2017 District of Columbia Code
Title 38 - Educational Institutions.
Chapter 2 - Compulsory School Attendance and Expulsion.
Subchapter I - School Attendance.
Part B - Compulsory School Attendance.
§ 38–202. Establishment of school attendance requirements.

Universal Citation: DC Code § 38–202 (2017)

(a) Every parent, guardian, or other person, who resides permanently or temporarily in the District during any school year and who has custody or control of a minor who has reached the age of 5 years or will become 5 years of age on or before September 30th of the current school year shall place the minor in regular attendance in an educational institution during the period of each year when the public schools of the District are in session. This obligation of the parent, guardian, or other person having custody extends until the minor reaches the age of 18 years. For the purpose of this section placement in summer school is not required.

(b) Any minor who has satisfactorily completed the senior high school course of study prescribed by the Board and has been granted a diploma that certifies his or her graduation from high school, or who holds a diploma or certificate of graduation from another course of study determined by the Board to be at least equivalent to that required by the Board for graduation from the public senior high schools, shall be excused from further attendance at school.

(c) Any minor who has reached the age of 17 years may be allowed flexible school hours by the head of the educational institution in which the minor is enrolled provided he or she is actually, lawfully, gainfully, and regularly employed, but in no case shall he or she be excused entirely from regular attendance or excused to the extent that his or her timely graduation would be jeopardized or prevented.

(d) The Board shall, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, issue rules to establish requirements to govern acceptable credit for studies completed at independent or private schools and private instruction, to govern the selection and appointment of appropriate staff members to carry out the provisions of this chapter under the direction of the Superintendent of Schools, pursuant to Chapter 6 of Title 1, and in respect to other matters within the scope of authority of the Board that relates to this subchapter.

(Feb. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 806, ch. 140, Art. I, §§ 1, 2; renumbered as Art. II, § 1 and amended, Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-247, § 2(a), 38 DCR 376; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 17-202, § 604, 55 DCR 6297; Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-17, § 303(a), 60 DCR 9839; July 26, 2016, D.C. Law 21-140, § 2(b), 63 DCR 8207.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-402.

1973 Ed., §§ 31-201, 31-202.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1571, § 16-2309, § 38-203, § 38-206, § 38-1800.02, and § 38-2605.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-202, in subsec. (a), substituted “September 30th” for “December 31st”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-17 substituted “an educational institution” for “a public, independent, private, or parochial school, or in private instruction” in (a).

Cross References

Additional powers and duties of Superintendent, see § 38-105.

Belief that child is of compulsory school age, taking into custody, see § 16-2309.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2 of Class Exclusion Standards Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-23, March

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 303(a) of the Attendance Accountability Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-133, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11531, 20 DCSTAT 1973).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 17-8 added provisions to read as follows:

“Sec. 1a. Establishment of standards for class exclusions and suspensions.

“(a) The Board of Education (‘Board’) shall adopt uniform disciplinary standards:

“(1) To determine when class exclusions will be the appropriate disciplinary measure for students;

“(2) To promote the education of students in the school, except for those students who may be a danger to the school’s faculty, students, or others, where the student was placed prior to disciplinary action, and that prioritize consideration of the student’s academic standing, the educational needs of the students, and the number of previous offenses.

“(b) The standards adopted under subsection (a) of this section shall include a progressive schedule of discipline which promotes the goal of in-class education for students subject to disciplinary action, beginning with in-class intervention strategies and ending with expulsion as the final and most extreme form of discipline, and to the extent consistent with this progressive schedule, it shall be the policy of the District of Columbia to prefer in-school disciplinary action, except for those students who may be a danger to the school’s faculty, students, or others.

“(c) The Board shall require a monthly report of disciplinary measures taken by each school regarding class exclusions and suspensions, including the rationale for the particular choice of discipline.

“(d) The Mayor shall provide for comprehensive inter-agency collaborative support programs, such as programs offered by the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Human Services, the Child and Family Services Agency, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, to assist the student subject to class exclusion at the school, except for those students who may be a danger to the school’s faculty, students, or others, where the student was placed prior to the disciplinary action.

“(e) The Mayor shall make resources available to support the programs in subsection (d) of this section within the context of appropriated funds within the budget and financial plan.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 17-8 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

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