Types of absences: Excused, Parental Permission, and Unexcused.


    1. Excused--An absence is excused in the following instances:

    a.  Personal illness of the student or the student’s child with official written verification.

    b.  Official school sponsored activity.

    c.  Court appearances with official written verification.

    d.  Medical/Dental appointments with official written verification. (Parents/ guardians are urged to schedule medical or dental appointments after school hours. When this is not possible, the appointment should be scheduled during a study hall or scheduled so that the student will not miss the same class(es) repeatedly.)

    e.  Death or serious illness in the immediate or extended family. (Official written verification may be required.) An excused absence shall afford the student the privilege of making up all assignments and/or class activities as the teachers direct. Official written verification includes signed doctor, dentist, court or legal documents identifying the office and/or the name of the professional who provided the service.

    2. Parental Permission

    a. Parental permission may be granted for any reason including personal illness without written verification, provided the parent has contacted the attendance office, by note or phone call, the day the absence occurs.

    b. The student may not exceed five (5) parental permission absence days for the school year. If a student exceeds five (5) days of parental 2 permission absence in any class for the year, all parental permission days thereafter are classified as unexcused.

    c. Parental permission shall afford the student the privilege of making up all assignments and/or class activities as the teachers direct.

    d. Absences for parental permission shall not be granted in conflict with semester examination schedules.

    3. Unexcused

    a. An unexcused absence shall be considered to be a willful absence (truant) from school if it is without the knowledge of the student’s parent/guardian.

    b. Any other absence not considered excused in the two preceding sections will be counted as unexcused.

    c. Any student who is truant or has an unexcused absence forfeits the right to make up any work for credit.

    d. A student with four (4) or more unexcused absences per year may be assigned consequences. Minimum-reprimand: Maximum-suspension. 


    The parent/guardian should contact the school by 9:00 a.m. any day that a student will be absent.In addition to assisting the school with the attendance record, parent/ guardian notification to the school is a security measure to verify the locations of all students. It is also requested that a note be provided explaining the absence. Any absence not verified with the parent will be considered to be unexcused. Upon the 5th unexcused absence in any semester a letter will be sent to the parent/guardian notifying him/her that upon the 10th absence of the same semester the student may be denied promotion or credit. Before a student accumulates the 10th day of absence for the semester the student, the student’s parents, or guardian, may petition the school principal for a conference to address the student’s absences (Act 1223 of 2011). Exceptions to this rule will be made in accordance with the student’s IEP or 504 plans. Students with long-term, medically documented illness or injury may be allowed to make up work and may be given assistance in obtaining credit for courses in which they are enrolled.


    Upon notification by the School District that a student of mandatory school age is no longer attending school or has 10 consecutive absences in any class, the County Prosecuting Attorney or City Prosecuting Attorney will be notified that the student is no longer attending school. Students with unexcused absences in excess of 4 total days in any one semester may be considered delinquent, and appropriate notification to the County Prosecuting Attorney or City Prosecuting Attorney may be made subject to the directions of the Superintendent or his/her designee. The Fort Smith School District shall notify the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration whenever a student 14 years of age or older is no longer attending school, and the Department of Finance and Administration shall suspend the student’s learner permit or driver’s license until the student re-enrolls and is successfully attending school.