- Each student is required to attend school on a regular basis. A student may be excused from classes because of student illness, a death in the immediate family, order of the student's physician, or approved religious holidays.
- For all absences the parent or guardian must furnish the school district with a written excuse stating the date of the absence, reason for the absence, and written signature of the parent/guardian.
- If a student misses school due to an illness, and visits with his/her Dr., the school recommends that you send in a written excuse from the Dr. upon the students return to school.
- The excuse must be received within three (3) days of a student's return to school. (Ex: Absent Monday, return Tuesday. Excuse due no later than Thursday.)
- Failure to submit an excuse will result in the absence, no matter how legitimate, being classified as unlawful or unexcused.
- Makeup work will not be permitted for an unexcused/unlawful absence. The complete attendance policy is printed below.
- PLEASE NOTE: Poor attendance may result in lack of permission to participate in trips taken by various organizations, field trips, educational trips and/or restriction from activities.
- If you are absent from school on a particular day, you may not participate in any after school activity on that day as an observer or as a participant. If the absence occurs on a Friday or the last day of the week you may not participate in activities over the weekend.
OPERATION SAFETY CHECK
The safety of our students is very important to us. As a part of our Emergency Calling System, our District now has the capability of sending phone calls, text messages, and emails out automatically. The Hempfield Area School District uses this system to automatically notify each parent when their child is absent from school. Each parent will be notified based on the type of notification to which they have subscribed. Please notify your appropriate school if you are not receiving this type of notification.
High School calls will be made at 9:05
Middle Schools calls will be made at 9:10
Elementary Schools calls at 9:45
FAILURE TO REPORT TO CLASS
Regular class attendance is paramount to the success of all students. Therefore, disciplinary action with no makeup work will be administered to any student who fails to attend a particular scheduled period on a day when he/she is present in school. It will be considered an unexcused/unlawful absence.
HOME AND SCHOOL VISITOR
Attendance policies are monitored by the Principal and the Home and School Visitor. Please contact the Home and School Visitor with questions regarding medical excuses, loss of credit, or other attendance issues.ABSENCES
Within three (3) days of returning to school, the student shall submit a written excuse on the district’s Parental/Guardian Excuse Form from his/her parent/guardian which includes:
1) The date(s) of absence
2) The reason for the absence
3) The parent’s/guardian’s signature
IF NO EXCUSE IS SUBMITTED WITHIN THREE (3) SCHOOL DAYS, THE ABSENCE(S) WILL BE CONSIDERED UNLAWFUL/UNEXCUSED.
The parent/guardian is required to submit a physician’s excuse for absences exceeding five (5) continuous days.
When a student is absent from school or class, he/she must makeup all assigned work. The student must contact his/her teacher within three (3) days of the absence to schedule the makeup. If contact is not made within three (3) days, all missed work will be considered as a 0 for grading purposes. Work missed shall be made up at the convenience of the teacher and within a reasonable time period.
PENALTY FOR UNLAWFUL ABSENCES1. First Notice — When a student has accumulated three (3) days of unlawful absence as verified by the Principal and Home and School Visitor, the parent or guardian is served with the first offense notice. The first offense notice is only a warning. Parents will also be contacted to meet with school personnel to develop a Truancy Elimination Plan.
2. Second Notice — After the first offense letter is served, the next unlawful student absence during the school year becomes a second offense. The Home and School Visitor in cooperation with the Principal will file the case with the District Magistrate who may arrest the parent/guardian for a violation of the compulsory school attendance law. If found guilty, a fine may be imposed.At this time, the School District will also make a referral to the Westmoreland County Children's Bureau.
For Your Information Please- Note the Following
Public School Code of 1949
Pupils and Attendance
Section 1333 [24 PS 131333]
Penalties for Violation
of Compulsory Attendance Requirements
Act 29 of Special Session #1 of 1995 extensively revises provisions for truancy. The law raises the fine placed on parents for truancy to $300 and requires parents to pay court costs or be sentenced to complete a parenting education program. Under the act, both the truant child and the parents would have to appear at a hearing by the district justice. If the parents show that they took reasonable steps to ensure the attendance of the child, they will not be convicted of a summary offense. If the parents are not convicted
and the child continues to be truant, the child will be fined up to $300 and/or be assigned to an adjudication alternative program. Other provisions allow a district justice to suspend a sentence given to a parent or child if the child is no longer habitually truant. A district justice may order the parents to perform community service for up to
six months. The new law grants to state, municipal, port authority, transit authority, housing authority, or school police powers as attendance officers and home and school visitors. In addition, Act 29 removes from truant juveniles their vehicle operating privileges for 90 days for a first offense and six months for a second, while juveniles who are unlicensed are prohibited from applying for a learner’s permit for 90 days (first offense) and six months (second offense), commencing upon their 16th birthday. Finally, students and parents involved with home education programs are exempt from the
provisions of the act. Attendance involves a sequential continuity of instruction, classroom participation, learning experience, and study in order that students attain the planned educational objective. Student interaction with one another and participation in planned learning activities under the supervision of school personnel are vital to the learning process.
PROCEDURES/PENALTIES FOR EXCESSIVE ABSENCE AND TARDINESS
When a student accumulates 10 non-medically excused absences, 10 non-medically excused tardies
-or displays a pattern of weekly absences, he/she will be required to submit a written medical excuse from a Physician. A written notification will be sent to the parent by the Home and School Visitor. This letter informs the parent/guardian that their child is required to submit medical excuses for all subsequent absences or tardies in order for the absence or tardy to be excused.
Medical excuses can be required prior to the 10 incidences of absences or tardies at the principal’s discretion.
Attendance Review Committee
Parents are alerted that excessive absence can result in loss of credit (secondary) or retention (elementary). Parents are notified by letter in the event of possible loss of credit and may request a meeting with the attendance review committee.