New DoDEA Student Attendance Policy

On September 1, 2011, DoDEA announced the implementation of its first comprehensive policy on student attendance. This policy is based upon the foundational principle that regular student attendance promotes higher levels of student achievement, school connectedness, and readiness for colleges and careers.

The new policy mandates school attendance, requires 180 instructional days per academic year, and recognizes the reality of unavoidable absences such as illness and emergency situations. The policy also aligns with the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children standard that school systems respect the unique the needs of military families when considering requests for excused absences.

DoDEA is launching this new policy with an educational campaign to assist educators, parents, students and community members to understand the importance of attending school regularly.

Our Association is pleased to be a member of the working group assisting DoDEA in this effort.

DoDEA’s campaign slogan, "Be Here!" emphasizes their core belief that attendance is the gateway to a successful Kindergarten through grade 12 educational experience. The campaign encourages parents to schedule appointments or other discretionary absences outside of the school day to maximize student learning opportunities.

Key components of the new policy include:

  • A requirement for students to complete an educational plan consistent with regularly planned school work during absences
  • Increased communication with parents about the effect of absences on student performance
  • Referral of students with 5 days of absences to the Student Support Team and with 7 days of absences to the local Command for appropriate intervention and support
  • Daily record-keeping, review, and analysis of attendance

DoDEA plans to elicit community and school feedback to their new policy in early May 2012 and will make revisions based upon an analysis of this feedback.

Additional information regarding the DoDEA Attendance Policy is available at www.dodea.edu.

(Source: Memorandum on DoDEA Regulation 2095.01, "School Attendance," August 26, 2011)

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