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
1/20/2021

8VAC20-730-20. Unexcused absences intervention process and responsibilities.

A. Each local school board shall provide guidance regarding what would constitute an excused absence in order to address when the explanation provided by the parent will be determined to be reasonable and acceptable.

B. Each local school board shall develop procedures to ensure that appropriate interventions will be implemented when a student engages in a pattern of absences less than a full day, the explanation for which, if it were a full-day absence, would not be deemed an excused absence.

C. The following intervention steps shall be implemented to respond to unexcused absences from school and to engage students in regular school attendance.

1. Whenever a student fails to report to school on a regularly scheduled school day and no information has been received by school personnel that the student's parent is aware of and supports the absence, the school principal or designee, attendance officer, or other school personnel or volunteer will notify the parent by phone or email or any other electronic means to obtain an explanation. The school staff shall record the student's absence for each day as "excused" or "unexcused." Early intervention with the student and parent or parents shall take place for repeated unexcused absences.

2. When a student has received five unexcused absences, the school principal or designee or the attendance officer shall make a reasonable effort to ensure that direct contact is made with the parent. The parent shall be contacted in a face-to-face conference, by telephone, or through the use of other communication devices. During the direct contact with the parent and the student (if appropriate), reasons for nonattendance shall be documented and the consequences of nonattendance explained. An attendance plan shall be made with the student and parent or parents to resolve the nonattendance issues. The student and parent may be referred to a school-based multi-disciplinary team for assistance implementing the attendance plan and case management.

3. The school principal or designee or the attendance officer shall schedule a face-to-face attendance conference, or an interaction that is conducted through the use of communication technology, within 10 school days from the date of the student's sixth unexcused absence for the school year. The attendance conference must be held within 15 school days from the date of the sixth unexcused absence. The conference shall include the parent, student, and school personnel (which may be a representative or representatives from the multi-disciplinary team) and may include community service providers.

4. The school principal or designee shall notify the attendance officer or division superintendent of the student's seventh unexcused absence for the school year. The division superintendent or designee shall contact the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court intake to file a complaint alleging the student is a child in need of supervision (CHINSup) or to institute proceedings against the parent. In addition to documentation of compliance with the notice provisions of § 22.1-258 of the Code of Virginia, all records of intervention regarding the student's unexcused absences, such as copies of the conference meeting notes, attendance plan, and supports shall be presented to the intake worker.

D. A record shall be maintained of each meeting that includes the attendance plan, the name of individuals in attendance at each conference meeting (including via telephone or electronic devices), the location and date of the conference, a summary of what occurred, and follow-up steps.

Statutory Authority

§ 22.1-16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 33, Issue 05, eff. November 30, 2016.

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