ATTENDANCE & TARDINESS POLICY
The frequent absence of pupils from classroom learning experiences disrupts the continuity of the instructional process and limits the ability of pupils to complete the prescribed curriculum requirements successfully. A pupil must be in attendance for 162 or more school days in order to be considered to have successfully completed the instructional program requirements of the grade/course to which he/she is assigned. Please try to arrange appointments after school hours and limit vacation trips to those delineated in the annual school calendar. Absenteeism and tardiness shall be cumulative, may affect promotion and involve disciplinary sanctions as well as legal consequences.
Parents/guardians are responsible for notifying the school early in the day and within 30 minutes of the start of the school day when a child will be absent and for informing the school of the reason for the absence. School Messenger, an automated phone service, will contact the home of absent students after 10:30 a.m.
The frequent absence of students from classroom learning experiences disrupts the continuity of the instructional process and limits the ability of students to complete the prescribed curriculum requirements successfully. The following rules shall apply for student absences:
A. A student shall be considered absent from class for tardiness in excess of one half of the total class period.
B. A student shall be considered absent from school for participation in less than 4 instructional hours during the school.
A pupil must be in attendance for 162 or more school days in order to be considered to have successfully completed the instructional program requirements of the grade/course to which he/she is assigned. Students not meeting this requirement may be retained.
For the purpose of recording daily student attendance in the school register, a student is recorded as either present, absent, or excused for religious observance, pursuant to other rule(s) issued by the Commissioner (e.g. "Take Our Children to Work Day") or for college visits. See N.J.A.C. 6A:32-8.3(i). Other than for these enumerated absences, there is no distinction between "excused" and "unexcused" absences in the school register for State and federal reporting purposes.
For in-district purposes, the following unexcused absences are not counted toward truancy:
1. The student's illness (must have a doctor’s note);
2. Requirements of a student's individual health care plan;
3. A death or critical illness in the student's immediate family, or others with permission of principal;
4. Quarantine (must have a doctor’s note/speak with school nurse);
5. The student's suspension from school;
6. Requirements of the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP);
7. Alternate short or long term accommodations for students with disabilities;
8. The student's required attendance in court;
9. Interviews with an admissions officer of an educational institution;
10. Necessary and unavoidable medical or dental appointments that cannot be scheduled at a time other than the school day.
When a student fails to report to school the school shall:
A. Notify the parents/guardians using the automated calling system.
B. Make a reasonable attempt to notify the student's parents/guardians of each unexcused absence the day of the unexcused absence;
C. Attempt to contact the parents/guardians by telephone, email and/or cellular phone to determine the cause of the unexcused absence.
If daily attendance records indicate a child is absent, and the parent/guardian has not called, a designated person shall attempt to contact them. If no telephone contact can be made, the attendance officer shall investigate. If the attendance officer cannot locate the child, he/she shall inform the principal, who shall inform the appropriate local authorities. Students may not attend after-school or evening activities unless they are present during the school day.
Regular Release of Pupils Before the End of the Normal School Day
There are varying situations which may justify release of certain pupils from school before the normal time for closing. Such situations are justifiable only if the release does not jeopardize the pupil's educational program and the reasons for such release can be shown to have positive benefits for the pupil.
Late Arrival and Early Dismissal
The board recognizes that from time to time compelling circumstances will require that a pupil be late to school or dismissed before the end of the school day. As agent responsible for the education of the children of this district, the board shall require that the school be notified in advance of such absences by written request of the pupil's parent/guardian, which shall state the reason for the tardiness or early dismissal. Justifiable reasons may include:
A. Medical or dental appointments which cannot be scheduled outside of school hours;
B. Requirements of a student's individual health care plan;
C. Requirements of the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP);
D. Alternate short or long term accommodations for students with disabilities;
E. Medical disability;
F. Family emergency;
G. Court appearance;
H. Such good cause as may be acceptable to the administration.
No pupil in grades preschool through eight shall be permitted to leave the school before the close of the school day unless he/she is met in the school office by his/her parent/guardian or a person authorized by the parent/guardian to act in his/her behalf.
Tardiness not covered by the causes listed shall be cumulative.