Policy & Procedures: Grades 7th-8th
The Board of Education requires that the Students enrolled in the schools of this district attend school regularly in accordance with the laws of the State.
The educational program offered by this district is predicated on the presence of the student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. The regular contact of students with one another in the classroom and their participation in a well-planned instructional activity under the tutelage of a competent teacher are vital to this purpose.
Attendance at school may be excused when the demonstrated mental or physical condition of the student is such as to interfere with learning or prevent attendance, or by the observance of the student's religion on a day approved by the Board as a religious holiday, or by such circumstances as the building principal may determine to constitute good cause. No student, staff member, or visitor may attend or visit the school if he or she has an exposed and/or exposed weeping skin lesion(s), regardless of whether or not the person has been screened for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus ("HIV").
Students absent from school for any reason are responsible for the completion of assignments missed because of their absence. No student receiving an excused absence for a religious holiday shall be deprived of an award or eligibility to compete for an award or the opportunity to make up a test given on the religious holiday.
Prolonged or repeated absences, whether excused or unexcused, from school or from class, deprive the student of the classroom experience deemed essential to learning and may result in retention at grade level in accordance with policies of this Board.
A student's presence in school and in the classroom to which he or she is assigned at the times scheduled for instruction or other school activities.
a. A student will be considered to have attended school if he or she has been present at least four hours during the school day.
b. A student is not present in school because of his or her participation in an approved school activity, such as a field trip, meeting, cooperative education assignment, or athletic competition will be considered to be in attendance.
An excused absence is a student’s absence from school for a full day or a portion of a day for one or more of the following reasons:
c. The student's illness, if the student provides documentation of the illness from a doctor upon return to school. Documentation must be submitted within 7 days of the absence to be excused.
d. The student has exposed and/or exposed weeping skin lesion(s), regardless of whether the student has been screened for HIV. No student may attend or visit the school if he or she has an uncovered and/or uncovered weeping skin lesion (s).
e. A death or critical illness in the student’s immediate family (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, or siblings) as long as the student provides documentation from a parent/legal guardian upon return to school;
g. Observance of the student’s religion on a day approved for that purpose by the State Board of Education – any transcript or application or employment form of any similar form on which information concerning a student’s attendance record is requested shall show with respect to absences, only absences other than absences excused because of religious holidays;
h. Observances of the student’s religion on a day not approved for that purpose by the State Board of Education, as long as the student provides documentation from parent/legal guardian upon return to school – any transcript or application or employment form or any similar form on which information concerning a student’s attendance record is requested shall show, with respect to absences, only absences other than absences excused because of religious holidays.
i. The student’s required attendance in court,
j. Interviews with an admissions officer of an institution of higher education, as long as the student provides documentation from parent/legal guardian, or admissions officer upon return to school;
k. Necessary and unavoidable medical or dental appointments that cannot be scheduled at a time other than the school day, as long as the student provides documentation from parent/legal guardian, doctor, or dentist upon return to school.
l. Unexcused absence is a student's absence for a full day or a portion of a day for any reason other than those listed in Paragraph A2 above. Absences for personal or other reasons not listed above are counted towards the State maximum allowed 18 days absence for the school year. Any student who accumulates more than 20 unexcused absences for the school year (9 for a semester course) may be retained.
a. Absence is expressly not excused for any of the following purposes (this list is intended to be illustrative and is not exhaustive):
(1) Employment other than school-approved work assignments.
(2) Family travel.
(3) Performance of household or babysitting duties, and
(4) Out-of-school suspension.
b. Tardiness of 15 minutes or more to any respective class shall be considered an unexcused absence from that class.
A student’s total absences from a class shall not exceed the maximum number (18) in order for the student to be considered to have completed the instructional program requirements for that class. All absences, including excused absences, unexcused absences, and out-of-school suspensions, will count toward the total number of allotted absences.
If a student accumulates 18 unexcused absences during the school year. Notices will be sent out informing parents/guardians at the following intervals: 5 days, 10 days, and 15 days. If the student exceeds the allotted number of total absences for a class, the student will receive a grade, however, they may be retained. It is the intention of this policy that the permitted number of absences (18/traditional schedule) will provide for normal illnesses.
All absences must be verified by a note of explanation presented to the main office at the school on the first day following the absence. Notes are required from a parent/legal guardian, physician, dentist, or admissions officer of an institution of higher education. Absences will be considered unexcused until a note is presented.
After three consecutive days of absence from school due to illness, the student must present a physician’s note or hospital release to the nurse, in addition to the note from the parent/legal guardian to the main office, before admission to the classroom is granted.
Absences: If a parent/guardian has prior knowledge that their child will not be attending school, we request that they notify the main office before 9:00 am; in addition, the parent/guardian MUST send a written note explaining the absence with their child upon his/her return to school. This note should be given to one of the secretaries in the main office. NOTE: A parent call and/or note does not excuse the absence; it simply lets the school know not to send the robocall saying the student is absent AND it lets the school know the parent is aware of the child’s absence.
Students absent from school are responsible for completing assignments missed due to their absence. It is the student’s responsibility to see teachers (during lunch or after school) on the day they return from an absence to obtain missing work, and it is the student’s responsibility to complete and submit the work within the allotted time. Failure to see teachers or to submit work at the proper time may result in a loss of opportunity to submit missed work. No student excused for a religious holiday shall be deprived of an award or eligibility to compete for an award or the opportunity to make up an assignment given on the religious holiday.
Administrative Procedures and Truancy: The school will inform parents/guardians of the number of absences for their child by letter or progress reports and report cards.
On a student’s 5th absence from school, the parent/guardian will receive a letter notifying them of the number of absences and requesting a conference with the vice principal to discuss reasons for the absences and develop an attendance plan.
On a student’s 10th absence from school, any student between the ages of 6 and 16 will be considered truant, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-27, and the principal or designee shall:
A. Make a mandatory referral to the court program required by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts.
B. Make a reasonable attempt to notify the student’s parent/guardian of the mandatory referral by letter.
C. Continue to consult with the parent/guardian and the involved agencies to support the student’s return to school and regular attendance;
D. Cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities and agencies, as appropriate; and
E. Follow all procedures required by N.J.S.A. 18A:38-28 through 31, Article 3B, Compelling Attendance at School, and other applicable state and federal statutes.
On a student’s 15th absence from school, a registered letter will be sent to the parent/guardian from the principal to schedule another conference and to document the fact that more than 18 unexcused absences may result in retention.
On a student’s 19th absence from school, a registered letter will be sent from the principal to the parent/guardian recommending the student for retention due to excessive absences. Any parent/guardian wishing to appeal this recommendation must put such a request in writing to the principal within three days of receiving the letter.
Students entering school after the official start of the school year will receive pro-rated attendance allowances based on 1.8 days per month.
For Students under 16 years of age - the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) is subject to court action.
There are no appeals for absences that occur when a student either cuts a class or accumulates three (3) lateness to class that is equivalent to one (1) unexcused absence. The appeal process in these situations does not apply.
Parents/legal guardians should ensure that their children will not be late for school. A student arriving after 8:10 a.m. shall report to the attendance office for a tardy admit slip. Students will be assigned Central detention to be served after school from 3:10 -3:40, after two tardies. If a student is late to school, the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) shall receive a telephone call from the office notifying the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) of the student’s tardiness to school.
Excessive tardiness may result in the student receiving Central detention, Saturday detention, or in-school suspension. The student may be excluded from participating in extracurricular activities. On every 3rd tardy to school that is accumulated, the student will receive 1 unexcused absence that will not be subject to an appeal. The parent/guardian of the student will be notified by a phone call and a letter. Tardiness of 15 minutes or more to a class shall be considered an unexcused absence from that class.
Truancy is the student’s unexcused absence from school for any student between the ages of six and sixteen years, and any student of such age found away from school during school hours whose parent, legal guardian, or other person having charge and control of the student is unable to cause him or her to attend school. Unexcused absences from school or from classes within the school day constitute Truancies and shall be subject to the disciplinary rules of the Board. Repeated Truancies that interfere with efforts of this Board and its staff in the maintenance of good order and the continuity of classroom instruction may result in the suspension or expulsion of any student from the course of study during which absences have occurred or the suspension or expulsion from school of a student over sixteen years of age, in accordance with Policy Nos. 5610 and 5620. Before any such action is taken, every effort shall be made to identify the habitual truant, investigate the cause or causes of the student's behavior, and consider the modification of the student's educational program. Student will also be considered truant if he or she:
a) Leaves school at lunch time without a pass
b) Leaves school without permission when school is still in session
c) Leaves class because of illness and does not report to the school nurse as directed
d) Is present in school but is absent from class without approval
e) Such truancy from class is a "class cut."
The Superintendent shall calculate and monitor the average daily attendance rate for the district and for each school in the district. Whenever the average daily attendance rate is below ninety percent for the district or below eighty-five percent in any one school; the Superintendent shall develop and implement an attendance improvement plan. The attendance rate shall be calculated by dividing the total student days present for all students by the total possible student days for all students and multiplying the result by one hundred.
1st Truancy Telephone call to student’s parent/legal guardian from an administrator.
Penalty - Central Detention
2nd Truancy Conference with administrator/parent/student
Penalty – Two Central Detentions
3rd Truancy Telephone call to student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) from an administrator or guidance counselor.
Penalty – Saturday Detention
4th Truancy Letter and telephone call to the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) from the Vice Principal.
Conference with an administrator/student/student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s)/ school counselor.
Penalty – ISS (In-School Suspension)
· Letter to the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) from Vice Principal.
· Conference – Vice Principal, student, student’s Parent/legal guardian(s), and student's school counselor. I&RS (Intervention Referral Services) Penalty – ISS (In-School Suspension)