Attendance Matters
  • Nashua Board of Education Policy JH-R





    The Nashua Board of Education has a duty to provide elementary and secondary education for students in

    Nashua. Daily attendance by each student is vital for fulfilling this duty. It is the right of every student to

    receive a public education and it is the legal responsibility of parents to ensure that students attend on a

    daily basis.


    When students are truant, the Board is committed to trying to assist parents with their duty to have

    students attend school. However, if the truancy persists after genuine efforts to assist parents, the Board

    may request court intervention to compel attendance.


    The principal of each school is responsible for attendance and truancy issues at his/her school. Principals

    may designate an individual to assist them as the coordinator of attendance and truancy issues.


    I. Definitions

    These definitions apply to all attendance related policies:

    1. Tardy. Any student who is not at school or in class on time and has not been excused is tardy.

    2. Half Day of Absence. “Half day of absence” means that a student received at least three hours of

    instructional time, but less than a full day of instructional time.

    3. Truancy. “Truancy” means an unexcused absence or tardiness from school.

    4. Habitual Truancy. “Habitual truancy” means ten half days or more of unexcused absences during

    a school year.

    5. Unexcused Absence. An “unexcused absence” is an absence which has not been excused.

    6. Excused Absence. An “excused absence” is an absence approved by a school principal.

    7. Early Dismissal. “Early Dismissal” is any dismissal before the end of the school day.


    II. Absences


    Excused Absences


    Excused absences, late arrivals and early dismissals are sometimes necessary for the health and welfare of

    the student, or result from a significant family emergency or school-sponsored activity. When an excused

    absence originates from outside the school, it must be documented and, when possible, this

    documentation should be done in advance. Policy JH-R gives detailed information about the

    requirements and procedures to be followed.


    The Board considers the following to be excused absences:

    a. Illness

    b. Recovery from an accident

    c. Required court attendance

    d. Medical and dental appointments

    e. Death in the immediate family

    f. Observation or celebration of a bona fide religious holiday

    g. Approved participation in a school co-curricular or extra-curricular activity

    h. Field trips

    i. Out-of-school suspensions

    j. College visits

    k. Such other good cause as may be acceptable to the Principal or permitted by law


    Principals (or their designees) may consider requests from parents to approve excused absences for other

    extenuating circumstances.


    Unexcused Absences


    Note that the following are considered unexcused absences:


    • Family vacations

    • Work

    • Car or transportation problems, not including late bus arrival

    • Non-medical appointments

    • Providing child-care


    At the discretion of the principal, class time missed due to habitual tardiness may be counted towards half

    days of unexcused absence.


    If parents are dissatisfied with an unexcused absence decision, they may request a conference with the

    Principal to again explain the reasons for non-attendance. The Principal may then reconsider the initial

    determination. However, the Principal’s decision shall be final.

    Absence and Extracurricular Activities


    In order to participate in extracurricular activities students must attend a full day of school on the day of

    the activity, or, if the activity occurs on a non-school day, the last school day preceding the activity.

    Exceptions for an excused absence may be granted by a school administrator.


    III. Intervention


    The Board directs the Superintendent, Truant Officer(s), Principals and staff to intervene and ensure daily

    school attendance according to the District attendance protocol policy JHA.


    When necessary and after the steps of policy JHA have been followed, the Truant Officer(s) may pursue

    available legal remedies to resolve the truancy.


    IV. Reporting


    The Superintendent will provide a report to the Board in January and June of each year on District

    attendance. At a minimum this report will provide both a breakdown of excused absences and unexcused

    absences for each school. Each of these breakdowns will include the numbers of students who have: 0-4,

    5-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, and 31 or more absences. The number of five (5) and ten (10) day

    letters that have been waived will also be reported.

    Nashua Board of Education Policy JH


    V. Consequences


    Any secondary student with twenty or more unexcused absences may be prohibited from any extracurricular activities and may lose all privileges for a period of one year from the date of the last offense.

    The District reserves the right to pursue legal action with parents who fail to meet their legal

    responsibility to ensure their children attend school on a daily basis.


    Legal References:

    RSA 193:1 Duty of Parent; Compulsory Attendance by Pupil

    RSA 193:7 Penalty

    RSA 193:8 Notice Requirements

    RSA 193:16 School Attendance

    NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed 306.04 (a) (1), Attendance and Absenteeism

    NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed 306.04 (c), Policy Relative to Attendance and


    NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed 306.18 (c) (6)

    RSA 189:35-a Truancy Defined

    RSA 189:1-a Duty to Provide Education

    Legal References Disclaimer: These references are not intended to be considered part of this

    policy, nor should they be taken as a comprehensive statement of the legal basis for the Board to

    enact this policy, nor as a complete recitation of related legal authority. Instead, they are

    provided as additional resources for those interested in the subject matter of the policy.

    Board Approved: 03/14/2011 [Replaces POPPS 3209, 3209.1, and 3243]