Regular and punctual patterns of attendance will be required of each student enrolled in the district.


It is recognized that absences from school may be necessary under certain conditions.  However, every effort should be made by students, parents, teachers, and administrators to keep absences and tardiness to a minimum.


Student attendance at school is basically the responsibility of the parents and student.  In order for the parents to fulfill their responsibility the school must keep them informed of student absences.  If a student misses more than four school days per quarter, a plan to improve the student’s attendance will be developed in consultation with the parent. 


An adequate and comprehensive system of attendance records will be maintained for each student.  Each teacher is responsible for accurate reporting of daily attendance in his/her classroom. The building principal is responsible for submitting attendance information to the Superintendent's office.


The Board recognizes two kinds of absence: excused absence, and truancy.  Any absence other than an excused absence is considered truancy.  Truancy means an unexcused absence from school or class and “unexcused absence” is an absence which has not been excused.


Excused absence is absence because of illness, death in the student’s immediate family, participation in school activities, or other approved reason that has been verified with a written note from a physician or other qualified health professional who is treating the student, from a school official or a parent.  Students are not excused from any academic requirements for grading, regardless of the reason for the absence, except for reasonable modifications as required in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) pursuant to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.


A student who skips or leaves a class without permission after reporting to school is truant.  Any student who is absent from school without the knowledge and permission of his/her parents and/or school authorities is truant.  Absences, even with the approval of the parents, which are excessive and/or which interfere with the student's educational program will be interpreted as truancy and follow-up legal procedures will be instituted.  See RSA193; 1, 7 and 16.


When a student has been absent for eight half days a school team will determine if an intervention plan needs to be developed.  If a plan is put in place, the parents will be notified of the plan. 

If attendance concerns continue after the plan is implemented, the student (if appropriate) and parent will need to meet with the principal. 

If a student has two half-days of unexcused absence after the meeting with the principal, then the Assistant Superintendent will schedule a meeting with the student (if appropriate), parents and school representation at a date determined by the Assistant Superintendent.  At the meeting the Assistant Superintendent shall verify the accuracy of the School District’s records regarding the number of unexcused absences, and also determine whether good cause exists to not refer the parents to the Rochester Police Department for prosecution under N.H. RSA 193:1-7.  At the conclusion of or after said meeting the Assistant Superintendent will inform the parents in writing whether the School District is referring the parents to the Rochester Police Department for prosecution under N.H. RSA 193:1-7.  If the parent(s) fail to meet with the Assistant Superintendent within seven school days of the postmark on the Assistant Superintendent’s request for a meeting sent by U.S. Mail, then the Assistant Superintendent will refer the matter to the Rochester Police Department for prosecution under N.H. RSA 193:1-7.   

Appeal Process

The parents shall have two days from the date of service in hand of said decision, or four days (not including Saturdays and Sundays) from the postmark of any mailed decision, in which to appeal the Assistant Superintendent’s decision to the School Board.  The request for an appeal must be in writing and submitted to the Assistant Superintendent’s office. 

Any appeal by the parents of the Assistant Superintendent’s determination, shall in the first instance go to the Discipline Committee of the School Board.  The Discipline Committee will determine whether good cause exists to vacate the Assistant Superintendent’s decision to refer the matter to the Rochester Police Department.  The Assistant Superintendent’s findings as to the number of unexcused absences shall not be appealable.  The Discipline Committee shall make its determination and inform the parents of that determination at the conclusion of the hearing with the parents.  If the Discipline Committee does not find good cause to vacate the decision to refer to the Rochester Police Department, then the parents may appeal such decision to the Rochester School Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting.    The parents shall have two days from the date of service in hand of the Discipline Committee’s decision, or four days (not including Saturdays and Sundays) from the postmark of any mailed decision, in which to appeal the Discipline Committee’s decision to the School Board.  If no appeal is timely taken, then the Assistant Superintendent shall refer the matter to the Rochester Police Department.

Habitually Truant

NHRSA 193:16 empowers the Rochester School Department to define habitually truant as: a child that misses 10 half days of school.

Excused Absences:


1.      Illness or injury requiring a doctor’s visit or consultation.  (Official documentation from a doctor is needed upon return to school.)

2.      Legal matters, death of relative or friend, religious holidays, and college visitations must be verified by official documentation.

3.      School sponsored field trips/athletic events must be verified by the staff member in charge of the event.

4.      Family vacations at the Elementary School, High School and Middle School must be submitted to the Principal one month in advance of the trip and students must be in good academic standing.    The Principal may recommend that the student not miss school. A student may not have more than five days excused for a family vacation. 

5.      All suspension days will be considered as excused  absences at Spaulding High School, Rochester Middle School and Rochester Elementary Schools




1.      The only grounds for dismissal are medical, funeral, approved work coop or senior privilege at Spaulding High School, legal, and/or extenuating family circumstances.


2.      Parents/guardians are strongly urged to schedule medical/therapeutic appointments outside of the school day.


3.      If a student is dismissed for more than one hour of class time at the Middle School and Elementary School  level he/she is considered absent for one half of a day.  


4.      If the school nurse at the High School and Middle School, and the school nurse or building principal at the elementary school dismisses a student for illness, it is considered an excused absence.  If, in the opinion of the school nurse or building principal, the cause of the student’s dismissal and subsequent absence justifies multiple days of absence, no additional note from a physician, parent or other professional will be required.




Adopted:             April 8, 1993

Amended:           August 12, 1999

Amended:           August 14, 2008

Amended:           October 14, 2010

Amended:           February 14, 2013