North Dakota law contains compulsory attendance requirements for students ages seven through sixteen. West Fargo Public Schools believes there is an intangible benefit associated with being present in the classroom. Students are required to attend school 90% of the academic school year. For more information on the district's attendance policy, review administrative policy Policies & Forms / FFB-AP: Attendance & Absences (k12.nd.us).
If your child will not be in school, please call the school office before the school day begins, with the following information:
- Child's Name
- Child's Classroom Teacher
- Reason for Absence
Unexcused and unverified absences result when a student skips school or if no phone call has been received by the school. Repeated unexcused/unverified absences or truancy may result in a referral to juvenile authorities through our SARB process.
If you know in advance that your child will be absent due to an appointment, funeral, vacation, etc., please notify your child's classroom teacher and the school office. In the event a child needs to be picked up prior to the end of the school day, a parent/guardian must report to the school office and request the child be dismissed from class. The parent/guardian may call ahead to request the child be ready, but they must still report to the school office.
Why is SARB/School Attendance Important?
What is SARB?
School Attendance Review Board (SARB) is composed of representatives from various youth-serving agencies to help truant or recalcitrant students and their parents or guardians solve attendance problems through the use of available school and community resources.
What is chronic absenteeism?
A student is chronically absent if he or she misses school 10 percent of the time or more for any reason.
Why is school attendance important?
Research shows school absences can have a lasting impact on learning. One study on third grade reading level found the following:
- Chronically absent children gained 14 percent fewer literacy skills in kindergarten than those who attended more regularly.
- For students chronically absent in both kindergarten and first grade, only 17 percent scored proficient.
- Only 64 percent of third grade students who missed nine days or fewer in both kindergarten and first grade were reading at grade level.
- Only 43 percent of third graders who missed more than nine days both years were reading at grade level.
- Only 41 percent of students who were absent 18 or more days in either kindergarten or first grade could read at grade level. (chronic absence)
- Of the students who missed 18 or more days in consecutive years, only 17 percent were reading at grade level. (chronic absence)
According to a Utah study:
- On average, being chronically absent in one grade increased the odds of being chronically absent in the next grade by nearly thirteen times.
- A student who was chronically absent in any year, starting in the 8th grade, was 7.4 times more likely to drop out of school than a student who was not chronically absent during any of those year.