Attendance Guidelines (Including Pre-Arranged Absences)

Compulsory school age refers to the period of a child’s life from the time the child enters school as a beginner, which shall be no later than the age of eight, until the age of seventeen (17) or graduation from high school (whichever occurs first). "Beginner" means once a parent/guardian elects to enroll a child in a public kindergarten program or lowest grade level (provided the child satisfies the district's minimum admission age/requirements).

Students enrolled in school are expected to be present every day school is in session. Absences from school may be excused for reasons of illness, quarantine, death in the immediate family, impassable roads, emergency medical and dental attention, pre-arranged absences, and authorized religious holidays. Absences will not be excused if they are due to parental neglect, illegal employment, or truancy.

It is the responsibility of parents to see that the student attends school and it is the desire of the school to assist parents in meeting this responsibility when assistance is needed. Parents should not hesitate to call the office of the principal, assistant principal, counselor, teacher, or home and school visitor to request assistance if there is a problem.

It is important that you be aware of the following regulations:

WRITTEN EXCUSES: When a student is absent from school for any reason, the parent is required to prepare a written statement explaining the reason for the absence. This statement is to be submitted to school officials upon the student’s return to school. It is the responsibility of the parent to see that this written excuse is received by the school. (Even if a parent calls the school to report the absence of a student, a written excuse is still required.)

If an excuse has not been received by the school within three (3) days following the student’s return to school, the absence will be considered unexcused.

Parents who wish to confirm receipt of written excuses by officials may call the school secretary following the student’s return to school. Parents will be informed at this time whether or not the written excuse requirement has been fulfilled.

REQUIREMENT FOR MEDICAL EXCUSE: When a student has been absent from school frequently due to claims of illness or other urgent reasons, and said absences are of a questionable nature to school attendance personnel, that student may therefore be required to furnish a statement from a doctor for absences which occur the remainder of the school year. A letter will be sent to parents explaining this requirement.

PRE-ARRANGED ABSENCES/EDUCATIONAL TRIPS: School personnel feel that each school day is important in providing your child with a full and appropriate education. Parents are strongly encouraged to plan all activities in such a way as to assure no conflict with the student’s attendance.

Parents who must request release of a student from school for a family activity are asked to make arrangements five (5) days in advance of the period of absence to obtain your children's schoolwork for the trip.

The period of absence may be excused provided that the following guidelines are met:  

  1. The request is submitted at least three (3) days in advance of this absence. * A form to be completed by the parent is available from the attendance secretary in the student’s building of enrollment.
  2. The student is performing acceptably in terms of his/her schoolwork.
  3. The student has not been absent an excessive number of days prior to the time of this request.

Pre-Arranged Absence Guidelines

Pre-Arranged Absence Request Form

PENALTY OF UNEXCUSED ABSENCES: When a student accumulates a total of three (3) days of unexcused absence, a FIRST NOTICE (letter) is delivered to the parents by mail and/or school meetings.  This is a state requirement in compliance with the Compulsory Attendance Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Any additional day(s) of unlawful absence following the receipt of this letter may result in a fine(s).

ASSISTANCE FROM SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY: If a student continues to be unlawfully absent in disregard of the Compulsory Attendance Law and efforts of school personnel to assist the parents and/or student to improve attendance, a referral may be made to Cumberland County Children and Youth Services. This agency will work with students, parents, and school personnel in an effort to alleviate ongoing attendance concerns and to assure every student the best possible education.

TARDINESS: Students who are tardy must submit written excuses from a parent indicating the reason for the tardiness. When students are habitually late and lateness is unexcused, the minutes will be accrued and when the number of minutes totals the equivalent of a school day, that day will be recorded as an unexcused absence.

ATTENDANCE FOR SEVENTEEN/EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD STUDENTS: The Compulsory Attendance Law does not apply to students who are seventeen/eighteen years of age. It is recommended that parents check the school policies pertaining to attendance of these students noting penalties for unexcused days of absence and unexcused tardiness.

It is important that attendance regulations be adhered to carefully. If you have any questions regarding the school attendance regulations, please do not hesitate to contact school personnel who are working with your child or children – principal, assistant principal, counselor, teacher, or home and school visitor.

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