3 Be Informed The topics in this section are often covered in student handbooks and on school websites. If your school has a handbook in print or online, read through it carefully. For news and updates, regularly visit your school’s website. School Calendar Every school has a calendar that shows when grading periods begin and end, when your school will be closed for holidays and vacations, and when parent-teacher conferences are scheduled. Many school calendars also include dates for testing, parent meetings, performances, and special events. Be sure to write the important dates on your calendar at home. Attendance Policies Schools have attendance policies that encourage regular attendance, while allowing students to be absent if they’re ill. If your child is going to be absent for more than a couple of days and his/her teachers do not post assignments online, see if your school has a procedure for getting assignments. Whenever possible, try to get some work that can be done at home so that your child doesn’t get too far behind. If your child has an extended illness or chronic health problem, get docu- mentation from your child’s physician and give it to the school. Graduation Requirements All high schools have academic requirements that students must meet in order to graduate. As a rule, students must pass all of the required courses and earn a minimum number of credits. In some states, students must also pass a state required test before they can graduate. To ensure that students are making satisfactory academic progress, most high schools also have specific requirements that students must meet in order to advance to the next grade level.