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Compulsory Attendance

Code No.  501.3

Parents within the school district who have children over age six and under age sixteen by September 15, in proper physical and mental condition to attend school, will have the children attend the school district at the attendance center designated by the board.  Students will attend school the number of days school is in session in accordance with the school calendar.  Students of compulsory attendance age will attend school a minimum of  1080 hours.  Students not attending the minimum days must be exempted by this policy as listed below or, referred to the county attorney.  Exceptions to this policy include children who:

  • have completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school or have obtained a high school equivalency diploma;
  • are attending religious services or receiving religious instruction;
  • are attending an approved or probationally approved private college preparatory school;
  • are attending an accredited nonpublic school;
  • are receiving independent private instruction; or,
  • are receiving competent private instruction.

It is the responsibility of the parent of a child to provide evidence of the child's mental and physical inability to attend school or of the child's qualifications for one of the exceptions listed above.

The truancy officer/principal will investigate the cause for a student's truancy.  If the truancy officer/principal is unable to secure the truant student's attendance, the truancy officer/principal should discuss the next step with the school board.  If after school board action, the student is still truant, truancy officer/principal will refer the matter over to the county attorney for students in grades 7-12.  Truant students who have not yet completed sixth grade will be subject to the Attendance Cooperation Process outlined in the supporting administrative regulation.

The school will participate in mediation if requested by the county attorney.  The superintendent will represent the school district in mediation.  The school district will monitor the student's compliance with the mediation agreement and will report violations of the mediation agreement to the county attorney.

Note:  The compulsory attendance law does not require school districts to have a truancy officer.








Legal Reference:          Iowa Code §§ 259A; 279.10-.11; ch. 299; 299A (2013).

                                    441 I.A.C. 41.25(8).

                                    1978 Op. Att'y. Gen. 379.



Cross Reference:          501      Student Attendance

                                    601.1   School Calendar

                                    604.1   Competent Private Instruction



Initially Approved 02-14-2000                     Last Reviewed  02-09-2015              Last Revision                     

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