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: Reviewed:
 20140211  JPC   —  2017-2018
 BRD  20180104

PURPOSE

Research supports that regular school attendance and punctuality are directly related to success in academic work, including success in meeting state and local requirements for graduation. Students who attend school consistently and are on time: benefit socially; establish better communication with their teachers; and establish regular habits of dependability, self-sufficiency, and responsibility, all of which are important to the future of the student. Because PACT has less instructional days than most Minnesota Schools, good attendance is even more essential for our students.

This policy encourages regular school attendance and affirms that class attendance is a joint responsibility shared by the student, parent/guardian, teacher, and administration. All parties are responsible for promoting regular attendance, punctuality, and compliance with Minnesota Department of Education Regulations and the Mandatory Attendance Laws of the State of Minnesota (Statutes 120A).

 

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY DEFINED

Parent/Guardian: It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to:

  1. ensure a student is attending school every day school is in session and on time;
  2. inform the school in the event of a student absence/tardy each day the child is absent/tardy; and
  3. collaborate with teachers regarding missing schoolwork.

Student: It is the student’s responsibility to:

  1. be in class on time and prepared with materials needed for learning; and
  2. to follow class procedures for any make-up school work.

Teacher: It is the teacher’s responsibility to:

  1. take daily attendance after the 8:00 a.m. bell and within the first 5 minutes of each Secondary course;
  2. ensure students stay in the classroom during the duration of instruction; and
  3. work cooperatively with students and parents, upon their request, to provide assignments and assistance when a student has been absent.

Administration: It is administration’s responsibility to:

  1. require students to attend all assigned classes and other instructional activities;
  2. review attendance records weekly; and
  3. be proactive in allying with parents, teachers, and students to find ways to support consistent attendance.

For Secondary students, the word “day” equates to “the same class period.”

 

REPORTING ABSENCES/TARDINESS

Parents/guardians are expected to call the school attendance line daily by 9:00 a.m. to report any absences/tardiness and provide the following information:

  • Student name
  • Date of absence
  • Reason for absence
  • Name of person reporting the absence

Parents/guardians may have 24 hours after 9:00 a.m. on the absent day to report an excused absence to the school. After 24 hours, an absence will be considered unexcused.

 

TARDY/ABSENCES

Students are expected to attend school for the entire school day (8:00 a.m. – 3:05 p.m.). Students arriving after 8:00 a.m. must report to the school office, and a note or phone call must be received from the parent stating the reason for the tardiness. Students leaving for any part of the day, or leaving before 3:05 p.m. need to report to the school office and must have a parent/guardian sign them in or out.

Elementary Students

  1. A student is tardy if he/she arrives after 8:00 a.m. or leaves before 3:05 p.m.
  2. A student is considered absent for a half day if he/she misses more than 60 minutes but less than 4 hours of the day.
  3. A student is considered absent for a full day if he/she misses more than 4 hours of the day.

Secondary Students

  1. A student is tardy if he/she arrives after the start of a class, or leaves before the end of a class.
  2. A student is considered absent in a class period if he/she misses more than 30 minutes.
  3. A student is considered absent in his/her advisory if he/she misses more than 50% of the period.

 

EXCUSED ABSENCES

In accordance with the regulations of the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Compulsory Instruction Law, Minnesota Statute 120A.22, students are required to attend all assigned classes and/or instructional activities every day school is in session. PACT Charter School allows a student 6 excused full day absences per school year for elementary students and 3 per semester for secondary students. The following reasons for school tardies/absences are considered excused:

  1. Student illness that includes a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or unidentified/untreated rash.
  2. The death, serious illness, or funeral of an immediate family or step-family member (including grandparents).
  3. Religious observances.
  4. Active duty of an immediate family member in any military branch of the United States.
  5. Student medical, dental, orthodontic, or counseling appointments.
  6. Other activities as approved by the school.

For families planning vacations, try to plan around the school calendar and non-school Fridays to preserve as much in-class instruction time as possible. If you cannot schedule a vacation time during calendar days off from school, contact the Program Directors and discuss the number of days you will be gone and ways that school work and learning will be completed by the time your student returns to school so he/she is caught up and ready to join with the rest of the students in instruction. At this time, discuss with the Program Director about administratively excused absences that do not count toward the 6 excused absences per year for elementary students and 3 per semester for secondary students. PACT Administration will have discretion with regards to vacation excused absences.

Additional Considerations

For a student to receive more than 6 excused absences per year, PACT Charter School may require a note from a licensed medical professional associated with the type of illness. The note must state the type/reason of illness and the date of when the student can return to school.

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

 

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES AND TARDIES

Unexcused includes all absences and tardies not authorized by a parent/guardian or the school.

For Elementary students, 2 unexcused tardies equals a half day unexcused absence and 4 unexcused tardies equals a full day unexcused absence.

 

TRUANCY: NOTIFICATION TO PARENT/GUARDIAN

If a student has 3 unexcused absences within a single school year, that student is considered “continuing truant,” according to Minnesota State Law (Statute 260A.02). When a student has 7 unexcused absences within a single school year, that student is considered “habitually truant,” according to Minnesota State Law (Statute 260C.007, Subd. 19)

Absences

Unexcused
Absences Per Year
School Action Taken
After 2 Letter 1
After 3
  • Letter 2;
  • phone call from the Program Director to parent/guardian; and or an
  • Attendance Intervention Meeting (AIM) between the Program Director, homeroom teacher, and the parent/guardian to discuss concerns and develop a plan

Note: At this time, a student is considered "continuing truant" according to Minnesota State Law (Statute 260A.02)

After 4 Potential Report to the county a student lives in for truancy violation. Each county has different requirements specific to the number of unexcuesed days.
After 5 Attendance Intervetion Meeting between the Program Director, homeroom teacher, and the parent/guardian to discuss concerns and develop a plan, or create a new plan if an AIM has previously been held.
After 6, 9, 15, and 20 The student will be reported to the county for "habitually truant."
After 7 An Elementary student is considered "educationally neglected" if he/she is absent from school without lawful excuse and will be reported to the count.

 

Tardies

Elementary
Unexcused Tardies Per Year
School Action Taken
After 4 Letter 1
After 6
  • Letter 2;
  • phone call from the Program Director to parent/guardian; and or an
  • Attendance Intervention Meeting (AIM) between the Program Director, homeroom teacher, and the parent/guardian to discuss concerns and develop a plan
After 7, 10, 15, 20 Attendance Intervention Meeting between the Program Director, homeroom teacher, and the parent/guardian to discuss concerns and develop a plan, or create a new plan if an AIM has previously been held.
After 24 The student will be reported to the county for "habitually truant."

 

Secondary
Unexcused Tardies
Per Semester of the same class period
School Action Taken
After 4 Letter 1
After 6
  • Letter 2;
  • phone call from the Program Director to parent/guardian; and or an
  • Attendance Intervention Meeting (AIM) between the Program Director, homeroom teacher, and the parent/guardian to discuss concerns and develop a plan
After 7, 10, 15, 20 Attendance Intervention Meeting between the Program Director, homeroom teacher, and the parent/guardian to discuss concerns and develop a plan, or create a new plan if an AIM has previously been held.
After 24 The student will be reported to the county for "habitually truant."

 

Secondary
Unexcused Overall Tardies Per Year
School Action Taken
After 10 Letter 1
After 15 Attendance Intervention Meeting between the Program Director, homeroom teacher, and the parent/guardian to discuss concerns and develop a plan, or create a new plan if an AIM has previously been held.
After 24 The student will be reported to the county for "habitually truant."

 Additional communication between PACT and parent/guardians may take place at any time during the school year.

 

MAXIMUM ABSENCE RULE

According to the Maximum Absence Rule a Secondary student may no longer be able to earn credit in a specific class or classes after any 10 absences per semester. 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 616 - Homebound Instructional Services Policy, if a student is absent for 15 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.

 

Legal References:

Minn. Stat. §120A (Education Code; Attendance; School Calendar)

Minn. Stat. §120A.22 (Compulsory Instruction)

Minn. Stat. §260A.02 (Continuing truant)

Minn. Stat. §260C.007, Subd. 19 (Habitual truant)