Mahaffie's Attendance Policy
School success starts with showing up to class every day. Daily attendance leads building communication skills, forming lasting relationships with peers, experiencing innovative practices and activities, participating in after-school activities and building confidence and self-esteem.
Truancy is the act of missing school without permission, often repeatedly.
Truancy Criteria — Kansas Compulsory Law
- Applies to children ages 7-18
- Applies to children under the age of 7 once the child has been enrolled in school
- A student is truant from school if he/she is absent without a valid excuse.
- 3 consecutive days — first letter to parent
- 5 days in school semester — second letter to parent and meeting to create plan to ensure student regularly attends school
- 7 days in a school year — third letter to parent
- 10 unexcused absences — truancy paperwork will be filed with the District Attorney’s office
Excused Absence (per semester):
- 0-5: Documentation isn’t needed
- 6 or more: Documentation from a doctor required for absence to be considered excused.
*Chronic health issues should be documented in our nurse’s office.
Johnson County District Attorney’s Office Statement
Truancy is prosecuted as a Child in Need of Care case. Under state law, children between the ages of 7 and 18 are required to attend school. If a child is deemed truant by their school, then a referral is made to the District Attorney's Office. Upon receipt of a truancy referral from the school, our office has discretion about how that case is processed.
Kansas statutes provide that a student is "truant" if they are absent without excuse, for a "significant portion" of the school day, for three consecutive days, or five days in a semester, or seven days in a school year. When that occurs, then the school is to provide notice to the student's parent or guardian. Once notice is received, then any further absences without excuse triggers a report to the District Attorney's Office.
If a truancy case is filed in District Court, then the assigned Judge has discretion to formulate a plan designed to meet the child's needs and get the child to attend school. In some instances, the State may proceed informally and refer the child to services.. In other instances, the court will direct the child be monitored on a formal "truancy plan." If the child is placed on a truancy plan, a court services officer would supervise a child's attendance, and work with the child and family to make sure the child attends school. In extreme cases, the court has the authority to place a child outside the home to make sure the child gets an education.
For more information on truancy, please contact the Johnson County District Attorney's office at 913-715-3000.