Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 730. Regulations Governing the Collection and Reporting of Truancy-Related Data and Student Attendance Policies

8VAC20-730-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Attendance conference" means a face-to-face meeting, or an interaction that is conducted through the use of communication technology, scheduled with the student, parent, and school personnel after the seventh unexcused absence. The attendance conference shall be held no later than 10 school days after the 10th unexcused absence. The attendance conference is held by a multi-disciplinary team and may include the parents and student.

"Attendance plan" means a plan developed jointly by a school representative, such as a school principal or the principal's designee; parent; and student to resolve the student's nonattendance and engage the student in regular school attendance. The plan shall identify reasons for nonattendance and academic, social, emotional, and familial barriers that impede daily attendance along with positive strategies to address such reasons and impediments and support regular attendance. This plan may include school-based activities or suggested referrals to community supports, or both.

"Court referral" means filing a complaint with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court after the multi-disciplinary team has held an attendance conference and attempted interventions to address the student's continued nonattendance. Documentation of interventions regarding the student's unexcused absences, such as copies of the attendance plan and documentation of conference meetings, and compliance with § 22.1-258 of the Code of Virginia will be provided to the intake worker.

"Excused absence" means an absence of an entire assigned instructional school day with a reason acceptable to the school administration that is provided by the parent. If circumstances permit, the parent should provide the school administration with the reason for the nonattendance prior to the absence. Examples of an excused absence may include, but are not limited to, the following reasons: funeral, illness (including mental health and substance abuse illnesses), injury, legal obligations, medical procedures, suspensions, religious observances, and military obligation. Suspended students continue to remain under the provisions of compulsory school attendance as described in § 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia. An absence from school attendance resulting from a suspension shall be recorded in compliance with 8VAC20-730-30 for the period of the suspension.

"Instructional school day" means the length of a regularly scheduled school day for an individual student.

"Multi-disciplinary team" means a conference team that may be convened to review student records and to participate in prevention, early intervention, and provision of support services to address unexcused absences, including school-based case management. These services should address academic, social, emotional, and familial issues in order to improve regular school attendance. Team members may include but are not limited to, the following: an administrator, school counselor, social worker or psychologist, student assistance specialist, special education and general education teacher, attendance officer, and community representatives.

"Parent" means the parent or parents, guardian or guardians, legal custodian or legal custodians, or other person or persons having legal control or charge of the student.

"Truancy" means the act of accruing one or more unexcused absences.

"Unexcused absence" means an absence where (i) the student misses his scheduled instructional school day in its entirety and (ii) no indication has been received by school personnel within five days of the absence that the student's parent is aware and supports the absence, or the parent provides a reason for the absence that is unacceptable to the school administration. The school administration may change an unexcused absence to an excused absence when it determines that the parent has provided an acceptable reason meeting criteria for the student's absence or there are extenuating circumstances.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-258 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 5, eff. November 30, 2016; amended, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 12, eff. March 18, 2021.

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