Regular attendance is vitally linked to success in school. When a student is absent from school it disrupts the learning process. While we recognize that absences are sometimes unavoidable, we stress the importance of having students make up any work missed on a timely basis as directed by their classroom teachers.
A student who arrives after 11:00 AM will be marked 1/2 day absent. A student who arrives after 1:00 PM will be marked absent for the full day. A student who leaves before 11:00 AM will be marked absent for the full day. A student who leaves before 1:00 PM will be marked absent for 1/2 day.
STUDENT ATTENDANCE RESPONSIBILITY
- A student must not be absent from any class for twenty (20) unexcused days or more to be eligible for academic credit. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- Provide absence excuses to homeroom teacher within 3 days of returning otherwise absence will remain unexcused.
- It is the responsibility of the student to request make-up work from the teacher and to submit the work according to pre-established school and classroom guidelines.
- The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires all children between the ages of 8 and 17 to attend school unless legally excused. Parents are responsible for their child's attendance at school. As part of their responsibility, parents are expected to provide the school with a written excuse for their child's absence within 3 days of students return.
- The parent should contact the school if extenuating circumstances regarding a child's attendance exists.
- Excused absences are prescribed by law in the Pennsylvania School Code. The following reasons will be considered an excused absence from school:
- A student's illness or physical injury as verified by parent or physician.
- Death in the immediate family.
- Observance of a bona-fide religious holiday in accordance with the student's religious beliefs.
- Health care from a licensed practitioner when it is not practical or possible to receive such care outside of school hours (verification required from the health care provider).
- Family educational trips and tours (approved in advance by completing the proper travel form obtained from the elementary office and submitting to the Principal).
- Urgent personal reasons that are approved by the school administration.
- Court appearance (verification required).
- School sanctioned educational tours or trips.
- Suspension from school.
- If a student has been absent from school, on the day the student returns (but no later than the third day) he/she are to bring a written statement signed by their parent or guardian to the elementary office which indicates the following:
- Student's name (first/last)
- Date(s) of absence
- Reason for absence
- Signature of parent or guardian
- Phone number where parent / guardian may be contacted during the day
- Failure to submit an excuse to the elementary office secretary within the three day period will result in an unexcused absence for that time period.
- Absences for which excuses are submitted that contain reasons for an absence that are not included in the list above (a-j) will be deemed unexcused absences.
- A student who is absent from school will have the opportunity to make up work assigned during the period of his/her absence. It is primarily the responsibility of the student to arrange to make up work missed during his/her absence within the time designated by the policies set forth in this handbook and implemented by the classroom teachers. Teachers will remind students of that responsibility.
- Absences for any reason other than those listed are considered unexcused. Missing the bus, oversleeping and automobile failure are also examples of unexcused absences. Unexcused absences also include days missed because of parental neglect, illegal employment or a student being willfully truant (absent from school without the permission of a parent/guardian and school officials).
- An unexcused absence for a student under the age of 17 is an illegal absence. Students will have three (3) school days to bring in an excuse following an absence. If an excuse is not submitted by the third day, the absence will be considered unexcused. After the second unexcused absence, the parent or guardian will be notified by the teacher. After the third unexcused absence, a letter will be sent to the student's home, and an attempt will be made to coordinate with the family to agree on a truancy elimination plan. Students who have six (6) unexcused absences can be referred to the local magistrate if they are not participating in a Truancy Elimination Plan.
Early dismissals from school are considered absences from school and will follow the same classification guidelines as excused / unexcused absences. Students are responsible for making up all work missed in a timely fashion when being dismissed early from school for any reason.
Dismissals before 11:00 AM will be marked as a full day absent. Students dismissed before 1:00 PM will be marked as 1/2 day absent. Any dismissal before the end of the last period is considered an early dismissal.
Students, especially those involved in extracurricular activities, are not to sign out of school and return before dismissal, except in cases of family emergency or medical/dental appointments.
If a student wishes to be dismissed early from school, he/she is required to submit to the elementary office a written statement, signed by a parent or guardian that contains the following:
- Student's name (first/last)
- Grade level
- Date of early dismissal
- Reason for early dismissal; if medical appointment, name of doctor and time of appointment must be included
- Signature of parent or guardian
- Phone number where parent/guardian may be contacted during the day.
- No student will be dismissed early unless signed out by the parent/guardian.
PROCEDURES FOR EARLY DISMISSALS
- Requests must be presented to the elementary office secretary for approval.
- Students will be called from their class for early dismissal. Students will not be called from class until parent/guardian or appointed designee is in the school office.
- All students leaving for an early dismissal must be signed out at the time of their dismissal by a parent/guardian or designated school official.
- Students returning from an early dismissal are to report to the elementary office and sign in. If returning from a doctor's appointment, verification must be submitted at that time. A pass to class will be issued by the elementary office.
- A student who becomes ill or injured during school hours must report to the nurse. A parent will be contacted, and the pupil will be dismissed if necessary. If dismissed before 1:00 PM, absence will be documented as an excused 1/2 day.
- No student is permitted to leave the school building without the knowledge and permission of the appropriate school official.
Students are expected to be at school and in their homeroom by 8:45 AM. Students are expected to be in all of their classes at the beginning of class unless they enter with a written excuse from a school official verifying legitimate reasons for the lateness.
A student who arrives at school after 8:45 AM should report directly to the elementary office unless arriving on a school bus. A student who arrives to school after 8:45 AM will be marked tardy. A written excuse signed by the parent (including a phone number where parent can be reached) must be submitted to the elementary office upon entering the building. If no excuse is presented at the time of entry, the tardy will be considered unexcused. Doctor appointments must be verified by written notification from the doctor.
Unexcused tardies will be handled as follows:
- Students will have three (3) days to bring in an excuse for being tardy to school. Following this, the tardy will be marked unexcused. The day the student is tardy counts as day 1 of 3.
- After the second unexcused tardy, the parent or guardian will be notified by the teacher.
- After the third unexcused tardy, the teacher will submit a discipline referral on the student.
- Following the submittal of a discipline referral, the student may receive after-school detention.
- Excessive tardies may be referred to the magistrate.
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION
To participate in extracurricular activities, students must be present in school no later than 10:30 AM, and early dismissal may not take place before 2:00 PM. The student's late arrival or early dismissal must be excused as per the guidelines indicated (see Code of Conduct information).
Upon receipt of a written request from the parent(s) of the student(s) involved, student(s) may be excused from school to participate in an educational tour or trip during the school term at the expense of the parents/guardians. When such a tour or trip is so determined by the District Superintendent or his/her designee to serve an educational purpose and student participants therein are subject to direction and supervision by an adult acceptable to the District Superintendent/designee, and to the parents of the pupil concerned, the trip will be subject to the following conditions:
- Educational tours or trips will be considered for approval if the District Superintendent or designee determines that such a tour or trip will be of educational significance to the student. In order for the District Superintendent, or designee to make such a determination, the parent shall provide a written request for excusal which shall indicate the days to be missed, the destination of the tour or trip, and the reason why the tour or trip could not be taken on days when school is not in session. THE TOUR/TRIP MAY NOT EXCEED FIVE (5) DAYS.
- Unless some emergency arises, such requests shall be made at least two weeks prior to the date of the tour or trip.
- Unless some unusual family circumstances exist, such tours or trips shall not be approved during the final two weeks of the school term.
- Educational trip requests will not be approved during dates reserved for standardized testing. Please check the District calendar and website for these dates each year.
- If more than one child in a family will be taking the tour or trip, please include each student's name with the request submitted to the Principal.
- All school work missed during the approved tour or trip shall be made up on the "initiative of the student and at the reasonable convenience of the teacher." Students may not be excused for more than 5 days per year for educational tours.
- Family trips or vacations which cause students to miss one day or more of school will be considered unexcused unless an educational trip form is submitted in lieu of a parent excuse.
Excuses for student absences may be sent via email to Saeon Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents / Guardians may download and complete the fillable student excuse PDF form here: Duquesne K - 8 Student Absence Excuse