Connecticut State Board of Education
The following definitions are for the use by Connecticut school districts and schools for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of section 10-198a of the Connecticut General Statutes (Policies and procedures concerning truants), and for the purpose of reporting truancy, pursuant to subsection (c) of Section 10-220 of the Connecticut General Statutes. The use of these definitions for state purposes does not preclude districts from using separate definitions of excused and unexcused absences for their internal uses (including decisions on promotion/retention, grading and disciplinary action).
By state statute, a student is allowed 9 excused absences each year. A student’s absence from school shall be considered excused if written documentation of the reason for the absence has been submitted within two school days of the student’s return to school or in accordance with Section 10-210 of the Connecticut General Statutes and meets the following criteria:
For absences one through nine, a student’s absences from school are considered excused when the student’s parent/guardian approves such absence and submits appropriate documentation (a written note from parent and/or Dr.);
The following situations do not count toward a student’s 9 excused absences:
Travel for school activity or athletics
Suspension from school
For the tenth absence and all absences thereafter, a student’s absences from school are only considered excused for the following reasons:
student illness (Note: all student illness absences must be verified by an appropriately licensed medical professional to be deemed excused, regardless of the length of absence)
student’s observance of a religious holiday
death in the student’s family or other emergency beyond the control of the student’s family
mandated court appearances (additional documentation required)
the lack of transportation that is normally provided by a district other than the one the student attends (no parental documentation is required for this reason)
extraordinary educational opportunities pre-approved by district administrators and in accordance with Connecticut State Department of Education guidance.
All absences from school will be considered unexcused unless:
the absence meets the criteria of excused as stated above
the absence is due to discipline issued by the school
all absences after the 9th absence meet the criteria outlined in section B above
Please Note: All absences not reported by a parent/guardian call and a note are considered unexcused, even if they would otherwise satisfy the criteria for an excused absence.
Parents/guardians are urged to coordinate family vacations with the school calendar for vacation periods. Parent/guardian requests for student absences from school for vacations or trips must follow the above State Laws for excused and unexcused absences. The mutual goal of all is to keep all such excused absences to a minimum.
Connecticut law requires school personnel to promptly notify the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families under certain circumstances, including suspected educational neglect. Consequently, given that chronic absenteeism or tardiness seriously impedes a student’s academic progress. if a student continues to be chronically absent*, the principal (or designee) may contact DCF or the New Milford Juvenile Review Panel.
Students absent five (5) or more consecutive days due to illness or any communicable disease must have a doctor’s statement (could be by phone) of good health to the school nurse prior to re-admission to school.
Given reasonable cause to believe a student is truant from school, the school administration may ask the school social worker to visit the student’s home to verify the cause of the absence. Such home visits may be scheduled outside of regular school hours.
The administration reserves the right not to excuse students who are chronically absent and to require written verification of reason that student is not in school.
* (Connecticut State Statute Sec. 10-198a – Truant: Any child between the ages of seven and sixteen who has had four (4) unexcused absences from school in any one month or ten (10) unexcused absences in any school year. Sec. 10-Habitual Truant: Any child having twenty (20) unexcused absences within a school year).