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Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance at school is required of all students by the laws of the state of New Jersey.  The Board of Education believes that regular participation in class activities and continuous interaction between student and teacher are vital parts of the learning process.  Frequent absences and tardiness of pupils from the classroom disrupts the continuity of instruction and the overall school operations. Students will be expected to be in attendance on all of the days and hours that school is in session unless appropriate reasons exist to justify their absence.  In order to distinguish these absences, the school will monitor its students to determine if absences are excused (non-cumulative) or unexcused (cumulative).  A phone call to the attendance hotline 475-4025 (press 1) by a parent the morning a student is ill is expected. A written excuse for all absences is required“Personal reasons” are not acceptable.

Attendance at School

Part of school procedure is to try to call the parents of absentees whenever possible. This procedure is designed to bring possible truancies to the attention of the parent and has the overall effect of reducing absenteeism.  Parents may request in writing not to receive this call. When the school does not receive an attendance note within five (5) days of the student’s return to school, the absence will be declared unexcused.

Excused absences (non-cumulative) are those accepted by the school as appropriate reasons to be absent.  Credit is given for work made up.

1.    Student illness verified by a Medical Doctor’s note

2.    Death in the immediate family

3.    Religious holidays as provided by law

4.    Other absences having prior approval of the principal, such as “Take Your Child to Work Day”.  A note must be brought in on company letterhead signed by the parent’s supervisor.

5.    Seniors are allowed two non-cumulative absences for college visitations.  The students must bring a parent permission slip twenty-four hours prior to the visit and return with a note from the college on college stationary.

6.    Recovery from an accident

7.    Required Court Appearance

8.    Administrative reasons including, but not limited to, field trips,        

     assemblies, suspension, and appointments at school.

Unexcused absences (cumulative) are those that do not come under the definitions of excused absences.  Credit is only given for work made up due to a student illness.  Students will be afforded one day to make up work for each day absent.

1. Student illness verified by a parental note

2. Family vacations while school is in session- Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis using grades, attendance, and discipline as a criteria. Applications for approval must be made two (2) weeks prior to vacation and must be submitted to the Principal’s office.

3. Hunting days

Loss of Credit

A student who has accumulated thirteen (13) unexcused cumulative absences (seven in a one-semester course, ten in a three-quarter course and four in a one-quarter course) is put on a “no-credit” status and will remain in scheduled classes even after exceeding the limits noted earlier. The report card and permanent record card will indicate the grade earned in the course, however, the report card and records will also indicate “NO CREDIT BECAUSE OF EXCESSIVE ABSENCE.”  Students who receive a passing grade will not have to repeat the course to meet minimum course requirements for graduation.  In effect, the student must only make up the credits. Cooperation between the classroom teacher, the administration, and parents is necessary to prevent attendance difficulties. Parents will be notified when students reach the number of unexcused absences as indicated in the chart below. At this time the student will also be counseled by the guidance department and made aware of the consequences of continued absence.

FULL YEAR COURSE 4 unexcused absences. Warning sent home to parent/guardian 8 unexcused absences. Warning sent home to parent/guardian 12 unexcused absences. Potential loss of credit letter sent home to parent/guardian 13 unexcused absences. Loss of credit letter sent home to parent/guardian.
SEMESTER Course N/A 3 unexcused absences. Warning sent home to parent/guardian. 6 unexcused absences. Potential loss of credit letter sent home to parent guardian. 7 unexcused absences. Loss of credit letter sent home to parent/guardian
Three QuarterCourse 3 unexcused absences. Warning sent home to parent/guardian 6 unexcused absences warning sent home to parent/guardian 9 unexcused absences. Potential loss of credit letter sent home to parent guardian 10 unexcused absences. Loss of credit letter sent home to parent/guardian
Quarter Course N/A 2 unexcused absences warning sent home to parent/guardian 3 unexcused absences potential loss of credit letter sent home to parent/guardian. 4 unexcused absences loss of credit letter sent home to parent/guardian

1.    When a student has exceeded the number of allowable cumulative absences in a class, the teacher and administration will initiate a second notification informing student and parents that the student’s status has been changed to “no-credit”.  If an error or extenuating circumstances exist, parents must begin the appeal procedure.  The counselor at this time may again contact the student and discuss the impact of this credit loss on future plans. 

Appeal Process

1.  Notifying the assistant principal is the first step in the appeal process.  An appointment can be made by calling his secretary during school hours.  (An appeal must be initiated within ten school days of the date on the notification letter regarding a change to “no credit” status.)

2. The School Attendance Committee, composed of classroom teachers, the student’s counselor, the assistant principal, and/or the principal, meets for the purpose of hearing appeals to the attendance policy. The committee was formed because extenuating circumstances could exist that would void the sanction being taken by the school.  Appeals made to this committee can be made through the assistant principal.

3. If parents are still not satisfied that justice has been done, they may appeal first to the principal and then to the superintendent.

4. The Board of Education is the last appeal on the local level. Anything that cannot be resolved on the local level may be appealed to the State Commissioner of Education. 

Students Returning from an Absence

1.     Attendance notes must be taken to the health office prior to 7:43 am, where students will be issued an “admit slip” after an absence from school.

2.     Students will not be admitted to any class without a blue “admit slip” following an absence.

Tardiness, Class Cuts, and Truancy

Because these absences are indicative of behavioral misconduct, they will be handled according to the code of conduct and discipline procedure, as well as the attendance policy. Detention will be issued for tardiness to class. Repeated and consistent tardiness to class will require more stringent discipline. The absences, consequently, may result in credit loss for academic enforcement of attendance as well as disciplinary action for violating state law.