MaST Community Charter School II

Attendance Procedures & Policy

Updated 02/2017

Attendance Policy

MaST Community Charter School II is committed to student success. Regular school attendance helps students to achieve success by maximizing student exposure to instruction. Consistent and prompt attendance provides a guide for healthy student skill and habit development as they grow. Students are more likely to feel invested in their educational development, the more regularly they attend school. Students are therefore expected to attend school regularly and on time. Changes to this policy will be provided to families, when they occur.

There are different kinds of absences. Absences are defined as follows:

Excused (non-medical)- a parent/guardian note has been provided to the school within 3 days of students return from absence.

Details: Students may not exceed 10 non-medical excused absences per school year. If a student does exceed 10 non-medical excused absences per year, all following absences will require a note from a licensed physician.

Excused Medical- a licensed physician note is provided to the school, justifying the need for the student absence (dates must be identified specifically).

Details: Special cases, where the medical concern is chronic shall establish a relationship with the nurse and/or grade counselor to ensure collaboration occurs in supporting the student. Medical concerns that prevent a student from attending school regularly may require a meeting with the school to ensure an appropriate plan is set in place for the student.

Unexcused- no note has been provided to the school after a student absence, or the reason for absence was not identified as justifiable by law.

Details: A student has 3 days to bring in a note, after returning to school. Unexcused absences will lead to disciplinary action. MaST II wants to work with families to overcome reasonable barriers. Contact the attendance officer, or grade counselor if support is needed.

MaST may excuse the absences of students under certain circumstances with original documentation. Those circumstances are for illness, emergency (non-routine) doctors’ appointments, court subpoenas, or funeral notices (routine medical and dental appointments should be made outside of school hours). Students involved with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) required to leave school for the purposes of attending court hearings or other related legal matters, will also be excused.

Unlawful- All absences are treated as unlawful until MaST Community Charter School II receives a written explanation of the reason(s) for absence. If parent/guardian and student fail to provide a written explanation within three days of the students return to school, the absence is permanently counted as “Unlawful.”

Details: If a student is absent from school for three (3) or more consecutive school days, without a valid note, MaST Community Charter School II is required to hold a meeting to assess for the barriers to the student's attendance. All absences beyond ten cumulative days require a written excuse from a licensed physician. If a student is absent with or without notification to the school, a phone call may be made to the parent/guardian via our automated phone system. If deemed necessary and appropriate, a Truancy Referral will be made.

The following are examples of valid reasons for an excused absence:

·         Illness, health condition, or physical injury

·         Recovery from accident

·         Mandated quarantine

·         Required court attendance

·         Religious observations

·         Family emergency

·         Death in family

·         Hazardous travel and severe weather conditions as determined by the charter school.

·         Pre-approved family educational trips

·         Seniors and juniors will be permitted one (2) day absence per year for the purpose of college visitations providing they have notified the grade counselor, have received advance permission from the CEO or designee, and have provided written verification from the parent/guardian.

 Absence Notification

If your child is ill and unable to attend school, please call the school no later than 8:00 AM. The call out number is (215) 398-7960 This call does not replace a note, upon students return to school. Parents/guardians must include the following information on the call out line:

1. Student’s name

2. Student’s homeroom/teacher

3. Reason for absence

4. Name and relationship of caller

5. Phone number where caller can be reached for verification

Absence Procedures

*Unexcused Absence- student not in school & no note provided

*Non-Medical Excused- student not in school, parent note provided upon return to school (not to exceed 10 days in one school year)

*Medically Excused- student not present & a licensed physician note is provided regarding the specified dates of absence.

3 CONSECUTIVE ABSENCES

 

  • Homeroom teacher will code student's’ absence and notify the attendance officer of the 3rd consecutive absence of the student and all pertinent information.
  • Attendance Officer will call home if school has not been notified of the reason for the student absence, via the call out line listed above. If no call out line message has been left, the policy will be reviewed with the parent via phone, and a verbal reminder will be given for a doctor note, if the student is ill.
  • The Attendance Officer may offer parents the opportunity to attend an Attendance Improvement Conference.

3 UNEXCUSED ABSENCES OR

7 EXCUSED ABSENCES (NON-MEDICAL)

 

  • A letter will be sent to the student’s home to review the school attendance policy and state laws. The number of absences and tardies may be provided to the parent in this letter, with dates.
  • The Attendance Officer may offer parents the opportunity to attend an Attendance Improvement Conference.

6 UNEXCUSED ABSENCES OR

10 EXCUSED ABSENCES (NON-MEDICAL)

 

  • A second letter will be sent to the student's’ home to review the school attendance policy and state laws, as well as the possible consequences of continuing to miss school.
  • The Attendance Officer will offer parents an Attendance Improvement Conference to identify and address the underlying reasons for the student’s absences.
  •  The Attendance Officer will hold a Preliminary Truancy Elimination Plan (TEP) meeting with the parent as well as with 7-12th grade students; parents must identify if there is an unforeseen circumstance. The completed TEP will be copied and provided to the Grade Principal and Grade Counselor.
  • The grade counselor will participate in the TEP meeting to assess for barriers and identify appropriate supports for the family, where needed.
  • An individualized, written improvement plan will be created.

10 UNEXCUSED ABSENCES OR

12 EXCUSED ABSENCES (NON-MEDICAL)

 

  • The attendance officer and grade counselor will contact the family to schedule a home visit OR, if merited, will do a home visit unannounced.
  • With the family, the grade counselor and grade principal will review the Preliminary TEP, and will then conduct the Second-Step TEP process with the family. Identified extenuating cases may merit an extension of 20 days to turn in late doctor’s notes.
  • The Attendance Officer will offer parents an Attendance Improvement Conference to identify and address the underlying reasons for the student’s absences.
  • An individualized, written improvement plan will be created
  • Students with an individualized education plan will require a team meeting to assess for attendance barriers and to both identify and implement supports through the student's IEP.
  • The grade principal and grade counselor will assess to determine if SAP (Student Assistance Program) is an appropriate resource.
  • The parents/guardians will again be notified that all following absences must have a doctor’s note.
  • Students absent from school for 10 consecutive days, without any notification regarding the circumstance, will be dropped from enrollment.
  • Referrals to DHS and the Truancy Collaborative may be made.

11 UNEXCUSED ABSENCES OR

15 EXCUSED ABSENCES (NON-MEDICAL)

 

  • Parents/guardians and student will meet with the Board of Trustees and Administration. This Attendance Improvement Conference will create a written, individualized plan. The Board of Trustees and Administration will determine what subsequent steps are appropriate: additional support plan, and/or additional consequences.
  • All absences without a doctor note will not be excused; parent notes will not be accepted.
  • Middle and High School students may receive a detention for each unexcused absence.

15 UNEXCUSED ABSENCES OR

25 EXCUSED ABSENCES (NON-MEDICAL)

  • Parent and student will meet with the Board of Trustees and Administration for a Second Board Meeting.
  • Students with an individualized education program require another team meeting to assess for barriers to improving attendance, per the student's IEP.
  • At 18 days of absence (the equivalent of 10% of the school year), a meeting may be held to discuss the retention of the student due to the amount of instructional time missed throughout the year.

 

Medical cases will be managed individually contingent upon the medical issue diagnosed by the doctor.

Vacation: Consecutive vacation days require 2 weeks prior notice, with a vacation day form filled out. Consecutive vacation days will then be able to be counted as one excused absence. Failure to provide a vacation form with advance notice will require vacation days to be counted individually, not as one excused absence. Forms are available at MaST II’s website, or from a Teacher, Attendance Office, Front Desk, or Grade Counselor.

Tardies: Tardies will be responded to with the following: 10 unexcused= letter home & H.S. student meeting with attendance officer. 12 unexcused= 7th-8th lunch detention & 9th-12th after-school detention. 15 unexcused= parent meeting with attendance officer. More than 20 tardies will result in a parent and student meeting with the Board of Trustees, and an automatic after-school or Saturday detention for 9th-12th grade students, for each subsequent tardy.

Health Care

Upon receiving a written note from parent/guardian, the attendance officer, grade principal and grade counselor, may collaboratively excuse a student during school hours for the purpose of obtaining professional health care or therapy service only if the following requirements are met:

Requests for Family Vacations

In order to promote a consistent educational process throughout the school year, parents/guardians should not schedule family vacations during the school year. If it is imperative that a vacation must be taken, the following must be noted:

Consequences for Excessive Absences and Tardies

Every parent or guardian of a school-age child is responsible for the child’s attendance at school. Failure for a child to attend school has legal consequences for parents and, as age-appropriate, for the student. In Pennsylvania, truancy is defined as when a child of compulsory school age is absent from school for three (3) or more days without a valid excuse meaning three or more “Unlawful” absences. If a child is found to be habitually truant, his or her parent or guardian can be referred to the Truancy Collaborative.

In addition to the procedures outlined in the table, a student with 11 or more cumulative absences may be subject to any or all of the following consequences:

Students with 10 consecutive days of unexcused absences will be removed from enrollment at MaST II. Students who are no longer registered at MaST II (aged 6-17) should register with their school district of residence.

The contact for general attendance questions, concerns or feedback is Ms. Doreen Young, Attendance Officer.

                             

240.  STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY

 

 

Date Adopted:  9/21/16

Updated:         2/15/17

The Board requires that school-aged students enrolled in MaST Community Charter School II attend school regularly, in accordance with state laws. The educational program offered by this charter school is predicated upon the presence of the student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation in order for students to achieve academic standards and consistent educational progress.

 

Attendance shall be required of all students enrolled in MaST Community Charter School II during the days and hours that school is in session, except that a principal or teacher may excuse a student for temporary absences when receiving satisfactory evidence of mental, physical, or other urgent conditions that may reasonably cause the student's absence.

 

The Board considers the following conditions to constitute reasonable cause for absence from school:

 

1.         Illness, health condition, or physical injury

2.         Recovery from accident.

3.         Mandated quarantine.

4.         Required court attendance.

5.         Religious observations

6.         Family emergency

7.         Death in family

8.         Hazardous travel and severe weather conditions as determined by the charter school.

9.         Pre-approved family educational trips.

 

Attendance need not always be within school facilities. A student will be considered in attendance if present at any place where school is in session by authority of the Board; the student is receiving approved tutorial instruction or health care; the student is engaged in a work-study or career education program; the student is receiving approved homebound instruction.

 

All absences occasioned by observance of the student's religion on a day approved as a religious holiday shall be excused, and no student so excused shall be deprived of an award or eligibility to compete for an award or the opportunity to make up a test given on the religious holiday.

 

The Board shall, upon written request of the parents/guardians, release from attendance a student participating in a religious instruction program. Such instruction shall not require the child's absence from school for more than thirty-six (36) hours per school year, and its organizers must inform the Board of the child's attendance record. The Board shall not provide transportation to religious instruction.

 

The Board will recognize other justifiable absences for part of the school day. These shall include medical or dental appointments, court appearance, or family emergency.

 

The Board shall excuse the following students from the requirements of attendance at the schools of this charter school:

 

  1. On certification by a physician or submission of other satisfactory evidence and on approval of the Department of Education, children who are unable to attend school or apply themselves to study for mental, physical or other reasons that preclude regular attendance.

  1. Students enrolled in a nonpublic or private schools in which the subjects and activities prescribed by law are taught, except that such students’ attendance shall be monitored and recorded by the non-public or private school and reported to the funding local educational agency.

  1. Students attending college and also enrolled part-time in the charter school shall be counted as being in attendance in this charter school.

  1. Homebound children unable to attend school on the recommendation of a physician or practitioner of the healing arts.

  1. Other situations as specified by state regulations.

 

The Board may report to appropriate authorities infractions of the law regarding the attendance of students below the age of seventeen (17). The Board shall issue notice to those parents/guardians who fail to comply with the statutory requirements of compulsory attendance that such infractions will be prosecuted according to law.

 

The CEO/School Leader or designee shall develop procedures for the attendance of students which:

 

  1. Ensure a school session that conforms with requirements of state regulations.

  1. Govern the keeping of attendance records in accordance with state statutes.

  1. Ensure that students with excused absences have an opportunity to make up work.

  1. Issue written notice to any parent/guardian who fails to comply with the compulsory attendance statute, within three (3) days of any proceeding brought under that statute. Such notice shall inform the parent/guardian of the date(s) the absence occurred, that the absence was unexcused and in violation of law, that the parent/guardian is being notified and informed of his/her liability under law for the absence of the student, and that further violation during the school term will be prosecuted without notice.

 

Student absences are generally governed under the definition and authority of the Pennsylvania School Code of 1949. Absences covered under law must be directly related to the student’s inability to attend school as indicated in this policy and not merely for the convenience of the family.

 

Absences will generally be recognized as cumulative or noncumulative. Cumulative absences refer to days that contribute to the allotted number of days a student may be absent (10) days.  A maximum of ten (10) days of absence for students during a school year verified by a parental note. All absences beyond the tenth day of absence will require a physician’s note.

 

Non-cumulative Absences

Non-cumulative absences include:

  1. Suspensions from school.

  1. Illness verified by a physician’s note submitted within three (3) days of a student’s return. Any absence in which a physician’s note is submitted is not included in the ten (10) days permitted for parental excuses in school.
  2.  Death in the family – from date of death until two (2) days after the funeral unless otherwise authorized by the building principal.

  1. Religious holidays.

 

  1. Pre-approved college visits up to two (2) days.

 

Educational/Vacation Tours And Trips, Grades K-12

Requests by parents/guardians to have their children excused from school for educational/vacation trips must be evaluated under the authority of the Regulations of the State Board of Education, Chapter 11, Pupil Attendance, Section 11.26 “Educational Tours and Trips, Not School-Sponsored.”

 

Parents/Guardians are strongly encouraged to schedule family vacations with the charter school calendar in mind to ensure that students attend school a maximum number of days:

 

  1. Parental requests must first be approved by the Attendance Officer.

  1. Any days taken beyond the number of preapproved days may be considered unexcused and unlawful for students under the age of seventeen (17) and unexcused for students seventeen (17) years of age and over. Appropriate legal action may be taken where applicable.

  1. The following will be taken into consideration by the Attendance Officer in granting permission for the trip:

a.     The student's academic standing.

b.     The student's attendance record.

c.     The effect the absence will have on the student's educational welfare.

d.     Exceptionality of the request.

 

  1. Permission for Student Excused Due to an Educational Trip or Tour must be submitted to the Attendance Officer prior to the trip.

 

  1. It will be the student's responsibility to contact teachers and make up assignments missed.

 

  1. Permission will not be granted for trips/tours during the charter school's standardized testing period, the state's testing periods, and school examination periods at the end of the first and second semesters.

 

 

TO THE EXTENT THAT ANYTHING IN THIS POLICY COULD BE CONSTRUED TO CONFLICT WITH THE SCHOOL’S CHARTER OR APPLICABLE STATE AND/OR FEDERAL LAWS, THE APPLICABLE STATE AND/OR FEDERAL LAWS AND/OR CHARTER CONTROL.