ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES SUMMARY
All students should report to their homeroom class before the tardy bell rings daily; this bell rings at 7:40 a.m. on a regular school day. Any student who is late must sign in at the middle school office. Any requests for an early dismissal should also be submitted to the middle school office prior to the tardy bell. If students enter the building after the school day begins or are leaving early, they must first report to the middle school office.
If an early dismissal is required, a note that is both signed by a parent/guardian and stating the time that dismissal is needed should be brought to the middle school office prior to homeroom. Additionally, the parent/guardian must include a phone number where they can be reached during the morning; the school may call the parents or the location of an appointment for confirmation. Upon returning to school, the appointment card (or other official form) must be submitted to the middle school office. If a student returns to school the same day, he/she must sign-in at the middle school office when re-entering the building.
If a student becomes ill in school, he/she should request a health office pass from their teacher and report directly to the health office. Students are not to call a parent to request an early dismissal due to illness. Students are not to leave the building without authorization because of illness. If the nurse is not in the health office, students are to report to the middle school office.
TARDY TO SCHOOL
Students who report to school after 7:40 a.m. are considered tardy to school. Any student who is late to school must report to the middle school office prior to stopping at his/her locker, classroom, or restroom. Students must present a tardy excuse signed by a parent/guardian that includes a reason for the tardiness, approximate arrival time, and a telephone number where a parent/guardian may be contacted for verification of the excuse. Only an excuse from a doctor’s office, other legal documentation, or administrative-approved tardies will be excused; a note from a parent/guardian will generally not be considered excused. Please see the “Tardy to School” section in the discipline section of this handbook to review school sanctions for unexcused late arrivals to school. In order to be eligible to compete or perform, a student-athlete or performer must sign-in by 10:00 a.m. (unless excused medically or by other legal documentation).
EXTENDED AND SINGLE DAY ABSENCES
When students return to school from an absence, they must present a written excuse from their parent/guardian. This written excuse is to be submitted to the middle school office within three (3) days following a student’s absence. This excuse must state the reason and date(s) of the absence and include a telephone number where a parent/guardian may be contacted during regular school hours. Students who fail to present a written excuse for a legal absence will have the absence recorded as unverified, unexcused (unlawful), and appropriate disciplinary actions will be initiated.
It is the responsibility of the student to arrange to make up work missed during absences. Students should check online resources, such as Schoology, and check-in with teachers on the day they return to school following an absence. The student may receive a zero (0) for any assignment(s) not completed in a reasonable amount of time.
In accordance with the PA School Code, the following reasons may be cause for an absence to be excused:
Student illness or family quarantine; a parent/guardian note can be used to excuse up to ten (10) days each year
Medical excuse that is submitted within three (3) days of a student’s return to school
Tutorial programs and/or counseling/therapy programs which are not available in the school (which do not conflict with the regular school program – as approved by the guidance department or administration)
Observance of religious holidays
Pre-approved religious instruction that does not exceed thirty-six (36) hours per school year (specific dates/times must be submitted to the middle school office in advance, in order to be excused)
Educational tours and trips conducted under the supervision of an adult/chaperone acceptable to the superintendent/designee and to the parent/guardian
A death in the immediate family
- Urgent personal reasons that are approved by the school administration
EXTENDED ABSENCES - MEDICAL
When possible, advance notice regarding extended medical absences should be given to the middle school office and health office. The student and parent/guardian will be required to complete the extended absence form. If advance notice is not possible, parents/guardians should inform the middle school office on the first day of missed classes.
Upon return, the student shall provide a doctor’s excuse for the days missed. This excuse should include information regarding limitations in and/or release from participation in classwork, physical education class, and athletic events.
UNEXCUSED / ILLEGAL ABSENCES
Any student absence is considered unverified and unexcused (unlawful) until written documentation is provided
to the middle school office. Written documentation must be provided within three (3) days of a student’s
return to school from an absence. Keep in mind that a parent/guardian note can only be used to excuse up to ten (10) student absences per year. After the tenth such day, further absences will be considered unlawful, unless covered by other written documentation as described in the aforementioned “Excused Absences” section of this handbook. The following Truancy Elimination Plan process will be used for unexcused, unlawful absences:
Upon obtaining three (3) unexcused absences, within ten (10) school days of the third unexcused absence, the school will notify the parent/guardian that the child has been truant. The school may include, with this notice, an invitation for the parent/guardian to participate in a student attendance improvement conference.
Upon obtaining six (6) unexcused absences, within ten (10) school days of the sixth unexcused absence, the school will offer the student and parent/guardian a student attendance improvement conference and make a referral to Beaver County Truancy Intervention Program. If one has not already been held, the school will hold a student attendance improvement conference. Once this conference has been held and a student attendance improvement plan has been created, the school may file a citation against the parent/guardian or student in the office of the appropriate magistrate if the student continues to be truant.
The student may face school restrictions, including social probation.
Students cannot make-up points for work missed, including assignments, assessments, lab activities, etc. beyond the sixth unverified, unlawful absence unless they show their teachers a copy of a qualified/legal excuse (signed by the middle school office).
Students who continue to accumulate illegal/unexcused absences after referral/interventions will be referred to the local district magistrate for full prosecution under the PA truancy laws.
Once a student accumulates ten (10) or more unexcused, unlawful days, participation in any co-curricular and
extracurricular activities (including athletics) will be suspended. An appeal to building-level administration may be requested for reinstatement after a reasonable probationary period has elapsed.
While we discourage parents/guardians from sending sick children to school, this policy is designed to encourage better overall attendance in order that our learners receive the best education possible. If the school feels that a parent/guardian has been negligent in following the attendance policy, the office will enforce the above procedure. It is important that every student attends school on a regular basis and arrives at school at the appropriate time. Under State law, it is the legal responsibility of the parent/guardian to see that a child’s attendance at school is assured.