We believe that something instructionally important happens in the classroom every day. Just completing the assignment cannot duplicate the richness and depth of the activities occurring in the classroom. In order for students to have the best learning opportunities possible, they need to be in class daily. It should be remembered, that good attendance demonstrates personal responsibility to future employers.

At Ladysmith Middle and High School, we promote those skills and attitudes, which will assist students in becoming successful in life. The majority of our students attend school every day and are only absent with good reason. However, good attendance is not always the case. As a result, there is a need for rules governing attendance. According to state law and school board policy, parents are responsible for the attendance of their students. If a student will not be in school, parents must call the attendance office before 9:00 AM. The phone number is 715-532-5531, press 5 for LMHS then press 4 for attendance. Upon the students return to school, the parent or guardian will need to send a note if a call has not been made. If either a phone call or a note are not received, the absence will be marked as unexcused. Wisconsin Statute 118.16 (2)c,e

All students, parents, and staff are required to observe Wisconsin's Compulsory School Attendance Law. (Statute 118.15) Whether the student misses one class or an entire day without an acceptable excuse, the student is considered truant. Disciplinary action will be taken in each case involving unexcused absences and all cases of truancy will be recorded on the student's permanent record. Truant students will be cited for truancy and referred to court. For approved appointments during school hours, students are to provide the attendance secretary with their appointment slip upon their return to school. 118.15 (3)(a)

Excused Absences - Wisconsin Statutes 118.15, 118.16 and 120.13 are specific about attendance and what may be considered an excused absence. By Wisconsin Statute and school board policy, all students between ages 6-18, are required to attend an educational program. Absences for the following reasons may be excused:

1. A bonafide religious holiday.

2. The student is not in physical or mental condition to attend school. (This includes students with head lice. The School District of Ladysmith has a nit free policy regarding head lice. Students with nits or lice will not be allowed in school until the condition is cured.) Policy 8451. Per School District of Ladysmith policy, students will be allowed 10 excused absences for illness per school year. Any additional absences for illness will require a verified medical note before they are considered excused.

3. Non-emergency medical appointments accompanied by a verified appointment slip from your provider. (We ask that these be scheduled for non-class times)

4. A death in the immediate family.

5. An illness in the immediate family, which requires the attendance of the student.

6. A court appearance or other legal procedure which requires the attendance of the student.

7. Quarantine by the public health official.

8. School busing delays beyond the control of the student.

9. A family trip (pre-planned absence form completed). Trips without parents are not excused.

10. Approved school activities.

According to school board policy, Ladysmith Middle and High School has a closed campus. This means students may not be absent, even from study halls, except for those excuses listed above. Leaving to go to lunch, get a haircut, buy food for a sports/field trip, or running errands are not examples of approved absences according to state law and board policy. Without a completed Pre-planned Absence Form, parents may not authorize errands, etc. during school hours.

No student is to leave the school building for any reason (including health related problems) without receiving prior permission from the office staff. If necessary, a call to the parent or guardian may be made from the office.

Make-Up Work - Students shall make up schoolwork and tests missed for any excused absence. One school day (not class time) is allowed for making up one day of excused absence. For additional two, three, or four days of absence, an additional day is added for each day absent. If the absence is longer, individual arrangements should be made through Student Services. Absences as a result of school related activities, additional extensions are given at the discretion of the teacher.

Tardies - In case of tardiness during normal school hours 8:15 a.m.-3:45 p.m., students need to report directly to their classes. Teachers will enter tardies into the student software system. After three tardies a student will be issued a detention, and for every subsequent three tardies additional detentions will be issued at a minimum. Students reaching nine or more tardies in a trimester will be referred to the Rusk County Youth Council Teen Court Program or issued a truancy citation.

Unexcused Absences - Any absence from class or school, which does not meet the criteria for an excused absence is considered unexcused. Parent(s) or guardian(s) will have the opportunity to correct any errors regarding attendance with the attendance office. It is important a parent or guardian correct any attendance error with the school as soon as possible. Failure to correct an attendance record may lead to a truancy citation and referral to court.

Consequences for Unexcused Absences - The following consequences will apply for unexcused absences:

1. It is the teachers’ discretion whether or not students receive credit for assignments given during an unexcused absence.

2. Students with detentions will not be able to practice, play, or take part in school sponsored extra-curricular or co-curricular activities, until the obligation is satisfied.

3. Unexcused absences will result in truancy citations and referrals to court. This includes exceeding the ten day Pre-Planned Absences per year.

Excessive Absences & Truancy - Students who are absent from school without an acceptable excuse for part, or all of five or more days on which school is held during a trimester, are considered habitually truant. (WI Statue 118.16) In cases of questionable or multiple absences, the school has the right to establish factual validity regarding any absence. This verification must be from a licensed medical practitioner or some other form of legitimate documentation, which explains the absence as an emergency. (WI Statute 118.15(3)(a)).

Habitual truants will be referred to the Rusk County Department of Social Services and the court system. As stipulated in State Statue 118.15, any person who knowingly contributes to the truancy of a minor may be fined up to $500.00, or imprisoned up to 90 days or both.

Pre-Planned Absences - Students planning to be absent for one or more full day(s) must first obtain a Pre-Planned Absence Form from the office. The completed form must be returned to the office prior to the absence. For absences for less than a full day, which do not fall under the excusable absences statute, (see excusable absences) a pre-planned form must be completed prior to the absence. This absence will be excused if it meets the timelines for pre-planned absences and the parent or guardian has requested the absence in advance and in writing. State law allows ten pre-planned days of absence per school year. 118.15 (3) (c)

Good Attendance - At LMHS, we encourage, track, and recognize good attendance. To receive a certificate for good attendance, a student cannot accumulate more than five class periods of absences for the entire school year. All school related activities or field trips will not be counted against the student's five period maximum.

Assemblies - School assemblies are held each year. Some of these are to provide information, some are provided by students, and all are considered beneficial for our students. Speakers and presenters are to be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect and with a minimum of distraction from the audience.

Note to Parents: Assemblies are considered a vital part of our educational program. Attendance is required and parents are discouraged from scheduling any appointments during these activities.