Attendance Information

To report a student absence or for questions regarding attendance, contact Ms. Donna Rozanski.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (570) 585-5302

School Fax: (570) 586-8188

ATTENDANCE POLICIES

The Pennsylvania School Code lists the following reasons for excused absence from school: illness, quarantine, death in the immediate family, professional appointment, religious observance, and impassable roads. Exceptions to the rule may be evaluated individually by a school administrator or designee. The following guidelines, policies and procedures will be adhered to at Abington Heights High School regarding attendance, early dismissal and late arrival:

  1. Each absence requires a written excuse signed by a parent or guardian or a medical professional. When a student, regardless of age, is absent, the parent or guardian must send a signed excuse to the school explaining the reason and date of the absence. A student must present an excuse to the homeroom teacher by the third day after the absence. If no excuse is received after the third day, it will be coded as an unexcused absence. Parents will be notified when it becomes apparent that absence is an issue.

  2. Parents or students may appeal the student’s attendance record. The appeal must be made in writing and initiated by the parent or student. An appeal hearing will only address attendance from the immediate prior quarter. In order to consider any change in the attendance coding, the administration must be presented with clear and overwhelming evidence that the excuse is in compliance with The Pennsylvania School Code.

  3. Parental excuses cannot be accepted after ten total absences. Any student who exhibits a consistent pattern of absence may be required at any time to present a professional (eg. doctor) excuse for each continued absence. A professional excuse must include the date and time of the appointment and clearly state the dates that a student should be considered excused. General statements like “until further notice” or “the student may be absent on occasion for the illness” cannot be accepted.

  4. If a student accrues any more than five unexcused absences, a truancy complaint to the district justice may be filed against the student or student’s parents. Included in the truancy complaint will be the number of classes cut, unexcused tardiness and unexcused early dismissals. Students age eighteen (18) and older place themselves in jeopardy of being taken off the rolls as a student of Abington Heights School District if absent for ten (10) consecutive days for an unexcused reason. PA Code 22.12.1

  5. A doctor’s excuse will be required for each time a student leaves school from the nurse’s office after six times.

  6. A total of no more than five (5) days may be approved by Abington Heights High School administration for absences for job interviews, college visitations and individual or family educational field trips. Students must submit the completed form to administration for approval at least five (5) days in advance of the leave. Approval forms for these absences are available in the main office. Absences beyond five days will be considered unexcused and make-up work for those days may not be accepted.

  7. Family or individualized educational trip requests during midterm or final exam periods will not be approved.

  8. A note for an early dismissal signed and dated by a parent/guardian with a specific reason for the request is expected to be presented to the homeroom teacher before the start of the school day in which the student is to be dismissed early.

  9. Phone calls by parents asking for the excusal of his/her student are not condoned by the school administration. In cases where there are extenuating circumstances, the school administration will verify the caller’s identity but reserves the right to deny permission. If approval is given, the student is expected to submit a signed excuse from a parent/guardian or professional the next school day the student is in attendance. If an excuse is not submitted, consequences may be assigned to the student or the temporary verbal approval will then revert to an unexcused absence.

  10. Before leaving the building for any reason, a student must sign out in the attendance office. Consequences will be assigned to students who do not comply with this requirement. Students may not sign themselves out of school without formal written permission from a parent or guardian detailing the specific reason for leaving school.

  11. Forged excuses for early excusal or absences are considered unexcused and will result in the student receiving disciplinary consequences.

  12. Students who arrive late to school must report to the attendance office immediately upon entering the building.

  13. A class cut occurs when a student does not have an approved excuse for leaving school and does not attend a class. Class cuts without permission will lead to disciplinary consequences. Additionally, leaving school without permission will result in disciplinary consequences.

  14. Students may not be given credit for class work missed because of unexcused absence.

  15. Attendance will be documented on both quarterly report cards and on the student transcript.

  16. If on any school day throughout the year, twenty-five percent (25) or more of the senior class is absent from school, no senior absent on that day will be permitted to be exempt from final examinations.

ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES

EXCUSED ABSENCES

  • Absences from school with proper parental excuses that are turned in on time are considered “Excused” absences. The student’s full name should be listed on the excusal form.

  • At a total of ten (10) absences from school, a letter will be sent home to the parents notifying them that an excuse from a Doctor will be required for every absence after ten (10) days of missed school.

  • A School Attendance Improvement Plan meeting will be set up for a combination of six (6) absences that are not accompanied with a Doctor’s, legal professional’s, or counselor’s note.

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

  • Students have three (3) school days to turn in an excuse for absence from school.

  • A “First Offense” letter is sent to the parents on the 4th unexcused absence from school. The letter notifies parents of Compulsory Attendance Laws and that a School Attendance Improvement Plan will be scheduled after the next unexcused absence.

  • Any “Illegal” or “Unexcused” absences from school after the School Attendance Improvement Plan is created will result in a Compulsory Attendance Citation being filed with the District Magistrate. A truancy hearing will be scheduled.

  • Future Unexcused absences from school will result in Contempt charges being filed against the individual and a hearing will be scheduled for Family Court.

  • Students accumulating ten (10) or more unexcused absences will be prohibited from attending extracurricular activities such as school dances and the prom.

EXCUSED TARDINESS

  • A student who arrives late to school and has turned in a note from a parent, Doctor, or legal professional within three days of the tardy will be marked as “Excused Tardy.”

  • At a total of ten (10) instances of tardiness to school, a letter will be sent home to the parents notifying them that an excuse from a Doctor or legal professional will be required for every instance of tardiness after ten (10) instances have occurred.

UNEXCUSED TARDINESS

  • Students arriving to homeroom after 8:15 a.m. without a signed note from a parent or medical professional explaining the lateness will be considered “Unexcused Tardy.”

  • Students will receive a “warning” for the first three (3) times they are Unexcused Tardy to school. A letter will be sent home notifying parents of the tardiness issue after the third tardy.

  • Students will receive a detention on the fourth and subsequent Unexcused Tardiness to school with a detention letter sent home to the parents explaining the detention date and reason for detention.

  • Students will have a Compulsory Attendance Citation filed with the District Magistrate once the time missed from school as “Unexcused Tardiness” is equivalent to 24 hours, or 4 full school days.

LATE TO SCHOOL OR LATE TO CLASS PROCEDURES

Students not in their assigned homerooms/classrooms when the bell rings at the published time of each period are considered tardy. Students fewer than five (5) minutes late to class without an acceptable excuse will receive a one-time warning after the third (3rd) occurrence. Each additional tardy will result in a detention. Students more than five minutes late to any one class will receive a detention. When a student arrives late to any class, the student must document the time of arrival on the classroom sign-in sheet.