Western Dubuque Community School District
Address: 310 4th St. SW, PO Box 68 | Farley, IA 52046
Phone: (563) 744-3885
Fax: (563) 744-3093
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Attendance
Attendance: Is It Really a Parent's Responsibility?

In the state of Iowa, the juvenile code for compulsory education reads as follows: Chapter 299.1A: A child who has reached the age of six and is under sixteen years of age by September 15 is of compulsory attendance age (i.e. mandatory attender). By law, a student MUST be in attendance 37 days out of every quarter. Each quarter has an average of 45 days. For a kindergarten student attending school every other day, each day is worth two days. Remember, this is the law and not a school board policy.

The law indicates it is the parents' responsibility to make sure their child is in school. Parents are sanctioned when a student is determined to be in violation of the compulsory education code. The penalties are strict and include monetary fines and jail time. In Dubuque and Delaware counties, parents are prosecuted if their children do not attend school as directed by law. If the parents are doing all they can to cause their children to attend school, then the child/children are assisted in getting to school according to the compulsory law.

Truancy is a problem for some students. The At-Risk Coordinator is available to assist in getting truant students to school. Students who are approaching truancy also receive assistance from the At-Risk Coordinator in an attempt to prevent truancy. Some of the interventions used include phone calls to parents, letters to parents, and conferences with students and/or parents as a first step. When these measures do not meet with success, there are other means to address the attendance issue. It is the goal of the At-Risk Coordinator and the school to avoid court involvement whenever possible.

When a student misses any part of the school day he/she is affected in many ways. In addition to losing academically, the student is deprived of the benefits of teacher directed instruction, opportunities to develop social skills, and cooperative learning opportunities. Many times students decide to drop out of school because of the problems that result from being absent or missing parts of school days. These are just a few ways a student's life is affected when an absence occurs. Link together several absences, tardies, or early releases, and you can see that the student is seriously affected in a negative way. Attendance patterns are established from the first day of kindergarten, and will carry over into the career once a student graduates. We want it to be a pattern of consistent, daily attendance rather than a pattern of frequent absences.

At Western Dubuque Schools, many attempts are made to ensure that each and every student attends school daily as scheduled. School is the student's main job. Our hope is that ALL students and parents realize the importance of a good education to success after formal schooling has ended. To get the best education possible, please remember that attendance is one of the key factors.

If you have questions regarding truancy, or need some assistance getting your child to school, please contact Vicky Coyle, At-Risk Coordinator at (563) 744-3885 x 6040.
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