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
10/23/2021

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, or the parent provides a reason for the absence that is unacceptable to the school administration, 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 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. When the student accrues a seventh unexcused absence, the school principal or principal's designee shall schedule a face-to-face attendance conference, or an interaction that is conducted through the use of communication technology. The attendance conference must be held within 10 school days from the date of the 10th unexcused absence. The principal or principal's designee shall make reasonable efforts to contact the student's parent or parents to attend the attendance conference either in person or via communication technology. If the principal or principal's designee, after reasonable efforts have been made, is unable to contact the student's parent, the conference shall be held regardless of whether the student's parent approves of the conference. The conference shall include the principal or principal's designee and a representative from the multi-disciplinary team.

4. The multi-disciplinary team shall monitor the student's attendance and, as necessary, meet again to address concerns and plan additional interventions if the student's attendance does not improve. If additional meetings are necessary, the principal or principal's designee shall make reasonable efforts to contact the student's parent or parents and schedule a face-to-face meeting, or an interaction that is conducted through the use of communication technology. If the principal or principal's designee, after reasonable efforts have been made, is unable to contact the student's parent, the conference shall be held regardless of whether the student's parent approves of the conference.

5. In circumstances in which the parent is intentionally noncompliant with compulsory attendance requirements or the student is resisting parental efforts to comply with compulsory attendance requirements, the school principal or principal's designee shall make a referral to the attendance officer. The attendance officer shall schedule a conference with the student and the student's parent or parents within 10 days of receiving the referral. The attendance officer may (i) file a complaint with the juvenile and domestic relations district court alleging the student is a child in need of supervision as defined in § 16.1-228 of the Code of Virginia or (ii) institute proceedings against the parent pursuant to § 18.2-371 or 22.1-262 of the Code of Virginia. In addition to written documentation of the efforts to comply 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 description of the supports offered or made available to the student 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 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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