To submit an absence excuse, send an email to NWAbsenceDocumentation@rhmail.org with the document attached.
Board Policy FILE: JE-E(3)
GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTING STUDENT ATTENDANCE REGULATIONS (High School)
To receive credit, a student must be in attendance for 120 hours in any one-unit course. Any student who misses school must present a written excuse, signed by a parent/legal guardian, or a medical excuse within three days after returning to school. If this excuse is not turned in within three days, the absence will be unlawful. The maximum number of days that will be recorded as lawful absences with parent notes will be three days per semester unless there are widespread documented virus/influenza outbreaks identified within the school community. Students will be considered lawfully absent under the following circumstances:
• He/She is ill and his/her attendance in school would endanger his/her health or the health of others. • There is a death or serious illness in his/her immediate family.
• There is a recognized religious holiday of his/her faith.
• Activities approved in advance by the principal.
• The student is suspended out of school.
• There is a necessary medical or legal appointment that cannot be scheduled during non-school time.
All lawful absences may be made up in make-up sessions. Students will be considered unlawfully absent under the following circumstances:
• He/She is willfully absent from school without the knowledge of his/her parent/legal guardian.
• He/She is absent without acceptable cause with the knowledge of his/her parent/legal guardian.
• He/She is on an out-of-town trip/vacation.
All students must be in class two-thirds of the class to be counted present. This is 60 minutes for a 90 minute class. All absences must be made up by the last scheduled credit retrieval session each semester.
Students who participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports, concerts, and prom must be in attendance at least one-half of the school day (two blocks) on the day of the event or the previous school day if the event falls on a weekend.
StudentAttendance Intervention Plans (SAIPs)
After three consecutive or a total of five unlawful absences, regulations require that school officials contact the parent/legal guardian for a conference. The purpose of this conference is to identify reasons for the student's absences and to complete a Student Attendance Intervention Plan (SAIP). Students who exceed the maximum number of absences allowed may be referred to the family court for truancy if under the age of seventeen.
High School Credit
In order to receive one Carnegie unit of credit, a student must be in attendance in accordance with state law. If a student has been in attendance for less than 120 hours in any one-unit course, he/she is required to attend credit retrieval sessions.
Students who miss more than the allotted number of absences are required to attend credit retrieval sessions. This also includes students who are absent due to out-of-school suspensions. These sessions must be attended or the student will fail the course due to absences.
If the student does not attend any type of credit retrieval session, a “Failure due to Attendance” will be recorded for the course(s) at the end of the semester if the student is passing the course. If the student has a failing grade, that failing grade is to be recorded as a normal failing grade.
A student may apply for competency-based credit through his/her high school. He/She must meet all of the following conditions:
• course average of 70 or greater
• final exam of 60 or greater
• submission of application to the principal for approval
If the student does not apply for competency-based credit through his/her high school, he/she is required to attend credit retrieval sessions in order to receive credit. These sessions must be attended or the student will fail the course due to absences.
EARLY DISMISSAL FROM SCHOOL
Students must have the school administration’s permission to leave campus before the end of the school day once they arrive on school grounds unless prior written notice has been submitted to the Attendance Office before the school day begins.
Students with written excuses, from parents/guardians verified in Powerschool, who desire to be dismissed early will present such excuses to the Attendance Clerk upon arrival at school in order for the excuses to be verified. The only time early dismissal notes will be accepted in the Attendance Office will be before school. These written requests should include the following: date, stu- dent’s name, reason for the dismissal, parent or guardian’s phone number for verification, and parent or guardian’s signature. Once the request is verified by the Attendance Clerk, the student will receive a written dismissal notice they should show to their teachers at the appropriate time.
If a student does not have a note, the parent/legal guardian must come in person to the Attendance Office to sign a student out.
Parents/guardians are not to sign out students in other than emergency situations without prior notification in writing to the Attendance Office. Students returning to school after being dismissed from campus must report directly to the Attendance Office and submit credible and appropriate documentation for their dismissal. Students returning to school without any form of documentation will be referred to their administrator. Only those parents and emergency persons listed on the student information card will be allowed to pick up students for early dismissal. The school needs to be informed, in a timely manner, of any changes that may occur during the academic year in the information provided to the school. In case of student emergencies oc- curring at school, the Attendance Clerk will notify the parents by telephone.
Students must always sign out with the Attendance Office before leaving campus. This applies whether the student brought an early dismissal note or was notified by Attendance during the day that he or she was to be dismissed early. Failure to sign out or failure to leave the campus immediately upon signing out will result in disciplinary action.
Due to the difficulty of verifying calls in requests for dismissal, telephone dismissal requests are not accepted. If there is a family emergency and the student needs to be dismissed early, we ask the parent or guardian to come to the Attendance Office to sign out their student. Only those
parents, guardians, and emergency persons listed on the student contact page in PowerSchool will be allowed to sign out and/or pick up students early.
LATE ARRIVAL TO SCHOOL
All students who arrive to school late should report directly to the Attendance Office to sign in and receive an admittance pass before going to lockers or reporting to class. This includes students who arrive during class change times. Failure to sign in at the Attendance Office will result in a discipline referral.
Late bus passes will indicate the time they were issued and are to be turned in to the teacher as the student enters class. When a stu- dent fails to sign in, his/her absence is not changed to reflect attendance in school. This can pose a serious problem for students and their parents, in terms of being awarded credit for classes taken, in determining if make-up work can be submitted, and accuracy of reports needed by parents or officials for legal purposes. Due to these reasons, failure to comply with this rule will be taken as a serious offense and will not be tolerated.
SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS
Once they have arrived, students are not permitted to leave school property until the regular school closing time, unless they have administrative approval.
Supervision will be provided in designated areas for a reasonable length of time before and after regular school time for classes or for an extracurricular activity.
Supervision will be provided for students who ride a bus upon arrival and departure after classes are dismissed. Students will be provided supervision no more than 30 minutes prior to the opening of school and 30 minutes after classes are dismissed. Parents/ guardians are to make arrangements to have their students arrive and depart within that time frame.
Supervision will be provided, during on-campus extracurricular activities, for 10 minutes prior to the designated activity and for a maximum of 30 minutes after the conclusion of the activity. This will include time that may be required for dressing after athletic events. Students who are repeatedly on school premises after the designated time for supervision may be excluded from future ex- tracurricular activities.
School officials are not required to maintain direct supervision of spectators before or after an extracurricular activity. School officials will, at all times, provide reasonable supervision for crowd control during all extracurricular activities.
It is the desire of the Northwestern administration and faculty to put an end to tardiness to school in the morning and to classes dur- ing the school day. Tardy students disrupt the learning of all students when they enter a classroom. Tardiness causes a loss of valuable instruction time. Tardiness is also evidence of a lack of self-discipline and should never be tolerated as habitual behavior. Tardy to class/school is defined as not being seated in the classroom ready to work when the tardy bell rings. Physical education students are to be in their assigned roll call areas when the tardy bell sounds.
Please note that tardiness due to traffic, running out of gas, oversleeping, flat tires, loss of electrical power, eating school breakfast, etc., are not excused tardies. Excuses for tardies should be submitted to the Attendance Office. Tardies to class will result in disciplinary action.
1st Tardy—Warning; automated call to parent
7th Tardy—2 blocks ISS; automated call to parent
2nd Tardy—Warning; automated call to parent
8th Tardy—1 day ISS; administrator call to parent
3rd Tardy—Warning; automated call to parent
9th Tardy—2 days ISS; administrator call to parent
4th Tardy— Warning; automated call to parent
10th Tardy—OSS; administrator call to parent
5th Tardy—Warning; automated call to parent
11th Tardy—OSS; administrator call to parent
6th Tardy—1 block ISS; automated call to parent
12th Tardy—Long Term Suspension
Note: Please refer to the Lock-Out Policy.
After 3 consecutive or a total of 5 unlawful absences, regulations require that school officials contact parents and students for a con- ference. The purpose of this conference is to identify reasons for a student’s absences and to complete an intervention plan. Stu- dents under the age of seventeen, who exceed the maximum number of absences allowed, may be referred to Family Court for truan- cy. (South Carolina Code of Law 59-65-50 and South Carolina Board of Education Regulations)
Students are limited in absences in a semester course (not including field trips, documented college visits, documented shadowing, and in-school suspensions).
A. Medical absences are treated as all other absences.
B. Parents are notified by mail when a student has 3 or 5 absences in a class.
C. Parents are called by automated phone message if a student has been absent for 1 or more classes.
Parents may monitor their child’s attendance through their Parent Portal account.
● Students who have recurring absences due to a serious illness or medical condition may be eligible for intermittent or regular homebound services. Applications should be picked up promptly in the Counseling Office, filled out by a physician, and turned in at the Central Office to determine eligibility for homebound services.
● If a student has missed school due to extenuating circumstances or hardship, an appeal must be presented in writing to the principal.
3. Students who participate in extracurricular activities, such as athletics, concerts, and prom, must be in attendance at least one-half of each school day of the event.
In order to receive one Carnegie unit of credit, a student must be in attendance in accordance with state law. If a student has been in attendance for less than 120 hours in any one-unit course, he/she is required to attend make-up school sessions.
The school year consists of 180 school days. To receive credit, high school students or students in middle school taking high school credit courses must have a minimum of 120 seat time hours, as well as meet all minimum requirements for each course.
Any student with more than six absences (whether lawful/unlawful or excused/unexcused) in a high school course must attend make-up school to be awarded credit for the course. The number of days available for attendance in a given semester may fluctuate from year to year. The six- absence allotment, which requires make-up school attendance beginning with the seventh absence in a given course, provides consistency in communication regarding make-up school and ensures all students are in attendance for the minimum 120 hours in a given course.
District high schools offer make-up school to provide students the opportunity to make up needed seat time outside the regular school day. Each school will set, staff, and publish a make- up school session calendar. Students and families should adhere to the following points:
• It is the student’s responsibility to remain aware of needed seat time in each course and utilize the school’s make-up school calendar to make up needed seat time.
• Schools will not be able to hold make-up school sessions based on individual students’ school, work, or athletic schedules.
• Make-up school sessions must be supervised by a school staff member determined by the school. Students may not make up seat time in after-school or weekend athletic or extracurricular activities.
• Students will be charged for make-up school sessions.
• Needed make-up school sessions must be attended or the student will fail the course due to attendance.
Students who miss more than the allotted number of absences are required to attend make-up school sessions. There are two exceptions. Absences due to out-of-school suspensions are not required to be made up. Absences due to limited medical conditions specified by the district or state are not required to be made up.
Students may only make-up time between 7 and 10 absences. After 10 absences, students will not be able to make up time unless there are extenuating circumstances determined by the principal. Extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to the student's medical condition, family emergencies, and other student academic requirements that are considered to be a maximum load.
All make-up time must be completed within fifteen business days from the last day of the course(s).
If requested by the principal, the Executive Director of Secondary Education may extend the time for student’s completion of the requirements due to extenuating circumstances that include but are not limited to the student's medical condition, family emergencies, and other student academic requirements that are considered to be a maximum load. Make-up requirements that extend beyond fifteen business days due to extenuating circumstances must be completed prior to the beginning of the subsequent new year.
If the student does not attend any type of make-up school session, a “Failure due to Attendance” will be recorded for the course(s) at the end of the semester. For courses in which the student has failed due to attendance, the final grade shown on the student’s transcript must be an FA, no matter the numerical grade.
A student may apply for competency-based credit through his/her high school. He/She must meet all of the following conditions:
• course average of 60 or greater,
• final exam of 60 or greater,
• documentation of every absence submitted to the school within three days of the student’s return from the absence, and
• submission of application to the principal for approval.
Students and families should note that – for attendance purposes (i.e., to avoid charges of truancy and ensure absences are lawful) – a student who misses school is expected to present a written excuse for every absence, signed by a parent/legal guardian, or a medical excuse within three day safter returning to school.
If the student does not apply or is not approved for competency-based credit through his/her highschool, he/she is required to attend make-up school sessions in order to receive credit. These sessions must be attended, or the student will fail the course due to attendance.
Special Attendance Concerns: Students who accumulate 5 absences will be required to bring their parent(s) and meet with school personnel to develop an attendance intervention plan. Violations of the plan will result in a court referral for truancy. If a student misses 10 consecutive days he/she will be dropped from enrollment. Please see your administrator if an appeal needs to be made.
Accountability: Keeping accurate records of absences, make-up school receipts, and tutoring sessions is the student’s responsibility.
Religious Holidays: If a student is going to be out due to religious reasons, documentations on letterhead verifying that this is a recognized religious holiday needs to be turned in.
WRITTEN EXCUSES FOR ABSENCES
● Excuses must be turned in to the Attendance Office within 3 days of a student’s returning to school; otherwise these ab- sences will be recorded as unexcused.
● Parental excuses for illness may be written for up to 3 days each semester.
● Medical excuses should be turned in for any day a student is “written out of school” for illness by a physician.
● A copy of a funeral program or an obituary should be submitted for a bereavement day missed due to a death in a family.
● Documentation on college stationery should be provided for college visits. Juniors and seniors are allowed 2 each year.