1.OBJECTIVES TO BE ACCOMPLISHED:
Attendance in school is a critical factor in student achievement. According to New York State educational law children are mandated to attend school between the ages of 6 and 16 (students must complete the school year in which they turn 16) and have the right to attend school between the ages of 5 and 21. Parents/Guardians have the responsibility of making sure children attend school on a regular basis.
The goal of this policy is to encourage student attendance. Attendance is taken each day for the following purposes:
- To account for each student (for safety and other factors)
- To identify individual and group attendance patterns in order to provide appropriate services to support the improvement of school attendance and student achievement
- To determine the district’s average daily attendance for reimbursement of state aid
- To verify that individual students are complying with New York State Education Law regarding compulsory attendance
2.STRATEGIES TO BE EMPLOYED:
A. An appropriate record-keeping mechanism to ensure that the attendance of all students in the District is monitored and recorded in a manner consistent with the requirements set forth under the law and regulations.
B. Intervention programs will be utilized when an individual student’s attendance record demonstrates a pattern which requires improvement.
C. Incentives will be employed by each school to encourage pupil attendance (perfect/outstanding attendance congratulatory letters, student recognition receptions/assemblies, special privileges etc.)
D. Disciplinary sanctions for unexcused pupil absences, tardies and early dismissals are set forth in the District Code of Conduct and may include, but are not limited to, parent conferences, during or after school detention, Saturday detention, internal restriction, denial of special privileges (dances, receptions, (field) trips, midmorning, preparation period, etc.).
3.CODING SYSTEM/RECORD KEEPING:
Per State regulations, the North Colonie School District must maintain a “Register of Attendance” accounting for the whereabouts of all children throughout the entire school day. The Register, which may be in written or electronic format, must account for each pupil’s presence, absence, tardiness, and early departure from every period that a pupil is scheduled to attend actual instructional or supervised study activities during the course of a school day from July 1 through June 30.
The Register shall contain, at least, the following information for each pupil:
- Date of Birth;
- Full names of parent(s) or person(s) in parental relation;
- Address where the pupil resides;
- Phone number(s) where the parent(s) or person(s) in parental relation may be contacted;
- Date of pupil’s enrollment; and
- A record of the pupil’s attendance for each day of scheduled instruction.
A. Coding System to be Utilized
In addition to the foregoing information, an entry must be made in the Register identifying the reason for each absence, tardy or early dismissal. The coding system will accommodate the following categories:
|Excused Absence (Full Day)
|Absent*up to 10 days
|Yes with documentation
|Unexcused Absence (Full Day)
|Yes with documentation
|Excused Early Dismissal
|Yes with documentation
|Unexcused Early Dismissal
Any absence for the school day or portion thereof shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with this policy. In the event that a student arrives late for or departs early from scheduled instruction, the tardiness or early departure shall also be recorded as excused or unexcused. The Register must also include the date when a student withdraws from enrollment or is dropped from enrollment. All entries in the Register must be made by a teacher or an employee designated by the Board, and must be verified by oath or affirmation.
The North Colonie School District must also maintain a record of each scheduled day of instruction during which the school is closed for all or part of the day due to adverse weather conditions, impairment of heating facilities, insufficiency of water supply, shortage of fuel, destruction of or damage to school building, or such other cause approved by the Commissioner of Education.
B. Requirements for Elementary Grades (K-6):
For students attending kindergarten through sixth grade the presence or absence of each student shall be recorded after taking of attendance once per school day.
C. Requirements for Grades 7-12:
For students attending seventh through twelfth grade in departmentalized buildings in the District, attendance will be taken at the beginning of the school day during a “home room” period. Each teacher assigned to a “home room” duty at the beginning of the day shall record the students’ presence or absence in an attendance record provided by the District and shall report all absences or tardiness to the building office. Furthermore, attendance shall be taken at the beginning of each period of scheduled instruction. Each classroom teacher shall report all absences or tardies to the building office on an attendance record provided by the District.
4.EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES AND TARDINESS:
A. Students are expected to be present in school and arrive on time each scheduled instructional day. However, the District recognizes that student absences from school may occur from time to time, for a variety of reasons. When a student is absent from school, the student’s parent/guardian must notify the attendance office of the absence. In addition, upon return of the student his/her parents/guardians are responsible for providing the District with written notification of the reason for such absence(s). For absences totaling five (5) consecutive days or less, including absences for medical reasons, written documentation may be signed by the student’s parent/guardian. Absences for medical reasons totaling more than five (5) consecutive days must be supported by a note from a medical professional. Such note must be provided within ten (10) days of the student’s return to school. Students who are absent from school for more than ten (10) consecutive days as the result of a physical and/or psychological condition may be placed on homebound instruction pending approval by a physician in accordance with District Policy #4328, Homebound Instruction.
The District shall categorize all absences, tardiness, and early departures as either “excused” or “unexcused.”
NOTE: EXCUSED ABSENCES MUST BE SUPPORTED WITH CORRESPONDING WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION.
- The following list are examples of absences, tardiness and early departures that shall be deemed “excused.” This list is not (exhaustive:) all inconclusive.
- Personal illness or injury (up to ten (10) school days)
- Serious illness or death in immediate family (including attendance at a funeral service)
- Medical appointment
- Required court appearance/legal obligation
- Academic activity/program recognized, sponsored or required by the school or District
- Activity recognized by the District to be an educationally equivalent experience (e,g., “Take Your Child to Work Day” with completed essay)
- Religious Holiday observance
- Out-of-school suspension (in cases where tutoring has been arranged and student has been in attendance)
- Homebound Instruction (in cases where tutoring has been arranged and student has been in attendance)
- In school internal restriction
- United States military obligations
- College visitation (up to three (3) school days per year with prior approval of the Building Principal or designee)
- The following are examples of absences, tardiness, and early departures that shall be deemed “unexcused.” This list is not all inclusive.
- Absences for illness or injury in excess of ten (10) school days* without a doctor’s note
- Personal/family vacation
- Sporting activity not part of District’s interscholastic athletic program
- Activity not recognized by the District to be an educationally equivalent experience
- Absences for which written documentation is not provided within ten(10) school days of student’s return
- Academic activity/program not recognized/sponsored or required by the school district
- Missed bus/ride, bad traffic/weather
- College visitation without prior approval of Building Principal or designee
- Road test
- Suspension (in cases where tutoring has been arranged but not attended)
- Homebound Instruction (in cases where tutoring has been arranged but not attended)
- Other absences not otherwise deemed “Excused”
*In situations involving student absences for illness or injury in excess of ten (10) school days, the building principal or designee shall have the discretion to classify some or all of such days in excess of ten (10) as “excused” upon receipt and review of appropriate medical documentation and a determination of extenuating circumstances is made. Students who are absent from school for more than ten (10) consecutive days as the result of a physical and/or psychological condition may be placed on homebound instruction in accordance with District Policy #4328, Homebound Instruction.
B. When a student is absent from school and the attendance office is not notified of such absence by the parent/guardian, designated school personnel will contact the student’s home to confirm the student’s absence. If a parent/guardian cannot be reached at the home, a contact will be made at the parent/guardian’s place of employment or at an emergency contact number on file with the District.
5.ATTENDANCE AND GRADES:
The Board of Education recognizes the important relationship between regular classroom attendance and successful student academic performance. Therefore, it is the expectation of the Board that District students shall attend all scheduled classes. Although some absences/tardies may be unavoidable, unexcused absences/tardies will be taken into account when determining that portion of a student’s grade relating to class participation.
It is the further expectation of the Board that students will be given the opportunity to complete, and will complete, any assignments or assessments missed due to absence (whether excused or unexcused). Within a reasonable period of time following a student’s return from an absence, the student’s teacher(s) shall provide the student with missed work to be completed and will arrange for an opportunity to take any missed assessment(s).
NOTE: A complete description of the notice to students’ parents/guardians, as well as the specific intervention strategies to be employed where there is a pattern or developing pattern of student absences are contained in Board Regulation #5100-R.
Incentives employed to encourage pupil attendance shall be developed by each school. Incentives include, but are not limited to, perfect or outstanding attendance letters, student recognition receptions/assemblies, or special privileges as determined by each school.
7.INTERVENTION STRATEGIES FOR SERIOUS ATTENDANCE PROBLEMS:
Regulation #5100-R outlines procedures for dealing with serious attendance problems. The regulation specifies the process and intervention strategies to be employed by teachers and other school employees to address identified patterns of unexcused pupil absence, tardiness or early departure.
The principal of each school must review the pupil attendance records to identify problems and trends in unexcused absences, tardiness, and early departures. Principals and administrators will then be required to take corrective action consistent with the District’s comprehensive pupil attendance policy.
9.ANNUAL REVIEW BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:
The Board of Education shall review annually building and District level student attendance records. The Board, in cooperation with the Superintendent, Building Principals and administrators, shall make revisions to the comprehensive pupil attendance policy and plan deemed necessary to improve pupil attendance.
The Board of Education shall promote necessary community awareness of the District’s Comprehensive Attendance Policy by:
- Providing a plain language summary of the policy to parents or persons in parental relation to students at the beginning of each school year and promoting the understanding of such a policy to students and their parents/persons in parental relation;
- Providing each teacher, at the beginning of the school year or upon employment, with a copy of or access to the policy; and
- Providing copies of the policy to any other member of the community upon request.
1741, Relations with “Home Schools”
4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities
4327, Homebound Instruction
5160, Student Absences and Excuses
Education Law §§ 1711; 3201; 3202(1-a); 3205; 3206; 3208; 3225
8 NYCRR §§101; 175.6
Family Court Act §§711 et seq.
Prior policy, Compulsory School Attendance, 5112, Student Attendance 5011
Policy Adopted: May 13, 1974
Amended: June 23, 1997
Amended: June 17, 2002
Amended: August 25, 2014
Amended: September 22, 2014