Attendance Policy

At HFAA, we want our students and parents/legal guardians to realize the importance of consistent and prompt attendance.  By law, Oklahoma students between the ages of five (5) and eighteen (18) must be enrolled in school.  Parents/legal guardians are responsible for their child's attendance and under Oklahoma law can be fined if they allow children to become truant as regular, on-time attendance is critical to academic success.  Excessive student absences are the most identified factor affecting school failure and dropout rates.

Descriptions and Definitions:

Students are considered present only when they are actually in a classroom or participating in a class or school sponsored activity.  A child is recorded as tardy, whether the tardy is excused or unexcused, when he or she arrives after the start of class but before the class is half over.  A child is recorded as absent, whether the absence is excused or unexcused, when that child is not in a classroom for more than half the class.

Excused tardies are allowed only for the same reasons allowed for excused absences and only with proper written, dated note from parent/legal guardian, bus driver, doctor or dentist's office.

Unexcused tardies occur when the student is late, misses less than half a class, but not for the above reasons. For example, missing the bus or oversleeping, etc., will not be considered as excused.

Excused absences occur when students are not present due to a documented illness or injury, doctor or dental appointment, bereavement, serious illness or emergency in immediate family, and/or bus transportation problems. Any student who has been absent for three days or more due to illness must present a doctor’s note within 10 school days upon returning to school in order for the illness-related absence to be excused.

Unexcused absences occur when students are not present for more than half a class period without a valid excuse.

Legal Truancy in Oklahoma occurs when students reach their 5th unexcused absence in a four (4) week period or ten (10) or more consecutive unexcused absences per semester.

Policy and Procedures:

Tardies:

Students are required to be in class on time.  Besides adversely affecting the student's academic progress, students' late arrival is disruptive to other students and the teaching and learning process.

Please be aware of the following:

  • Students who arrive tardy and unexcused to the classroom after the official start time will not be admitted to class and must report to In School Suspension (ISS) for the remainder of the class period.
  • The teacher will mark a late student as tardy.
  • Multiple tardies will be treated as a disciplinary issue.
  • Telephone calls to the school office excusing a student's tardiness may not be considered acceptable documentation, especially if there are multiple incidences.  If written documentation is needed, you will be notified.

Absences:

Please be aware of the following:

  • All absences are recorded and will accrue to the student’s total absence record.
  • Advisory times and Performance & Exhibition times are considered class time and attendance is mandatory.
  • Due to state notification requirements, parent/legal guardians must contact the school before 10:00 a.m. the day a student is absent to inform the school of the reason for the absence.  Tardies or absences that occur without parent/legal guardian’s knowledge and notification to the office will automatically be considered unexcused.
  • In order for an absence or tardy to be considered excused, proper documentation must be given to the school within 10 school days.
  • Students have the right to make up any missed assignment or assessments caused by an excused tardy or absence. However, the student and/or the student’s parent/legal guardian is responsible to ask teachers for any work missed due to an absence.  Students have one (1) day for each absence to make up all assignments, projects, and testing unless other arrangements are agreed upon in writing with each teacher.
  • Absences due to school-sponsored activities and events are not counted as part of the total absences allowed for a semester.

If a student has more than eight (8) absences per semester, excused and/or unexcused, the student will not receive credit for the class, whether or not the student has a passing grade.  The administration will review each instance of failure to receive credit due to absences to check for extenuating circumstances.  In the case when most of the total absences were excused, the administration may grant credit provided the student has demonstrated diligence at school (refer to the guidelines below) and that the absences were determined to be beyond student or family control.  If the student or their parent/legal guardian does not agree with the administration’s decision to allow or not allow credit, they may appeal to the Academic Advisory Committee of the HFAA Board.  Be aware of the following guidelines:

  • Only excused absences in classes where the student has a “C” or higher will be considered.
  • Appeals to the committee must be delivered to the main office by the last day of the semester.
  • Appeals must be submitted in writing, signed by the parent and student.
  • Absences that have not been documented within the allowed 10 days will not be considered for appeal.
  • Other student behaviors including tardies, attendance/exemptions  during prior semesters, and discipline record may impact the committee’s decision.
  • In an effort to promote long-term student success, the committee is not inclined to grant exemptions on an on-going basis.

Requests that fall outside these conditions for appeal may also be sent to the Academic Advisory Committee, provided that both the parent/guardian and HFAA administration agree that there are unusual and important circumstances that warrant consideration.

Legal Truancy:

Truant students will be held to the Harding Fine Arts Student Code of Conduct.

  • Truant children can be detained by police officers and taken to the nearest THRIVE Center.
  • School officials must report truancy to the office of the District Attorney for Oklahoma County.  Parents/legal guardians can be fined up to $100.00 per day each day their child is truant from school.
  • The Department of Transportation may revoke the student’s driver’s license.
  • State law requires that a student be dropped from our rolls if he/she has been absent unexcused for ten consecutive days.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND ACTIVITIES

A maximum of ten (10) days of school sponsored activity absences (SSA) are permitted during the school year.  Students may choose not to take part in any activity whenever they feel the permitted number of activity absences will be exceeded.  Students will not be reprimanded or punished for missing that activity.

PERFECT ATTENDANCE

Students who have no more than half a day (four classes) of absences and fewer than 6 unexcused tardies each semester are eligible for perfect attendance recognition.