Policies and Regulations SFSD Logo

Authorization for the Superintendent to Suspend and/or Reinstate the Illness
Documentation Requirement of the Student Absence Policy (JH/JH-R)

Purpose of Report: To seek School Board authorization for the Superintendent to suspend and/or reinstate the illness documentation requirement of the student absence policy.

District Priority Area: Student Achievement

Explanation: Because of the potential spread of influenza and COVID-19, School District officials have worked with representatives from the Sioux Falls Health Department, the Avera Health System and the Sanford Health System to develop a process that will be used to determine when it may be necessary to suspend the illness documentation requirement of Policy JH/JH-R - Student Absences and Excuses.

The South Dakota Department of Health, the Sioux Falls Health Department, and the Center for Disease Control guidelines schools and healthcare providers when action may be necessary to reduce communicability due to an outbreak.

Under the current policy, the Sioux Falls School District considers ten or more absences in a school year excessive. Parents/guardians/students are encouraged to provide professional medical documentation when absent for medically related absences. If requested, students who were absent from school for any reason shall submit in written form the specific reasons for their absence, the specific days or times they were absent, and a signature of the parent/guardian. When the students’ absences are deemed excessive, 10 or more days, schools will require verification of absences from a doctor, dentist or other medical professional.

So as not to cause an undue burden on parents and the healthcare system, and to decrease communicability during peak cases of influenza and COVID-19, the Superintendent will suspend the illness documentation requirement when student absences and clinic capacity to see patients reach a critical level or when otherwise advised by healthcare professionals. At such time as student absences and clinic demand return to normal levels, the illness documentation will be reinstated. Parents/guardians will be notified when the suspension of the illness documentation is in effect and when it is reinstated.

District officials monitor student days of absence due to illness each school year in comparison to previous years. In addition, clinic managers monitor clinic visits in relation to the clinic capacity to schedule patients. The current level of illness and clinic capacity shall be considered to determine whether an action is necessary.

Administrative Recommendation: Authorize the Superintendent to suspend and/or reinstate the illness documentation requirement of Policy JH/JH-R - Student Absences and Excuses as necessary based upon the level of student absences and clinic capacity to see patients.

MRF #18304
Action 38557
Adopted 3-23-2020

feedback