The Natrona County School District has altered the way schools implement its new attendance policy, according to a news release.

The district made the changes after a contentious board meeting on Oct. 10, a meeting the next day with parents and community members, and from calls and emails.

The changes affect the regulations that affect the policy, not the policy itself.

The new regulations state school personnel should not ask about the circumstances about a parent-excused absence when contacted by parents or guardians. Parents and guardians can talk about an absence, but school personnel should not press them for details.

The principal has final determination if an absence is excused or unexcused.

The district also clarified the definition of an absence is at the elementary level.

It added “not including lunch/lunch recess time” to this passage in the regulations: "In K-5 (elementary) schools, a half-day absence results when a student is missing 45 minutes or more in the morning or afternoon, not including lunch/lunch recess time. Students who are absent for 45 minutes or more in both the morning and the afternoon will be considered absent for the entire day."

In other words, students who are gone from school during lunch and or lunch recess will not have that time count toward an absence.

The term “intervention” also raised concerns.

An intervention, according to the district, refers to a conversation with administrators on a case-by-case basis to find out why a student is missing too many classes.

Interventions happen if a student has five or more unexcused absences in any one semester course increment in grades 6-12, and five or more unexcused absences per semester in elementary school.

The district's board of trustees will receive comments about the attendance policy through Nov. 27.

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