Chapter 9.16
COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE

Sections:

9.16.010    Definitions.

9.16.020    Compulsory attendance.

9.16.030    Violation.

9.16.040    Enforcement.

9.16.050    Penalties.

9.16.010 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply to this title:

Child” means an individual of school age as defined by state law.

Knowingly” means, with respect to conduct or to a circumstance described by a provision of law defining an offense, that a person is aware that his or her conduct is of that nature or that the circumstance exists; when knowledge of the existence of a particular fact is an element of an offense or violation, that knowledge is established if a person is aware of a substantial probability of its existence, unless that person actually believes it does not exist.

Notice” means in-person or telephonic notification, or written notification of an absence via email, facsimile transmission, hand delivery, or U.S. Mail received by the school. Notice is considered to be timely when it is (A) not required to be prior notice and (B) is received by the school no later than the close of business on the second school attendance day following any absence requested to be excused. Notices must be provided by the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the child, must clearly state the reason for the absence, and must include a working telephone number, if one exists, so that the school official can confirm the excuse within regular school hours.

Tardy” means unexcused arrival at school or a specified class, as applicable, after the scheduled starting time. (Ord. 2014-28 § 2, 2014. 2004 Code § 9.20.010.)

9.16.020 Compulsory attendance.

A. Every child between seven and 16 years of age shall attend school pursuant to AS 14.30.010(a). Every parent, guardian, or other person having the responsibility for or control of a child between seven and 16 years of age shall maintain the child in regular attendance during the entire school term. This section does not apply if a child is provided an academic education pursuant to the provisions of AS 14.30.010(b) or any applicable successor statute.

B. If a parent, legal guardian, or other person having the responsibility for or control of a child elects to enroll a child who is six years of age in first grade in public school, the child is subject to the provisions of this section after enrollment. If the parent or guardian of a child so enrolled determines within 60 days of enrollment that the best interests of the child are not being served by enrollment in first grade, the child may be withdrawn from school, and the provisions of this section do not apply until the child is seven years of age.

C. A student aged 16 or older who is enrolled in public school is responsible for his or her attendance unless otherwise provided by law. (Ord. 2014-28 § 2, 2014. 2004 Code § 9.20.020.)

9.16.030 Violation.

A. A person who fails to comply with this title is guilty of a violation. Each five days of unlawful absence is a separate violation.

B. Unlawful absences shall be determined in accordance with this title and FNSBSD policies and regulations regarding attendance. In the event of any conflict between this title and FNSBSD policies or regulations regarding compulsory attendance, the provisions of this title shall control.

1. The following shall not be considered unlawful absences under this section:

a. Absences from school due to temporary illness or injury not exceeding five consecutive school days to not total more than 10 sick days per semester where the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the student has provided the school with notice of the illness or injury on the day of absence or the following two attendance days;

b. Absences from school due to temporary illness or injury where the school has been timely notified of the student’s illness and where the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the student has provided an excuse from a physician or other medical care professional on the day of absence or the following two attendance days;

c. Absences from school due to illness or injury verified by the school nurse and for which the school nurse has notified the school as to the date(s) and duration of the absence;

d. Absences due to chronic illness where the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the child or student has provided an excuse from a physician or other medical care professional;

e. Absences due to medical or dental appointment which cannot be scheduled outside the school day where the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the student has provided timely notice and confirmation of the date and time of the appointment from the physician, dentist, or other health care provider;

f. Absences due to religious holidays or observances after timely notice to the school;

g. Absences due to suspension or expulsion;

h. Absences due to participation in a school-sponsored activity;

i. Absences due to participation in an extracurricular activity if excused by the school district after timely notice;

j. Absences due to prearranged vacation if excused by the school district after prior written notice;

k. Absences due to family medical emergency, including death, where the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the child has provided timely notice;

l. Absences due to natural or other disaster (fire, flood, acts of a public enemy);

m. Absences due to court appearances or court order for which the school district receives timely notice (including the applicable court, case number, and dates/times of absence);

n. Absences due to deployment of a parent or legal guardian in the military service of the U.S. Armed Forces if excused by the school district after prior notice;

o. Absences due to college visits or educational trips if excused by the school district after prior notice;

p. Absences due to unforeseeable circumstances if excused by the school district after timely notice;

q. Absences expressly permitted by state law; and

r. Absences due to homelessness or student in transition status as verified by the homeless liaison.

2. The following are unlawful absences:

a. Absences from school due to illness exceeding five consecutive school days to not total more than 10 sick days in a semester unless excused by a note from a treating physician or other medical provider received by the school district within two school attendance days of the last day of absence;

b. Absences other than those listed in subsection (B)(1) of this section or listed in school board policy.

C. Days of Absence. Days of unlawful absence shall be calculated as follows:

1. Elementary Students.

a. Partial-Day Absence. A student who misses more than 60 minutes of the school day shall be marked absent for one-half of that day unless excused by the school.

b. Full Day Absence. A student who is absent for more than one-half of the school day unless excused by the school.

2. Secondary Students.

a. Class Absence. A secondary student who arrives more than 10 minutes after the start of the class, who is absent for the class period, or who leaves the class more than 10 minutes before the end of class shall be marked absent for the class unless excused by the school.

b. Full Day Absence. A secondary student shall be marked as absent for a full day as set out below unless excused by the school:

i. A secondary student who is absent for 50 percent or more of their scheduled classes for a single day; or

ii. A secondary student who incurs three single class absences not occurring on the same day. (Ord. 2015-10 §§ 2, 3, 2015; Ord. 2014-28 § 2, 2014. 2004 Code § 9.20.030.)

9.16.040 Enforcement.

A. A truancy officer shall have the authority to investigate compulsory attendance violations, file complaints and serve summonses and complaints for violations of this title. The truancy officer shall have the authority to issue citations for violations of this title.

B. The superintendent of schools shall designate one individual to perform the duties of the truancy officer as noted in this title.

C. No person shall interfere with, molest or hinder any truancy officer in the performance of any duty under this title. (Ord. 2014-28 § 2, 2014. 2004 Code § 9.20.040.)

9.16.050 Penalties.

A. Upon conviction, the penalty(ies)/fine(s) set forth in FNSBC Title 1 regarding compulsory attendance violations may be satisfied by attending school without any unexcused absences and/or tardies for two consecutive months or until the end of the school year, whichever is sooner. The school district may of its own initiative file notice of satisfaction of attendance requirements with the court, or the defendant may request same for filing with the court after the applicable time frame has elapsed.

B. Voluntary Disposition Before Arraignment. Citations for violations of this title for which a particular amount is provided as the fine in FNSBC Title 1 may be disposed of without court appearance by submitting payment of the fine amount and applicable statutory surcharge together with the completed/signed citation indicating a “no contest” plea to the Alaska Court System within 30 days.

C. In lieu of a citation and the penalties authorized in FNSBC Title 1, the school district at its discretion may refer violations for prosecution to the borough legal department under this title via complaint and summons, and/or may refer compulsory attendance issues to the district attorney’s office for prosecution under Alaska Statutes relating to delinquency of a minor.

D. A person who knowingly violates a provision of this title is guilty of a violation and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00 per violation and attendance at parenting or other training or other penalty deemed appropriate by the court if prosecuted by information/complaint.

E. Nothing within this chapter shall pre-empt any Fairbanks North Star Borough school district policy(ies) regarding grading or course credit that may be tied to attendance and/or classroom participation.

F. Controlling Authority. In the event of a conflict between any school district policy or regulation and this title, the provisions of this title shall control. (Ord. 2014-28 § 2, 2014. 2004 Code § 9.20.050.)