Most students miss at least some school between kindergarten and graduation.
The main reasons state law recognizes for being absent are:
• Illness or other urgent reasons.
• Health care, such as doctors' appointments, if it is not "practical or possible for the student to receive the services outside of school hours" and has a "minimum of interference" with the student's studies.
• Religious holidays and religious in-struction of up to 36 hours per school year.
• Nonschool-sponsor- ed educational tours and trips if approved by the superintendent or a designee in advance.
• Approved tutorial work in a field not offered in the district's curriculum.
To count the absences as excused, parents must follow the district policies, including turning in parental or doctor notes and limitations on trips.
District policies vary, particularly on the length of trips. Policies include limits such as five or 10 days in a school year or don't set a specific number but consider a student's record.
Some districts spell out some urgent reasons, such death in the family, court appearances, quarantine and impassable roads.
Schools usually require students to submit an excuse for an absence within three days or it is marked unexcused. Many district policies state students are not permitted to make up work for unexcused absences.
Attendance is compulsory beginning when the child enters first grade, which may be no later than age 8. Compulsory attendance does not apply to kindergarten.
The requirements continue until the age of 17 or graduation from high school, whichever is first.