Attendance Line

Call the Attendance Line at 720-423-4354 or email to excuse your student’s absences.

Attendance Policy

John F Kennedy High School Attendance Policies: 2022-2023

At Kennedy, we believe that every minute of instruction matters; therefore, we have created the Attendance protocol to encourage all Commanders to be in all class periods, every day unless excused through school-related activities or for medical reasons.

At Denver Public Schools it is essential for students to attend school daily in order to acquire the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to be college- and career- ready. 

Attendance Expectations:

At John F Kennedy High School and in Denver Public Schools, students are expected to maintain:

On-Campus Learning 

Families and students have consistent access to see attendance and tardy percentages using parent and student portal.  Please check the attendance of your student at least once a week, if not every day.

John F Kennedy is responding to and supporting students during and after the global pandemic. Many families are facing sudden stressors and the multitude of stressors have disproportionately impacted students of color and families with lower-income. This disconnect from systems of support such as school, has been compounded by recent police brutality and systemic racism. The John F Kennedy Engagement Team will ground all interventions and support in culturally responsive and trauma informed practices to support all students. 



Excused Absence:  Per state law and DPS Policy JHB-R, an excused absence are those  absences excused by permission from both the parent/guardian AND school principal. Such absences include those that are the result of the following:

 1. temporary illness or injury

2. physical, mental, or emotional disability or condition

3. religious observances

4. death in the immediate family

5. school service absences (absences that occur as a result of participation in school activities that are authorized and pre-approved by the school leader).

Principals can request appropriate documentation if these absences go beyond reasonable time; i.e. visit to school nurse or medical note  if day 4 of stomach ache.

Unexcused Absence: any absence without the permission of the parent/guardian and the school principal for example, no call no show, a trip to another state/country without return date, or unauthorized leaving of building.

Habitual Truancy: 4 unexcused absences a month or 10 unexcused absences a year.

Members and Role of the Engagement Team

In order to ensure 100% of our students have the tools, skills, and support needed to engage fully in learning, John F. Kennedy High School has created an Engagement Team including members of school administration, mental health and counseling, office support, and the behavior team . 

The role of the Engagement Team is to make meaningful connections with our students who are struggling to consistently attend classes. Additionally, this team will identify root causes of absences by making phone calls, sending emails, and hosting meetings with students and their guardians.

Compulsory* School Attendance & Truancy:

According to Colorado State Law (Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 22-33-104 to 22-33-?: School Attendance Act of 1963):

Children between the ages of 6 (on August 1 of each year) and 16 must attend school. Each school district will have at least one attendance officer designated to enforce compulsory education law. The school board for each district will adopt and implement policies and procedures for addressing habitually truant students and their guardians. The goal is to help children stay in school.

Penalties for student truancy can include, but are not limited to, guardians being summoned to appear in court and face penalties as decided by an assigned judge, students being mandated to wear an ankle monitor, placement in juvenile detention, intervention of a Department of Child Services case worker.

*Compulsory — Required by law

According to the Denver Public School Board, (Policy JHB, linked below):

If a student is absent without an excuse signed by the parent/guardian or if the student leaves school or a class without permission of the teacher or administrator in charge, the student shall be considered truant.  “Habitually Truant” shall be defined as a student of compulsory attendance age who has four total days of unexcused absences from school in any one month or 10 total days of unexcused absences during any school year.

Family and School Communication:

Families are expected to communicate with the school’s main office/attendance secretary (contact numbers listed below) any time a student is not present at school for any period of time during the school day. All unexcused and unverified absences will be changed to “truant” in Kennedy’s Infinite Campus school attendance system if guardians do not communicate with the school. Please excuse your student by calling the attendance line or within 24 hours of the absence at 720-423-4354. 

Family members not documented within a student’s Infinite Campus student profile may not excuse, dismiss, request, or receive any information pertaining to that student. Please update contact information and add anyone who may excuse a student’s absence with your permission through the school’s main office. 

Communication from the school to families will occur daily at 3pm with an automated message.  This message will inform guardians if a student has been marked absent from one or more of their morning classes, or one or more of their afternoon classes.  Families are encouraged to use the Parent Portal to stay informed on a daily basis about their student’s attendance. If a student is expressing that their attendance record is inaccurate- for example, they say they were late to a class as opposed to absent- please contact the main office.  

Absence Thresholds and Attendance Coding:

Absence ReasonIC CodePolicy & ThresholdsAdditional Info
Illness or InjuryILLFLU10 Unverified ill/injury days per school year.  (doctor’s note required)
>10 Ill/Injury days require a doctor’s note- without verification, absences will be coded “unexcused”
3 or more consecutive days absent due to illness require a doctor’s note 
School Nurse will be notified at 3 days consecutive absences due to illness
School Nurse will be notified at 10 days of Illness
10 days absent due to unverified illness equals 70 class period absences, or legal limit for truancy

A doctor’s note is required to return in order to ensure the student is not contagious 
Nurse will be notified so they may follow up with the family regarding school-based support
MedicalMEDMedical coding means there has been verification of illness, injury, hospitalization, or appointment, and written documentation has been provided
At 15 days Medical, or 10 days Illness + 5 Days Medical, school nurse will be notified
A re-entry meeting with the appropriate staff member is required following any hospitalization of a student 
When possible, attempts should be made to schedule appointments in the morning or afternoon and the student should attend school outside of the appointment

Families should contact their students’ grade level counselor to schedule the re-entry meeting
Family BusinessFAMGuardians may excuse their student for a total of 3 school days per year for family business
Reasons include:Death of family memberHousing emergency / movingOther as determined eligible by staff
Beyond 3 days, absence needs to be discussed and approved by an administrator in order to be excused
Beyond three days, absences will be coded as unexcused unless discussed with and approved by an administrator- see “extended absence” below in OTX section.
Administrators will also support with connections to additional resources at school for students and families
TransportationTRNFamilies are permitted to excuse a student from school 3 times per school year for transportation issues
Whether the student misses the full day or just first period, this will count as 1 time
Examples of transportation issues:Car won’t startBus did not showMissed BusCar in shopLost keysStolen BikeWeather
If students need temporary or long-term support with transportation to or from school, families and students should take proactive action and communicate with the grade-level admin or counselor 
Absence ReasonIC CodePolicy & ThresholdsAdditional Info
LegalLGLReasons for LGL coding:Court appointmentsImmigrationProbation Appts
Must be verified with proper documentation
Coding will remain unexcused until absence is verified with proper documentation
Other- ExcusedOTXExtended Absences- must be approved by school administration

Religious Observances- absences must be called in by a guardian day of or prior, and will not be post-coded
Students and guardians must speak with a school administrator no less than 3 weeks prior to an extended absence, with the exception of extenuating circumstances, in order to verify absence and receive approval. 
Early-Release ExcusedERXGuardians may early-release students up to 3 times per school year, no earlier than 12:00pm.
Reasons for Early-Release may include:Inclement weatherSibling pick-upUnanticipated schedule conflict
This must be communicated before a student leaves the building.  Absences will not be post-excused.
Other UnexcusedOTUIf we have verified that a student’s guardian is aware their student is not in school, but the students’ absence is not approved per JFK or DPS policy OTU is the equivalent of truant- the difference is that the guardian is aware of the student’s absence
TruantTRUIf a student is not in their scheduled class, and the school has not received notification of the student’s absence from a guardian. Any absence that has not been excused or otherwise coded by 3pm each school day will be changed to Truant.
School Business / School ActivitySCHACTStudent attendance will be coded by school staff when students is:On a fieldtrip (ACT)Released for athletics (ACT)At school-based appointment (SCH)Meeting with a staff member (SCH)Participating in non-disciplinary reflection or restoration (SCH)JFK staff members accept responsibility for properly coding and communicating about student appointments and activities, when not in their scheduled class
Appointments and activities must always be verified with the appropriate staff member when coding a past absence
SuspensionINSSSUSIn-school suspension (INSS) and out-of-school suspension (SUS) will be coded by a member of our discipline office when assigned for discipline situations.  
A reinstatement meeting is required following all out-of-school suspensions.
Depending on circumstances, a family meeting may also be required for in-school suspensions.
Families should always be notified of suspensions- questions or concerns should be communicated with Deans.

DPS Board Policy JHB-R: Regulation for Student Attendance

Academic Impact:

Upon return from an absence, as outlined above, a student will have opportunities to make up missing work. The responsibility to reteach lessons and catch students up should fall onto students if the student has been ditching class(es). 

School Systems: Accountability & Discipline 

Intervention / ActionIntervention / Action
Cumulative Attendance 85% or HigherStudents are eligible for PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Systems) Incentives
Students Will Be Celebrated At P.R.I.D.E. Awards
Students and parents are Informed of Student Absences via robocall 
Students Track Their Weekly Attendance Percentage and Monthly Cumulative Attendance Percentage Every Monday morning during class
Tier 1 InterventionCumulative Attendance 84.5 – 70% 

Engagement Team will check grades each week, call home, and setup a meeting with parents to set the Expectations for attendance and make a plan to get the student back on track.Letter from Engagement Team is Sent Home If No Contact Is Made
All Steps Will Be Documented in Infinite Campus
Tier 2 InterventionCumulative Attendance 69.5%-40% 
All of the interventions from tier 1 will occur and you will need to meet with one of the Principals and sign an attendance contract. At this point you will lose all off campus Lunch and access to after school activities. Letter from Attendance Officer Sent Home If No Contact Is MadeStudent will loose off campus privileges during lunchAll Steps Will Be Documented in Infinite Campus
Tier 3 InterventionCumulative Attendance Less Than 40%
If you are under 16 years old, you and your guardian will be referred to TRUANCY Court and  DHS will be Notified. IF you are over 16 you will WITHDRAWN from JFK and will no longer be a Kennedy Student.Discussion of Grades, Attendance, Credits, On Track to Graduate Status, Transitions, Truancy, Withdrawing Procedures 
All Steps Will Be Documented in Infinite Campus
Truancy/TransitionsTruancy is Filed with State of Colorado
School Team Considers Educational Neglect Report
Discussion with Family Transitions Liaison
Referral to Additional Community Resources