, anaphylaxis, asthma and epilepsy. They perform the following services.

  • provide direct care to students who become ill during the school day
  • administer medications
  • assist district nurses with the prevention and control of communicable diseases
  • distribute communicable disease information to school staff and parents as needed
  • assist with vision and hearing screening programs