Rule of 85

Attendance is governed by the Rule of 85. This rule requires students to be in class and on time 85% of the time.  Excused absences and school related activities such as field trips and sports excusals are not included in the calculation. All other absences whether unexcused, unverified or truant (including those occurring during FLEX) and tardies are a part of the calculation. Students who fall below the 85% threshold are ineligible to participate in Bulldog Citizenship Activities until they reach the 85% attendance mark. We will determine eligibility under the Rule of 85 at each grade reporting period. Students may attend Saturday School to improve their attendance rate. For the Rule of 85 there may be very limited opportunities for appeal based on significant and extraordinary circumstances.

 

What is the “Rule of 85”?

 

The Rule of 85 requires that students be in class and on time 85% of the time, calculated by school periods, in order to participate in many of the extra activities at VHS including athletics, cheer, drill team, dances, field trips etc.

 

Why this school policy?

 

Every minute in school counts. What we do here with your students everyday is important. To prepare students for college and/or career, we need them here as much as possible. Students who are present and on time less than 85% of the time should not be spending hours after school practicing for a sport, or be out of school on a field trip, or at the dance on Friday night. Instead they should be focusing extra attention on their school work. (A student without tardies has to be on pace to miss 27 school days or 162 periods—more than five full weeks of school—in order to fall below the 85% mark.)

 

What kind of absences/tardies are counted in calculating the 85%?

 

Excused absences and school related activities such as field trips and sports excusals are not included in the calculation. All other absences whether unexcused, unverified or truant (including those occurring during FLEX) and tardies are a part of the calculation. Tardies are also counted. If looking at attendance in Aeries the codes to look for include: A, U, T.

 

Note:  California Ed Code allows a parent to excuse up to 60 period absences without medical verification.  After a student’s 10th excused absence, medical notes will be required to excuse the absence.

 

When will you determine eligibility under this rule?

 

We will check for eligibility every grading period. We’ll notify ineligible students at that time.

 

Is there anything “extra” a student can do to get back up the 85% threshold other than just being in school on time every day?

 

Yes. Each Saturday School a student attends removes a full day’s absence in calculating the Rule of 85. (It does not remove scattered period absences or tardies.) Students wishing to take advantage of this opportunity may sign up in the front office. If a student doesn’t have any full day absences, but would like to work on the Rule of 85, he or she should contact an administrator about options.

 

How does short- term independent study fit into this system?

 

If a student is out on short-term independent study and completes his or her work according to the contract requirements, the student is not considered to have been absent. It’s as if the student was in class and on time for the duration of his or time out of school. If, however, the student does not complete his or her work in a timely manner, the student is considered absent for the time missed; this could have a significant ability on the student’s ability to reach the 85% mark.

 

What if a student (or family) has some special circumstance?

  

If a student faces some very special circumstances that cause him or her to miss school they can appeal. In most cases, however, short-term independent studies (or other district programs) should assist the student. For example, a student who needs to undergo surgery or travel out of state for a loved one’s funeral could be served by short-term independent studies.

 

How does the appeal process work?

 

The appeal form can be picked up in the front office. It must be completed by the student and signed by the parent. Administration will call the student in once they have made a decision about whether or not the student qualifies for the appeal. If the student qualifies, administration will then remove the student’s name from the ineligibility list and contact coaches (if applicable).

 

How can I calculate my percentage?

 

See the rule of 85 cheat sheet for the cumulative total number of absences/tardies that students must be under each week in order to be at 85% or above. Ask someone in the office to print your attendance and follow step 1 below to find out if you are under 85%.


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