The Tippecanoe Online Academy is a “virtual school” under Indiana Code 20-19-9-4. The TOA attendance policy includes requirements listed in Indiana Code 20-19-9-5.
The Tippecanoe School Corporation believes that Tippecanoe Online Academy students will attain education benefits of learning and the fulfillment of academic and career goals through engagement and attendance.
Academically Engaged Students
Tippecanoe Online Academy students shall maintain good standing regarding attendance and engagement by:
- Logging into Canvas on a daily basis
- Engaging during the required live class sessions
- Attending scheduled conferences and meetings
- Attending in-person State mandated testing
- Completing diagnostic and formative assessments
- Actively communicating with school staff
- Responding to request for two-way communication within one school day
- Proactively communicating with the school regarding technical issues
- Proactively communicating with the school regarding excused absences
Academically engaged students participate in learning opportunities by working within the curriculum and offline resources. Each lesson requires approximately 60 minutes of instructional time. Learning opportunities of instructional time involve interacting with the curriculum, progress made in the curriculum, assignment submissions, live class sessions attended, completion of internal assessments, and other offline resources. If a teacher or Learning Success Coach cannot see evidence of learning they will follow the attendance intervention Procedures. Students are required to create a daily schedule for themselves that they must keep for the entirety of the course(s). This schedule must be sent to their Success Coach at the beginning of each semester.
Students enrolled for the entire school year must attend 180 instructional days per school year. The total instructional days are prorated based on the student’s start date. The daily amount of expected instructional time is six hours. Time in excess to the expected daily amounts will be accepted towards the student’s total instructional days.
Learning opportunities of instructional time include but are not limited to:
- interacting with the curriculum;
- progress made in the curriculum;
- assignment submissions;
- live sessions attended;
- completion of internal assessments;
- other offline resources;
- and unique situations such as students placed in therapy centers, alternative settings or programs.
Proof of participation in online learning opportunities will be reviewed on a daily basis for every student. Progress and formative assessments may be required to demonstrate active participation in learning opportunities.
Procedures to Report an Absence
Absences must be reported by the parent or legal guardian to be excused. The absence can be reported through written notification by emailing email@example.com or by calling and leaving a voicemail on the attendance phone line at (765) 474-8888 extension 1.
Exceptions to Compulsory Attendance
Exceptions to compulsory attendance that shall be recognized by the school corporation as provided by state statute are:
- service as a page or honoree of the general assembly (I.C. 20-33- 2-14)
- service on a precinct election board or helper to a political candidate on the date of an election (I.C. 20-33-2-15)
- subpoena to appear in court as a witness in a judicial proceeding (I.C. 20-33-2-16)
- service in active duty with the National Guard for not more than ten (10) days (I.C. 20-33-2-17)
- participating as a member of the Indiana wing of the civil air patrol for not more than five (5) days (I.C. 20-33-2-17.2)
- participating in an educationally related non-classroom activity which is consistent with and promotes educational philosophy and goals of the school corporation, facilitates the attainment of specific educational objectives, is part of the goals and objectives of an approved course or curriculum, represents a unique educational opportunity, cannot reasonably occur without interrupting the school day, and is approved in advance by the school principal (I.C. 20-33-2-17.5)
- participating or exhibiting in the Indiana State Fair for educational purposes for not more than five (5) days. In order for a student to receive an excused absence, the student must be in good academic standing. (I.C. 20-33-2-17.7)
The following absences are not counted against the student when determining the attendance requirement beyond the maximum nine (9) days allowed and are to be exempt from attendance requirements:
- Illness with physician verification.
- Immediate family member funeral with verification. Immediate family is defined as a student's parent(s) or guardian(s), brother, sister, grandparents, spouse, children, corresponding step relatives or corresponding in-laws.
- Judicial appointments with verification.
- Out-of-school suspension.
According to Indiana Code 20-20-8-8, Chronic Absenteeism is defined as being absent 18 or more days within a school year for any reason and Habitual Truancy is defined as being absent
10 days or more from school within a school year without being excused.
Students meeting the Habitual Truancy qualification must be withdrawn from the Tippecanoe Online Academy per IC 20-19-9-5. A student who is withdrawn pursuant to this policy may not be re-enrolled for the school year in which the student is withdrawn per IC 20-24-7-13.
The Learning Success Coach provides specific interventions for students and families of students who become truant. Prior to a student reaching Habitual Truancy status, the school will establish a truancy conference. Notification of the conference date, time and location will be sent to the student’s family through email and U.S. certified mail. The notice will clearly state that the student has failed to adhere to the attendance policy and required immediate intervention.
The truancy conference team will seek to understand the unique situation of the student and family. The school will review information provided by the student’s family and will determine if there is sufficient basis for an excused absence, in accordance with school policy.
If a student is withdrawn due to Habitual Truancy, the Tippecanoe Online Academy will:
- Report the student to the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS)
- Report to the Indiana Clearinghouse for Information on Missing Children and Missing Endangered Adults (The Clearinghouse)
- Report to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) information to indicate ineligibility for an operator’s license or learner’s permit
- Call the local law enforcement agency to confirm child welfare
- Not allow the student to re-enroll for the remainder of the current school year
Indiana Digital Learning Schools must follow the rules and regulations set by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). According to IDOE, all students are required to participate in state testing. In accordance with state law, students refusing to attend assigned state testing days or any scheduled make-up testing sessions will be reported as an unexcused absence and subject to Habitual Truancy laws.
According to Indiana’s Assessment Policies absence from mandatory state testing cannot be considered an excused absence. The Assessment Policy states: Every student attending a public, charter, or accredited nonpublic school in Indiana must take the required Indiana assessments to graduate. Furthermore, it is a violation of Indiana's compulsory school attendance laws for a parent/guardian to refuse to send his or her child to school for the purpose of avoiding tests, including assessments (see IC 20-33-2).