SPANISH FORK Nebo District Board of Education is trying to reach a practical balance on what is a good reason for students to miss school.
The board plans to discuss but take no action on the district's proposed revisions of elementary and secondary attendance policies during its meeting at 6 tonight in the district office board room, 350 S. Main, Spanish Fork.
The board also aims to announce several new school administrators during the meeting.
The district's goal is to be aligned with State Code as updated by the Legislature last session. State law says a student can miss school for illness, family death or approved school outing. There are also exceptions related to a student's Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is for special-needs children and is developed pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. Also excluded are students using Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For example, a student with a broken leg can miss physical education classes.
State law allows for five unexcused absences.
Some educators say the law doesn't take into consideration doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointments.
Two committees, consisting of Nebo district personnel and school administrators, have been formed to discuss the secondary and elementary attendance policy revisions.
The attendance policy drafts should be ready for the board to review in March and there could be a vote in April, district officials say.
Nebo district also wants to tighten up parts of the district policy that may be vague, such as the segment that refers to absences for a family activity.
Reed Park, Nebo district legal counsel, said it's the minority of people who are abusing the attendance policy.
"If a family is going to take an occasional ski trip or go hunting, those are good wholesome activities the students can do but not to the point where it jeopardizes their education," Park said.
During recent board discussions, board member Collin Allan said, "They need to be accountable."
Board member K.L. Tischner said, "It's not important to some parents."