Attendance

SUBJECT: COMPREHENSIVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY

 

Statement of Overall Objectives

 

            School attendance is both a right and a responsibility.  The School District is an active partner with students and parents in the task of ensuring that all students meet or exceed the New York State Learning Standards.  Because the School District recognizes that consistent school attendance, academic success and school completion have a positive correlation, the School District has developed, and, if necessary, will revise a Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy to meet the following objectives:

 

a)      To increase school completion for all students;

 

b)      To raise student achievement and close gaps in student performance;

 

c)      To identify attendance patterns in order to design attendance improvement efforts

 

d)      To know the whereabouts of every student for safety reasons

 

e)      To verify that individual students are complying with education laws relating to compulsory attendance;

 

f)       To determine the District’s average daily attendance for State aid purposes.

 

Description of Strategies to Meet Objectives

 

            The School District will;

 

a)      Create and maintain a positive school building culture by fostering a positive physical and psychological environment where the presence of strong adult role models encourages respectful and nurturing interactions between adults and students.  This positive school culture is aimed at encouraging a high level of student bonding to the school, which in turn should lead to increased attendance.

 

b)      Maintain accurate recordkeeping via a Register of Attendance or record of attendance, absence, tardiness or early departure of each student.

 

c)      Utilize data analysis systems for tracking individual student attendance and individual group trends in student attendance problems.

 

d)      Develop early intervention strategies to improve school attendance for all students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Determination of Excused and Unexcused Absences, Tardiness and Early Departures

 

            Based upon our District’s education and community needs, values and priorities, the School District has determined that absences, tardiness and early departures will be considered excused or unexcused according to the following standards. 

 

For the purpose of determining absences and tardiness, the following definitions for excused and unexcused absences will be used.

 

Attendance Policy adjustments for the 2020-2021 School Year

The Reopening Plan submitted to the New York State Education Department includes a provision for attendance, which will direct attendance procedures for the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic related adjustments.  When existing policy and the Reopening Attendance Plan conflict, the Reopening Attendance Plan will be applied.  The Reopening Attendance Policy is attached as an appendix to the Pavilion Central School Comprehensive Attendance Policy. 

           

Excused Absence

An absence, tardiness or early departure may be excused if due

to religious observance, quarantine, court attendance and other absences required for legal reasons, bereavement, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, or school sponsored activities such as music lessons, field trips, athletic contests, visits in the guidance office with college representatives, visits to the school nurse’s office, activities approved by a teacher or administrator, late school buses, absences/tardiness related to 504 or special education requirements, disciplinary suspensions or assignments, or emergency situations, as approved case-by-case by the Principal.                       

Appointments with a doctor, dentist, orthodontist, certified/licensed counselor or other medical professionals, as well as court dates or other legal appointments will be considered to be excused absences only if the following criteria is met.  The District must be provided with a completed excused form which includes the date and time of the appointment – verified by the establishment where the appointment occurred.  The form must be turned into the nurse’s office upon returning to school.

In the event a student reports to the nurse’s Office, he/she must sign in at the nurse’s office first, and then the student must return to class as soon as possible upon approval from the school nurse. If a student who has reported to the nurse’s office is absent for more than ½ the class period he/she will be marked as NA (nurse’s office absence), which will be counted as an absence from that class. A student who has reported to the nurse’s office and is absent for less than ½ the class period will be marked as NO (nurse’s office), which will not be treated as an absence.

If these criteria are not met, the absence will be considered to be unexcused.

Students are required to make up all the work missed when absent from school.  For an excused absence students will have five (5) days from the date of their return to school to complete all missed assignments.  If the absence occurs at the end of a marking period the student will be given an incomplete for ten (10) school days.  Assignments not completed within the time period, or within a time period agreed upon by the teacher and the student, will not be scored.  Teachers are not required to fulfill these provisions for unexcused absences. 

 

Unexcused

An absence, tardiness or early departure is considered unexcused if the reason for the lack of attendance does not fall into the above categories (e.g. family vacation, hunting, babysitting, haircut, oversleeping, visiting relatives/friends, baby-sitting/work/job interview not approved by school work release, or all other appointments not related to medical/dental/court)

            If questions arise as to whether an absence is excused or unexcused, an administrator will be consulted to make a determination.

 

Student Attendance/Course Credit

District personnel believes that classroom participation is related to and affects a student’s performance and grasp of the subject matter and, as such, is properly reflected in a student’s final grade.  For purposes of this policy, classroom participation means that a student is in class and prepared to work. 

Consequently, for each marking period, a certain percentage of a student’s final grade may be based on classroom participation as well as the student’s performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc. as determined by the building administrator and/or classroom teacher.

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes.  Consistent with the importance of classroom participation, unexcused student absences, tardiness, and early departures will affect a student’s grade, including credit for classroom participation, for the marking period. 

 

Attendance Requirement

Students are required to maintain an 89% attendance rate in all of their classes.  Any student who exceeds the designated number of absences: ten (10) in a ½ credit course, twenty (20) in a full credit course, will be denied credit in that course unless; an attendance contract is developed to make up class time and missed work.  The contract can include, but is not limited to, the following methods: summer school for middle school students, attendance at school during vacation times, meeting teachers/tutors after school, attendance at ASAC, due dates for all missed assignments, other resources available to fulfill the terms of the contract.  Students that do not adhere to the contract may not be eligible to sit for exams or attend summer school, and may face further consequences outlined in this document.  In order for the contract to be valid, it must be signed by the student and the parent/guardian.    

 

Notification Process

When students are in danger of violating the attendance requirements (outlined in the previous section) parents will be notified.  Notifications will include, but are not limited to the following methods:

-Letters to students

-Letters sent home to parents

-Phone calls

-Conferences

 

Attendance Committee

A committee of relevant school employees will meet regularly to discuss intervention plans for individual students and other areas of potential need.  This committee may include, but will not be limited to, the following people: the Principal, the Assistant Principal, the grade level counselors, the School Nurse, and the SRO.

 

Potential Disciplinary Sanctions and Truancy Policy

Potential Disciplinary Sanctions

a)      Warning and discussion with student

b)      Parent contact

c)      Detention/Extended Detention

d)      In-school suspension

e)      Loss of privileges (certain field trips, driving pass, Scholar Athlete breakfasts, Senior scholar lunches, Breakfast of Champions, extracurricular activities)

f)       Home visits

g)      P.I.N.S petition

 

Appeal Process/Challenging Absences

Parent(s)/guardian(s) have the right to request a meeting to challenge the accuracy

of the information presented regarding their child’s attendance.  Requests must be made in writing to the High School Assistant Principal within one (1) week of the postmarked date of the notification concerning the absence which the parent wishes to challenge.  Failure to challenge the accuracy of an absence in accordance with this policy will be considered a waiver of the right to challenge.  Days that are not challenged within the prescribed timeline will not be considered for review at a later date.

All challenges will be presented by the parent(s)/guardian(s) to a panel which will include an administrator, the guidance counselor, and the teacher of the class in which the attendance is an issue.  A final determination regarding the status of the day(s) in question will be made at this time.

           

Middle School/Senior High School

 

Parental Obligations

a)      If your child is sick, or otherwise absent from school, please call the school on the first day of the absence to report it.  The nurse’s number is 584-1026; if the nurse is unable to answer the phone, please leave a message in the voice mail. 

b)      After an absence, the parent/guardian shall submit a written excuse within three school days following the student absence.  Failure to comply will result in a disciplinary referral for the student. 

c)      Parent(s)/guardian(s) will acknowledge receipt of District correspondence regarding their child’s attendance status.

 

Notice of Students who are absent, tardy, or depart early without proper excuse

A designated staff member shall attempt to notify by telephone the parent(s)/guardian(s) of a student who is absent, tardy, or departs early without proper excuse.  The staff member shall explain the District’s Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy and intervention procedures.

If deemed necessary by appropriate officials, or if requested by the parent(s)/guardian(s), a school conference shall be scheduled between the parent(s)/guardian(s) and appropriate staff members, in order to address the student’s attendance.  The student may also be requested to attend this conference in order to address appropriate intervention strategies that best meet the needs of the student.

 


 

MEDICAL/LEGAL VERIFICATION TO RECEIVE LEGAL EXCUSE

 

 

_______________________   _______________________   _________________

Name of student                     Date of Appointment                Appointment time

 

 

This verifies that the above student was in this medical office for a medical reason on the above date.

 

 

-          Please place official stamp/signature along with your title below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

-          Student may return to school on the following date: _______________

 

 

 

 

- Other forms of doctor visit verification (card/note from doctor’s office), legal appointments or court dates are acceptable if they include the date and time when the student was at the appointment and if appropriate a date when the student should return to school

 

 

            This form is to be turned in to the School Nurse as soon as the student returns to school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Elementary School – Grades K through 5

            If attendance problems develop because of absence, tardiness or both, the teachers, nurse, and principal will make every effort to contact parent(s)/guardian(s) so the problems can be corrected.  The following procedure will come into effect:

 

a)      After 4 (four) days of unexplained absence, the nurse will contact parents/guardians:

 

b)      If a student has 8 (eight) consecutive absences/tardiness in a 10 (ten) week period, a letter will be sent to the home;

 

c)      If a student has 10 (ten) nonconsecutive absences/tardiness in a 10 (ten) week period, a conference will be scheduled involving the student, parent(s)/guardian(s), teacher, nurse, and principal.  Parent(s)/guardian(s) may be notified at this time if attendance problems are affecting student progress this may, in turn, affect the student’s ability to pass to the next grade level.

 

d)      If attendance problems persist after the conference, the school may: file a PINS petition with the Department of Probation, report the family to the Department of Social Services for educational neglect, and/or request a Superintendent’s hearing.

 

For attendance purposes, a child must be in attendance at school a minimum of

30 (thirty) minutes to receive credit on record for that school day.  The tardiness and/or early dismissal must be excused for this rule to apply.  These students will be required to make up work during the absence.

 

            If your child is sick, or otherwise absent from school, please call the school on the first day of the absence to report it.  The main office number is 584-3011; the nurse’s office number is 584-1060.  Please be aware that the call in itself does not serve as a legal excuse, and that a written excuse is still necessary by law.

 

            For every absence, a signed and dated written note explaining the reason is required by law to be on file in the health office.  It is important that the note be sent immediately upon the child’s return to school.  In the case of illness it is also important to be reasonably specific (chicken pox, cold, flu, rather than he/she was sick).

 

            A student will not be recorded as dismissed early from school if they are signed out at 2:15 p.m. or later for kindergarten students, or 3:20 p.m. or later for grades 1-5.  The sign-out procedure for an early dismissal is similar to that for tardy sign-ins.  Please send a note informing the school of the time and purpose of the early dismissal, if planned.  We also need to know who will be picking up the student, since the law states that the school cannot dismiss children to anyone else without written parental consent.  The sign-out sheet in the office must be completed, and the secretary notified so the student can be sent from his/her classroom to the main office.  All early dismissals are from the office only.           

 

            Tardy is considered to be arrival at school any time after 9 a.m..  If your child is tardy, please take him/her to the Elementary Office to be signed in, remembering to fill in the reason for the tardiness.  Excessive tardiness/early departure will affect perfect attendance.

 

Annual Review by the Board of Education

 

            The Board of Education shall annually review the building level student attendance records and if such records show a decline in student attendance, the Board shall make any revisions to the Policy and plan deemed necessary to improve student attendance.

 

Distribution of Policy

            The Board of Education shall promote necessary community awareness of the District’s Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy by:

           

a)      Providing a plain language summary of the policy to parents or persons in parental relation to students at the beginning of each school year and promoting the understanding of such a policy to students and their parents/persons in parental relations;

 

b)      Providing copies of the policy and any amendments to staff with student responsibility; Providing copies of the policy to any members of the community upon request

 

Student Attendance Recordkeeping/Data Collection

            The record of each student’s presence, absence, tardiness and early departure shall be kept in the nurse’s office in a manner consistent with Commissioner’s Regulations.  An absence, tardiness or early departure will be entered as “excused” or “unexcused” along with the District code for the reason.  The building level nurse will record daily attendance.  In the middle/high school a designated secretary will be responsible for period-by-period attendance records.  The Assistant Principal, as designated as the register of attendance, will be responsible for parent/student notification of attendance status throughout the year.

 

            Commencing July 1, 2003, attendance shall be taken and recorded in accordance with the following:

 

a)      For students in non-departmentalized kindergarten through grade eight (i.e., self-contained classrooms and supervised group movement to other scheduled school activities such as physical education in the gym, assembly, etc.) and/or middle/high school self-contained, such student’s presence or absence shall be recorded after the taking of attendance once per school day.

b)      For students in grades seven through twelve, each student’s presence or absence shall be recorded after the taking of attendance in the beginning of each period.  Teachers will notify the school nurse of any student who is missing from their class, and whose name does not appear on the daily attendance sheet, during the student’s assigned class period.  Teachers will record student absences in the School Management System.

c)      Any absence from a school day or portion thereof shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy.

In the event that a student at any instructional level from kindergarten through grade 12 arrives late for or departs early from scheduled instruction,

 

d)      such tardiness or early departure shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy.

 

A record shall be kept of each scheduled day of instruction during which the

School is closed for all or part of the day because of extraordinary circumstances including adverse weather conditions, impairment of heating facilities, insufficiency of water supply, shortage of fuel, destruction of or damage to a school building or such other cause as may be found satisfactory to the Commissioner of Education.

 

Attendance records shall also indicate the date when a student withdraws from enrollment or is dropped from enrollment in accordance with Education Law Section 3202(1-a).

 

            At the conclusion of each class period or school day, all attendance information shall be compiled and provided to the designated school personnel who are responsible for attendance.  The nature of the absence, tardiness or early departure shall be coded on a student’s record in accordance with the established District/building procedures

 

Education Law Sections 3024, 3025, 3202, 3205, 3206, 3210, 3211 and 3213

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 104.1, 109.2 and 175.6

 

 

                                                                                    Adopted by BOE 08/24/2020

 


 

Appendix A Reopening Attendance Policy submitted July 30, 2020

 

Attendance

Attendance for Reporting Purposes

·         The District will use School Tool for tracking in-person, hybrid and virtual learning attendance.

·         Incentives for perfect attendance will be removed from the current attendance policy.

·         Student interactions/engagement are tracked using the following methods for attendance purposes:

o   Call logs with parents/ guardians and students.

o   Email correspondence

o   Google Classroom assignment completion and interaction. 

o   Google Meets

o   Remind App

Attendance for State Aid Purposes

School districts report certain enrollment, attendance, and school calendar information through the State Aid Management System (SAMS). While this data submission process differs from other procedures, the underlying data provided should be consistent with all other attendance reporting and requirements.

 As discussed in the Budget and Fiscal Matters section of this guidance, the minimum annual instructional hour requirement and 180 days of session requirement are also both reported through SAMS.  For both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, school districts will be required to continue to submit the same information through SAMS that has been required in previous years, namely aggregate instructional days and hours, as well as daily calendars.  Under regulatory changes adopted as an emergency rule by the Board of Regents on July 13, 2020, school districts may be eligible to apply for a waiver from the minimum instructional hour requirement for both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years to the extent that “the district is unable to meet such requirement as a result of an Executive Order(s) of the Governor pursuant to the State of emergency declared for the COVID-19 crisis, or pursuant to Education Law §3604(8), as amended by Chapter 107 of the Laws of 2020, or reopening procedures implemented as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.”  Successful application of the waiver will shield school districts from a reduction in aid for failure to meet the minimum instructional hour requirement.  However, the 180 days of session requirement is in statute, and for the 2020-21 school year there are currently no statutory provisions that would allow a school district to provide fewer than 180 days of instruction over the course of the full school year.

Chronic Absenteeism

Extensive research indicates that missing ten percent of school days tends to be the “tipping point” when student achievement declines.  Chronic absence, or absenteeism, is defined as missing at least ten percent of enrolled school days, which in New York State is eighteen days per school year, or two days per month.

Classroom teachers, homeroom teachers, grade level and department chairpersons, counselors, building principals and the Director of Pupil Services are responsible for identifying students who are not participating.  Interventions are scaffolded as follows:

  • Google Hangout/Meet to establish face-to-face contact.
  • Phone call to parent/guardian.
  • Email to student and parent/guardian.
  • Remind App communication
  • Home visitation (Exercising social distancing protocols)

When contact is established by the aforementioned parties, a plan is developed to overcome any learning barriers.  If students cannot access virtual instruction, hard-copy materials will be made available.

Educational Neglect

The District will collaborate with the applicable county department of social services when it has questions regarding educational neglect.  The Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Neglect will only be contacted as a last resort.  An allegation of educational neglect may be warranted when a custodial parent or guardian fails to ensure a child’s prompt and regular attendance in school or keeps the child out of school for impermissible reasons resulting in an adverse effect on the child’s educational progress, or imminent danger of such an adverse effect.

Persons in Need of Supervision

The District will collaborate with the applicable county department of social services when it has questions regarding PINS and before taking action.

 

Under the Family Court Act Article 7, a PINS proceeding may, in certain circumstances, be initiated to have a person under eighteen years of age, who does not attend school, is incorrigible, ungovernable, habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of a parent, or other person legally responsible for such child’s care, or appears to be a sexually exploited child, adjudicated by the Family Court as a PINS