JH Student Absences and Excuses

File:  JH


Regular and punctual school attendance is essential for success in school.  The Committee recognizes that parents of children attending our schools have special rights as well as responsibilities, one of which is to ensure that their children attend school regularly, in accordance with state law.

Therefore, students may be excused temporarily from school attendance for the following reasons:  illness or quarantine; bereavement or serious illness in family; weather so inclement as to endanger the health of the child; and observance of major religious holidays.

A child may also be excused for other exceptional reasons with approval of the Principal or designee.

A student's understanding of the importance of day-to-day schoolwork is an important factor in the shaping of their character. Parents can help their children by not allowing them to miss school needlessly.

Tardiness or early dismissals are generally considered to be half-day absences. Parents will provide a written explanation for the absence or tardiness of a child. This will be required in advance for types of absences where advance notice is possible.

In instances of chronic or irregular absence reportedly due to illness, the school administration may request a physician's statement certifying such absences to be justified.

Teachers may make a reasonable effort to provide missed assignments/instruction provided that this effort does not place an undue burden on the teacher.  In instances where arrangements are not easily established, the teacher and the student’s family shall seek guidance from the Principal. Teachers are not required to give out homework assignments prior to a family vacation.

Student Absence Notification Program

The Principal will notify a student’s parent/guardian within 3 days of the student’s absence in the event the parent/guardian has not informed the school of the absence.

The Principal or designee shall make a reasonable effort to meet with any student, and that student’s parent/guardian, who has missed five (5) or more unexcused school days (a school day shall be equal to two (2) or more class periods in the same day) in a school year.  The meeting shall be to develop action steps to improve student attendance and shall be developed jointly by the Principal or designee, the student, and the student’s parent/guardian. The parties may seek input from other relevant school staff and/or officials from relevant public safety, health and human service, housing, and nonprofit agencies.

SOURCE: MASC October 2014

LEGAL REFS.:  M.G.L. 76:1; 76:1B; 76:16; 76:18; 76:20

Reviewed by Leverett Policy Committee: 05/02/16

Reviewed and edited by Leverett Policy Committee:

First Reading by Leverett School Committee: 02/06/17

Second Reading, First Vote by Leverett School Committee: 03/06/17

Final Vote: 04/03/17