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501.3 Compulsory Attendance

Code No. 501.3


Parents or legal guardians within the school district who have children over age six and under age sixteen by September 15, in proper physical and mental condition to attend school, will have the children attend the school district at the attendance center designated by the board. Students will attend school the number of hours school is in session in accordance with the school calendar. Exceptions to this policy include children who:

  • have completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school or have obtained a high school equivalency diploma;
  • are attending religious services or receiving religious instruction;
  • are attending an accredited nonpublic school;
  • are attending an approved or probationally approved private college preparatory school;
  • are attending an accredited nonpublic school; or,
  • are receiving competent private instruction.

It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian of a child to provide evidence of the child's mental and physical inability to attend school or of the child's qualifications for one of the exceptions listed above.

The principal, or designee, will investigate the cause for a student's truancy. If the principal or designee is unable to secure the truant student's attendance, the principal should discuss the next step with the superintendent. If, after superintendent action, the student is still truant, the principal will refer the matter over to the county attorney.

The school will participate in mediation if requested by the county attorney. The principal or designee will represent the school district in mediation. The school district will monitor the student's compliance with the mediation agreement and will report violations of the mediation agreement to the county attorney.

Note: The compulsory attendance law does not require school districts to have a truancy officer.

Legal Reference:     
Iowa Code §§ 259A; 279.10-.11; ch. 299; 299A (2013).
441 I.A.C. 41.25(8).
1978 Op. Att'y. Gen. 379.

Cross Reference:     
501 Student Attendance
601.1 School Calendar
604.1 Competent Private Instruction

Approved: 10/14/09

Reviewed: 2/24/16

Revised: 2/6/22

Grinnell-Newburg School District, Grinnell, IA