Excused or unexcused absences at BPS

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BISMARCK, N.D. - More students at Bismarck Public Schools may be taking finals.

Some students who missed school on Tuesday because of the weather were given unexcused absences.

Bismarck Public School's student handbook says if a student misses three days in a class, they have to take the final for that subject. If a student is failing, then they're also required to take the final, unless it won't help them get a passing grade.

BPS has a district wide policy about absences toward finals.

"By not closing on Tuesday, it was considered an excused absence, it just wasn't an absence that counted against their finals, or having to take finals," said Kay LaCoe, Bismarck Public School Mom.

The superintendent of the district said a vast majority of kids were at school Tuesday, but if they weren't it had to be a good excuse.

"If there aren't extenuating circumstances and everybody else in the home is at school, or at work, then you need a real rational for why the high school student couldn't make it to school," said Tamara Uselman, District Superintendent.

According to the BPS student handbook, if a student missed a class for the third time, they'd have to take the final for that class.

"The not taking the finals is a reward. They're not being punished, they are being rewarded if their attendance and their grades are as such. They're not being punished by having to take a test in school," LaCoe said.

Uselman says BPS will make the decision for the district if schools stay open or not, but the parents can make the best decision for their home.

Every district builds two days into their calendar for snow days.