5100-R Student Attendance Regulation

The Board of Education recognizes that consistent attendance is a critical factor in a student’s ability to achieve his/her fullest academic potential. Students have a right and responsibility to attend school on a daily basis. Consistent attendance contributes to a positive school climate while inconsistent attendance diminishes the student’s ability to effectively use school resources, and can have a negative effect on the entire school community. The Board also recognizes that daily attendance increases the opportunities for a student to:

  1. Participate fully in classes, athletics, activities, extra-curricular school programs and other school activities;
  2. improve chances of high school graduation;
  3. Understand and appreciate the importance of school and education;
  4. Attain personal goals;
  5. Develop a sense of belonging at school;
  6. Establish positive interactions with adults and fellow students;
  7. Develop more structure and discipline in life.

The Board of Education will annually review attendance data included in the annual School Report Card. The Board designates the principal of each school to frequently, but at least quarterly, review pupil attendance records and to identify problems and trends related to unexcused absences, tardiness, and early departures.

Objectives

The Superintendent or his/her designee(s) shall adopt regulations, practices, and procedures consistent with this policy and in compliance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to meet the following objectives:

  1. To raise student achievement and close gaps in student performance;
  2. To identify attendance patterns in order to design attendance improvement efforts;
  3. To know the whereabouts of every student throughout the school day for safety and other reasons;
  4. To establish the expectation of daily attendance for all students;
  5. To develop early intervention strategies;
  6. To promote a partnership between school, students, and students’ families to encourage consistent attendance;
  7. To verify that individual students are complying with education laws relating to compulsory attendance;
  8. To determine the District’s average daily attendance for state aid purposes.

Strategies

Per New York State regulations, the District register, in written or electronic format, must account for each pupil’s presence, absence, tardiness, and early departure from every period/day that a pupil is scheduled to attend actual instructional or supervised study and other required activities throughout the school year. Attendance data shall be kept current, as well as archived, via the student information system.

Recording of Absences

Excused Absences According to Commissioner’s Regulations 175.6:

The reasons and applicable documentation deemed acceptable for an excused absence when school is in session, include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Personal illness;
  2. Illness or death in the family;
  3. Impassable roads;
  4. Required court appearances;
  5. Quarantine;
  6. Medical appointments, with appropriate documentation from provider;
  7. Approved college visits;
  8. Military obligations;
  9. Religious observance;
  10. Circumstances related to homelessness;
  11. Disciplinary detention of incarcerated youth; and
  12. School-sanctioned activity.

All other absences for any other reasons will be deemed unexcused absences, unless otherwise approved by the Building Principal or designee.

Recording of Tardiness, Early Departures

Any absence for the school day or portion thereof shall be recorded.  In the event that a student arrives late for or departs early from scheduled instruction, then such tardiness or early departure shall also be recorded as excused or unexcused.

Elementary

For students enrolled in kindergarten through 5th grade, the presence or absence of each student shall be recorded once per day. A student is tardy if he or she arrives after the start of the instructional day. A student is recorded as having departed early if he or she departs any time before the completion of the instructional day.

Middle and High School

Each student’s presence or absence shall be noted and recorded by the teacher each period of scheduled instruction (and in time for homeroom as applicable). A student is tardy if he or she arrives after the start of the instructional day or class period. A student is recorded as having departed early if he or she departs any time before the completion of the instructional day or class period.

Reporting of Absences

A parent/legal guardian is expected to call if a student will be absent.  A note is not required if a reason is provided by phone at which time the length of absence should be estimated and provided to the attendance clerk.  A health provider’s note may be requested as proof of an excused absence.

Late Arrivals and Early Departures

The reason for a late arrival or early departure should be noted when a parent/legal guardian signs in/out at the time the student arrives or is picked up.

Release Time

Recognizing that there are times when students need to leave school for various reasons, written requests from the parent/guardian for the release of students is required. The applicable time and reason for absence shall be recorded on the attendance record, and reported pursuant to state requirements and district record keeping procedures.

The Building Principal and/or designee shall assume this responsibility or shall designate an individual to review and approve all requests.

Family Vacations (Unexcused Absence)

Vacations during other than school breaks will be recorded as unexcused and are strongly discouraged. It is impossible to make up for missing the teacher-directed instruction and class discussion. 

Planned Long Absences

A student will be unenrolled after 20 consecutive days of absence for reasons such as long family vacations or other travel plans.  

Exemption

A student shall be excluded from attendance whenever he/she shows symptoms of any infectious disease reportable under the Public Health Law or if a student does meet immunization requirements as defined under New York codes and Regulations Title 10, subpart 66-1.

Chronic Absenteeism

On all levels, the importance of daily attendance is stressed, and inconsistent attendance must be addressed until a resolution is established.  A designated staff member(s) will contact the student’s parents and the student’s school counselor in the event that a student’s record reveals excessive absences, tardies and early dismissals (ATEDs), excused and/or unexcused.  Excessive ATEDs are designated under federal law (Every Student Succeeds Act) as chronic absenteeism, which is defined as missing 10% of school days during the school year (18 days), or approximately 2 days per month.

In addition, the designated staff member will contact local child Protective Services (CPS) if they suspect that the child is being educationally neglected.  The designated staff member will provide CPS with the information necessary to initiate a report.  Additionally, the designated staff member may file a PINS (Persons In Need of Supervision) petition with the appropriate county agency.  

Student Participation/Course Credit 

In recognition of the important relationship between class attendance/participation and student performance, students are expected to attend all scheduled classes.  Participation in class discussions and activities is expected and may be included as a percentage of the grade attained.

Elementary Level

Expectations

At the beginning of each school year, the expectation of daily attendance will be reinforced in various ways: a letter home, the parent/legal guardian “handbook,” or by teachers at open house and similar occasions. This expectation will continue to be emphasized throughout the year. 

Follow-up

A designated staff member shall follow-up with the family to learn the reasons for the continued absence, no later than after three consecutive days of absence. Best practice dictates that parents/legal guardians are contacted on the day of each absence.

Attendance notification will be sent to parents/legal guardians after 10, 15, 20 absences to inform them of their child’s attendance. 

Parents/legal guardians should also be notified in writing when a pattern of tardy arrivals or early dismissals develops.  Follow-up action will continue as needed including phone calls and parent/legal guardian conferences.

Unless there are some known mitigating circumstances documented and confirmed with appropriate administration, New York State Child Protective Services may be contacted for investigation of possible educational neglect.

Middle School

Expectations 

Teachers and other appropriate school personnel will speak with students about the need to attend school consistently. Attendance letters are sent to parents/legal guardians of students missing a significant amount of school on a regular basis describing the student’s attendance record. The Student Handbook explains attendance expectations and procedures. The Code of Conduct includes truancy and cutting classes as disciplinary infractions, which may result in consequences such as detention, loss of privileges and possible withdrawal of participation in extracurricular activities.

Follow-up

A designated staff member shall follow-up with the family to learn the reasons for the continued absence, no later than after three consecutive days of absence. Best practice dictates that parents/legal guardians are contacted on the day of each absence.

Attendance notification will be sent to parents/legal guardians after 10, 15, 20 absences to inform them of their child’s attendance. 

Parents/legal guardians should also be notified in writing when a pattern of tardy arrivals or early dismissals develops.  Follow-up action will continue as needed including phone calls and parent/legal guardian conferences.

Unless there are some known mitigating circumstances documented and confirmed with appropriate administration, New York State Child Protective Services may be contacted for investigation of possible educational neglect.

High School

Expectations 

Teachers and other appropriate school personnel will speak with students about the need to attend school and all classes consistently. The Teacher Handbook and the Student Handbook and Agenda both explain attendance expectations and procedures. The Code of Conduct includes truancy and cutting classes as disciplinary infractions, which may result in consequences such as detention, mandatory supervised study, long-term loss of privileges and possible withdrawal of participation in extracurricular activities. Each student’s report card reflects his/her overall attendance and individual class attendance. Each student’s transcript reflects overall attendance and does not differentiate between excused and unexcused tardiness. This practice is reviewed with all students at the beginning of the school year.

Follow-up

A designated staff member shall follow-up with the family to learn the reasons for the continued absence, no later than after three consecutive days of absence. Best practice dictates that parents/legal guardians are contacted on the day of each absence.

Attendance notification will be sent to parents/legal guardians after 10, 15, 20 absences to inform them of their child’s attendance. 

Parents/legal guardians should also be notified in writing when a pattern of tardy arrivals or early dismissals develops.  Follow-up action will continue as needed including phone calls and parent/legal guardian conferences.

Unless there are some known mitigating circumstances documented and confirmed with appropriate administration, New York State Child Protective Services may be contacted for investigation of possible educational neglect.

Juniors are advised in advance of the senior year that a parking permit may be denied based on the junior year attendance record. Once issued, a permit may be rescinded based on a student’s senior year attendance record.

Extracurricular, Athletic and After School Events 

Teachers, advisors and coaches are responsible for monitoring a student absence and tardiness. A student may not participate in after school activities on days he or she has been absent for the entire school day unless there are special circumstances and permission is granted by the appropriate school administrator. 

Juniors are advised in advance of the senior year that a parking permit may be denied based on the junior year attendance record. Once issued, a permit may be rescinded based on a student’s senior year attendance record.

Community Awareness

A plain language summary of the attendance policy will be available to parents/legal guardians at the beginning of each school year. Understanding of such a policy will be promoted to students and their parents/legal guardians. Building Principals will review the attendance policy with each teacher at the beginning of each school year or upon employment.

Annual Review

The Board shall annually review student attendance data and make any revisions to the policy it deems necessary to improve student attendance.

Education Law Sections 3024, 3025, 3202, 3205, 3206,
3210, 3211 and 3213
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 104.1, 109.2 and 175.6 

Reviewed June 25, 2002
Revised May 3, 2011
Revised* and Reviewed: March 24, 2020

* Note, this replaces 5100-R.1, 5100-R.2, and 5100-R.3

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