534 - Attendance Policy

 

PACT Charter School

Original Creation Date: February 11, 2014
Last Approved By: PACT Charter School Board of Directors
Last Approved Date: October 5, 2023
Year Reviewed: 2023-2024


 

 

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 student's future. Because PACT has fewer 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 the 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,
  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 the 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 email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.pactcharter.org or call the school attendance line daily by 9:00 a.m. to report any absences/tardiness including early dismissals and appointments. Please provide the following information in your message:

  • 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 an 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. Students arriving after the start of school must report to the school office, and a note or phone call must be received from the parent stating the reason for the tardiness. 

Grade K-6 Students:

  1. A student is tardy if he/she arrives after the beginning of the school day.
  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.
  4. Students leaving for any part of the day or leaving before the end of the school day need to report to the school office and must have a parent/guardian sign them in or out.

Grade 7-12 Students:

  1. A student is tardy if he/she arrives after the start of a class.
  2. A student is considered absent in a class period if he/she misses more than 10 minutes.
  3. Students leaving for any part of the day or leaving before the end of the school day must have parent/guardian permission and need to report to the school office and sign in or out.

 

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, please 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 during calendar days off from school, contact PACT’s Vacation Attendance email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). In the email, indicate the number of days you will be gone and confirm the teacher has been contacted to determine ways that schoolwork 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. PACT Administration will have discretion regarding vacation excused absences, which do not count toward the 6 excused absences per year for Elementary students and 3 per semester for Secondary students.

Additional Considerations

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

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

 

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES AND TARDIES

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

 

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: First written notice.
  • After 3: Second written notice.

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

  • After 5: Attendance Intervention Meeting (AIM) between Administration, 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: The student will be reported to the county for being "habitually truant."
  • After 7+: An Elementary student is considered "educationally neglected" if he/she accrues seven or more unexcused absences and will be reported to the county.   

 

Tardies:

Elementary Unexcused Tardies Per Year: School Action Taken

  • After 4: First written notice.
  • After 6: Second written notice.
  • After 10: Requires a meeting with parent/guardian, social worker/counselor, and administration. Additional tardies may result in disciplinary action and/or county referral.  

Secondary Unexcused Tardies Per Semester of the Same Class Period: School Action Taken

  • At 3-4: Student will receive lunch detention. 
  • At 5-6: Student will receive after-school detention. 
  • At 7+: Student will receive a non-school Friday detention; hours will adjust based on the number of tardies.  

Additional communication between PACT and parents/guardians may occur at any time during the school year.

 

LEARNING PLAN EXCEPTIONS

In the event of a local or national pandemic or other types of emergencies where learning plans for PACT Charter School are required by local, state or federal mandates/requirements, stakeholders will reference the learning plan to determine attendance guidelines and requirements. Such plans will supersede 534 - Attendance Policy for the entirety of the mandate or emergency learning plan(s). Upon conclusion of the plan, this policy will immediately be reinstated.

 

SECONDARY 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 10 excused and/or unexcused absences per semester. Tardies, absences, and late arrivals will accrue each semester; however, state and county truancy guidelines continue to accrue for the entire year. 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).’ The form and documentation must be submitted to the Assistant Director of Education 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)



Contact Us

PACT Charter School | District Office
7250 East Ramsey Parkway NW
Ramsey, MN 55303 

PACT Charter School | Elementary Campus
7250 East Ramsey Parkway NW
Ramsey, MN 55303 

PACT Charter School | Secondary Campus
7729 - 161st Avenue Northwest
Ramsey, MN 55303 

Main phone line: 763-712-4200
Fax: 763-712-4201
Fax: 763-374-0665 (students records)

Absence: attendance@pactcharter.org

MAP & DIRECTIONS

School Hours

Elementary Campus
8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. 

Secondary Campus
8:00 a.m. - 3:05 p.m. 

Office Hours

School Days
7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Non-School Fridays
7:30 a.m. - Noon

School Breaks
Closed

Summer Hours
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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