Monday, September 30, 2013

LMSD Wants to Inform Parents of Attendance Issue

The Louisville Municipal School District would like to remind parents and guardians of students that a recent law change could result in your child being classified as "absent" if you check them out early during the school day.

The Mississippi Legislature enacted House Bill 1530 that defines the minimal percent of the school day that a student must attend or be considered absent for the entire school day.
The bill changed the concept from a percentage of the school day as a whole to a percentage of the "instructional day" for each specific student. The student's scheduled classes would determine if they had met the minimum requirement of 63% attendance. In other words, the time of day that a student is checked out of school is of less importance than the amount of classroom instruction that student had received during the day prior to checking out.

This open letter was provided by Louisville Elementary Principal Belinda Swart but applies to all students and schools in the District:

Dear Parents or Guardians:
The Mississippi legislature enacted House Bill #1530 during the 2013 Session that states a student absent for more than 37% of his/her unique instruction day is to be considered absent for the entire school day.  
“MDE has interpreted that the intent of the House Bill NO.1530 is to calculate 63% of the individual student’s instruction day, not 63% of the school’s instructional day.  Each individual student’s instructional day will vary based upon the local school board’s policy for early release of high school students, IEPs, dual cred/dual enrollment, participation in extra-curricular activities, etc.”
Throughout a student’s school day, most of the student’s time is spent being instructed.  However, there are a few exceptions such as recess, lunch, and between classes.  Depending upon the grade and teacher, each child has a different instructional schedule.  Basically, in order to be considered present, a child must be in attendance for 63% of their instructional day.  If not, a child will be considered absent.
Also, please notice that the Louisville Municipal School District handbook policy clearly states that a parent or guardian cannot sign a student out of school after 2:00 without proof of a doctor’s appointment.  Please make sure you are following the policy.  
Thanks for your help.