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- Attendance / High School Policy - Regulation #5113A-R
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Click here to view the PDF version of Regulation #5113A-R.
The administration expects that students will attend every class daily. Students, Parents/ Guardians, Teachers, Guidance Counselors, and Administrators share responsibility for student attendance.
- Students must attend class and keep track of any absences. They must make up any work missed during absences.
- Parents/Guardians must provide the school with updated phone numbers and must support the emphasis on regular daily attendance.
- Teachers must record attendance daily.
- Guidance Counselors must inform administrators of absence patterns.
- Administrators must enforce the attendance policy and regulation.
Documentation of Absences
Parents/Guardians are required to notify the school in writing when a student is absent within ten (10) school days of the student’s return to school. If documentation is not received within this time frame the absence will be unexcused and, therefore, unappealable. Documentation may come in the form of parent/guardian notes or notification from official sources. (NOTE: parent/guardian notes will only be accepted for nine (9) days of Appealable absences in a given school year. For the 10th absence and all thereafter, only official absence documentation will be accepted.)
The student must present written documentation of an absence to the principal or his/her designee. The student will be given an Absence Documentation Form to bring to each class for teachers’ signatures (see Appendix A). The student will return the Absence Documentation Form and written documentation to the data processing office.
Types of Absences
The high school attendance policy recognizes three types of absences: Exempt, Appealable, and Unappealable. Exempt absences do not count towards credit loss. Appealable and Unappealable absences do count towards credit loss.
- Exempt Absences are documented absences that do NOT lead to loss of credit and do NOT need to be appealed. Students are allowed to make up missed work and apply it to their grade.
- Standardized Testing: Attendance will be taken for any standardized test and documented by the school.
- College Acceptance Orientation: An absence for a student attending an orientation to a college to which he/she has been accepted will not count towards loss of credit.
- Appointments with Student Support Staff: A scheduled appointment made by student support staff will count as an Exempt Absence.
- Death in the Family: For absences due to a death in the family, the parent/guardian must notify the school by providing documentation for the absence.
- Long Term Illness: For students who are absent because of hospitalization or long term illness (three (3) or more consecutive school days), the parent/guardian must provide a physician’s note (letterhead, signed, and dated) or other official documentation.
- Mandated Court Appearances: For students who attend court or have been detained, the parent/guardian must notify the school either before the date or in writing when the student returns, and present official documentation from the court/authorities for the dates missed.
- Religious Holidays: Absences as a result of observance of religious holidays must be documented with a parent/guardian note.
- Field Trips or School-Related Activities: Absences relating to school activities may include, but are not limited to, field trips, early dismissal for participation in athletic events, and meetings with school personnel.
- Suspension: For absences due to suspension, the parent/guardian will be notified of the suspension and the date when the student will be expected to return to school. The student must return on the indicated date.
- Appealable Absences are absences for which the school receives written documentation of the reason the student was absent, but do not meet the criteria of Exempt Absences. These absences MAY be appealable. Appealable absences count towards loss of credit, but allow for students to make up missed work and apply it to their grade.
- College Visits: Parents/Guardians are asked to schedule all visits during school vacations or weekends.
- Student-initiated Appointments: Students should schedule appointments with a guidance counselor, social worker, or school psychologist before or after school or during a free period such as study hall or lunch. If a student chooses to make an appointment during regular class time, the student support professional will determine if the student-initiated appointment is appealable.
- Short Term Illness: An absence due to an illness up to two (2) consecutive school days verified by a note from the parent/guardian or physician.
- Non-emergency Medical Visits: Doctor and dental appointments should be scheduled for after-school hours. If after-school arrangements are not possible, then written notice from the physician is required for the absence to be considered for appeal. The physician’s note must be presented to the principal or his/her designee upon the student's return to school.
- Visits to Nurse: Visits to the school nurse will count as Appealable absences if the student brings a pass from the teacher and the nurse deems the visit necessary.
- Early Dismissal: Proper documentation for early dismissal will include official documentation from the school nurse or documentation from the parent/guardian including the reason that early dismissal is necessary.
- Other: Other absences with official documentation or documentation from a parent/guardian.
- Unappealable Absences are absences for which the school receives no documentation, documentation received beyond the ten (10) school days notification requirement, or absences that do not meet the criteria to be considered appealable. Unappealable absences count towards loss of credit. Students may receive a grade of zero for all missed work. Students with five (5) or more Unappealable absences per semester in any one course forfeit the right to appeal for credit.
- Class Cuts: Absences from class without permission when a student is in school for the day.
- Family Vacations/Trips: Discretion should be used in planning such events. Stamford Public Schools strongly discourages travel outside of school vacation periods. Students and parents/guardians should realize that if extended vacations contribute to excessive absence, an appeal for reinstatement of credit will not be possible.
- Leaving School Grounds: Leaving school grounds without permission resulting in missed class time.
- Tardies: See below.