This page is designed to answer your most frequently asked questions regarding attendance.
Attendance Reporting through SafeArrival
Families are able to report and/or schedule absences through any of the following options:
- An app on their mobile device, (SafeArrival has a blue icon and the words SchoolMessenger)
- A secure website, or
- A toll-free telephone number (1-844-431-0874)
Students enrolled in Westerville City Schools are required by state law to attend each day school is in session. Students are to be in all of their assigned classes and study halls every day.
Full-Day Absence, One-Half Day Absence & Tardy
- Ohio attendance laws changed in 2017. Please click here for more information.
- All hours and minutes a student is absent from school (excused or unexcused) is counted and used to to determine excessive absenteeism and/or truancy based on HB410.
Excused Absence: Absence resulting from personal illness, illness in the family, quarantine of the home, the death of a relative, work at home due to absence of parents or guardians, observance of religious holidays, pre-approved family vacation or emergency situations or a special reason for which approval is given by an administrator.
Unexcused Absence: Absence by consent of parent/guardian or with parent's knowledge for a reason not acceptable to the school. (Example: music lessons, hair appointments, car trouble, over-sleeping, out-of-town, etc.) The student will not receive academic credit missed during an unexcused absence. IMPORTANT: Any absence reported as "Other" through SafeArrival will be marked as an Unexcused Absence -- please be sure to add a detailed comment explaining the absence so the school can determine if it is being reported properly.
School Truancy: A deliberate, unauthorized absence from school. The student will not receive academic credit for work missed during school truancy.
Class cutting: A deliberate unauthorized absence from a class. The student will not receive academic credit for work missed during class cutting.
Make-up work should be completed within the number of day’s equivalent to his/her absence when practical. If the work is not made up, the student will receive a failing grade for incomplete work.
An excused absence may be granted on the basis of any one or more of the following conditions:
Personal Illness: Absence of a child to receive health care from an appropriately licensed health care provider will be excused. The approving authority may require the certificate of a physician if he/she deems it advisable.
Illness in the Family: The absence under this condition will not apply to children under 14 years of age.
Quarantine of the Home: The absence of a child from school under this condition is limited to the length of quarantine, as fixed by the proper health officials.
Death of a Relative: The absence arising from this condition is limited to a period of three (3) days unless a reasonable cause may be shown by the applicant child for a longer absence.
Work at Home Due to Absence of Parents or Guardians: Any absence arising because of this condition will not extend for a period longer than that for which the parents/guardians are absent. (This only applies to students 14 and over.)
Observance of Religious Holidays: Any child of any religious faith will be excused if his/her absence was for the purpose of observing a religious holiday consistent with his/her creed or belief.
Service as a Precinct Officer: A student may serve as a precinct officer at a primary, special or general election in accordance with the program set forth in Policy 5725
Family Vacation: Although a student may be granted an "excused absence" for family vacation when parents/guardians request it, the student will be responsible for all work assigned during the period of absence, and prior approval of a building principal is required. Prior approval for "excused absence" due to family vacation must be requested by:
Obtaining a "Pre-excused Absence Request Form" from the principal's office;
Completing the form as indicated by the directions;
Returning it to the designated administrator as soon as the reason for the absence is known but not later than three (3) school days prior to the expected absence. A building administrator will review the request and determine whether the absence will be excused or unexcused, according to criteria listed;
Emergency or Exceptional Situation: An emergency or a set of circumstances which, in the judgment of the building principal, designated assistant principal, or Superintendent of schools, constitutes a good and sufficient cause for absence from school, will be approved for a student.
All absences from school which are not approved by a building administrator shall be recorded as "unexcused" or "truant."
Section 517.12 of the Westerville Codified Ordinances States: No person, being the parent or guardian or person having the legal custody and control of any minor shall negligently allow the minor, to be truant from school when the laws of the State require such child's attendance in school.
Student Attendance Accounting (Missing and Absent Children)
The Westerville Board of Education supports state and national efforts to decrease the number of missing children. Therefore, school personnel will attempt to identify possible missing children and notify the proper adults or agencies.
At the time of their initial entry to school a student, or a student’s parent/guardian shall present a certified original certificate of birth, an attested baptism certificate showing the date of birth, or a birth affidavit and copies of those records maintained by the school that was most recently attended to the office in charge of admission. Copies will be made and returned. For homeless youth, see Board Policy 5111.01 for information on providing documentation for enrollment.
Tardy to School and Early Dismissal
Parents/guardians may request approval for late arrival or early dismissal of a student from the building principal or his/her designee. While the approval of late arrivals or early dismissals is discouraged, the Board recognizes that exceptional circumstances may arise where the granting of late arrivals or early dismissals is appropriate.
Such reasons would include family emergencies or doctor/dental care. However, doctor and dental appointments should be scheduled after school or on weekends, if at all possible.
If early dismissal or late arrival is necessary, send a note to the office explaining the reason for the early dismissal or late arrival and the time the child will be leaving or arriving. The principal or his/her designee will determine whether the request for late arrival or early dismissal shall be granted. Parents/guardians must report to the office when dropping a child off late or taking a child out of school early. School officials may request that such individual show proper identification.
No student who has a medical disability which may be incapacitating may be released without a person to accompany him/her. No student shall be released to anyone who is not the student’s parent/guardian without parental/guardian permission. School officials may request a parent or guardian to show proper identification.
Late arrivals and early dismissals shall not be granted when such approval would interfere with the operation of any school program or activity, school opening, school dismissal or transportation, or when such approval would be a severe detriment to the education of the student or create a safety hazard.
Students who do not report to their assigned school classroom at the specified starting time shall be considered "tardy" and will be marked accordingly on attendance records.
Make Up Work
Students have the right to make up work missed during an excused absence. Following the return to school, the make-up work shall be completed within the number of days equal to the days of excused absence. Responsibility for obtaining information about missed assignments rests solely with the student or the student's parents/guardians.
If a student anticipates being absent more than three (3) consecutive school days, he/she may request assignments from teachers by calling the Attendance Office. Assignments may be picked up in the office the day following the request.
In the case of work missed due to a family vacation, please refer to the attendance section.