Visit us on Facebook
Visit us on Twitter
Visit us on Vimeo
Visit us on Instagram
For Staff Menu
For Students Menu

Plain Language Summary of Attendance Policy

Introduction

The Elmira City School District believes that students who come to school consistently will succeed academically and will graduate from high school. Our objective is to:

  • track attendance so that we know the whereabouts of students for safety reasons;
  • have a tool to improve student performance;
  • be able to develop strategies to improve attendance;
  • better ensure that students are meeting New York State requirements.

Definitions

  1. Excused:  Any absence, tardiness or early departure for which the student has a valid school-approved excuse. These include: personal illness, illness or death in the family, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, attendance at health clinics or other medical visits, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations, absences approved by the Principal, and other reasons as may be approved by the Board of Education.
  2. Unexcused:  Any absence, tardiness or early departure for which the student has no valid school-approved excuse. These include: shopping, oversleeping, truancy, hunting, fishing, babysitting, hair cut, tanning and any other absence that is not excused.
  3. Tardy:  The student arrives later than the starting time of the scheduled instruction or supervised activity.
  4. Early departure:  The student leaves prior to the end of the scheduled instruction or supervised activity.
  5. Truancy:  Truancy is the willful unexcused absence by a student from one or more scheduled classes or supervised activities.
  6. Register of attendance:  Any written or electronic record maintained for the purpose of recording a student's attendance, absence, tardiness or early departure.

Essential Partners

Students

All students are expected to:

  1. Emphasize the importance of on-time attendance in school, class and supervised activities.
  2. Get a good night's sleep and eat breakfast.
  3. Be prepared to attend on time and participate every day. Attend all scheduled classes and supervised activities by:
    1. Being physically present in the classroom or working under the direction of the classroom teacher during the scheduled class time;
    2. Working in an approved independent study program;
    3. Receiving approved alternative instruction, or
    4. Participating in a school-sponsored activity.
  4. Bring in an excuse - written by a parent/person in parental relation with a phone number to verify the written information - for each absence, tardy or early departure.
  5. Notify teachers whenever there is a need for early departure.
  6. Make arrangements with your teacher(s) to make up missed work, assignments and/or tests upon return to school.
  7. Make up most tests and quizzes the day you return to school. Complete other missed work within four school days unless the teacher or principal extends the time.
  8. Follow procedures as determined by the Eligibility for Extra Curricular Activities Policy, the Code of Conduct and the Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy.
  9. Help develop and follow the plan for improved attendance that will be developed if necessary.

Parents

All parents are expected to:

  1. Emphasize the importance of on-time attendance in school, class and supervised activities.
  2. Send your child to school every day prepared to participate and learn by providing a good night's sleep and breakfast.
  3. Make personal appointments for your child outside of the school day or during vacations as much as possible. Schedule family vacations to coincide with school recesses.
  4. Call the school when your child is absent.
  5. Provide a written excuse for every absence when your child returns to school.
  6. Provide a written excuse for every early departure.
  7. Provide correct current addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts, work numbers and updates of this information as needed.
  8. Help develop and implement the individualized plan for improved attendance that may be developed for your child.
  9. Provide consistent and timely incentives and consequences for attendance.

Teachers

All teachers are expected to:

  1. Emphasize the importance of and encourage on-time attendance in school, class and supervised activities.
  2. Promote a safe and stimulating learning environment.
  3. Accurately record daily/period-by-period attendance in the attendance register and the electronic format. Record each student's presence, absence, tardiness and early departure.
  4. Review class attendance records.
  5. Notify appropriate building staff (administrator, school counselor, social worker, attendance teacher) of inconsistent attendance patterns (i.e. once a week, absent three days in a row, always absent on a particular day, etc.).
  6. Notify parent/person in parental relation of attendance problems. Make frequent contacts to parent/guardian by phone, writing or electronic means when a student is absent; document each contact. Comment about attendance on progress reports, interim reports and report cards.
  7. Verify the accuracy of the attendance register. Work with the building principal to review attendance records at the end of each term to identify individual and group attendance patterns.
  8. Work with the building principal to address the problem of unexcused absences, tardiness and early departures. Help develop and implement individualized plans for improved attendance that may be developed for your students.
  9. Sign an oath of affirmation to validate the authenticity and accuracy of student attendance reports.
  10. Always write a referral on a truant student. Give administrators paperwork or notices indicating student absences.
  11. Provide reasonable deadlines, not less than four days, for late work and/or missed evaluation opportunities, tests, quizzes, lab work, projects/reports and other similar assignments. Extended deadlines are the teacher's discretion.

Administrators

All administrators are expected to:

  1. Emphasize the importance of on-time attendance in school, class, and supervised activities.
  2. Communicate expectations for attendance to parents, students, counselors, teachers and the community. Explain the attendance policy to all students during orientation meetings.
  3. Provide consistent and timely incentives and consequences for attendance.
  4. Maintain lists of individuals who are authorized to pick up students in attendance at school.
  5. Utilize building intervention teams to review daily/weekly attendance per the Elmira City School District AIS intervention model.
  6. Deal with truancy in accordance with the District Code of Conduct.
  7. Deal with issues of insubordination related to attendance in accordance with the district Code of Conduct.
  8. Work with teachers, counselors and social workers to review attendance records at the end of each term to identify individual and group attendance patterns.
  9. Sign an oath of affirmation to validate the accuracy and completeness of the period attendance report.
  10. Work with teachers, counselors and social workers to address the problem of unexcused absences, tardiness and early departures.
  11. Notify parent/person in parental relation of attendance problems. Make frequent contacts by phone, writing or electronic means when a student is absent; document each contact.
  12. Implement the intervention systems as written in the Administrative Regulations for the Attendance Policy, the Academic Intervention Services Plan, and the Drop Out Prevention Plan.
  13. Help develop and implement individualized plans for improved attendance that may be developed for your students.

Coaches, Advisors, Athletic Managers

All coaches, advisors and athletic managers are expected to:

  1. Emphasize the importance of on-time attendance in school, class and supervised activities.
  2. Help develop and implement individualized plans for improved attendance that may be developed for your students.
  3. Hold pupils to standards for attendance as determined in the Eligibility for Extra Curricular Activities Policy.
  4. Encourage students to see their teachers for missed assignments during the period of their absence.
  5. Provide copies of rosters to school staff.
  6. Develop schedules and departure times to avoid pulling students out of class for early departures.
  7. Provide consistent and timely incentives and consequences for attendance.

School Counselors, Social Workers, Attendance Teachers

All school counselors, social workers and attendance teachers are expected to:

  1. Emphasize the importance of on-time attendance in school, class and supervised activities.
  2. Notify parent/person in parental relation of attendance problems. Make frequent contacts by phone, writing or electronic means when a student is absent; document each contact.
  3. Notify appropriate building staff (administrator, school counselor, social worker, attendance teacher) of inconsistent attendance patterns (i.e. once a week, absent three days in a row, always absent on a particular day, etc.)
  4. Counsel students individually when they receive a notification of excessive absences at any grade level in any subject area.
  5. Encourage students to see their teachers for missed assignments during the period of their absence.
  6. Help develop and implement individualized plans for improved attendance that may be developed for your students.

Community Members and Employers

All community and employers are expected to:

  1. Emphasize the importance of on-time attendance in school, class and supervised activities.
  2. Provide opportunities for families to schedule appointments outside of the regular school day.
  3. Report students who may be truant to school.
  4. Adhere to child labor laws.
  5. Value education by encouraging students to stay in school and graduate before applying for employment.
  6. Ask to see report cards and attendance reports regularly.
  7. Provide consistent and timely incentives and consequences for attendance.

Excused Absences, Tardiness and Early Departures from School

Absences, tardiness and early departures from school that are considered to be excused:

  1. Personal illness
  2. Illness in the family
  3. Death in the family
  4. Religious observance
  5. Quarantine
  6. Required court appearance
  7. Attendance at health clinics or other medical obligations
  8. Approved college visits
  9. Approved cooperative work visits
  10. Military obligations
  11. Administrative approval/emergency situations. This covers unexpected events that keep a student from attendance. Such cases will be considered individually by the building principal
  12. Other such cases as may be approved by the Commissioner of Education

Any other reason for an absence, tardy, or early departure is considered unexcused.

Notice of Students Who Are Absent, Tardy, or Depart Early Without Proper Excuse

A designated staff member will be responsible for notifying parents or persons in parental relation of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures as follows:

  1. For pre-kindergarten through grade 5, notice whenever a student is absent, tardy or departs early without proper excuse for each school day.
  2. For grades 6 through 12, notice whenever a student is absent, tardy or departs early without proper excuse for each scheduled period of instruction or activity.

Daily notice may be done by telephone, automated dialer system, e-mail or any method that achieves proper notification.

Progressive letters of notification will be sent to parents or persons in parental relation at 5, 10, 15 and 20 absences.

Disciplinary Consequences

Students with unexcused absences may be subject to the following penalties either alone or in combination:

  1. Oral warning
  2. Written warning
  3. Written notification to parent(s)/person(s) in parental relation
  4. Detention (after school; Saturday)
  5. Suspension from extracurricular activities
  6. Suspension from interscholastic sports
  7. Suspension from school-sponsored events
  8. Loss of parking privileges
  9. Removal from class by building principal
  10. Referral to juvenile justice system
  11. Referral to Family Court for Person In Need of Supervision (PINS) petition
  12. Other penalties as defined in the Code of Conduct

Attendance Incentives and Intervention Strategies

School buildings will develop incentives to improve attendance. Designated district personnel will take action to improve a student's attendance - including, but not limited to, home visits, parent conferences, phone conferences, counseling and other instructional strategies to meet the needs of the student.

Review of Attendance Records

The Board of Education will annually review building-level attendance records. If these records show a significant decline in student attendance, the Board shall make any revisions to the Attendance Policy deemed necessary to improve student attendance.

Outlook 365 buttonGet Adobe reader button