School districts track student attendance in accordance with state truancy laws, which vary. In Maine, for example, children ages 7 to 16 must attend school. A child of at least 7 who has not yet finished sixth grade is considered habitually truant if he misses seven instructional days in a school year or five instructional days in a row. Excused absences do not count against students. Thus, most attendance reports contain student information, days present and absent, and notations regarding whether absences are excused or unexcused.

Track Attendance

Step 1

Download a free attendance-tracking form, such as the "Monthly Class Attendance Form" or "Weekly Student Attendance Record" available on Vertex42.com, or the "Home School Attendance Report" from Lake County ISD. (resources 1 and 2)

Step 2

Open the attendance report in Excel, Word or other program for which the form is designed. Fill in the information daily or weekly, keeping track of student names, dates present, dates absent, whether absences are excused, and any notes you need to make regarding students' absences. Consult with the attendance clerk in your district to determine any additional tracking requirements, such as tardies.

Step 3

Open the template and print it if you prefer to keep records by hand.

Prepare Attendance Report

Step 1

Upload or submit your data as directed if your district maintains an electronic attendance system. Archive or save all data to a disk in case your submission fails or a file becomes corrupted.

Step 2

Prepare a report manually, if required, by following the template supplied by your district. Compile the data from your daily or weekly attendance-tracking form. Save a copy for yourself, and submit the original as directed.

Step 3

Create your own attendance report by summarizing the data for a specific marking period, such as a semester, quarter or six-week period. Include, at a minimum, the following background information: your name and the course you teach, the beginning and ending dates of the report period, each student's name, identification number, and grade level, as well as each student's ethnicity, if required by the district.

Step 4

Add the compiled data for each student: list the total number of days in the reporting period, the number of days she was present, the number of days she was absent, and a comment regarding her total excused/unexcused absences. If the district requires it, include the number of times each student was tardy to class.

Step 5

Copy the report, save one for yourself and submit the original to the attendance office.