The Board of Education recognizes that regular school attendance is a major component of academic success. When a student is absent, tardy, or leaves early from class or school without excuse, the attendance clerk/nurse will notify the student's parent(s) by telephone or in writing of the specific absence, remind them of the attendance policy, and review relevant intervention procedures with them. Copies of this policy will be made available at the District office to any community member, upon written request.
Excused and Unexcused Absences
Excused absences are defined as absences, tardiness, and early departures from class or school due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, family farm work requirements, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, attendance at health clinics, approved college visits, approved music, art and athletic competitions, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations, or such other reasons as may be approved by the building administrator.
All other absences, tardiness and/or early departures shall be considered unexcused absences.
All absences, whether excused or unexcused, must be accounted for. It is the parent's responsibility to at least orally notify the school office within at least twenty-four (24) hours of the absence. Parents should provide a written excuse upon the student's return to school. Failure to provide an acceptable oral or written excuse shall be deemed an unexcused absence.
General Procedures/Data Collection
For students in non-departmentalized kindergarten through grade five (5), each student's presence or absence shall be recorded after the taking of attendance once per school day. For students in grades six (6) through twelve (12), each student's presence or absence shall be recorded after the taking of attendance in each period of scheduled instruction.
Any absence for a day or portion thereof shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards set forth in this policy. Additionally, in the event any student arrives late for or departs early from scheduled instruction, such tardiness or early departure shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy.
The District will design and implement systems to acknowledge a student's efforts to maintain or improve school attendance. At the building and classroom levels, administrators and teachers are encouraged to schedule instruction, programs and events in order to reduce days of chronically high absenteeism.
The District shall appoint a committee of administrators, faculty representatives, parents and students whose purpose shall be to design intervention procedures to be implemented by the District.
The Committee shall determine appropriate intervention strategies and potential penalties for violation of the attendance policy in the District. In instances of absences, a representative of the District shall meet with the student to review the attendance policy and regulations, explain the ramifications of unexcused absences, and stress the importance of class attendance. Parents shall also be notified of this meeting. This meeting should as certain the reason for the absence. Notification shall thereafter be sent to the parents and placed in the student's record with regard to such unexcused absences from school. Both students and parents should be warned that noncompliance with the attendance policy and regulations will result in disciplinary action.
For any further instances of an unexcused absence, tardiness and/or leaving school or class early, additional progressive disciplinary action may be warranted.
Where necessary, the Superintendent may seek to involve the juvenile justice system either through the Department of Probation or Family Court by filing a Person in Need of Supervision Petition. Where the student's absenteeism is due to the parents'/guardians' failure to enable or permit the student's attendance and the student is of compulsory school age, the District, as mandated reporters under the law, shall report the matter as educational neglect to the appropriate State officials.
Unexcused absences will result in disciplinary action consistent with the District's code of conduct. Those penalties may include, but are not be limited to, detention or in/out-school suspension. Students may also be denied the privilege of participating in or attending extracurricular events. In addition, designated staff member(s) will contact the student's parents.
For each marking period, a student's final grade may be based on classroom participation as well as student's performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc. Unexcused absences will affect a student's class participation grade for the marking period and any absence from class which is not made up may result in a loss of points from the student's classroom participation grade for the marking period.
At the high school level, any student with unexcused absences in excess of those set forth in the regulations will not receive credit for that course. However, students with properly excused absences may make up the work to each absence, and those absences will not count toward the minimum standard.
To ensure that parents and students are aware of the implications of this minimum attendance requirement, the teacher or other designated staff member(s) will advise the student and contact the parent(s) by telephone and mail at appropriate intervals prior to the student reaching the levels of unexcused absences as set forth in the regulations.
In implementing this policy, students who are unable to attend school or a class on a given day due to their participation in a school-sponsored activity (i.e., music lessons, field trips), may arrange with their teachers to make up any work missed. This also applies to any student who is absent, tardy or leaves early from school or a class due to illness or any other excused reason. Students who arrange with their teachers to make up any work missed shall, upon the completion of any make up work assigned, be given credit for classroom participation for the day/class period missed. A student's parent(s) or guardian(s) should make arrangements with the main office for home instruction or for such classroom assignments for short-term absences to allow the student to make up the work to enable him/her to earn a grade for work completed and classroom participation.
All students with an excused absence are expected upon their return to consult with their teachers regarding missed work. Only those students with excused absences will be given the opportunity to make up a test or other missed work and/or turn in a late assignment for inclusion in their final grade. Make up opportunities must be completed by a date specified by the student's teacher for the class in question. A parent may request to review their child's attendance record upon written application to the building principal.