March 1, 2024

Student Attendance

I. Purpose of Policy

Student attendance is a vital component to school success, and there is no substitute for regular daily attendance. It is the policy of the Hartford School District to set high expectations for consistent school attendance in accordance with Vermont law and Windsor County Truancy Policy in order to facilitate and enhance student learning.

II. Policy Scope

This policy applies to;

  • All students who are enrolled in a Hartford School District school or program,
  • All children who are of compulsory school age and live within the town of Hartford, Vermont.

III. Definitions:

Compulsory School Age: Pupils, between the ages of 6 and 16 in the course of the school year are required to attend school for the full number of days that school is held, unless they are excused from attendance as provided in state law. Students who are over the age of 16 are required to attend school continually for the full number of the school days for which they are enrolled, unless they are determined by a clinician and the superintendent to be mentally or physically unable to continue, or are otherwise excused by the superintendent in writing.

Excused Absence: Any absence that is due to physical or mental illness, school-sponsored activities, religious holiday, bereavement, court appearances, or other absence approved by the superintendent or a majority of the school directors. The school may, at its option, assign and grade makeup work for excused absences. But, if no provision is made for make-up work, the student will not be penalized.

Unexcused Absence: Any absence that is not included in the definition of excused absences. The school assumes no responsibility for assigning and grading makeup work for unexcused absences.

Excessive: Any number of tardies or absence that contributes to a regression in a pupil’s academic performance and/or social and emotional well-being.

Student Attendance Evaluation Process: Each school will develop a written Student Attendance Evaluation Process which will establish the standards by which student absences, tardies and early departures will be evaluated. The Student Attendance Evaluation Process must be approved by the Superintendent. The Student Attendance Evaluation Process will take into account the student’s academic performance, the impact of the absences, tardies and/or early departures upon the learning environment and other relevant factors in determining the consequences that may be imposed, up to and including: grade retention, loss of credit or requirement of remedial work.

IV. Policy Statement

In accordance with the Windsor County Truancy Policy, the Hartford School District will, at a minimum, fulfill the following responsibilities. With the approval in writing by the Superintendent, schools may adopt more stringent standards.


Shall appoint a truant officer annually and record the appointment with the clerk of the school district by July 3 of each year. 16 VSA 1125

Notify DCF, the State’s Attorney, and local law enforcement of the appointment

The school board or its designee will establish a procedure for tracking and investigating the enrolment status of children of compulsory school age who reside within the school district.


Identify those students with excessive absences and/or tardies.

Five or more days of unexcused absences within a school year is defined as excessive.

A pattern of 10 or more unexcused tardies or early school departures or failure to attend classes as defined by the school within a school year.

Excessive Absences and Tardies

The school shall make personal contact with the parents or guardian of any student identified as having excessive unexcused absences to express the school’s concern. This personal contact may be followed with a letter from the school to the student’s parents or guardians.

Notify superintendent or school directors about the student of concern. (16 VSA 1126)

Notify truant officer about the student of concern. (16 VSA 1126)

After 10 days of unexcused absences and/or 20 or more unexcused tardies within a semester, the school shall either arrange a Coordinated Services Plan (in accordance with Act 264), meeting (elementary, middle and high schools) or, when applicable, refer the student to their sending school for the equivalent process (Hartford Regional Collaborative programs such as RAP, HACTC, etc.).

If the Coordinated Services Plan is not successful and more formal state intervention is deemed necessary, make a formal referral to DCF Central Intake. 16 VSA 1127(c)

All Absences

Notify parents when a student reaches 10 absences (excused or unexcused).

If a student is absent (excused or unexcused) for 15 days the principal (or designee) will initiate the Student Attendance Evaluation Process for that school. 


Investigate issue of excessive unexcused absences.

If a student is absent without cause, provide written notice to parent of the concern about non-attendance and provide notice of the need for the child to attend school. 16 VSA 1127 (a). Copies of the written notice to the parent shall be provided to DCF, the Hartford or Springfield Justice Center, and the State’s Attorney.

If a parent alleges a medical/mental health reason for the student’s non-attendance, superintendent (or truant officer as designee) shall contact outside medical/mental health providers to verify/refute allegation of a medical/mental health reason for the absences 16 VSA 1124.

After 7 days of unexcused absences explore in collaboration with the justice center, the student of concern, and the family, community based restorative strategies for rectifying the problem.

Maintain an on-going record of unexcused absences

V. References

Legal Reference(s):

16 V.S.A. §§1121 et seq. (Attendance required)


VT State Board of Education Manual of Rules & Practices: §2120.8.3.3

Cross Reference:

Admission of Resident Students (F13)


Admission of Non-Resident Tuition Students (F14)

Responsible Owner:

Hartford School District

Contact(s): email

Approved By:

Hartford School Board

Revision History:


Approval History:




Current Approval Date:




Related Polices & Procedures:




Related Job Aids: