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.

SUBJECT: COMPREHENISVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY (Cont’d) 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.

Attendance Policy Grades 6-12.

I. 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. If the course leads to a Regents examination, the student will not be allowed to take the examination. The course may be repeated in a regularly scheduled class during another semester. The course may not be taken during summer school. (Situations involving Seniors needing summer school credit for graduation will be reviewed by the attendance panel for possible exception to the summer school rule.)

II. For the purpose of determining absences and tardiness, the following definitions will be used.

a) Excused: 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.

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. *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.

1. 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. 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. Failure to complete assignments within the time frame will result in the absence being counted as an unexcused absence. If the absence occurs at the end of a marking period the student will be given an incomplete for ten (10) school days.

SUBJECT: COMPREHENISVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY (Cont’d)

b) 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, hair cut, oversleeping).

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

Notification Process A notification process has been established to keep parents informed of their child’s attendance. The following chart outlines the notification process.

Full credit course:

3 absences- The teacher/admin will speak with the student to remind them of the attendance policy.

6 absences- The teacher/admin will contact parent(s)/guardian(s) by phone to discuss class absences and the attendance policy.

9 absences- Teachers/Admin will provide Guidance documentation via the Attendance Notification Sheets documenting prior contact with parent(s)/guardian(s). The guidance office will then send a notification letter home to parent(s)/guardian(s).

12 absences- The guidance office will send a notification letter home which will establish a meeting date and time for parent(s)/guardian(s) to come in and discuss the attendance issue. An Attendance Recovery Contract might be considered as a means of intervention to prevent the loss of credit. (Parent(s)/guardian(s), student, teacher, guidance counselor).

16 absences- The office will send a notification letter home which will establish a date and time for a meeting to discuss the attendance problem. (Parent(s)/guardian(s), student, teacher, guidance counselor and an administrator).

20 absences- Loss of credit notification.

SUBJECT: COMPREHENISVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY (Cont’d)

Half credit course:

1 absence- The teacher/admin will speak with the student to remind them of the attendance policy

3 absences- The teacher/admin will contact parent(s)/guardian(s) by phone to discuss class absences and the attendance policy.

4 absences- Teachers/admin will provide Guidance documentation via the Attendance Notification Sheets documenting prior contact with parent(s)/guardian(s). The guidance office will then send a notification letter home to parent(s)/guardian(s).

6 absences - The office will send a notification letter home which will establish a meeting date and time for parent(s)/guardian(s) to come in and discuss the attendance issue. An Attendance Recovery Contract might be considered as a means of intervention to prevent the loss of credit. (Parent(s)/guardian(s), student, teacher, guidance counselor and an administrator).

10 absences- Loss of credit notification

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 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, the attendance monitor 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.

Loss of credit in a regularly scheduled class due to attendance violations will result in the following actions.

1. The student will be required to audit, but will not be permitted to take tests, turn in homework or be graded for any work done for the class period for which they have lost credit.

2. The student will be considered to be failing that course until the end of the semester. The Academic Eligibility Policy will apply. The course will be listed as a non-credit bearing course in the School Management System.

SUBJECT: COMPREHENISVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY (Cont’d)
Notification Process

A notification process has been established to keep parents informed of their child’s attendance. The following chart outlines the notification process.

Full credit course:

3 absences- The teacher/admin will speak with the student to remind them of the attendance policy.

6 absences- The teacher/Admin will contact parent(s)/guardian(s) by phone to discuss class absences and the attendance policy.

9 absences- Teachers/admin will provide Guidance documentation via the Attendance Notification Sheets documenting prior contact with parent(s)/guardian(s). The guidance office will then send a notification letter home to parent(s)/guardian(s).

12 absences- The guidance office will send a notification letter home which will establish a meeting date and time for parent(s)/guardian(s) to come in and discuss the attendance issue. An Attendance Recovery Contract might be considered as a means of intervention to prevent the loss of credit. (Parent(s)/guardian(s), student, teacher, guidance counselor).

16 absences- The office will send a notification letter home which will establish a date and time for a meeting to discuss the attendance problem. (Parent(s)/guardian(s), student, teacher, guidance counselor and an administrator).

20 absences- Loss of credit notification.

Half credit course:

1 absence- The teacher/admin will speak with the student to remind them of the attendance policy

3 absences- The teacher/admin will contact parent(s)/guardian(s) by phone to discuss class absences and the attendance policy.

4 absences- Teachers/admin will provide Guidance documentation via the Attendance Notification Sheets documenting prior contact with parent(s)/guardian(s). The guidance office will then send a notification letter home to parent(s)/guardian(s).

6 absences - The office will send a notification letter home which will establish a meeting date and time for parent(s)/guardian(s) to come in and discuss the attendance issue. An Attendance Recovery Contract might be considered as a means of intervention to prevent the loss of credit. (Parent(s)/guardian(s), student, teacher, guidance counselor and an administrator).

10 absences- Loss of credit notification

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 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, the attendance monitor 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.

SUBJECT: COMPREHENISVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY (Cont’d)

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. 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.

b) After an absence, the parent/guardian shall submit a written excuse within three school days following the student absence.

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.


SUBJECT: COMPREHENISVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY (Cont’d)

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

SUBJECT: COMPREHENISVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY (Cont’d)

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

SUBJECT: COMPREHENISVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY (Cont’d)

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.

SUBJECT: COMPREHENISVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY (Cont’d)

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 09/18/2017??