Attendance Policy and Procedures
Student Drop Off - From 7-9 a.m., please drop students off at the Westmoreland back loop, the Washington lot, or the Main St. front U. Do not use the Berryman Parking Lot, as this will be closed to two-way traffic during this time.
After Hours Policies - Following dismissal of the regular school day, clubs, sports, or other school-sponsored activities, students must leave school grounds. Loitering on school property will not be permitted. Late buses are only for students with acceptable reasons.
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:
- To determine the District's average daily attendance for State aid purposes.
- To know the whereabouts of every student for safety and other reasons;
- To identify attendance patterns in order to design attendance improvement efforts;
- To increase school completion for all students;
- To raise student achievement and close gaps in student performance;
- To verify that individual students are complying with education laws relating to compulsory attendance;
When a student is going to be Full Day Absent from school, it is the responsibility of both the parent and student to account for that absence by following either of the following steps:
- The parent or guardian notifying the school, with valid reason, before 8:00am or as soon as possible, on the morning of the absence using the parent call back number 362-8249, or
- The student submitting an acceptable note to the attendance office (within three days of return to school) from a parent or guardian or other official designees (e.g. physician, court, etc.), giving the date and reason for the absence. Any full day, unexcused absence will be considered truancy, and disciplinary action will be taken. Notes must be submitted within 3 days of return to school.
Students who are absent from class due to their participation in a school sponsored activity are to arrange with their teachers to make up any work missed in a timely manner as determined by the student's teacher. Upon returning to school following a properly excused absence, tardiness or early departure, it shall be the responsibility of the student to consult with his/her teacher(s) regarding arrangements to make up missed work, assignments and/or tests in accordance with the time schedule specified by the teacher.
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.
- Excused: An absence, tardiness or early departure may be excused if due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads due to inclement weather, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, medical/dental appointments, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations and any other pre-approved absences for exceptional circumstances.
- For full day absences of 5 consecutive school days or more, documentation from a physician must be presented to the designated attendance person within three school days of return to school. Without this documentation these absences will be considered unexcused.
- Students with chronic absences/tardies/dismissal (10 school days during a marking period, typically @ 40 day marking period) may be required to produce documentation from a physician in order for these absences to be considered excused.
- 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, obtaining learner's permit, oversleeping, missed the bus)
Vacations and Extended Educational Travel
New York State Law does not permit legally excused absences for family travel or extended educational travel. Although not condoned, in instances where families choose to travel during a time that will prevent school attendance, it is expected that students will take responsibility to approach each teacher to make arrangements for class work, assignments and assessments that will be missed in a student’s absence. Teachers have been able to accommodate these requests in some cases however we cannot guarantee that academic consequences will not arise due to school absences. Under no circumstances will Regents Exams, Final Exams and Mid-term exams be excused without medical documentation.
Unexcused absences, tardiness and early departures will result in disciplinary sanctions as described in the District's Code of Conduct. Consequences may include, but are not limited to, in-school suspension, detention and denial of participation in interscholastic and extracurricular activities.
It is requested that parents or guardians arrange medical, dental and other appointments for their children after the end of the school day. If this is not possible, parents or guardians are required to submit a note to the attendance office requesting an early dismissal. The note must include:
- date and time of early release
- valid reason for dismissal
- signature of parent/guardian and phone number where parent/guardian may be reached.
An early dismissal card will be issued to the student for early release. Students returning to school after an early dismissal are to report back to the Attendance Office.
NOTE: Students leaving without permission will be considered truant, and ISS will be assigned.
Requests for Student Work
Requests for work if your child has been absent may be made after 2 consecutive absences. Please contact your child’s school counselor by 8 a.m. on the 3rd consecutive day of absence.
Upon arrival students must report to the Attendance Office to sign in and check for any appointment slips or notices. When a student is late to school it is the responsibility of both the parent and student to account for that tardiness by submitting a note. The note must include:
- date and time of arrival
- valid reason for the tardiness
- signature of parent or guardian along with a phone number where parent or guardian may be reached during the day.
A late pass will be issued to the student for re-admittance to class.
NOTE: Students who do not submit a note will be assigned detention to be served within the next three days.
Physical Education Class Attendance
Four years of Physical Education is a requirement for graduation in New York State. A student will earn credit for daily participation, preparation, and a variety of skill assessments. Failure to participate in Physical Education will result in a zero for the day. Missing work can be made-up for excused absences. Unexcused absences cannot be made up. It is the student's responsibility to meet with his or her Physical Education teacher the day he or she returns to class. The student will be given one (1) week to complete his or her make-up. Hours for make-ups will be posted. NYS Law requires that all jewelry must be removed to participate in athletics and Physical Education. Failure to do so will result in an unprepared and a zero (0) for the day. All students should have their own combination lock to secure possessions in lockers that are provided. Students are responsible for locking up their valuables at all times.
Student Attendance/Course Credit
The District 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.
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.
With regard to credit bearing courses at the High School and Harkness Center, students will not be granted credit if they exceed the following:
- More than eight unexcused absences in a one credit course or Harkness
- More than four unexcused absences in a half credit course
- More than two unexcused absences in a quarter credit course
- Courses with more than daily meeting times, such as science labs, will have the above number of absences prorated.