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


    1. Excused - Excused absences are those where the student was on official school business or when the absence was due to one of the following reasons. A written statement presented or uploaded for an absence within 5 days will be excused. 

    1. Student’s illness when medically documented or approved by the principal;

    2. Death or serious illness in the immediate family, i.e.-spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, any relative who lives in the same household as the student;

    3. Observance of recognized holidays observed by the student’s faith;

    4. Attendance at a medical appointment;

    5. Exceptional circumstances with prior approval of the principal;

    6. Participation in FFA, FHA, or 4-H sanctioned activities;

    7. Participation in the election poll workers program for high school students; Up to one(1) time during earache scheduled election, a student shall be excused for the time the student accompanies the student’s parent when the parent is exercising the parent’s right to vote in a scheduled election 

    8. Absence granted to allow a student to visit his/her parent or legal guardian who is a member of the military and has been called to active duty, is on leave from active duty, or has returned from deployment to combat zone or combat support posting. The number of additional excused absences shall be at the direction of the Superintendent or designee;

    9. Absences for students excluded from school by the Arkansas Department of Health during a disease outbreak because the student has an immunization waiver or whose immunizations are not up to date;

    10. Any circumstance not covered above which the District determines are excused.

    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

    1. 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.

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

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

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


    3.     Unexcused

    1. 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.

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

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

    4. Students on short-term suspension from school (not to exceed ten days) shall be considered absent but excused for the purpose of completing make-up work during the term of the suspension. These students will be expected to make up their school work and may receive full credit upon satisfactory completion. The sole responsibility for completing assigned work rests with the student. All make-up work should be returned to the appropriate teacher upon the student’s return to school. For the purpose of absenteeism, short-term suspension days (not to exceed 10 days) shall be considered unexcused.

    5. A student with four (4) or more unexcused absences per semester may be assigned consequences. Minimum-reprimand; Maximum-suspension.


    4.     School Business

             School business days will be excused. School business designation is limited to school sanctioned/sponsored activities and events.



    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. 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 unexcused absence of the same semester the student may be denied promotion or credit. Before a student accumulates the 10th unexcused 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 10 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.