In compliance with state law, our district has implemented a revised attendance policy and procedures. The policy and procedures specifically address the manner in which absences are recorded and the actions that will be taken when students reach an absence threshold.
Student absences will now be recorded in one of the following categories based on the information provided (or not provided) by parents/guardians.
- Excused - The only absences that will be entered in this category are those deemed officially “excused” by the state. This category ONLY includes religious holidays and Take Your Child to Work day.
- Unexcused: Not Truant - A student’s first five (5) absences accompanied by a doctor’s note, a parent note, OR a parent phone call will fall under this category.
- Unexcused: Truant - After five (5) absences, any absence NOT accompanied by a doctor’s note falls in this category. ALL vacations also fall in this category.
Administrators in every school in our district will take the actions listed at each attendance threshold noted below:
- Five (5) Unexcused Absences of ANY KIND: A letter will be mailed home alerting the parent/guardian that the student has reached this threshold. The letter will also be placed in the child’s cumulative folder.
- Five (5) Unexcused: Truant Absences: A letter will be mailed home and placed in the student’s cumulative file. Administration may request a parent meeting/phone conference to develop a collaborative attendance improvement plan. This letter will also serve as a warning for the action to take place if the student reaches 10 Unexcused: Truant absences.
- Ten (10) Unexcused Absences of ANY KIND: A letter will be mailed home alerting the parent/guardian that the student has reached this threshold. The letter will also be placed in the child’s cumulative folder.
- Ten (10) Unexcused: Truant Absences: A truancy referral will be made to the district attendance officer at whose discretion a court referral will be made. A letter indicating this will be mailed home and placed in the student’s cumulative file. The district attendance officer may also contact the parents/guardians for a meeting.
- Fifteen (15) Unexcused Absences of ANY KIND: A letter will be mailed home and placed in the student’s cumulative file. This letter will serve as initial notification that an attendance review committee will convene at the end of the year to determine whether or not the student will be retained or promoted.
- Eighteen (18) Absences of ANY KIND: Your child will be identified by the State of New Jersey as a “chronically absent” student. The attendance review committee will automatically recommend the following: Students will be required to attend the district summer program with 90% attendance in order to be considered for promotion to the next grade level.
Our ultimate goal as a district is to prevent chronic absenteeism to promote student achievement in all areas. A student who is chronically absent is at a greater risk of academic, social and emotional disadvantage when compared to his/her peers. Traditionally speaking, chronically absent students lag behind their peers when it comes to academic achievement and academic growth.
Let’s prevent the effects of chronic absenteeism by working together to make sure your child attends school on a regular basis!