Welcome to De Soto High School, where we believe that every student belongs and offers a unique contribution to our school! We are thrilled to have your family as a part of our school community, and we highly value the importance of regular attendance in ensuring your student's academic success. Our attendance policies and practices are designed to support your child's growth and development in a nurturing and engaging environment.
If you have any questions or need further information about our attendance policies, please do not hesitate to reach out to our administrative team. We look forward to partnering with you in providing the best educational experience for your child. Let's create wonderful memories and achieve great milestones together!
Procedure for Reporting Absences
Two-way communication is the key to supporting students between school and home. If your student misses school, then follow these procedures.
- Parents or legal guardians are requested to call the 24-hour attendance voicemail line at 913-667-6259 the morning of the absence. If no call is received, we will reach out by phone to confirm the absence.
- If a call is not received from the parent or legal guardian or our attempt is unsuccessful, 24 hours after the absence, the absence will be considered unexcused.
- Parents/guardians may call the attendance office and report an absence as far in advance as possible. Absences can be scheduled months in advance (for a medical appointment, for example).
- A telephone call will be required each day the student is absent unless prior arrangements have been made.
- When reporting an absence through voicemail, the parent or guardian should give the following information:
- their name and relationship to the student
- student’s name (please spell) and grade in school
- reason for absence
- the date of absence
- Upon returning to school the day following an absence, the student may go directly to class. If there is a question about the absence, the Attendance/Main Office will contact the student.
- If a student leaves the school building during the school day, the student must sign out with the Attendance Office. Students must sign in at the Attendance Office upon returning to school that day or arriving at school after the school day begins, even if returning or leaving during a passing period.
To help us avoid any issues, students must properly sign in/out with the attendance office. Failure to properly sign in or out could result in the student’s absence being marked as unexcused and consequences may be issued.
The student, parent or legal guardian, and the school must cooperate to achieve the school's stated philosophy of education where school attendance is concerned. However, students must be encouraged to exercise self-discipline within the framework of the stated attendance policy.
Important Absence Information
Excused absences from De Soto High School are only granted for:
- Illness of the Student. A physician’s note may be required.
- Serious illness or death of a member of the family.
- Obligatory religious observance of the student’s own faith.
- Participation in a school-approved activity (i.e. field trip, competition).
- Physician or dentist appointments that can be verified by an appointment card received by the Attendance Office within 48 hours after the absence.
- Court appearances that can be verified through court services’ officer.
- Emergency situations requiring immediate action at the request of the parent – referred to as a “Parent Request”, limited to 5.
- Preapproved Planned Family Absence*.
*An absence that has been requested in writing and approved in advance by the building administrator. For preplanned absences (e.g. college visit, club athletic tournaments, volunteer trips, etc.), please have your student visit Jane Stanton in the Attendance Office for the proper pre-arranged absence form. This must be completed before your child is absent for consideration by the administration.
All absences (excused and unexcused) count toward attendance related incentive programs except for school activities, bereavement or religious holidays.
Students with Excessive Unexcused Absences
“Unexcused Absence” means an absence from school that is not authorized by the local school administrator or Board of Education policy. A full day absence equals missing two or more blocks of school on the same day.
- When a student misses a day of school due to an unexcused absence, the student will be assigned a Friday School.
- Upon a 3rd day of unexcused absence, the parent, student, school administration and counselor will meet. In some cases the School Resource Officer will attend the meeting. The intent of the meeting will be to discuss the reasons for the student missing school, inform parents and student regarding the impact of continued absenteeism, and devise a plan to assist the student in improving their attendance. Documentation of the meeting will be kept in the student file.
- If/When the student meets the BOE/Kansas definition of truancy the parent will be sent a certified letter and the student will be referred for truancy.
Students with Excessive Absences
We believe that regular school attendance is vital for student learning, and excused and unexcused absences can lead to excessive absenteeism from school. However, for the purpose of tracking student attendance, the following excused absences will not be included in determining excessive absenteeism. Remember, full day absence equals missing two or more blocks of school on the same day.
- School Activities
- Religious observance of the student’s own faith
- Death in the immediate family
- Court Appearances
- College Visit
- Medical condition, confirmed by doctor's note
Tracking Excessive Absenteeism
* The following guidelines will be followed at the administrator's professional discretion.
- When a student misses 5 total (excused/unexcused) days of school, the parent will be notified via a letter from the Attendance Office. The letter is for awareness. The administration/counselor may schedule a student conference to discuss reasons for the absence and possible support needed.
- When a student misses 10 total (excused/unexcused) days of school, the parent, student, school administration, counselor/social worker, and nurse may meet in person to discuss the student's attendance at school. In some cases, the School Resource Officer will attend the meeting. The intent of the meeting will be to discuss the reasons for the student missing school, inform parents and students regarding the impact of continued absenteeism, and devise a plan to assist the student in improving their attendance. Documentation of the meeting will be kept in the student file.
IMPORTANT: We acknowledge that some students may have a medical or mental health concern impacting their ability to attend school on a regular basis. We want to help as best as we can. In order to provide student support, parents have the option of securing a Letter of Incapacity/Physician's Certificate, which requires a doctor’s signature. This form may be required by the school to consider past and future absences “excused.”
- If/When the student meets the Board of Education/Kansas definition of truancy the parent will be sent a certified letter and the student will be referred for truancy.
Doctor notes can be securely faxed to 913-667-6251. If you have any questions, please call the Attendance Office of De Soto High School at 913-667-6250.
NOTE: For a complete list of current student-related policies and procedures, consult the De Soto High School Student/Parent Handbook.