Policy 7110

Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy

The Board of Education of the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District recognizes that student attendance in school is an important component of student success. Student interaction with teachers and other students in class helps to enhance the academic learning experience and provides a basis by which students can demonstrate mastery of subject matter.

  • a) Overall Objectives of the Policy

    • The major objectives of the comprehensive attendance policy in the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District are to:
      • 1. Ensure the maintenance of an adequate record verifying the attendance of all children at instruction in accordance with Education Law;
      • 2. Establish a practical mechanism for each school in the District to account to the parents or persons in parental relation enrolled in the school for the whereabouts of such children throughout each school day;
      • 3. Ensure sufficient pupil attendance at all scheduled periods of actual instruction or supervised study activities to permit such pupils to succeed at meeting the State learning standards; and
      • 4. To promote a positive and safe school climate.
  • b) Specific Strategies to Accomplish These Objectives

    • The Board of Education charges the Superintendent or designee to develop a system of pupil attendance record keeping in each school in register of attendance in paper or electronic form that shall provide an accurate record of each pupil’s presence, absence, tardiness, and early departure.
    • All entries in the register of attendance shall be made by the teacher of the class in which the pupil is enrolled. The entries in the register of attendance shall be verified by the oath or affirmation of the individual making the entries in the register of attendance. The Principal of each school shall have the responsibility of supervising the keeping of the register of attendance. The Principal shall also be charged with reviewing pupil attendance records periodically for the purpose of initiating appropriate action pursuant to section i) of this policy to address unexcused pupil absence, tardiness, and early departure.
    • Rationale

      • Research indicates a relationship between class attendance and academic success. According to Commissioners Regulations there is no differentiation between legal and illegal absences when addressing academics. Thus, all absences must be recorded. Long term absences are to be addressed according to policy.
    • Policy
      • 1. Notification and Maximum Number of Absences:
        • Notification
          • Full Year Course 10, 15, 20
          • Semester Course 5, 10
          • Vo-Tec 10, 25, 20
        • Maximum Absences
          • Full Year Course 25
          • Semester Course 12
          • Vo-Tec 25
        • Any student late to class by more than five (5) minutes will be counted absent. Any absences after the maximum will lead to a denial of academic credit.
      • 2. Teacher Attendance Procedures
        • Classroom Attendance
          • (a) Period by period class attendance must be maintained in the teachers roll book.
          • (b) The symbol (A) should be utilized for absences.
          • (c) Attendance must be kept according to dates. All absences will be cumulative and recorded on the attendance scan sheet at the end of the marking period. Students who meet notification cut offs, shall have their parents or guardians notified by utilizing the attendance notification form.
          • (d) Once a student reaches the maximum number of absences, the teacher will record (N) on the grading scan sheet, indicating denial of credit for the course.
        • Attendance in each school building shall be recorded as follows:
          • (a) In the elementary schools, after the taking of attendance once per school day; and
          • (b) In the middle school and high school, after the taking of attendance in each period of scheduled instruction.
          • Any absence for a school day or portion thereof shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in section c) of this policy. In the event that a pupil at any instructional level arrives late for or departs early from scheduled instruction, such tardiness or early departure shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in section c of this policy.
  • c) Excused vs. Unexcused Absences and Tardiness

    • The following reasons for pupil absences, tardiness, and early departure shall be considered by the Board of Education to be excused:
      • 1. Illness;
      • 2. Illness or death in the family;
      • 3. Religious observance;
      • 4. Medical appointments;
      • 5. Quarantine;
      • 6. Required court appearances;
      • 7. Participation in a school-sponsored activity;
      • 8. Approved college visits;
      • 9. Approved cooperative work programs; and
      • 10. Other related absences with the approval of the building administrator, (e.g., Taking Your Child to Work Day).
    • Any other pupil absence, tardiness or early departure is considered by the Board of Education to be unexcused. Each absence, tardiness and early departure shall be accounted for by the teacher in the register of attendance and shall be entered as excused or unexcused.
    • It is the responsibility of the parents or persons in parental relation of the pupil to notify the office by telephone on the morning of the absence or tardiness or at the time of early departure as to the reason for such absence, tardiness or early departure. Parents or persons in parental relation to the pupil shall provide a written excuse, within ten (10) school days containing the date of the absence, tardiness, or early departure and reason for such.
  • d) Coding System Identifying Reasons for Absence or Tardiness

    • The Board of Education shall charge the Superintendent or designee to design a coding system that will be used by all teachers in recording pupil absences, tardiness or early departure in their registers of attendance.
    • For any absence, tardiness or early departure that is excused, the coding system shall identify the reason for such absence, tardiness or early departure. An absence, tardiness or early departure shall be assumed to be unexcused until the teacher receives either oral or written confirmation that such absence, tardiness or early departure is in fact excused with appropriate reason. Attendance is expected to be kept according to dates.
    • Along with coding for whether an absence, tardiness or early departure is excused or unexcused and, if excused, the reason for such, the teacher shall record the time of entry of a student due to tardiness and the time of exit of a student due to early departure.
  • e) Student Attendance and Course Credit

    • The Board of Education recognizes that regular attendance in classes is essential to the total learning process. Although some class absence may be unavoidable, each student is expected to make every effort to attend each assigned class. The underlying rationale for an attendance policy that denies course credit for non-attendance is based on recognition of the vital role classroom attendance and participation plays in academic achievement.
    • In order for a student to receive credit for a course, it is important that the student attend regular class meetings. For a full-year course, ten (10) unexcused absences shall result in a loss of credit. For a half-year course, five (5) unexcused absences shall result in a loss of credit.
    • Regardless of whether the absence is excused or unexcused, for secondary students, absences in excess of twenty-five (25) for a full year course; twelve (12) for a semester course; and twenty-five (25) for a Vo-Tec program may lead to a denial of academic credit. For secondary students, period by period class attendance must be maintained in the teacher’s roll book. The symbol (A) should be utilized for absences.
    • Notification of absences shall be provided as follows:
      • 1. For a full year course, notification shall be provided at ten (10), fifteen (15), and twenty (20) absences.
      • 2. For a semester course, notification shall be provided at five (5) and ten (10) absences.
      • 3. For a Vo-Tec course, notification shall be provided at ten (10), fifteen (15), and twenty (20) absences.
    • Notification shall be provided to parents, students, guidance and administration on the dates the student attains the requisite number of absences. Once the student attains the maximum number of absences, the teacher is required to record a (N) on the attendance scan sheet, indicating denial of course credit.
    • Teachers are required to submit to the Principal and Guidance Counselor a copy of the “Attendance Notification Form”, a copy of which will be sent home to parents. A parent conference shall be scheduled upon the third notification for a full year course and vocational course before the denial of credit. If credit is ultimately denied, the parent may petition the Principal to review the decision. The Principal shall determine whether extenuating circumstances warrant modification of the denial and shall render a determination on same within (7) school days of receipt of the petition.
    • Any pupil absence that is both properly excused and for which the student has performed any assigned make-up work shall not be counted as an absence for the purpose of determining the student’s eligibility for course credit under this policy. It shall be the student’s responsibility to obtain all make-up work from his or her teacher(s) immediately upon the student’s return to school, and all make-up work shall be submitted within two (2) school days.
    • A student shall be regarded as being absent from class under this section of the policy if he/she misses more than five (5) minutes of class due to tardiness or early departure. If such tardiness or early departure is unexcused, and the student performs the necessary make-up work within the allotted time, such tardiness or early departure will not be counted as an absence for the purpose of determining the student’s eligibility for course credit under this policy.
    • All excuses shall be submitted within ten (10) school days of the student’s return to school in order to be considered as a valid excuse for the student’s absence.
    • In-school suspension, for which the student is doing work related to his/her particular classes, and out-of-school suspension, where the student takes advantage of alternate educational services provided by the District, shall not count as absences from class under this section of the policy.
    • Students who accumulate unexcused absences may meet with the Building Principal to arrange alternative instruction that may achieve course credit. Such alternatives may include the following:
      • 1. After School Tutorial;
      • 2. 9th Period Learning Lab;
      • 3. Summer school.
    • Alternatives are subject to the final approval of the Superintendent of Schools.
  • f) Incentives and Disciplinary Sanctions

    • The Board of Education recognizes that pupil attendance may be positively affected by the use of incentives to encourage pupil attendance and disciplinary sanctions to discourage unexcused pupil absences, tardiness and early departures from school.
    • In this regard, each school shall make available to pupils, incentives to promote pupil attendance. These may include:
      • 1. Quarterly Perfect Attendance Luncheon.
      • 2. Perfect Attendance certificate at the end of the year.
      • 3. Other incentives by building as determined by the shared decision making committee.
    • Where it is determined by the school that disciplinary sanctions are necessary to discourage a specific instance of an unexcused pupil absence, tardiness or early departure or a pattern of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures by a pupil, the following sanctions shall be available for use by the school:
      • 1. Oral Warning
      • 2. Written Warning
      • 3. Written notification to parents
      • 4. Detention
      • 5. Suspension from athletic participation
      • 6. Suspension from extracurricular activities
      • 7. Suspension of other privileges
      • 8. In-School Suspension
      • 9. Denial of course credit
      • 10. Filing a Person in Need of Supervision petition
    • The Board of Education shall charge the Superintendent or designee with the task of monitoring the effectiveness of the use of incentives and disciplinary sanctions in each of the schools, and the Superintendent shall prepare a written report to the Board detailing the use of incentives and disciplinary sanctions in each school.
  • g) Notice to Parents or Persons in Parental Relation

    • As noted in section c of this policy, any pupil absence, tardiness or early departure other than those specified in the policy is considered by the Board of Education to be unexcused. It is the responsibility of the parents or persons in parental relation of the pupil to excuse such absence, tardiness or early departure by notifying the office by telephone on the morning of the absence or tardiness or at the time of early departure as to the reason for such absence, tardiness or early departure.
    • As a follow-up to any oral notification, parents or persons in parental relation to the pupil shall provide a written excuse, within ten (10) school days which shall include the following: date of the absence, tardiness, or early departure and reason for such. The Board of Education shall charge the Superintendent or designee with developing a procedure to be provided to pupils upon their return to school or return to class that will allow parents or persons in parental relation to the pupil indicate the date(s) of the absence, tardiness, or early departure, the reason for such absence, tardiness, or early departure, and the signature of the parent or person in parental relation to the pupil.
    • The school may accept the form completed by the parent or person in parental relation or a handwritten note from the parent or person in parental relation containing information about the pupil absence, tardiness, or early departure similar to that found on the District form.
  • h) Intervention Strategies to Identify Patterns of Student Absence or Tardiness

    • Each school building shall establish a committee which shall be charged with monitoring overall pupil attendance and determining and addressing specific patterns of unexcused pupil absence, tardiness, or early departure. The committee shall be comprised of the Building Principal, nurse, and teachers and other support staff as determined by the Principal. Formal written notice will be mailed to the parent or person in parental relation of any students who has met or exceeded ten (10) days of unexcused absence.
    • The committee shall meet monthly, and shall identify specific pupils with patterns of unexcused absences, tardiness, or early departure and the intervention strategies to be employed by teachers and other school staff to address these patterns.
  • i) Parties Responsible for Student Attendance in Each School

    • Generally speaking, teachers shall be responsible for maintaining attendance on a daily or periodic basis.
    • The Principal of each school building shall be charged by the Board of Education to be the person responsible for reviewing pupil attendance records and initiating appropriate actions at the building level to address unexcused pupil absence, tardiness, or early departure consistent with the comprehensive attendance policy of the District.
  • j) Annual Review of Policy by the Board

    • The Board of Education shall annually review the District pupil attendance policy and the pupil attendance records for each school building.