Parents Allied with Children and Teachers

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PACT Charter School
7250 E. Ramsey Parkway
Ramsey, MN 55303

 534_Attendance Policy

 Date created: 

 Committee Approval by: 

 Date Approved:

 20140211

 JSC

 20140227

 BRD

 20140306


PURPOSE

Regular attendance and promptness is essential. A parent/guardian has a responsibility to ensure regular attendance, especially for the younger student, and to work cooperatively with the school and the student to solve any attendance problems that may arise.

PACT has a responsibility, as an educational institution, to monitor a student’s attendance and to work cooperatively with the parent/guardian and the student to develop acceptable attendance patterns. It is also PACT’s responsibility to follow the Minnesota Department of Education Regulations and the Mandatory Attendance Laws of the State of Minnesota.

 

GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

PACT Charter School recognizes that there may be legitimate reasons for absences. The priority is to establish a pattern of attendance at school on a regular (consistent) basis in accordance with state law.

 

ABSENCES

  1. Parents must call the school attendance line by 9:00 a.m. or students will be marked absent unexcused.
  2. The following are excused absences:
    1. Illness (More than seven days/semester must be accompanied by medical professional’s note)
    2. Death in families
    3. Religious observances
    4. Doctor/dental appointments accompanied by a doctor’s note (however, try to make them outside school hours!)
    5. Family trips/vacations with a minimum of one week prior approval (School work should be taken on vacation and returned the first day upon return to school.)
    6. Family emergencies
  3. The following are examples of unexcused absences:
    1. Absence with no parent contact
    2. Transportation difficulties (overslept, missed bus, car didn’t start, traffic, driving family members to alternate destinations, etc.)
    3. Baby-sitting
    4. Head lice - more than one day
    5. Unsubstantiated illness after limit has been exceeded
    6. Sleeping in due to late school or non-school activity the previous night

 Administration may excuse absences depending on the situation. In some instances additional verification may be necessary.


TRUANCY

In order to in compliance with state law, unexcused absences and patterns of continual absences, without a significant health problem, may be considered truancy. If there are three absences without parental contact to the school, the student is considered “continually truant,” and required by law to notify the county of residence of the truancy. Parents and school officials have a duty to see to it that a child attends school.


NOTIFICATION OF PARENT

  1. Unexcused Absences
    1. Letter after three unexcused absences per year (three days in elementary, three or more periods or three days in secondary) (required by law) - child is a ‘continuing truant’; parent should notify school of all absences; parents who fail to report their child’s absences may be subject to prosecution; this letter serves as notice; alternative educational programs are available; parents have right to meet with administration; parent/child may be subject to juvenile court proceedings.
    2. Letter after seven unexcused absences per year - notifying parents the matter will be reported to the county unless they contact the school with a valid excuse within two school days.
  2. Excused/Unexcused Absences
    1. Letter after seven illness absences per semester – Further absences due to illness must be accompanied by a medical professional’s note or they will be unexcused.
    2. Attendance Intervention Meeting (AIM) is required after nine absences (excused or unexcused) for student and parent.
    3. Letter after any ten absences per semester (excused or unexcused) (Secondary only). Notification, that according to the Maximum Absence Rule, the student may no longer be able to earn credit in a specific class or classes.
    4. If a student has to appeal for credit for any given semester, the following semester a meeting will be scheduled with the Secondary Director to discuss school attendance if the student reaches five absences.
    5. In cases of emergency, absences deemed unexcused due to failure to call in by 9:00 am may be reconsidered by administration if notice is given within 48 hours of absence.

 

ADDITIONAL SECONDARY GUIDELINES

  1. Maximum Absence Rule:  To receive credit for a one semester class, a student may be absent no more than ten days per class period, regardless of whether the absence is excused or unexcused. Tardies, absences, and late arrivals will accrue for each semester; however, state and county truancy guidelines continue to accrue for the entire year. According to Minnesota State Law and PACT’s Homebound Policy, if a student is absent for fifteen consecutive days, he/she will be withdrawn from enrollment. In extenuating circumstances, a student may appeal the school’s decision to deny credit by providing evidence and completing an ‘Application for Appeal Form (Secondary).’ All documentation needs to be submitted to the Secondary Program Director to appeal for credit.
  2. Class Time Requirement per Period:  Students must be in a class period for at least thirty minutes in order to be counted as present.

 

TARDIES

A student may be considered tardy if he/she is not in his/her seat when the bell rings. If a student is late to school, they are to report to the office for a tardy slip. A note or phone call must be received from the parent stating the reason for the tardiness. This will assist in determining if the tardy is excused or unexcused.

  1. Late arrival may refer to either an excused or unexcused tardy.
  2. Sign-In/Sign-Out Form—All students who enter the building after school is in session or leave the premises before school is out must have his/her name, destination, and time of entry or departure recorded on the sign-in/sign-out form in the school office.
  3. Excused Tardies
    1. Medical appointments accompanied by a doctor’s note
    2. Parent or doctor verified illness
    3. School field trips (denoted on JMC as tardy-field trip because the student is not in the building)
    4. Religious observances
    5. Weather-related/traffic incidents at discretion of Administration
  4. Unexcused Tardies
    1. A parental note or call of explanation does not automatically excuse a tardy or late arrival.
    2. A continued pattern of late arrivals will result in a referral to the AIM program or After School Discipline Support Room.
    3. An unexcused tardy/unexcused late arrival is changed to an unexcused absence if the student arrives more than thirty minutes after class begins. (Secondary only)