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Research shows that school attendance and student achievement are directly related. Being present at school is very important to the overall learning experience. Extended time away from the classroom can have a significant impact on both student performance and school goals.

School Attendance Policies

BTES does not have a “sick line” for student absences. If your student is going to be absent, or was absent, parents/guardians must provide a doctor’s note or a parent note to the school. Notes may be submitted using the BTES Student Absence Form linked below. Please complete this form within five days of returning to school.

BTES Student Absence form

Excused Absences

  • Student absences may be excused up to five times per semester through parent notes for a total of 10 per year
  • In extreme circumstances an administrator may excuse an additional five days per year for a total of 15 days per year
  • After 15 absences, all additional absences can only be excused by a doctor or court note
  • Three tardies or sign-outs is equal to one absence
Parent/Guardian Note Required
  • Illness or injury of student
  • Death of family member
  • Recognized religious holiday 
Facility Note Required
  • Medical/Dental appointments 
  • Court dates

Religious Holidays

If your student is absent due to a religious reason please complete the Religious Holiday Absence Form and return the form three days before the date of the religious event.

District Attendance Policies

Excused Absences

State law and district attendance policy allow the parent/guardian to write notes to document and excuse up to ten days of student absence for illness or excusable reasons per year; five days in the first term (August–January) and five days in the second term (January–June).

Beyond those ten days, if a student has a serious reason to miss additional days, the school principal can review parent requests to excuse up to five more days per year for a total of 15 days. That is a significant amount of time out of school especially when students have to make up the missed work and keep up with the new work. Students do not receive credit for work made up for unexcused absences, which will impact their grades.

Beyond 15 days per year, only doctor/therapist or court notes are accepted to excuse absences. It is very important to document all days of absence with a note, which must be turned in at school even if the reason for absences does not allow the day to be excused. It is important to note that family vacations are not excusable days. Questions about attendance should be directed to the attendance clerk at your child's school.

Unexcused Absences

When students begin to accrue "unexcused absences," the district is required to monitor the student's attendance. Calls are made to the home on the day of absence. Letters are sent home when the students begin to have more unexcused absences.
When the unexcused days total ten in a 90-day period or five in a 30-day period, the school counselor is required to hold a Student Study Team (SST) meeting to talk with the parent/guardian about why the student is missing school and make a plan to reduce the number of unexcused absences. Remember, students can easily fall behind in learning when they miss days of school.
If the unexcused absences do not stop, the district is required to refer the student's family for additional services. Failure to have a child attend school is a legal violation. In severe cases, the parent/guardian may be required to go to court to explain the situation to a judge and can be placed on probation. No one wants this to happen, so it is very important that the home and school work together toward student achievement and success.

Attendance Makes a Difference

Good Attendance: 9 or Fewer Absences
  • Students with good attendance generally achieve higher grades and enjoy school more.
  • Students benefit most from their educational opportunities if they attend school regularly and on time.
Warning: 10–17 Absences
  • Students absent an average of 15 days per year will miss a year's worth of school before their senior year. 
  • When students miss a day of school, it actually puts them two days behind their classmates.
Chronic Absenteeism: 18 or More Absences
  • Excused and unexcused absences represent lost time in the classroom and lost opportunities to learn.
  • Missing just one day every two weeks adds up to 18 days in a year.