Student & Parent Handbook

Attendance Policy and Procedures

Attendance

Regular school attendance is a major component of academic success. Students are expected to be present and on time for school and all classes throughout the year. Students must be in attendance for six class periods daily to be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities.

New York State Education Law requires that all pupils be in school during all days and hours that school is in session. It also specifies the following as “excused” reasons for absence, tardiness, or early dismissal from school:

  • Personal illness or illness of a family member that requires the student to remain home to assist
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Required court appearance
  • Required discharge of religious obligation
  • College visit
  • Pre-approved educational trips with family
  • Inclement weather
  • Quarantine
  • Approved cooperative work programs
  • Military obligations

Attendance and Denial of Credit

A student who has in excess of 24 absences from a full-year course or 12 absences from a half-year course may be denied credit for the course. Both excused and unexcused absences will count toward minimum class attendance requirements for achievement of course credit.

As attendance issues arise, parents shall be notified in at least four ways. First, parents of any student illegally absent from a class will be notified on a daily basis via phone call. This should prompt an immediate parental call to the child’s teacher or assistant principal. Second, interim reports as well as report cards provide up-to-date attendance information every five weeks. Third, teachers will call parents when attendance issues arise, typically when a student accrues 6 absences in a full year course or 4 absences in a semester course. The teacher will also notify the child’s assistant principal. Fourth, the school will notify the parent via letter, apprising them of any classes in which attendance thresholds are crossed.

When a student accrues 12 absences in a full-year course or 6 absences in a half-year course, the teacher will notify the child's assistant principal so a conference may be arranged. A concerted effort will be made to resolve any difficulties concerning absences. At this time, a suggested plan of support will be recommended.

When a student accrues 18 absences in a full-year course or 8 in a half-year course, the parent will receive administrative notification that an attendance review meeting is mandated. A meeting between student, parent, and assistant principal shall be held to determine further action. The student's teacher may be invited to provide documentation or assistance. The meeting may have one or more of the following outcomes:

  • The student may remain in the course under contract with the assistant principal and teacher. The contract may include aspects related to attendance, effort, and homework. Laboratory requirements will also be stipulated if the course in question is a science course.
  • The student may be assigned to Saturday School for a limited number of days. The teacher will provide the equivalent of two days' work and the student will complete and submit said assignments to the teacher. If the work is satisfactorily completed, the three-hour session will count for two class periods.
  • The student may be referred to alternative programming.

A student's failure to follow through with the determinations as set forth in the attendance hearing will result in an administrative hearing to establish further action.

When the student reaches 25 absences in a full year course or 13 absences in a half-year course, the teacher will notify the child's assistant principal. The parent will receive administrative notification that no credit can be earned. Two options remain:

  • The student may remain in the course with administrative or teacher permission only to participate in summer school. No credit will be given for the course and the transcript will reflect the denial of credit due to absence. Only those students remaining in the course for the full year will be eligible to attend summer school. Continued absences will result in further administrative action.
  • The student may be removed administratively from the course with no credit. The student may be placed in an appropriate study hall or his/her schedule may be abbreviated or “squashed.” Such students will have to repeat the course the following year.

Appeals Process

The purpose of having an appeals process is to ensure that all absences are treated equally and that there is accuracy and fairness in the application of the policy. The appeals committee shall consist of:

  • The teacher(s) of the class(es) for which credit is being denied.
  • The student's assistant principal.
  • The student's guidance counselor.

An appeal must be scheduled within 5 school days after a written denial of credit. After exceeding the class absence limit, those who believe that there were extenuating circumstances concerning their absences may present an appeal in writing, with supporting evidence, to their assistant principal. In turn, the Appeals Committee will meet with the student to review the absences and consider documentation. The committee will resolve the matter in a timely fashion and the decision will be communicated in writing to all parties involved. If the committee denies the appeal, the student may appeal the committee's decision to the high school principal within five days of the committee's decision. If the principal sustains the committee's decision, the student may appeal to the superintendent of schools within 5 days of the principal's decision. All appeals must be requested via letter.

Absence from School

Parents and guardians should call the school each time a child will be absent. Calls on absence and other matters related to school attendance and lateness should be made to the Attendance Office at 793-6130 ext. 4228 by 7:30 AM.

Students absent for one or two days should have the phone number of a friend or classmate and should try to stay up-to-date with class assignments. Students absent for three (3) or more days may request classwork by calling the Guidance Office. The parent or guardian may pick up work.

Students with a long-term illness (two or more weeks) may be eligible for homebound instruction. Contact the guidance office for information on procedures for homebound instruction.

When a student is absent from school for any reason, he/she may not participate in or attend any after school activity sponsored by the school district. Should any absence occur on a Friday or the day before a vacation or holiday, a student may not participate in or attend any activity or event during that holiday, vacation, or weekend. Any exception to this must be discussed with a school administrator before noon on the day of the absence.

Immediately upon his or her return to school, the student should bring a parent-signed note indicating the reason for the absence to the attendance office.

Lateness to School

A student who arrives late to school must sign in at the front door and go directly to his/her class. The student must present a note from a parent explaining the reason for the lateness, the date, and a daytime phone number for verification. If the student does not present a note excusing the lateness, the student will be considered illegally tardy and will be assigned detention.

If, as a result of a legal tardy, a prescheduled test or project is missed, the student must make-up the work by the end of the day, after school, or at the teacher's discretion.

To be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities including sports, a student must be present at least 6 periods on the day of the activity.

Early Dismissal

Pupils who must be out of school for an appointment must bring a note from home prior to their absence and obtain an early release from the Attendance Office to cover the part of the day that they will be absent from school. Students returning to school from an appointment should check in at the Attendance Office. College visits must have prior approval from the Guidance Office. A letter on college letterhead indicating the date of the visit should be submitted to the attendance office upon your return.

Class Attendance

Attendance is taken in every class. It is the student's responsibility to justify his/her absence from any class. If a student cuts a class, detention, suspension, or being dropped from the class may result. A student who cuts a class receives a “0” for all class work for that day and forfeits the right to take a make-up exam for a test given that day.

Emergency School Closing/Delayed Opening

If it is necessary to close school or have a delayed opening for any reason, an announcement will be made on the district website, Cablevision Channel 12 & 78, and through School Messenger, a districtwide automated phone call service.

Homeroom

A short homeroom period is attached to the end of period 1. The purpose of the time is to communicate information about both activities occurring that day as well as upcoming events. The student government, guidance department, and school administration use the time regularly. It is important to pay attention. The homeroom time will begin with the Pledge of Allegiance.