Attendance Policy

Consistent attendance is essential for children to be successful in their educational endeavors. Students are expected to attend school and be on time in order to derive maximum benefit from instructional programs and to develop habits of self-discipline and responsibility. Moreover, students who miss a day of class will never be able to completely retrieve information from that learning experience. The interaction with the teacher and fellow students can never be fully duplicated.

Parents or guardians are responsible for student attendance. The school corporation will enforce the State of Indiana Compulsory Attendance Laws. The State of Indiana defines chronic absenteeism as being absent from school for ten percent (10%) or more of a school year for any reason. The State defines habitual truancy as being absent ten (10) days or more from school within a school year without being excused or without being absent under a parental request that has been filed with the school (Indiana Code 20-20-8-8).



A parent/guardian must contact the school by 8:30 a.m. every day their child is absent from school. A

doctor’s note should be sent in when the child returns to school specifying the reason for the student’s

absence if they were seen by a doctor. If a parent fails to call, the school corporation will call the

parent/guardian asking for the reason for the child’s absence. If no phone call is made or the school

corporation is unable to contact the parent/guardian, the school corporation may call the student’s

emergency contacts. An absence that remains unverified will be unexcused. Parents may leave a voicemail message when the office is closed.


Categories of attendance are as follows:


With proper documentation, in the following instances, students are considered present:

  • When the student is physically present at school

  • When serving as a page or as an honoree of the general assembly (IC 20-33-2-14)

  • When serving on a precinct election board or for political candidates on an election day (IC 20-33-2-15)

  • When a subpoenaed witness in a judicial proceeding (IC 20-33-2-16)

  • When serving duty with Indiana National Guard for up to 10 days per year (IC 20-33-2-17)

  • When participating in a civil air patrol for up to 5 days per year (IC 20-33-2-17.2)

  • When exhibiting or participating in the state fair for up to 5 days if the student is in good academic standing (IC 20-33-2-17.7)

  • School-sponsored field trips or other educationally related non-classroom activity (IC 20-33-2-17.5)

Certified Absences

With proper documentation, certified absences do not count toward consequences and include the following:

  • Death in the immediate family for up to 5 days

  • Medical/Dental appointment (make every effort to schedule after school)

  • Medical Absence or incapacitation requiring a physician’s statement

  • Court or other judicial hearings or meetings

Excused Absences

With proper documentation, excused absences still count towards consequences and include the following:

  • Illness verified in writing by a parent or parent called the school to report the student ill. If ill more than 5 consecutive days, a doctor’s excuse is required.

  • Religious Observances

  • Other absences verified by parent/guardian except those that are unexcused

Unexcused Absences

Unexcused absences count towards consequences and include the following:

  • All other absences are not specifically certified or verified.

  • Working during school hours. This is a violation of child labor laws.

  • Staying home to babysit or farm is considered working and is unexcused.

  • Absent without a written note or phone call from parent/guardian.

  • Truancy, which is student absence without knowledge of parent/guardian.

Excessive Absence Consequences


Combined Excused and Unexcused Absences per Year

Unexcused Absences per Year





Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will receive a phone call and registered

letter from the school corporation that includes attendance

documentation and letter of incapacity.




Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will receive a phone call and receive via

certified mail a letter from the school corporation that includes

attendance documentation, a letter of incapacity, a copy of the

school attendance policy, and an attendance agreement that the parent must sign in person at school. The parent/guardian and student will need to attend a meeting with a school authority to review attendance documentation, the attendance policy, and the attendance agreement. The school will also conduct an investigation of possible reasons for absences.




Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will receive a phone call and receive via

certified mail a letter from the school corporation that includes

attendance documentation and a letter of incapacity. The

student/parents will be formally referred to Project Attend

through the Juvenile Probation Officer.




Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will receive a phone call and receive via

certified mail a letter from the school corporation that includes

attendance documentation and a letter of incapacity.

Additionally, the Department of Child Services will be contacted regarding Educational Neglect.




Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will receive a phone call and receive via

certified mail a letter from the school corporation that includes

attendance documentation and a letter of incapacity.

Additionally, the student and parents will be referred to the

LaPorte County Prosecutor for Educational Neglect.


Under Indiana Code 20-26-11-32, students who reside outside of Tri-Township School Corporation may also

have the following consequences imposed if there proves to be a concern as to the number of verified and/or

unexcused absences. The School Corporation may:

• Deny enrollment.

• Discontinue enrolment during a current or subsequent year.

• Establish terms and conditions for enrollment or continued enrollment in a subsequent year.


Pre-Arranged Absences, Vacations, and Family Trips

Family vacations or other family trips taken during school time are STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. When an

absence is known in advance, a parent/guardian must notify school officials at least one week prior to the

anticipated absence. Failure to do so will result in a student being marked truant. These absences will be considered

excused and count towards the excessive absence consequences. Students returning from vacation are

expected to turn in assignments in the timeline indicated by the teacher(s). Students will receive a zero for any

work not finished within that timeline. The classroom teacher may be able to provide a few of the assignments

that will be missed in advance to the student, however, it is the student’s and/or parent’s responsibility to check

Harmony for any missed homework that needs to be completed while they are absent from school.


Procedures

After returning from any absence, full-day, partial-day, or vocational a student must check in at the office, sign in, and be issued a pass before going to any class.  At that time the student should bring the following:

  1. Note from the doctor, dentist, etc. if the absence was for a medical appointment.

  2. Note from parent or guardian stating the reason for the absence if no contact concerning the absence was made with the office.

No note is required if contact was made with a parent or guardian.


Sign-Out Procedures

Any student leaving the school grounds during the school day must have permission from their teacher or administration and must sign out in the office.  Any student returning to school before the end of the day must also come to the office to sign in. 

Should it become necessary to leave school for reasons of illness, the student will report to the office.  The following procedures will occur:

 1. Exam by the school nurse or other designated school personnel.

 2.   Notification of parents/guardians by the office.



Truancy is defined as:

  1. Absence without parent/guardian or school knowledge.

  2. Leaving school without obtaining prior approval from the principal or designee.

  3. Absence from school without parent/guardian permission or in defiance of parent/guardian authority.

  4. Absence from class or tardy more than 10 minutes to a class without a valid pass (even if the student is in the school building.)

Habitual Truancy is defined as:

A student may be designated as a “habitual truant” if they are chronically absent, by having unexcused absences from school for more than ten (10) days of school in one (1) school year.

All students who are at least thirteen (13) years of age but less than the age of fifteen (15) years, and who are determined to be a habitual truant per the definition above, are subject to Indiana Code 20-33-2-11, which provides that any person who is determined to be a habitual truant as defined by school board policy cannot be issued an operator's license or learner's permit until the age of 18 years, or until the student’s attendance record has improved as determined by the principal upon review of the student's record of at least once per school year.  The student’s principal is required to report to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles of the student’s status as a habitual truant. The student upon initial designation of being a habitual truant is entitled to the same statutory procedures as a student who is being expelled.


The consequences for JUNIOR HIGH and HIGH SCHOOL students who are truant are:

  1. The first truancy will result in the student being assigned hour-for-hour detention. (Not less than three hours).

  2. The second truancy will result in two days of in-school suspension and a request for a parent/guardian conference at school.

  3. The third truancy will result in two days in school suspension and the student will be placed on probation for the remainder of the school year. A request for a parent/guardian conference at school to create an attendance behavior contract for the remainder of the school year.


Half-Day Absences: Elementary

Students arriving at school after school have begun must first sign in at the main office. Students arriving late by any method of transportation other than the Tri-Township school bus will be counted as tardy.

Students will be considered absent for one-half of a day for any of the following reasons:

  1. Arriving at school more than one hour after the beginning of the school day;

  2. Being absent from school for more than one hour during the school day, excluding the student’s lunch period; or

  3. Leaving school more than one hour before the end of the school day.



Being punctual is a good habit that becomes increasingly important in life. We believe in teaching students to be responsible and punctual.

Each teacher will clearly state to his or her students where they are expected to be at the beginning of the day or period in order not to be counted as tardy. The teacher will keep a record of each student’s tardiness and enter the information into Harmony. The principal or his/her designee has the authority to excuse a student’s tardiness if in his/her judgment the tardiness is of an excusable nature. Upon arriving late to school and before going to class, the student must sign in at the school office. 

Elementary Students: Tardies will accumulate during each nine-week grading period. Tardies will reset with each new grading period. Students who accumulate tardies within the nine-week grading period will be subject to the consequences listed below.

Junior High/High School Students: Tardies will accumulate during each nine-week grading period. Tardies will reset with each new grading period. Students will receive 2 total tardies for each nine-week grading period. (Total means all classes.) Students who accumulate tardies within the nine-week grading period will be subject to the consequences listed below:


1st Tardy

The student is warned by the teacher.

2nd Tardy

Contact Parent/Guardian by phone. Email progressive tardy policy to parent/guardian and student.

3rd Tardy

Student assigned one detention. If a student misses detention, then a second one will be given. Contact Parent/Guardian by phone. Email progressive tardy policy to parent/guardian and student.

4th Tardy

Conference with parent/guardian and student. Two detentions will be assigned. Failure to serve detentions will result in one day of in-school suspension. Failure to serve consequences as directed will be considered insubordination and will constitute grounds for action as outlined in the student discipline policy.

5th, 6th & 7th Tardy

The student will be assigned three detentions and other sanctions as determined by the principal or designee.

Beyond 7th Tardy

Subsequent tardies will result in suspension and possible loss of credit (high school level).

Make-Up Work After an Absence

The responsibility for making up missed work for an absence rests with the student. When a student is absent for one day, the assignments should be obtained from a classmate, by checking Google Classroom, contacting the teacher by email, or from the teacher as soon as possible the following day. If the absence is two days or longer, homework may be obtained by calling the office by 8:30 a.m. and requesting all assignments be sent to the office. The work will be available by the end of the school day. The student will have one day for every day of absence to make up work. With the exception of planned or pre-arranged types of absences.

If a test or an assignment is long-range (five days or more, such as a research paper, project, or report), the teacher may use his/her discretion in setting due dates, accepting late work, and determining the make-up policy. In the event of a prolonged absence, special arrangements may be made to extend the time period allowed for the assignment. A student who is in attendance the day before a scheduled test/quiz and who is absent on the day of the test/quiz shall take the test/quiz the first day he/she returns to school. Students who are absent due to an out-of-school suspension are required to complete the school work that was missed during the absence. Full point value will be given for school work done during an in-school or out-of-school suspension.


Vocational Students’ Attendance

Vocational students are required to attend both Tri-Township High School and vocational school each day they are in session. Vocational students must attend vocational school every day they have school, even if their home school is not in session that day due to vacation days or some other reason. Morning A.K. Smith students will not attend if Tri-Township Schools are on a two-hour delay due to weather. Parents/Guardians should call the school to report their child’s absence from vocational school as well as Tri-Township Schools.


Closed Campus

During the school day, students are to remain on school grounds from arrival in the morning until dismissal time in the afternoon. Should a student find it necessary to leave the school for any reason, he/she must receive permission from the building principal before signing out. Student drivers are not permitted to go to their cars unless given permission by the building principal. If permission is given, the student must then sign out and must sign in immediately upon his/her return. Students in K-5 must be signed out by a parent/guardian coming into the building. 


Extra-Curricular Participation/Attendance

Participation in any and all extracurricular activities is dependent upon good school attendance. Students must be in attendance by 9:00 a.m. and remain in school for the rest of the school day in order to participate in any extra-curricular activity scheduled for that day. The principal has the authority to make an exception in extenuating circumstances. The principal’s decision will be final.