Parents are requested to call the school by 7:30 a.m. on the day their child will not be able to attend school. One reason for this is, of course, to help us keep track of absences. The other equally important reason is to help protect the safety of your children.
An absence can be reported to the attendance clerk from 7:00 a.m. until 2:10 p.m. at 623-463-7667. An absence can also be reported to the automated line, 623-848-8566, EXT. 6203, twenty-four hours a day. If you are unable to call in your child’s absence, a note must be sent the following day, or your child’s absence will be marked unexcused.
To encourage and improve school attendance, James W. Rice Primary School has implemented a truancy program in partnership with Maricopa County Juvenile Court. This truancy program is called C.U.T.S. (Court Unified Truancy Suppression). We will be tracking attendance very closely. Your child is expected to be at school every day, unless there is an excused reason not to be. An absence is defined as a minimum of one missed class period per day. An unexcused absence will count as a truant day as defined by law. A student is “habitually truant” if he/she has five or more unexcused absences from school. A student that is absent more than ten percent(18 days) of the required number of school days per year is considered to have “excessive absences” whether the absence is excused or unexcused.
When a student has five or more unexcused absences or 19 excessive absences (excused OR unexcused), the student can be cited to the CUTS Program through the Juvenile Court. The hearing will be held on the school campus with representatives from James W. Rice Primary and the Juvenile Court. A parent or legal guardian must be present with the student at the time of the hearing. Consequences at the hearing may include the following: required attendance of the parent and the child at an education class (may be held on Saturdays), work hours assigned to the child, counseling, etc. The parent will be assessed a $50 Diversion fee. Failure to complete these consequences may result in suspension of your child’s driver’s license, or inability to get a driver’s license until their 18th birthday and/or formal court proceedings. It is the parent’s/ guardian’s responsibility to ensure their child’s attendance in an approved academic setting. If you fail to take the necessary steps to provide your child with appropriate education you may receive a citation. If convicted, it is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by jail time and/or fine.
The education of your child is extremely important to us. This program is another way that James W. Rice Primary is working with the community to ensure a quality education for all students. Please note that the school also reserves the right to have a CUTS Officer speak at Orientations and Assemblies, as well as to individual groups of students regarding the importance of school. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact James W. Rice Primary at 623-848-8420.