Attendance Guidelines



All students enrolled in the Shawnee Mission School District shall be required to attend school on a regular basis to provide students the opportunity to be successful. Daily attendance records shall be maintained for each student. Absences are at times unavoidable due to illness or family concerns. The Shawnee Mission K-12 guidelines represent an effort to be fair in dealing with absences and to encourage good attendance. Building principals are responsible for enforcing Kansas State Statutes and district attendance guidelines.


High school is in attendance for 7 hours daily, from 7:40 am -2:40 pm on all days except  late start days (Thursdays) on which classes are in session from 8:50 am – 2:40 pm.  Students are expected to attend school daily and arrive on time.


SM West’s 24-Hour Attendance Hotline



The following information must be included when absences

 are called to the hotline:

  • The caller's name (parent/legal guardian)
  • The name of the student, spell the first and last name
  • The student's grade level
  • The reason for the absence
  • A telephone number where the caller can be reached during the day


 Calls should be made at the beginning of the school day in which the absence occurs.  A call before 12:00 noon will ensure that the student’s name will not be on the Unexcused Absence list.  Parents must contact the attendance office within 48 hours of the absence.

If a student arrives late or leaves early for up to three hours, or is gone for three hours during the day for an appointment described above, it will be counted as a half-day absence.  We encourage students to return to school as soon as possible from appointments during the school day. 



Any student arriving within the first ten minutes of a class period will be considered tardy.  Arrival after that time will be recorded as an absence.  All tardies are unexcused unless documentation is provided to the attendance office indicating an appointment.


1st class of the school day – any student arriving to class between 7:40 and 7:50 am will be counted tardy and do not need to check in at the attendance office.  If a student arrives after 7:50 am, the student must check in at the attendance office. 

*Also, every 10 tardies accumulated will equal one full day of an unexcused absence.  Unexcused absences have a direct effect on student truancy, which could end up involving the courts.

During the first week of school we did not record tardies.  We want to allow students to get a feel for their schedules and find the right routes to get to each class the fastest.


Students Arriving Late or Leaving Early

Students who arrive to school after 7:50 am must report to the attendance office to obtain a pass to class.  The absence will be recorded as unexcused until a parent notifies the attendance office with a valid reason or a student brings a note from a parent/doctor/dentist/etc. detailing the reason for the late arrival.

A student needing to leave the building before the end of the day must obtain a pass from the attendance office to leave for the day.  Students not following the policy will be unexcused.


Excused Absences

An excused absence is one which has been classified excused by the building administration.  An absence which falls under one of the six board approved reasons for absence will be classified excused if the building attendance procedure is followed by the student and the parent or legal guardian.  In-school suspensions are considered excused under current board policies.  Make-up privileges shall be allowed for excused absences.  Absences shall be excused for:

  1. Personal illness.  The school administration may, with due notice to the student or parent/legal guardian, require verification from a physician of absences due to reasons of health.
  2. Serious illness or death of a member of the family.
  3. Obligatory religious observances of the student's own faith.
  4. Participation in a Kansas State High School Activities Association activity, a district-approved function, or a school-sponsored activity.
  5. Emergency situation requiring immediate action.
  6. An absence which has been requested and approved in advance by the building administration.

Activities of an educational nature or involving the student's family may fall in this category.  Assignments are to be requested by the student before the absence occurs.  Tests may be made up after the absence. 


Unexcused Absences

An unexcused absence is one which has been classified as such by the building administration.  An absence will be classified unexcused if it does not fit one of the board’s six stated reasons for excusable absence or if the building attendance procedure is not followed by the student and the parent or legal guardian.

The teacher shall inform students of assignments missed.  Students shall be encouraged to maintain continuity of learning and course credit by completing the assignments missed during a period of unexcused absence.


Make-Up Work After Excused Absences

It is the student’s responsibility to make the initial contact with the teacher to make-up missed work and schedule make-up tests.  Students absent one week or less will be allowed double the amount of time they are absent in which to make-up missed work. For absences longer than one week, students will be allowed one week, plus the number of days absent to make-up work that has been missed.  Students are expected to fulfill long-term assignments as originally scheduled.


Extended Absences

Parents and/or students should notify the attendance office at least one week in advance of a planned absence of 5 or more days.  Students should pick up a form from the attendance office that will be signed by the parent, the student’s teachers and by an administrator prior to the student’s absence.  Students should work with the teachers to obtain any classwork that can be done during the absence.


Permit to leave During the School Day

A written request from the parent/guardian for a student to leave campus during the school day will be honored when the note is presented and pass to leave is obtained in the Attendance Office before missing a class or leaving campus. Once a permit to leave is obtained, it should be presented to the teacher at the specified departure time.  When returning to class the same day, the student must sign in through the Attendance Office before reporting to class. Failure to comply with established procedures will result in an unexcused absence and appropriate disciplinary action.


Homework Requests

If a student’s absence is three (3) days or more days, please contact the Counseling Office for assistance to obtain homework.  Most teachers post assignments in their Goggle classroom for students.


After School Activities

In order to participate in after school activities, a student must attend a full day of school on the day of the activity unless absence is approved by the activities office.



Schools will not be closed for funerals.  However, students, upon written parental request, will be excused to attend services of school employees, friends, and relatives.


Hall Passes

Students must have verification for their presence in the hallways at times when they are scheduled to be in classes.