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School Attendance Matters (SAM): Saint Paul Public Schools Attendance Procedures

  • Attendance Matters

    Staff members from the Office of Family Engagement and Community Partnerships work to improve school attendance district-wide. OFECP staff members can:

    • Provide ideas to help improve attendance
    • Check in with students
    • Help solve problems
    • Explain the truancy process

    It is hard for a student to be fully prepared and fully engaged when he or she misses classes. Improved attendance leads to improving academic achievement and increasing graduation rates. The attendance team in OFECP engages schools, students, families, and Ramsey County partners to intervene early when school attendance problems begin.

    The Law

    Once enrolled in a public school, a child 5 years old to 18 years old (unless having already graduated from high school), must attend school everyday, every class, on time, unless lawfully excused.

    LAWFULLY EXCUSED ABSENCES

    • Sickness - too sick to be in school
    • Medical Appointments
    • Religious Holidays
    • Extreme Family Emergencies (house fire, death, etc.)

    EXAMPLES OF UNEXCUSED ABSENCES
    • Overslept
    • Missed school bus
    • Suspended from school bus
    • Staying home to babysit
    • Weather too hot/cold
    • Family vacation

    Did You Know?

    Parents/guardians MUST communicate every time a child is absent. Please note not all absences will be excused. Call in or send a note to main office, state reason for absence (be specific).

    Students with a 95% attendance rate or higher are twice as likely to pass the state achievement tests as those students with an 85% attendance rate. (In SPPS, 95% = 9 or fewer absences).

    Good school attendance is the most reliable predictor of graduation from high school.

    Students with good attendance make up a vast majority of those who are at the top of their class in grades and tests.

    School dropouts are at high risk for being unemployed or under-employed and earn $260,000 less than high school graduates over a lifetime.

    School Attendance is Important

    STUDENTS WITH GOOD ATTENDANCE...

    • Do better on state tests
    • Keep up with homework
    • Get good grades
    • Graduate from High School
    • Go to college
    • Have many career options
    • Become positive role models
    • Are likely to have better self-esteem
    • Build better peer relationships
    • Are less likely to engage in negative or criminal behaviors

SAM Process

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