School Attendance Regulations:
State of Hawaii Department of Education
HRS (Hawaii Revised Statutes) 302A-1131 Public schools; attendance: a child who is 6 years of age and not yet 18 on January 1st. of any school year, is required to attend either a public or private school unless properly excused from school.
HRS 302A-1135 a parent/guardian who does not enforce child’s regular school attendance may be guilty of a petty misdemeanor for which the penalty is a fine of up to $1000 (HRS 706-640) or jail time for up to 30 days (HRS 706-663).
HR302A-1136 enforcement: places the responsibility for enforcing compulsory attendance with the Department of Education (DOE). Students who are chronic absentees may be referred to Family Court.
HRS571-11(2) Family Court can place a child under its jurisdiction for truancy if the child is not attending school or is not receiving the educational services required by law. The following may occur if a child is truant:
Key Definitions in Attendance
School Sanction: a student considered a first time truant should be subjected to a school level sanction which may include counseling, parent teacher conference and detention.
Level 2 Family Court Referral: Repeated incidents of truancy may result in the student and parent or guardian being referred by the school to the State Attorney General’s office for Family Court intervention.
Truancy: Student is absent without authorization and is not receiving educational services as a result of student’s own actions or inactions.
Absent: The student is not physically present in school for at least one-half of the school day or at least one-half of a scheduled class period. A student who misses any class due to participating in an authorized AMS activity will not be marked absent.
Authorized School Activity: Activity that is school related such as, but is not limited to:
- Appointments with counselor/administration
- Treatment in health room
- Assigned detention or in-school suspension
- School related employment, including work-study programs
- Community service projects approved by school administrators
- Student council related activities
- Field trips
- Early admission programs
Authorized absences may include: illness, injury, quarantine, death in family, court attendance, medical or dental appointment that cannot be scheduled before or after school; emergency situation with proper notification from parents; religious observances; or special cases as approved by the principal.
Authorized tardies may include: all applicable cases listed under authorized absences; students detained by any other member of the school staff; or emergency situations as approved by the school administrator.
Arriving on Campus
The teacher’s workday officially begins at 7:45 a.m. Students should not be dropped off at school before this time.
Students who arrive after the tardy bell rings at 7:55 A.M. are to report directly to the front office and check in with the attendance clerk. This applies no matter what time in the day the student arrives. Students with notes from parents for extenuating circumstances (doctor appointments, etc.) will be sent to class with an admit slip. Students without an acceptable excuse (overslept, etc.) will be charged with a tardy.
Tardy to Class
Students who arrive after the tardy bell to any class during the day without a pass will be marked tardy and will be written up as tardy and/or sent to Administration. In most cases, students will be marked as tardy, remain in class, and the write-up will be sent to Administration. Each case is judged on its own merits depending on the number of times a student accumulates a tardy and the reason.
3 or more days – homework may be requested by leaving a message on the attendance clerk’s voicemail.
5 or more days – upon return, students should report to attendance clerk with a doctor’s note.
Longer absences – parent/guardian should contact student’s counselor in writing regarding the duration and dates of the absences and reason. A minimum of 4 school days is needed to process extended homework collection. If it is an emergency (death in the family, off island) contact counselor at earliest possible convenience.
Attendance Number and Sample Message
421-4100 ext. 223
Sample Attendance Message:
This is [parent/guardian name.]
My phone number is [contact number.]
My child, [child’s first name & last name] will be absent on [day & date] because [reason for absence].
* Homework requests may be made if the student is absent for 3 or more days.
Leaving the School Campus
Once a student arrives on campus in the morning, the student may not go off campus. Once a student leaves the school campus at the end of the school day, he or she may not return even to board the school bus or participate in practice for sports. Students may not go to the Salt Lake Shopping Center and nearby buildings for health and safety reasons. If students need to leave campus for an appointment, etc., they must bring a note from their parent/guardian to the office before school or parents may call the office at 421-4100 one hour in advance. Those listed on the child’s emergency card will be the only authorized persons to take him/her off the campus. Permission will NOT be granted to leave for social reasons.