skip to main content

District Attendance Policy

 

Statement of Purpose

Attendance is a strong component of a comprehensive educational experience. Student attendance maximizes students’ opportunities for learning. Improved student attendance helps improve student achievement and lowers the dropout rate. This attendance policy is designed to ensure that classroom attendance and participation are encouraged and valued. It will also provide for early intervention for students with attendance problems. In order for this policy to be a success, we require the cooperation of the entire educational community including staff, parents, students and community.
 

Notification

For this policy to be a success, it is imperative that all students and parents be aware of this policy, its purpose, procedures and the consequences of non-compliance. To ensure that students, parents, teachers and administrators are notified of and understand this policy, the following will occur:

  • The policy will be mailed to all students’ homes annually and posted on the district website
  • An orientation session will be held where the policy will be explained to students at the secondary level each year and to parents of all students at “back to school" night annually
  • At the elementary level, the policy will be explained to students at their orientation assembly.

 
Attendance Incentives

Each school will design and implement their own systems to acknowledge student efforts to maintain or improve school attendance. These systems may take the form of certificates, rewards, special activities and/or schoolwide recognition as deemed appropriate by the individual schools.
 

Procedures

High School

  • Classroom participation shall be an integral component of a student’s overall performance grade. Each marking period a percentage of the grade shall be based upon classroom participation.
  • Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. An absence from class that is not made up will result in loss of credit for student participation in that session.
  • When students are absent from a class, they are responsible to make up any and all work missed. Any student who does not make up work will be counted as “absent/not made up.” Immediately upon return from an absence, a student is responsible to get the make-up work from his/her teacher. The teacher will determine if the quality of the make-up work is adequate to negate the absence for the purpose of this policy.
  • Only students with excused absences or pre-approved absences will be permitted to make up work. Students who are absent because of truancy or who cut class will not be given the opportunity to make up missed work for credit. Students will be given a “zero” for any test or quiz given on a day that they are absent because of truancy or cutting. Excused absences include: illness, death in the family, religious observance, required court appearances, approved college visits, class trips, approved school programs, school counseling or military obligations. In addition, other reasons for absence must be given prior approval by the Principal, Superintendent of Schools or the Commissioner of Education in order to be made up. Absence notes are required upon a student’s return to school. As appropriate, physician notes will be required.
  • Both excused and unexcused absences count as absences pursuant to this policy. A distinction, however, between excused and unexcused absences is made relative to the opportunity for a student to make up absences so as not to exceed the maximum number of absences as set forth below. Students SHALL be given the opportunity to make up work missed for an excused or otherwise pre-approved absence. Students SHALL NOT be allowed to make up missed work due to cuts, truancy or unexcused absences for credit.
  • Students who have a combination of 28 excused and unexcused absences in a full year course shall not be given credit for the course. Students who have a combination of 14 excused or unexcused absences in a half-year course shall not be given credit for the course. Excused or approved absences may be made up by satisfing approved make-up work provided by the classroom teacher or an educational designee as appointed by the Principal, Assistant Superintendent or Superintendent of Schools. Students denied credit under the conditions of this policy shall receive a grade of “incomplete” for the course. This may only be changed to a grade for course credit upon satisfaction of approved make-up work. Students who are absent MAY make up work within FIVE school days upon their return to school.
  • In the event that classroom make-ups are not completed in a timely fashion, students who receive an incomplete grade must attend summer school and pass, or repeat the course. This applies to all state required courses. Failure to do so, may affect a student’s graduation status.
  • In order to keep parents apprised of student attendance, parent contact will be made according to the following schedule for absences which have not been made up:
    1. Attendance letter will be sent out by the teacher after seven (7) absences for a full-year course and four (4) absences for a half-year course.
    2. A second attendance letter will be sent by the teacher after fourteen (14) absences for a full-year course and seven (7) absences for a half-year course. Teachers will inform the appropriate guidance counselor and assistant principal.
    3. A third letter will be issued by the Principal’s office upon twenty (20) absences for a full-year course and ten (10) absences for a half-year course. A meeting will be held with the Principal, parent, student and guidance counselor present.
    4. A fourth letter will be issued by the Principal’s office upon twenty-eight (28) absences for a full-year course and fourteen (14) absences for a half- year course. Credit will be denied.
  • For 1/2 credit courses, contact will be at 4, 7 and 10 absences.

 

Middle School

  • Legal excuses for absence/lateness to school are: illness, death in the family, religious observance, required court appearances, class trips, approved school programs and school counseling.
  • Examples of excuses considered unexcused are: trip, vacation, tired, overslept, helping at home, missed the bus, etc.
  • Absence notes are required upon a student’s return to school. As appropriate, physician notes will be required.
  • Excessive absences may lead to the revocation of participation in certain school activities such as: dances, plays, class trips and athletics.
  • Parents will be informed of excessive absences at seven (7), ten (10) and eighteen (18) absences. Excessive unexcused absences will prompt a meeting with the guidance counselor, parents and student at ten (10) absences and with the principal at eighteen (I8). Should the absences continue unabated, additional meetings may be held and Child Protective Services may be informed.
  • Classroom participation shall be an integral component of a student’s overall performance grade. Each marking period a percentage of the grade shall be based upon classroom participation.

 

Elementary Schools

  • Classroom participation shall be an integral component of a student’s overall performance grade. Each progress report will reflect the total number of absences and latenesses on record. Students are expected to attend school each day and to arrive promptly.
  • Upon return from an absence, a student will submit an absence note. As appropriate, physician notes will be required. A student is responsible to get make-up work from their teacher and complete it in a timely manner. Consideration will be given to the age of the student and parental contact will be made as appropriate.
  • Only students with legal absences (illness, death in the family, religious observance, required court appearances, class trips, approved school programs, and school counseling) will be permitted to make-up work.
  • Unexcused absences will result in intervention action by the school administration. Letters to the parents, home visits, and or contacting Child Protective Services are examples of possible interventions. Notification to parents will be made as determined appropriate by the building principal. Such notification may take the form of telephone calls and/or letters. Such notification may be done by the teacher, building principal or principal’s designee. (For example, the school nurse.)
  • A general schedule of written notification will be:
    1. Five (5) absences or latenesses for initial notification,
    2. Ten to  fifteen (10-15) absences for second notification and
    3. Twenty (20) absences for a third notification and ultimate referral to Child Protective Services.

Kindergarten

  • The Kindergarten Principal will interact and collaborate with parents on establishing good attendance habits for their children.

Adopted 5/25/99
Reaffirmed 10/17/00, 10/18/11
Amended 2/9/10, 2/15/11