A Reminder About Attendance Policies
by Christa Gustafson, Main Office Manager
Attendance policy for early childhood:
Early childhood children must be signed in and out every day. If your early childhood student will be absent or late, please let their teacher know.
Attendance Policies & Procedures for Grades 1-8
Do I really need a late slip?
You always need a late slip if you arrive after 8:25. There are some days that I won’t record late students up until 9:00 if the roads are bad, but late slips are always necessary.
Why are late slips always necessary?
To answer this question, I will describe a scenario that often happens:
The bell rings at 8:25. The children come in the building and go to their rooms. The teacher takes attendance, marking your child absent. Your child then arrives and goes to their room without getting a late slip. The attendance is delivered to the office with your child marked absent when in fact they were just late. I call you and say, “your child isn’t at school,” when in fact they are. Although I hate to make that type of call, I always err on the side of caution if I’m not sure why a child is absent. This call can be avoided by using late slips responsibly.
Following are excerpts from our parent handbook:
When a child arrives late, he or she is being asked to jump onto a moving train. Lateness puts the student at a disadvantage and interrupts the class and the teacher. Every effort should be made to have your child arrive at school on time. Students in Grades 1 – 8 who arrive after 8:25 am must check in at the Main Office and obtain a late slip before joining his or her class.
If your Grades 1 – 8 child will be absent, please call the school’s Main Office at extension 100 no later than 9:00 a.m. If your Nursery/Preschool/Kindergarten child will be absent, please leave a message for your child’s teacher. If your High School child will be absent, please call the High School at extension 109 no later than 8:00 a.m.
For the safety of the children it is necessary that they all be accounted for every morning. If a Grades 1-8 teacher reports a child as absent to the Main Office and we have not heard from a parent, we will attempt to contact the parents to make sure the child’s whereabouts is known. Please see the High School handbook for policies specific to the High School.
Planned absences are discouraged. If you know in advance that your child must miss school, please inform his or her teacher and the Main Office Manager. The student is responsible for getting assignments from the teacher before a planned absence. Try to schedule doctor and dentist appointments after school hours.
If you must pick up your children during the day some time before dismissal, you must sign them out outside the Main Office so that we know they are no longer in the building. Children in Grade 8 and younger may not sign themselves out.
Attendance policies for the High School:
Students are expected to arrive five to ten minutes before their first class and remain for the entire day except in case of illness or when an absence has been excused. This means that students are not to leave school early without authorization from a parent or guardian. In the event a student needs to leave school during the school day they or their parent/guardian must sign them out at the main office in addition to informing both the appropriate high faculty and either the HS Coordinator or the Director of Student Services. If a student then returns back to the school they or their parent/guardian are required to sign them back in at the main office.
Skipping classes will result in disciplinary action to be determined by the HS Coordinator and teacher whose class was skipped and/or the Director of Student Services. Students also are expected to attend every school event scheduled for the HS, including festivals and assemblies.
Unscheduled absences should be telephoned in by the parent/guardian to the HS office before 8:00 a.m. A phone call from a student is not sufficient to excuse an absence. Doctor and/or dental appointments should be scheduled for hours outside of school whenever possible. Students who are too ill to be in academic classes are considered to be too ill to be able to attend afternoon and/or extracurricular activities.
Make-up work after absences is at the discretion of the teacher. When absence is for all or a major portion of a block, the teacher will determine how the student may best make up the work. The student is responsible to approach the respective teacher to make up work. A record showing excessive tardiness and/or absence will be brought to a HS faculty meeting for review. Excessive absence/tardiness may affect the student’s ability to fulfill requirements for the class and/or graduation.
It should not be assumed that family vacation times can be extended into school time. Permission to miss school (for college visits, for example) should be coordinated through the HS faculty and administration and must be scheduled well in advance without the assumption that permission will be automatically granted.
When a student is not present in class or on the premises when they are supposed to be, every effort will be made to contact a parent by telephone.