Other Legal Provisions
Every child between seven and 17 years of age must be enrolled in school unless the child has graduated or legally withdrawn.
Parents and guardians should notify the school regarding any and all absences. An excused absence include:
- Child illness, medical, dental, orthodontic, or counseling appointments.
- Family emergencies.
- The death or serious illness or funeral of an immediate family member.
- Active duty in any military branch of the United States.
- The child has a condition that requires ongoing treatment for a mental health diagnosis.
- Other exemptions included in the district's school attendance policy.
The school is the ultimate arbitrator of what is an excused or unexcused absence.
Please check with your school for additional guidance. Examples include:
- Don't want to go to school.
- Kicked off the bus.
- Missed the bus.
- Need for rest or sleep.
- No clean clothes.
- Not being in assigned location at school.
Excessive absences due to illness
The school has the authority to request medical documentation for excessive absences due to illness or appointments, such as a note from the treating provider or verification from a school nurse who has evaluated the child.
(Minnesota Statute Section 260A.02 Subd. 3) "Continuing truant" means a child who is subject to the compulsory instruction requirements of section 120A.22 and is absent from instruction in a school, as defined in section 120A.05, without valid excuse within a single school year for:
- Three days if the child is in elementary school; or
- Three or more class periods on three days if the child is in middle school, junior high school, or high school.
(Minnesota Statute Section 260C.007, Subd. 19). A child is considered a “habitual truant” child under age 17 who is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse for one or more class periods on seven school days.
Withdrawal from school
(Minnesota Statute Section 120A.22, Subd. 8) For any student who is 17 years old who seeks to withdraw from school, and the student's parent or guardian must:
- Attend a meeting with school personnel to discuss the educational opportunities available to the student, including alternative educational opportunities.
- Sign a written election to withdraw from school.
Situations in which a student has been dropped from their school’s roll and classified as “withdrawn” after being absent from school for 15 consecutive school days are still subject to truancy laws, and the student will still be referred for county truancy intervention.
- Being tardy to class is considered a school disciplinary issue and is not subject to Minnesota truancy law. Students are not referred for county truancy intervention on this basis.
- Only absences that occur during academic periods are considered for truancy intervention.
- Situations in which a student is physically present in their assigned class but is not engaged in work or performing academically is not actionable under truancy law.