(The following summary from Monday’s school board meeting was provided by Superintendent Steve Gray)
The school board approved a revision to the District’s Student Attendance Policy. This recommendation came per district administration following consultation with the Story County Attorney’s Office regarding truancy issues. In summary, ‘Excused Absences’ will only be absences in which the student produces an “official slip” (i.e. medically documented illness, medically documented appointment, school-sponsored activity, family funeral, etc.). An absence with prior approval of the building principal may also be “Excused”. A student may be gone for an unlimited number of ‘Excused Absences” without consequence.
Without some type of a doctor’s note or “official slip,” parents will have up to six “Verified Absences” to use for a child. These are absences at the sole discretion of the parent. The parent simply notifies the school office that the child will not be attending (i.e. child not feeling good, going out of town, or anything else). Beyond those six “verified” days, students will need an official slip (i.e. doctor’s note) or such absences will be “Unexcused.”
In addition to excessive (beyond six days) verified absences being “Unexcused,” students late to school or skipping school will also be coded as “Unexcused.” Excessive “Unexcused Absences” will result in a referral to the County Attorney’s Office.
Further information on the new student attendance policy will be released with registration information for the 2014-15 school year.
Fees for the 2014-15 school year were also approved by the School Board. Per mandated target prices established by the USDA, the board increased school lunch prices 5 cents for 2014-15. Adult meal prices were also increased.
In addition to meal prices, registration prices were also adjusted. A technology fee was added to the traditional textbook fees. With the addition of the technology fee, overall registration fees will go from $26.50 to $35 at kindergarten, $43 to $50 at grades one-four, $53 to $70 at grades five-eight, and $64 to $100 at grades nine-12. Early kindergarten and preschool fees were not changed. The additional fees are directly related to the recent infusion and upkeep of technology throughout the district. Students in grades five-12 will be issued personal computers for the 2014-15 school year.