Dear FHUSD Families and Friends,
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great winter break.
This edition of the Falcon Focus addresses an updated Arizona Department of Education (ADE) attendance guideline that is of importance to all families. State law requires that all student absences and the reason for the absence must be recorded by a school. Absences fall into the categories of excused and unexcused. For the 2018-19 school year the Arizona Department of Education defined an excused absence as one of the following: illness, doctor appointment, bereavement, family emergencies, major religious holidays of a family's faith, and out-of-school suspensions. In order for an absence to be recorded as excused, the school must be notified in advance or at the time of the absence by the parent or other person who has custody of the student. If notification is not possible on the day of the absence, the school should be notified on the day the student returns to school. It is a school district decision to determine if absences due to a family vacation will be recorded as excused or unexcused. If the school receives no notification, the absence is recorded as unexcused. Also, an absence relating to any other term or condition not covered by either ADE or Governing Board policy will be recorded as unexcused. This updated FHUSD attendance procedure is posted on the homepage of the district website and found under the
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The state formula for calculating our operating budget is primarily based on student enrollment and average daily membership. When a student absence count, either excused or unexcused, reaches 10% of the school year, continued absences may then result in reduced district funding for those periods of time. While we strongly encourage regular attendance as a significant factor that contributes to academic success, it also plays a role in determining the fiscal resources available for school and district operations.
We appreciate your consideration of this state mandated guideline.
Rob Allen, Ed.D.