District Programs and Operational Information » Absences from School

Absences from School

Regular attendance is a big factor in success at school. In job recommendations, the most frequently asked question by prospective employers is, "What was the student"s attendance record?" Irregular attendance often is the first indication of loss of interest in school or of a personal problem. Eventually, it may result in a desire to "drop" school. In cases of absences, either excused or unexcused, the student must present an excuse signed by the parent or guardian immediately upon returning to school. In the case of excessive absenteeism, students and parents will be notified of this absenteeism by the attendance officer or the principal"s office.

Excused Absence

An excused absence may be due to unpreventable causes such as physical and mental disability, communicable diseases and other urgent reasons. "Other urgent reasons" shall be for reasons that are serious and apply directly to the child himself. This urgency does not ordinarily apply to conditions such as being needed at home for working purposes. Sickness, impassable roads, and death in the immediate family are examples of "lawful other urgent reasons."

Unexcused Absence

An unexcused absence of a pupil is due to parental neglect, illegal employment or truancy. Unlawful absence is an unexcused absence of all pupils under seventeen years of age - the present compulsory attendance age. Parents are reminded that merely sending in a written excuse with their child is not an excused absence. This excuse is reviewed by a teacher or other authorized professional staff member to see if it is excused or unexcused as stated in the guidelines distributed by the Department of Education in Harrisburg. When the excuse is determined to be unexcused, the student shall not be permitted to make up missed work for credit unless given permission by the principal or assistant principal. In addition to possible parent arrest, the responsible parent should be aware of this procedure because it is very evident the more absences a student has accumulated the more difficult it is to maintain his or her expected grades. The district has adopted guidelines for permitting students to be absent one day for hunting or fishing. Students are thoroughly informed of the procedure they must follow to have this hunting privilege. A student is not permitted to be absent one day for hunting if he has previously been suspended or truant.

Senior Excusal for Interviews

When seniors have a written invitation or appointment to go for a job interview, college admission, nurse"s training, trade or technical school or other post high school plans, they may be excused for a maximum of two days during their senior year. The senior is to obtain a permission slip from the

Guidance office and have this completed before the day he/she is to be excused. The purpose of the excusals is to aid seniors in getting into post high school situations that will best meet their needs.

Educational Trips - Not School Sponsored

Students can be excused for designated trips provided a request form is submitted a week in advance of the trip. The request must include destination, date of departure and re- turn and a brief statement explaining the trip or tour and its educational benefits to the student. The student must be under the direction and supervision of the parent or an adult person acceptable to the parent. The request is given to the principal and then sent to the superintendent for his approval or disapproval. When necessary, parents will be notified by telephone or letter of trip disapproval by the principal. Parents are cautioned that the trip should be of educational value and not merely a matter of convenience to the parent, parent"s employer or to relatives. Trips will not be approved during the last two weeks of school.