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Attendance Report

What exactly does the law require? Two sections of the code are discussed below. Read the words carefully. DaySpring Policies and Procedures related to the code follow.

Section 16-28-8
Reports required must be furnished.
All school officers, including those in private schools, or private tutors, but not those in church schools, in this state offering instruction to pupils within the compulsory attendance ages, shall make and furnish all reports that may be required by the State Superintendent of Education and by the county superintendent of education or by the board of education of any city with reference to the workings of this article. The principal teacher of each public school, private school, church school and each private tutor shall keep an attendance register showing the enrollment of the school and every absence of each enrolled child from school for a half day or more during each school day of the year.

Strict construction:
“Principal teacher” is not defined by law. A court could not well define this term using the standard of common usage, since public schools do not usually have anyone designated as “the” principal teacher. Practically, schools that comply have some system in place, the details of which may vary, that results in data gathered to produce one report of the enrollment of the school, to include detailed reporting of every absence of each child for a half day or more during the school days. One likely scenario is that “the” “principal teacher” of a church school would be interpreted in a court of law to mean someone who could produce a report of the entire enrollment of “the school”, i.e. the Administrator of the school. “Attendance register” — is defined as showing 1) the enrollment of the school and 2) every absence of each enrolled child from school for a half day or more during each school day of the year.

Church schools are not required to follow the public school calendar, and there is no law defining this term for church schools. What constitutes “school day”, then, is a matter left to the discretion of the church school.

Where is the requirement of law that parents keep or submit an attendance report/register? This is a requirement that the school keep a register that shows 1) the enrollment of the school and 2) absences for a half day or more from a “school day” as defined by the school. If you, the parent, feel that you are required to do so, then you should follow that requirement in any way you wish. But DaySpring’s requirements under law can be satisfied without “attendance reports” from parents, and in keeping with our philosophy that parents have both the right and the responsibility in the education of their children, DaySpring does not require an attendance report submitted to the school by parents. Absences of half day or more can be reported on the Absentee Form.

Section 16-28-15
Absence must be explained.
Every parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any child required to attend public school, private school, or church school, shall as soon as practical explain the cause of any absence of the child under his control or charge which was without permission of the teacher, and a failure to furnish such explanation shall be admissible as evidence of such child being a truant with the consent and connivance of the person in control or charge of said child, unless such person can show to the reasonable satisfaction of the court that he had no knowledge of such absence and that he has been diligent in his efforts to secure the attendance of such child.

Explaining the reason/cause of any absence without permission of the teacher is required of parents (etc) of children in church schools. DaySpring, therefore, has produced the Absentee Form for your use in reporting/explaining absences without permission.


1. The DaySpring School Year is 365 days. The definition of education extends far beyond the limitations placed upon the word in government-run, taxpayer funded schools. Our policies will not be defined by the lowest common demoninator.
n. [L. educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.
(Source: 1828 Webster’s dictionary )

Latin educatio: bringing up, training, education.

Relevant excerpts from Hyperdictionary entry:
education activities that impart knowledge of skill; the result of good upbringing; the gradual process of acquiring knowledge; the knowledge acquired by learning and instruction. Synonyms: breeding, activity, training. See Also: acquisition, activity, assimilation, cognitive content, enlightenment, erudition, experience, foundation, grounding, instruction, learnedness, learning, lesson, mastering, preparation, self-cultivation, teaching, upbringing.

2. Every day is a school day of 24 hours length. On each school day, some combination of the activities of bringing up, moral or academic instruction, value grounding, and/or the process of enlightenment, learning, knowledge acquisition should occur. Rest is a necessary component of all educational processes/activities. Every absence of a half day or more on any of the 365 school days should be reported to DaySpring on the Absentee Form.

3. These policies are formed based on the DaySpring philosophy and definition of education. Should you need a transcript for the purpose of transferring to another school, DaySpring will require that you provide days of attendance for each year of that transcript. You should keep in mind this possibility and be able to provide the days of “academic activitiy” attendance as commonly expected and reported to schools which limit their definitions to the commonly-accepted “public school” definitions of education, school year, etc.

DaySpring Academy proudly announces the development of an outstandingly wonderful new document to facilitate compliance with the law.

Presenting …. (drum roll please) …
The Absentee Form
Questions? See below in 25 words or less…↓




In Short

Upon review of the law, we find absolutely no reason to require an attendance report be submitted to the school. There is no reason to ever take the most restrictive interpretation of a law possible, especially when it is a piece of silliness if you examine closely the philosophy of DaySpring. Education is no more and no less than an integral part of the raising of, and the responsibility for, a child. You are raising … educating … your child every day, and you are responsible for that child, regardless of where they are or what they are doing. There are no absences from that responsibility.

Should you need a transcript at any time or for any reason (prior to high school graduation), you must furnish us with a complete report of ALL days of “academic attendance” — as commonly defined by those who limit their definition of education to that used in government schools. As you know, institutionalized schools will want to know what days you were “doing school”. At that time, you will have to be able to compartmentalize the raising of your child to fit the expected definition and report at least 140 to 185 days you were “doing school” … or alternately, report 365 days and be willing, if called upon, to explain.
Decide now, and plan accordingly.

Should you ever encounter any legal difficulties (custody problems, for example), you the parent — and not DSA — will be held responsible by any legal entity that becomes involved. DSA may become involved in some way in supplying information, but if attendance records are required as a part of that encounter, you must be able to supply any and all records needed for your protection or defense. Plan accordingly.

Okay. So it wasn’t 25 words or less. Maybe this then.

We don’t need no stinking reports.