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Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the top questions about our attendance policy. Good attendance is critical to learning and achieving your potential. There is a direct link from attendance in class to a student’s grade point average.
 

o Average GPA for Denfeld students with 0-4 absences/year—2.8

o Average GPA for Denfeld students with 10-18 absences/year—2.0


1. What are the goals with the attendance policy?.

• To provide immediate and proactive interventions for students with unexcused absences.

• To provide a total number of allowable absences (both excused/unexcused) per semester course.

• To eliminate the connection between grades and attendance.


2. If my child is absent from school/class, what do I need to do?

• Please call the school attendance office (218)336-8830 ext. 1934 at any time your child will be absent from school. Minnesota’s compulsory attendance laws require children to be in school and for schools to account for each child’s attendance.

• log on to Infinite Campus and review your students record online. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.


3. When is the parent/guardian required to call in an absence?

• For planned absences: Please call the attendance office prior to the absence. Your teen should also speak with his/her teachers in advance to arrange for missed work.

• For unplanned absences: Please call the day of the absence or within 24 hours of your son/daughter’s return to school at  (218)336-8830.

• NOTE: Excused absences require a parent/guardian to call the attendance office or write a note. Without a call or note from the parent/guardian,  absences are recorded as unexcused.


4. Are there guidelines on the number of unexcused and/or excused absences a student may have?

• Students have a total number of allowable absences (both unexcused and/or excused) per semester course.   (i.e. vacation, doctor visits, family emergency.)

• Students who incur three unexcused absences in a semester course will be placed on an attendance contract. Students absent four class periods, unexcused, from a semester credit course during one semester and have been placed on an attendance contract prior to the fourth absence will receive a loss of credit for the course. For a list of unexcused absence types, please refer to the school handbook or the district or Denfeld school website.

• Students who incur eight excused and/or unexcused absences (including combinations) in a semester course will be placed on an attendance contract. Students absent ten class periods from a semester credit course during one semester and have been placed on an attendance contract prior to the tenth absence may receive a loss of credit for the course. For a list of excused absence types, please click here for the link to the District website.  5025 - Attendance Policy

• For a list of school authorized absences, please refer to the district or Denfeld school website.  

5025 - Attendance Policy


5. What are the consequences for an excused and/or unexcused absences?

• With each unexcused absence, the family will receive an automated phone call.  Upon the 2nd unexcused absence, the student will receive detention and talk with staff.  Upon the 3rd unexcused absence, a letter will be sent to the family, and the student will sign an attendance contract with an administrator or designee. The final consequence, upon the 4th unexcused absence, is the loss of credit for the particular semester course, and/or dropped from the class and given a permanent I on the student's transcript.

• Upon the 7th absence (excused and/or unexcused combination,) the family will receive a letter. Lastly, upon the 8th absence (excused and/or unexcused combination,) the student will sign an attendance contract with an administrator or designee. The final consequence, upon the 9th excused/unexcused absence, an attendance appeal must be completed and returned to the Attendance Office. This appeal must be granted to avoid potential loss of credit for the semester course.


6. What does a loss of credit mean? Is there an appeals process?

• Students will receive a loss of credit when they accumulate 4 unexcused absences in a course or 8 excused/unexcused combinations of absences.

• Upon receiving a loss of credit for a semester course, the student may appeal the decision within 5 days. The final decision rests with the Denfeld Administration.

• Families may request a meeting with a principal to discuss credit recovery options.


7. How is make-up work handled?

• The student is responsible for requesting make-up work.

• Upon the student’s return to school, a maximum of two total days is allowed for make-up work for each day missed plus the number of days absent. Additional days for make-up work are at the discretion of each teacher.

• Previously announced projects and/or assessments must be turned in or taken on the day of the student’s return to school. If extenuating circumstances exist, the teacher may grant additional make-up time.

• An administrative conference will be held with students who exhibit a pattern of unexcused absences on assessments days.


8. If my child has to leave school during the school day and I have called in the absence, does my

child still need to check out through the attendance office?

• Yes, when students leave school early, they must check out through the Attendance Office and sign out of the building.

• Students must check in through the Attendance Office also if they arrive late to school to obtain an admittance slip to class. Students missing more than half a class period will be considered “absent.”


9. Can students leave school on their own and without permission during the school day?

• No.  All students are to remain on campus during the school day except during the lunch hour, unless a parent/guardian has called in an absence.  (Closed campus will begin during the 2014-2015 school year for grades 9-11)

•Modified Closed Campus beginning 2014-2015 school year.   

Seniors,will be eligible for a semester off-campus lunch pass, provided they have submitted a signed parent/guardian permission form to the office and are not on any attendance contract. The will be available on the Denfeld school web-site or in the Guidance Office.



10. What if my son/daughter has a long-term illness or a chronic health condition?

The attendance policy may be modified for some long-term or chronic health conditions. Please contact the Health Office of school administrator for assistance at (218)336-8830. We will work with the student who has a illness (non-chronic) that requires the him/her to be out for a significant amount of time.


11. When is a student considered tardy for class?

Students who arrive to class after the tone sounds are considered tardy. Students arriving after 10 minutes without a pass will be considered unexcused. Please encourage your teen to be on time for class to maximize learning and decrease disruptions for all students.

• Consequences for being tardy will be given a detention for  every three tardies.  The Detention may be given at the discretion of the teacher or Administration and will be clearly communicated to students and parents when a detention is given.


The full Attendance Policy is available on the Duluth Public Schools website at

Attendance Policy


For further information, please call Denfeld High School at (218)336-8130


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