The Appleton Area School District believes there is a positive relationship between school attendance and student success. It further believes that school attendance is a responsibility shared by students, parents, schools, and community. 

The District, in accordance with State law, requires that all students between six and eighteen years of age (and those students enrolled in 5-year-old kindergarten) attend school regularly during the full period and hours, religious holidays excepted, that the school in which the child is enrolled is in session until the end of the school term, quarter or semester of the school year in which the student becomes 18 years of age, unless they have an acceptable excuse, meet attendance exceptions outlined in state law, or have graduated from high school. 

Although not required by state law, students in 4-year-old kindergarten are expected to attend 4K programming on a regular basis, and excused and unexcused absences will be determined based on the procedures described in this policy. It is the responsibility of each school’s attendance officer to determine if an absence is excused, unexcused, or truant.

A student will be considered excused for school attendance if the student is considered temporarily not in proper physical or mental condition to attend school but can be expected to return upon termination or abatement of the illness or condition. The school attendance officer may request that the parent/guardian obtain a written statement documenting the existing condition.

A student may be excused in writing by the parent/guardian prior to an absence occurring. Under this provision, absences through prior parent request cannot exceed 10 days in a school year. A student who has reached the age of 16 years and meets criteria established in Wisconsin statutes may also be excused from school attendance to participate in programs leading to high school graduation or high school equivalency.

No student shall be denied credit in a course or subject solely because of an excused or unexcused absence.

Tips for Parents

  • Establish and stick to the basic routines (going to bed early, waking up on time, etc.) that will help your child develop the habit of on-time attendance.
  • Talk to your child about why going to school every day is critical and important unless they are sick. If your child seems reluctant to go to school, find out why and work with the teacher, administrator or after school provider to get them excited about going to school.
  • Come up with back up plans for who to turn to (another family member, a neighbor or fellow parents) to help you get your child to school if something comes up (e.g. another child gets sick, your car breaks down, etc.).
  • Reach out for help if you are experiencing tough times (e.g. transportation, unstable housing, loss of a job, health problems) that make it difficult to get your child to school. Other parents, your child’s teacher, principal, social worker, school nurse, after-school providers or community agencies can help you problem solve or connect you to a needed resource.
  • If your child is absent, work with the teacher to make sure she or he has an opportunity to learn and make up for the academics missed.

Absence Request Process

New for the 22-23 school year, parents/guardians can use the Absence Request found on Campus Parent/Parent Portal tool to submit a request that informs the office in advance when their student is not going to be in school.

This new feature can be used as an alternative to the traditional phone calls to the school office. Please see the instructions, found here, on how to submit an Absence Request via the Campus Portal.


Request for Student Absence - English
Request for Student Absence - Hmong
Request for Student Absence - Spanish


Board Policy 430

Taking Action on Attendance

Attendance Matters: Parents’ Guide