Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy

Introduction

Pursuant to sections 101, 207, 305, 3024, 3205, 3210, & 3211 of Education Law, Section 104.1 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education was amended effective November 29, 2001, concerning pupil attendance.  In accordance with State Education Law and State Education Department Regulation, it is the policy of the Morris Central School District to maintain student attendance records as stated in the following document.


I        Objectives

A. To ensure the maintenance of an adequate system to verify the   attendance of all students at Morris Central School in accordance with Education Law Section 3205.

B. To be accountable to parents of all students enrolled in Morris Central School for the whereabouts of their children throughout each school day.

         C. To ensure sufficient pupil attendance at all scheduled periods of actual instruction or                supervised study hall activities to permit such pupils to succeed at meeting the State               Learning Standards.

        D.   To identify attendance patterns and to design improvement efforts.

          E.   To increase school completion.

        F.  To identify absent students, particularly for safety reasons.

II       Definitions

Whenever they are used within the Comprehensive Attendance Policy, the following terms shall mean:

A.   Scheduled Instruction:  Every period that a pupil is scheduled to attend instructional or supervised study activities during the course of a school day during the school year.

B. Absent:   Secondary (7-12), the pupil is not present for at least one-half of the period of his/her scheduled instruction.  Elementary (K-6) – The pupil is not present for at least half of the scheduled school day, (arrives after 11:15 a.m. or leaves before 11:15 a.m.)  

C. Tardy:  Secondary (7-12), the pupil arrives after the scheduled starting time of instruction, but does not miss more than one-half of the class instruction. Elementary (K-6) the pupil arrives after 8:05 but before 11:15 a.m.

D. Early Departures: Secondary (7-12), the pupil leaves prior to the end of his/her scheduled instruction, but does not miss more than one-half of the class instruction. Elementary (K-6), the pupil leaves after 11:15 a.m.

E.  Excused:   Any absence, tardiness, or early departure for which the pupil has a valid school approved excuse.  Such excused non-appearance shall include: illness, death in family, medical appointment, required court appearances, religious observance, military obligations, attendance at another school activity, pre-approved scheduled college visitations, pre-approved educational experiences, or others as approved by the Principal or Superintendent.  The school must receive written notification from a parent, or person in parental relationship, for the absence to be considered excused.  All absences for which notification has not been received will be considered as unexcused absences.  Credit Course work missed must be made up at the discretion of the teacher.  If work is not made up absence will be consider unexcused absence.

F.  Unexcused:  Any absences, tardiness, or early departure for which the pupil has no valid school approved excuse.  Such unexcused non-appearance includes, unless approved by a school administrator, car trouble, family vacations, oversleeping, shopping and work.  All other reasons not listed under excused must be approved by the Principal or Superintendent.

G. Suspension:   a student who is removed from attendance at school for disciplinary reasons in accordance with the Morris Central School Code of Conduct.  Suspension is considered an excused absence.

H. In-school suspension: students are removed from class, in accordance with the Morris Central School Code of Conduct, and supervised in an alternate location with-in the school.  In-school suspension is considered an excused absence.

III     Record of Attendance:         

Commencing with the 2002-2003 school year, attendance shall be taken and recorded as follows: 

        A. For pupils in Pre-K through grade 6, such pupil’s presence or absence shall be                 recorded after taking attendance ONCE PER SCHOOL DAY.

        B. For pupils in grades seven through twelve, each pupil’s presence or absence IN EACH              PERIOD OF SCHEDULED INSTRUCTION SHALL BE RECORDED AFTER TAKING ATTENDANCE.

C. Any absences of a school day, or portion thereof, shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with this policy.

D. In the event that any student from Pre-K through grade 12 arrives late or departs early from scheduled instruction, such tardiness or early departure shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with standards articulated in this policy.

E.  The time that the student arrived or departed will be recorded next to the entry code describing the nature and reason for the student missing all or part of scheduled instruction.  

IV.  Coding System:

        The following coding system shall be used to indicate the nature and reason for a pupil's missing all or part of scheduled instruction:

REASON                                                        CODE                

Absent, Excused                                                                            AE

Absent, Unexcused                                                                        AU   

Tardy, Excused                                                                             TE

Tardy, Unexcused                                                                         TU

Early Departure, Excused                                                              EDE

Early Departure, Unexcused                                                           EDU

In-school Suspension                                                                    ISS

Suspension                                                                                    S

Field trip                                                                                        F

V. Attendance Requirements for Course Credit

     Direct instruction and daily classroom experiences are significantly linked to student achievement.  Therefore, attendance will be linked to student course credit.

          a.     Maximum allowable UNEXCUSED absences per year

             Type of Course                    Maximum Allowable Absences Per Year   

              Pre-K-6, Full Day                                      18

              7-12 Everyday, Full Year                            18

              7-12 Everyday, One Semester                      9

              7-12 Every Other Day, Full Year                    9

              Transfer Students           Absences prorated to time spend in District       

            b.    The school must receive a written notification of the reason for the absence,                    tardy, or early departure from the parent, or person in parental relation, within five                    (5) days of the absence.  Otherwise, the absence, tardy, or early departure will be                    considered as unexcused, permanently.

            c.    In order to prevent loss of credit for failure to attend, the District take the                    following steps:

1. Excused Absences:  Pupils with excused absences, excused tardies, or excused early departures, will be allowed to make up the work for each class missed.  Ways to makeup the work may include completing missed class work, completing class notes, completing missed homework, or doing other projects as approved by the teacher.  Once the work has been completed, to the satisfaction of the teacher involved, the absence will be removed from the record for that course.

2. Unexcused absences, tardies, or early departures cannot be made up for course credit in grades 7-12.  The only exception will be for a family vacation, which does not exceed 5 (five) school days.  There must be prior written notification from the parent or guardian and the missed work cannot achieve a grade higher than seventy-four percent (74%).

3. Parental notification and Course Credit:

Step 1: When a student has been marked absent for 50% of the courses maximum allowable absences, (full year -9, semester -4) the teacher will notify the parent/guardian by phone.  The teacher will state that the student is approaching the limit of absences and is in danger of losing course credit because of failure to attend class.  Notice of this contact must be filed in the Main Office.

Step 2: When a student has been marked absent for 75% of the course's maximum allowable absences (full year -13, semester -6) a conference with the parent/guardian and student will be scheduled with the guidance counselor.  It will be the responsibility of the Guidance Office to schedule the meeting.

Step 3: When the maximum number of days absent for disallowing course credit has been reached, the Principal will notify the parent/guardian.  The parents or student may appeal this decision if they feel that extenuating circumstances exist.  A conference will be scheduled with the parent/guardian, student, teacher, guidance counselor, and Principal.  The Principal, teacher, and guidance counselor will make a decision based upon the information presented at the conference.

4. Parent Notification of Absences

(a)   Where a pupil has not been marked present for the first period of scheduled instruction and the school has not been previously notified of the absence, the District will attempt to contact the parent/guardian to learn the nature of the pupil's absence and make notification that the pupil has not arrived at school.

(b)   For every three (3) unexcused absences, unexcused tardies, or unexcused early departures, or any combination thereof, the pupil's parent or guardian shall receive a notice containing the dates, times, and nature of the pupil's non-presence.

Disciplinary Procedures

       Any of the disciplinary measures found in the Morris Central School District's Code of Conduct may be used as consequences for student attendance issues.

Incentives

a)  No students in grades 7-11 may leave school property for lunch.

b)  Seniors and students on Honor Society may eat upstairs in the hallways.

c)  Seniors who are in good academic and behavioral standing and have      signed permission slip by their parents and school administrator are  permitted to walk home or downtown for lunch.

Good Academic and behavioral standing includes all of the following:

a)  No disciplinary referrals for a given week; and
b)  Passing all classes for the marking period.

Attendance Supervision Officer

        The Board shall designate a person as the Attendance Supervision Officer.  The Attendance Supervision Officer is responsible for reviewing pupil attendance records and notifying the Principal of unacceptable attendance patterns so that appropriate action may be take consistent with the comprehensive Student Attendance Policy.

Procedure for Unexcused Tardiness

 >Tardy, unexcused (no valid excuse - see below) 3 times = After School Detention (ASD).

 >After the first assigned ASD, you will be given ASD for every additional unexcused tardy.

>At the end of the first semester (February 1), you will have a clean slate and the count will begin again.

>Detentions that are skipped are a violation of the Code of Conduct and will result in an assigned In-School Suspension.

>The New York State Education Department define excused and unexcused absences.

Excused:   Any absence, tardiness, or early departure for which the pupil has a valid school approved excuse.  Such excused non-appearance shall include: illness, death in family, medical appointment, required court appearances, religious observance, military obligations, attendance at another school activity, pre-approved scheduled college visitations, pre-approved educational experiences, or others as approved by the Principal or Superintendent.  The school must receive written notification from a parent, or person in parental relationship, for the absence to be considered excused.  All absences for which notification has not been received will be considered as unexcused absences.  Credit Course work missed must be made up at the discretion of the teacher.  If work is not made up absence will be consider unexcused absence.

Unexcused:  Any absences, tardiness, or early departure for which the pupil has no valid school approved excuse.  Such unexcused non-appearance includes, unless approved by a school administrator, car trouble, family vacations, oversleeping, shopping and work.  All other reasons not listed under excused must be approved by the Principal or Superintendent.


**ASD will be on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons unless other arrangements are pre-approved by the principal.**