Attendance Policy

To speak directly with Kelly Sommerville, Attendance Clerk or to leave a message call x2677

Page 6-8 of Student Handbook

Since this school is committed to vocational certification and placement upon graduation, as well as to the granting of a high school diploma, students should be aware of the impact that absenteeism will have on this ultimate goal.

Absence from school is the individual responsibility of the student and his/her parent or guardian as defined by the provisions of the General Laws of the Commonwealth, Chapter 76, Section 1- 4.  State law considers absences in excess of seven (7) days in a six-month period to be excessive.

Parents or guardians are required to call the Attendance Clerk (ext. 0, or 2677) by 8:15 a.m. on the morning of any absence. Any student involved in any after school activity is required to be in school for a minimum of three (3) hours on the day the activity is scheduled.  This includes interscholastic sports.   

A student who enrolls in a course is expected to be present each time class is in session.  Absences are defined in the following manner: Massachusetts law requires compulsory attendance for all students.  Chapter 76, section 1 of the Massachusetts General laws requires all children between the ages of six and sixteen to attend school. The law permits a school district to excuse up to seven day sessions or fourteen partial day sessions in any six-month period.

Consistent attendance is necessary for successful attainment of a high school diploma and technical certificates. 

Students may lose credit for any classes, academic and vocational, if they have accrued twelve (12) or more unexcused absences during the school year.

  • After five (5) unexcused absences, a warning letter will be sent home and a phone call will be made.
  • After eight (8) unexcused absences, a second warning letter is sent home, a phone call will be made, informing parents/guardians with information regarding the appeals process.
  • After ten (10) unexcused absences, an automatic appeals process will take place unless extenuating circumstances apply.

    Appeals Process

    If a student is absent from any class or shop for more than eight (8) unexcused days for the entire school year, school officials will take one or more of the following actions:  

  • Scheduling and holding a parent conference with the guidance counselor to discuss the school’s attendance policy and to develop a proactive attendance plan.
  • Scheduling and holding an attendance meeting with the parents, administrator and School Truancy Officer.
  • Possible loss of credit and/or retention in the current grade.
  • Students wishing to appeal a loss of credit for the year must submit a written petition to the Administration.  

    Excused Absences

    Must be documented and/or verified. The student will still be responsible for all school assignments.

  • Bereavement/Death of family member
  • Doctor/Dentist appointment
  • Hospitalization
  • Documented illness
  • Religious Holiday
  • Legal/Court matter
  • Parental/Guardian call-in with a note handed in. Parent/Guardian will still receive a phone call from the Attendance Office.    
  • Military Service
  • Approved Field Trips
  • Registry of Motor Vehicles appointment

     

    Unexcused Absences

  • Truancy - Absence without call from parent/guardian and a follow-up note
  • Out-of-School suspension
  • Extended family vacation

Attendance Credit Recovery – Plan of Action

Teacher– Parent communication

Make-up time for credits: After school program, Saturday School, Community Service, Summer School.

In accordance with the stated attendance policy and with the intention of guaranteeing that students with excessive unexcused absences do receive credit, the district will provide specific interventions.

If a student has accumulated more than five (5) unexcused absences, each absence beyond five (5) must be made up through attendance at Saturday School.  (Equivalent replacement hours may be accrued through attendance at the After School Help Sessions.)  There are no exceptions to these guidelines.  Documentation of verification must be provided for all excused absences.

Students who are absent from school are not permitted to be on school grounds on that day unless arrangements have been made with the Principal.

       NO DOCUMENTATION WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE CLOSE OF EACH TRIMESTER. 

EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES MAY BE APPEALED TO THE PRINCIPAL.

Religious Observances: 

  1. Any absence due to the observance of a religious holiday will be considered a documented absence.  All Assabet Valley teachers will be sensitive to the diversity of the students in the District who observe religious holy days when school is in session.
  2. Teachers will provide alternate learning activities or the opportunity to make up work when students are absent in order to observe a religious holy day.
  3. No major tests will be scheduled on religious holy days when students may be absent.  However, regular classroom instruction and activities will continue as planned.

Undocumented Absence: all absences not mentioned above, including suspension from school.  Extended absences while school is in session are discouraged.  However, if parents feel taking their child out of school is necessary for exceptional reasons, they may petition the Superintendent-Director in writing through the Principal.