HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
 
The Board of Education, Administration and Faculty of FLHS believe that regular school attendance is vital to academic achievement and future life success. Minnesota State Law and Dept. of Education regulations require daily attendance. Students of Forest Lake High School will be expected to be diligent and punctual in attendance and will be held accountable for absences and tardiness. We ask parents/guardians to follow the procedures listed below and do everything they can to see that their son/daughter attends school regularly. Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students to discuss attendance concerns.
TO EXCUSE AN ABSENCE

The parent/guardian is encouraged to leave a message on the Attendance Hotline (651-982-8414) prior to, or the day of the absence. The information needs to include: 1) name of parent/guardian, 2) name and grade of student, 3) date of absence, and 4) reason for the absence.

If absences are not cleared by a parent/guardian, the absence will be considered unexcused and/or truant.
 
UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

Forest Lake High School, in cooperation with the three counties from which it draws, utilizes the attendance guidelines of the county juvenile justice systems. Examples of unexcused absences include, but not limited to:
  • alarm malfunction 
  • drivers training 
  • needed to help at home 
  • babysitting 
  • missed bus 
  • senior skip day 
  • personal (no reason given)
  • overslept 
  • senior pictures
  • shopping 
  • visiting 
  • work 
  • personal grooming 
  • leaving school without checking out with the Student Service or Health Office 
Unexcused absences are considered to be truancies by county officials. If your student has excessive unexcused absences with excessive truancies, he/she may be petitioned to the county under Minnesota Statute 120A.34. Leaving school without permission is considered to be a truancy.

If absences are Unexcused or Truant:

*Students that have an unexcused or truant absence will receive no credit from their teachers for the activities performed on the day of the absence.

*Students with unexcused absences or truancies will be given appropriate consequences by their Dean or Assistant Principal. Consequences will be progressive with succeeding unexcused absences and truancies.

EXCUSED ABSENCES

Situations arise in which a student will have to be excused from school. Examples of excused absences include, but not limited to:
  • illness* (see note below)
  • pre-arranged military visit
  • suspensions 
  • family vacations**(see note below) 
  • family emergencies
  • school directed activities
  • one-day college visits
  • extreme weather (that create unsafe conditions) 
  • bus transportation problems
  • religious holidays (approved by the school board) 
  • counseling appointments
  • doctor/dentist appointments
  • driver's test 
  • court appearance
Note: *The school reserves the right to require medical verification in cases where student absences are excessive.

**The amount of classroom instruction and work missed can be overwhelming and is critical for future success. While the school recognizes the value of family time and trips, we encourage parents & families to schedule trips to coincide with scheduled school vacations. (see pre-arranged absences)

***Families are encouraged to notify the school in the event of a pending absence. It is the student’s responsibility to inform their teachers of the absence and make arrangements to make up their work in a timely manner.

Unique situations may occur that must be cleared by the Principal and/or Designee prior to the absence. Whether an absence is excused, unexcused, or truant shall be determined by the Principal and/or Principal Designee.
RETURNING TO SCHOOL AFTER AN ABSENCE

If a parent/guardian has phoned the office or attendance hotline, the student should report directly to class.
If a parent/guardian has written a note, the student should report to the Student Services Office to turn in the note and obtain an pass to class.
If a parent/guardian has NOT phoned the attendance hotline or sent a note, the student should report to class. The absence will be reported as unexcused.
 
 
PENDING ABSENCES

An absence will be classified as PENDING for 3 days if a parent/guardian has not communicated an excuse. A pending status will convert to truant if the parent and/or student don’t clear the absence.


STATE TOURNAMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE

If a Forest Lake team is competing in the state tournament, students will be allowed to attend the game if they have filled out a pre-arranged absence form. Dismissal times will be such that students are allowed ample time to watch the game in which Forest Lake is participating.

If Forest Lake High School is not competing in a state tournament, students may attend if a pre-arranged absence form is completed and turned in to the Student Services office prior to leaving.


FIELD TRIPS/SCHOOL SPONSORED EVENTS

School activities will be cleared by the teacher, advisor, or coach of the group.


STUDENTS ARRIVING LATE TO SCHOOL

Parents/guardians are asked to call the Student Services Office prior to the student’s late arrival at school or send a note with the student. A student arriving thirty minutes late or less for 1st hour should report directly to class. A student arriving late to 1st hour should report to the Student Services for a pass.


LEAVING SCHOOL

Students who need to leave the school during the regular school day must obtain a Leave School Pass from the Student Services Office. The Leave School Pass will be issued with prior parental consent (note or phone call) or special permission of a Dean or Assistant Principal. Students are to check back into the Student Services Office when they return.

Any student who is outside the building at any time during the school day without a pass will be considered truant and will be subject to disciplinary action.
 
 
TARDINESS

Students are expected to be in the classroom by the time the bell rings to signal the start of class. Teachers will issue consequences for tardiness. Students will receive no credit or partial credit for the class activities performed before their arrival. Students who are frequently tardy will be referred to a Dean or Assistant Principal.
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