Q: So how many days can a student (9th-12th) miss from school and still receive credit? If the class is a lab class, meaning it is performance based, how does that weigh into the decision? -UtahPublicEducation.org Reader
How many days can a student miss from school and still receive credit?
A: The State sets no required attendance level for a student to receive credit for a course or class. There is a presumption at the State level that academic grades should reflect academic accomplishment or achievement. Consequently, a student’s grade should represent the work she has done — assignments, tests, group projects, papers, etc. — it should not be based on her attendance in a class. Even so, a Spanish class, PE class, biology or physics class that includes labs — or even a psychology class that requires student interaction and peer discussion — could justify a certain level of attendance as part of the student’s grade. Certainly, this might not be true for the math genius in an algebra class.
In addition, most court cases conclude that teachers should provide make-up work — at least for legitimate absences, which could include, however frustrating for overwhelmed teachers, “parent excuses”. But the make-up work does not have to be exactly what was required during the class. The make-up requirement for a 10-question quiz could be a 5-page paper on the same subject. Also, in this era of parent choice — coupled strangely with teacher accountability — teachers should be more prepared than ever to make their classes meaningful and necessary to successful student achievement. If a student can master a subject (or even earn an A grade) and still miss class often, what does that say about the teacher’s effectiveness?
What is UPPAC? UPPAC is a committee of nine educators and two community members charged with maintaining and promoting a high standard of professional conduct and ethics among Utah teachers. It is advisory to the Utah State Board of Education in making recommendations regarding educator licensing and may take appropriate disciplinary action regarding educator misconduct.
For more information about UPPAC or to submit your questions to the UPPAC Q&A, contact William Spiegel via email or by phone at 801-538-7500.
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