Attendance Policies

The Board of Education recognizes that regular school attendance is a major component of academic success. Through implementation of the attendance policy, the Board expects to reduce unexcused absences, encourage full attendance by all students, maintain an adequate attendance record-keeping system, identify patterns of student absence and develop effective intervention strategies to improve attendance. To ensure the success of this endeavor, students, parents, teachers and administrators will be made aware of the purpose, procedures and consequences of noncompliance for the policy. Copies will also be available to the community and will appear in district publications.

The policy addresses excused absences and unexcused absences and tardiness. Excused absences are defined as absences due to personal illness; illness or death in the family; impassable roads or weather; religious observance; quarantine; required court appearances; medical/dental appointments that cannot be scheduled outside the school day; approved college visits; military obligations; or such other reasons as may be approved. All other unapproved absences, tardiness or early departures are considered unexcused absences. All absences must be accounted for. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the school office on the morning of the absence or tardiness and to provide a written excuse upon the student’s return to school. After five consecutive absences, as per Board policy, it will be necessary to submit a physician’s note.

Attendance will be taken during each class period at the secondary level and on a daily basis on the elementary level. At the conclusion of each class period or school day, all attendance information shall be compiled and provided to the appropriate individual(s) responsible for attendance. The nature of an absence (full day, class cut) shall be coded on a student’s record. Student absence/class cut data will be available to be reviewed by attendance officers or other appropriate school personnel. The following individuals will be responsible for overseeing, monitoring attendance and initiating appropriate action: principal (elementary schools), assistant principal (middle and high school). Where additional information is received from a student during a student/staff conference that requires corrections to be made to a student’s attendance records, such correction will be made immediately. Notice of such a change will be sent to appropriate school personnel (i.e., homeroom teachers, attendance officer, etc.).

Each school will maintain an attendance honor roll, which will be published quarterly, identifying those students with perfect and near-perfect attendance at the elementary level and perfect attendance at the secondary level.

Generally, disciplinary sanctions will be imposed progressively. This means a pupil’s first unexcused absence, tardiness or early departure will usually merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations. In accordance with the district’s Code of Conduct, the following range of disciplinary sanctions may be imposed to discourage unexcused pupil absences, tardiness and early departure: written or oral notification to parents, detention, suspension from recreation participation, suspension from athletic participation, suspension from social or extracurricular activities (i.e., proms, senior celebrity night, etc.), suspension from other privileges (i.e., senior lunch privileges, senior parking, etc.) or in-school suspension.

The Board of Education recognizes an important relationship between class attendance and student performance. Consequently, each marking period a student’s final grade will be based on classroom participation as well as the student’s performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc. Students (K-12) are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Consistent with the importance of classroom participation, any absence from class which is not made up shall result in the loss of points from the student’s class participation grade for the marking period. The manner in which the loss of points may be reflected will vary according to the school level. Any student who misses a class is expected upon his or her return to consult with his/her teachers regarding missed work. At the early elementary level, parents are expected to consult with the teacher regarding missed work. If the absence is excused, the student may earn his or her classroom participation grade by arranging an assignment with the teacher to cover the work missed.

In implementing this policy, students who are unable to attend a class on a given day/period due to their participation in a school sponsored activity (i.e., music lessons, field trips, etc.) may arrange with their teachers to make up any work missed. This also applies to any student who is absent from school due to illness who either receives home instruction from the district or makes arrangements with the teacher to make up the work missed. Students will be given the opportunity to turn in a late assignment for inclusion in the calculation of the performance portion of their final grade. Makeup opportunities must be completed by a date specified by the student’s teacher for the class or subject in question.

At the secondary level, any student with more than nine absences for one-half year or 18 absences for a full year that are not made up will not receive credit for that course. To ensure that parents and students are aware of the implications of this minimum attendance requirement, the teacher and other appropriate school personnel will counsel the student and contact the parent by telephone and mail at appropriate intervals prior to the student reaching nine or 18 absences. Only students with excused absences will be given the opportunity to make up a test for the inclusion in the calculation of the performance portion of their final grade.