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.

           

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.

 

Attendance Incentives

 

            In order to encourage student attendance, the District will develop and implement grade-appropriate/building level strategies and programs including, but not limited to:

 

a)      Verbal praise – via public address each marking period;

 

b)      $100 savings bond for graduating seniors having achieved perfect attendance in grades 9-12;

 

c)      Students who have perfect attendance in a given year will received a pass for free admission to home sporting events the following school year;

 

d)      Students in grades K – 6 who achieve perfect attendance will receive a perfect attendance t-shirt;

 

e)      Students in grades K – 12 who achieve perfect attendance will be recognized in the District Newsletter; and

 

f)       Students in grades K – 5, for six consecutive years of perfect attendance; a perfect attendance certificate, and a $50 savings bond will be awarded in the assembly.

 

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 08/5/2019