Hawaii State Compulsory School Attendance Law §302A-1132, HRS, requires children to attend either a public or private school unless properly excused from school. §302A-1136 HRS, places the responsibility for enforcing compulsory attendance with the DOE and §302A-1135 HRS, requires the parent or guardian of the child who persists in being absent from school be referred and summoned to family court.
The DOE’s vision for Hawaii Public schools is, “Hawaii’s schools will be safe, nurturing, learning environments where all students achieve high academic standards, attain skills necessary to reach their goals and meet their potential, and are contributing members of society.” Teachers, administrators and school staff shall make every effort to work with the students and their parents or guardians to provide the appropriate educational services and support. Research shows a clear and direct link to attendance and student success in school. Students need to attend school daily and be in class on time so that optimum benefits of education can be achieved.
Hawaiʻi DOE policy defines chronic absenteeism as 15 school days or more regardless of reason for absence. Parents will be notified to improve attendance by classroom teachers, attendance clerk, counselor, and/or an administrator when a child has 5 or more absences.
School Attendance Policy
All trips should be scheduled during non-instructional times. An Expected Absence Form should be completed and submitted to the principal with teacher signature before going on trips that affect school attendance.
Daily absences should be reported via a phone call to the school office by 8:30 am on the first day of an absence. Upon return to school, all students must provide a written note from a parent explaining the reason for the absence. Notes should be given to the classroom teacher. Absences of 5 days or more require an original doctorʻs note. Whenever possible, expected absences due to doctorʻs or court ordered appointments should be reported in writing in advance. All unreported absences will be unexcused and will generate automated and additional phone calls. Homework may be requested by 8:30 am daily and will be ready for pick-up at the end of the school day.