Saint Marys Area School District

977 S. Saint Marys Road, Saint Marys, PA 15857 Phone: 814.834.7831
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Attendance Procedures 2017-18

Attendance Ongoing throughout the year, the office will be completing attendance checks.  We certainly recognize that there are circumstances that occur that require children to be off school.  Parents have been very good about sending in parent written excuses as well as doctor excuses for time kids have been off.  We also appreciate the time taken to call the school or email teachers to notify us of a child’s absence and the efforts parents have taken to get missing work done and sent back to school. 

 

Our School Messenger System will provide phone call notifications for students that are absent from school.  This is an automatic system that will still provide notification, even if a parent calls the school to report a child off.  Please note, that, as this is an automated system, calls may still be made reporting a child absent, even if a child reports late to school.  If you receive a call that is not correct, please contact the school to verify a child’s attendance.

 

Please know, according to regulations, when absences begin to increase, schools must notify families.  Letters will go out periodically to families whose children have accumulated 7 absences, not to include absences that are medically excused or those from educational trips.  Please understand that this is our way of letting you know the status of your child/children’s attendance.  Please note that each child must bring an excuse from the parent within 3 days of the absence.  Absences that are not accompanied by a written or medical excuse within 3 days of a child’s return to school will be counted as illegal.  Once a child reaches 3 illegal days absent, which is considered being truant from school, the district is required to hold a School Attendance Improvement Conference with the parent, guardian, and/or personal acting in the parental role of the child.  The purpose of this conference is to examine a student’s absences and reasons for the absences, in an effort to improve attendance.  During this conference, a School Attendance Improvement (Truancy Elimination Plan) will be developed. 

 

Should a child continue to be habitually truant from school following the development of the Truancy Elimination Plan, the district is then required to file charges with the Magistrate on the 6th illegal day, which can result in the assignment of fines, as well as a referral to Children and Youth Services and Family Group Decision Making Program for additional support in truancy prevention.  In as much as we would not wish to do this, we cannot stress enough the importance of good school attendance.  We have lots to teach, and children have lots to learn, and truly must be in school.  Understanding how busy family life is, if your child does return to school without an excuse, we will try to provide a reminder. 

 

You can also keep track of your child’s attendance on Power School, as well.  Per School Policy, once a child has reached 10 days of absences (again, medically excused absences or absences associated with educational trips do not count towards this number, nor do absences associated with funerals or legal matters), parents will be notified and a physician’s excuse will be required for all further absences.  Any absences over 10 without a medical excuse will be recorded as illegal.  We thank you for your understanding in working with us in keeping our records up to date as we continue to promote good school attendance.  (One more note – if you check Power School and find an error with an absence, please let the office know and we will correct any noted mistake.  Thanks so much!)

 

Please also be reminded that school starts at 8:35 am.  If students arrive after that time, they are considered tardy.  Students arriving after 8:35 must be brought into school by an adult and signed in.  Per school policy, please note that students who have accumulated 15 tardies will be referred to the Magistrate as well. As always, we thank you for your understanding and your support in promoting good school attendance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attendance Letter Procedures –

Day 7 Letter

Day 10 Letter

Day 1 Illegal Letter

Day 2 Illegal Letter

Day 3 Letter to schedule School Attendance Improvement Conference, also phone call needs made  (meeting must be held within 10 school days of 3rd illegal).  Letter will need to include that consequences will be provided if illegals continue (FGDM, CYS, Magistrate)

Hold Conference – Parent to sign plan if in attendance.  For parents who don’t attend conference, send plan home certified, regular mail, and with child if appropriate.

Day 4, and 5 illegal, Referral to FGDM and CYS

Day 6 illegal – File with Magistrate