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Attendance Policy

Overview

District Regulation

5200 - ATTENDANCE (M)

Section: Students
Date Created: January, 2010
Date Edited: January, 2010

 

M

 

  1. Definitions

 

  1. “Attendance” is a pupil's presence in school and in the classroom to which he/she is assigned at the times scheduled for instruction or other school activities.

 

  1. A pupil will be considered to have attended school if he/she has been present at least four hours during the school day.

 

  1. A Kindergarten pupil will be considered to have attended school if he/she has been present at least one half the scheduled hours during the Kindergarten session to which the pupil is assigned.

 

  1. A pupil not present in school because of his/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.

 

  1. “Excused absence” is a pupil's absence from school for a full day or a portion of a day for one or more of the following reasons:

 

  1. The pupil's illness,

 

  1. Family illness or death,

 

  1. Educational opportunities,

 

  1. Excused religious observances, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:36-14 through 16,

 

  1. Where appropriate, when consistent with Individualized Education Programs, the Individuals with Disabilities Act, accommodation plans under 29 U.S.C. §§794 and 705(20), and individualized health care plans pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.3,

 

  1. The pupil's suspension from school,

 

  1. The pupil's required attendance in court,

 

  1. Necessary and unavoidable medical or dental appointments that cannot be scheduled at a time other than the school day,

 

  1. An absence for a reason not listed above, but deemed excused by the Principal, upon a written request by the pupil’s parent or legal guardian to the Building Principal or designee stating the reason for the absence and requesting permission for the absence to be an excused absence.

 

  1. Truancy” is a pupil's absence from all or a part of the school day without the knowledge of the pupil's parent(s) or legal guardian(s).  A pupil will also be considered truant if he/she:

 

  1. Leaves school at lunch time without a pass,

 

  1. Leaves school without permission when school is still in session,

 

  1. Leaves class because of illness and does not report to the school nurse as directed, or

 

  1. Is present in school but is absent from class without approval.  Such truancy from class is a "class cut."

 

  1. “Unexcused absence” is a pupil's absence for all or part of a school day for any reason other than those listed in A2 above.

 

  1. Absences and Excuses

 

In order for the Board of Education to fulfill its responsibility for providing a thorough and efficient education for each pupil, the complete cooperation of parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and pupils is required to maintain a high level of school attendance.

 

The frequent absence of pupils from classroom learning experiences disrupts the continuity of the instructional process and limits the ability of pupils to complete prescribed curriculum requirements successfully.

 

A pupil must be in attendance for one hundred sixty-eight 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.  Consideration regarding the mandatory attendance requirements will be given to those pupils transferring into the district during the school year.

 

A waiver of these attendance requirements may be granted for good cause by the Superintendent upon recommendation of a review committee, appointed by him/her, and consisting of representative staff, including pupil service personnel and classroom teachers.

 

In recommending the granting of the waiver of this attendance requirement, the review committee shall consider the nature and causes of all absences rather than only those in excess of twelve days.  Documentation of the nature and causes of these absences shall be the responsibility of the pupil and parent(s) or legal guardian(s).  Any pupils having more than twelve unexcused absences, late arrivals, or early dismissals may be subject to course failure or retention.  Additionally, a truancy complaint may be filed against the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) with the Magnolia Municipal Court.

 

Parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are responsible for notifying the school early in the day when a child will be absent and for informing the school of the reason for the absence.  The attendance officer should be contacted, otherwise the attendance officer will contact the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).  The Main office should be called before 9:00 a.m. to request homework.  This will allow the request to be put on the attendance sheet for staff to review.  It is the parent(s) or legal guardian(s)’ responsibility to make arrangements for the homework to be picked up in the Main office after school.

 

  1. School District Response To Unexcused Absences During the School Year

 

  1. For up to four cumulative unexcused absences, the Building Principal or designee shall:

 

  1. Make a reasonable attempt to notify the pupil's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of each unexcused absence prior to the start of the following school day;

 

  1. Conduct an investigation of the cause of each unexcused absence, including contact with the pupil's parent(s) or legal guardian(s);

 

  1. Develop an action plan in consultation with the pupil's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) designed to address patterns of unexcused absences, if any, and to have the child return to school and maintain regular attendance;

 

Proceed in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 9:6-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-11, if a potentially missing or abused child abuse situation is detected; and

 

Cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities and agencies, as appropriate.

 

  1. For between five and nine cumulative unexcused absences, the Building Principal or designee shall:

 

  1. Make a reasonable attempt to notify the pupil's parent or legal guardian of each unexcused absence prior to the start of the following school day;

 

  1. Conduct a follow-up investigation, including contact with the pupil's parent(s) or legal guardian(s), to determine the cause of each unexcused absence;

 

  1. Evaluate the appropriateness of the action plan developed pursuant to policy;

 

  1. Revise the action plan, as needed, to identify patterns of unexcused absences and establish outcomes based upon the pupil’s needs and specify the interventions for achieving the outcomes, supporting the pupil's return to school and regular attendance that may include any or all of the following:

 

(1)        Refer or consult with the building's Intervention and Referral Services Team, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8;

 

(2)        Conduct testing, assessments, or evaluations of the pupil's academic, behavioral, and health needs;

 

(3)        Consider an alternate educational placement;

 

(4)        Make a referral to a community-based social and health provider agency or other community resource;

 

(5)        Refer to the court program designated by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts; and

 

(6)        Proceed in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 9:6 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-11, if a potentially missing or child abuse situation is detected.

 

  1. Cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities and agencies, as appropriate.

 

  1. For cumulative unexcused absences of ten or more, the pupil between the ages of six and sixteen is truant, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-27, and the Building Principal or designee shall:

 

  1. Make a mandatory referral to the court program required by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts;

 

  1. Make a reasonable attempt to notify the pupil's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the mandatory referral;

 

  1. Continue to consult with the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and the involved agencies to support the pupil's return to school and regular attendance;

 

  1. Cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities and agencies, as appropriate; and

 

  1. Proceed in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:38-28 through 31, Article 3B, Compelling Attendance at School, and other applicable State and Federal statutes, as required.

 

  1. For pupils with disabilities, the attendance plan and punitive and remedial procedures of N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.8 and Policy and Regulation 5200 shall be applied, where applicable, in accordance with the pupil’s Individualized Education Programs, pursuant to 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq.; the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act; the procedural protections set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:14; accommodation plans under 29 U.S.C. §§794 and 705(20); and individualized health care plans, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.3.

 

  1. All receiving schools pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:14-7.1(a) shall act in accordance with F.1. above for each pupil with up to four cumulative unexcused absences.

 

  1. For each pupil attending a receiving school with five or more cumulative unexcused absences, the absences shall be reported to the sending district by the receiving school.

 

 

(1)        The sending school district shall proceed in accordance with the district Board of Education policies and procedures pursuant to F. above and the provisions of F.2. through F.4. above, as appropriate.

 

  1. Discipline

 

  1. Pupils may be denied participation in co-curricular activities if their attendance fails to meet the standards set forth in Policy No. 2430.

 

  1. Pupils may be denied participation in athletic competition if their attendance fails to meet the standards set forth in Board Policy No. 2431.

 

  1. No pupil who is absent from school for observance of a religious holiday may be deprived of any award or of eligibility for or opportunity to compete for any award because of the absence.

 

  1. In addition to the requirements as outlined in F.3.a. through e. above, a pupil deemed truant shall be subject to appropriate pupil discipline.

 

  1. The absence of a pupil missing from school for unexplained reasons will be handled in accordance with Regulation No. 8462.

 

  1. Appeal

 

  1. A truant pupil may be suspended or expelled for truancies in accordance with Policy Nos. 5610 and 5620.

 

  1. A pupil who has been retained at grade level for excessive absences may appeal that action in accordance with Policy No. 5410.