The Board requires that school-aged pupils enrolled in District schools attend school regularly in accordance with state laws. The educational program offered by the District is predicated upon the presence of the pupil and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. Please refer to School Board Policy 204 for more information.
With SafeArrival, parents have two powerful ways to communicate with schools about a child’s attendance: notify the school in advance about an upcoming absence, or rapidly respond to excuse an absence after the fact. In both scenarios, parents can send attendance alerts to schools for all of their children and provide a reason for each absence – all in one simple communication.
Attendance and Lateness
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has established that the compulsory school age for a non-working student is until the age of seventeen or graduation from high school. It is mandatory for all children of compulsory school age, (8-17) having a legal residence in Pennsylvania, to attend school.
The School Board considers the following conditions to constitute reasonable cause for absence from school: illness, danger to health from serious exposure, quarantine, recovery from an accident, death of a family member, medical or dentist appointment when necessary, authorized school activities, pre-approved educational travel (limit to 5 days per year), pre-approved college visits (limit to 2 days per year), pre-approved religious instruction (limit to 36 hours per year), and observance of the student’s religion.
For a complete list of conditions that constitute a cause for absence from school please review the Administrative Regulations here.
When a child has three (3) unexcused absences they will be considered truant. A First Warning of Truancy letter will be sent to the parents to make them aware that their child has been truant and also to serve as a warning that, if the truancy continues, the School District may refer the case to District Court in Havertown. If a student accumulates additional unexcused absences then an Attendance Improvement Conference must be held. Once a child has accumulated six or more unexcused absences they are considered habitually truant are subject to state truancy regulations and penalties.
Parents and students can be referred to the District Judge via a Citation for Truancy.
**** ABSENCE NOTES ****
If you are not using SafeArrival, upon the student’s return from an absence, a note explaining the reason for the absence should be presented to their advisory or homeroom teacher. If a note from a parent is not received within three (3) school days of the absence, the absence will remain unexcused.
A parent has the ability to submit up to 10 cumulative days for illness in SafeArrival. All illness-related absences beyond ten cumulative days require an excuse from a physician. In SafeArrival, the absence will be considered parent excused until a physician's note is received by the school.
Daily Attendance expectations for Elementary School:
- AM: 8:35 am – 11:25 am
- PM: 12:50 pm – 3:30 pm
Grades 1 – 5: 8:35 am – 3:30 pm
- It is very important for all children to be on time to school every day. Please note that parent supervision is required for all children prior to 8:35 am as teachers and staff will be preparing for learning and meeting together or with individual parents
- If a child arrives after 8:45 am, he or she should report to the office with a signed note from the parent or guardian indicating the reason for tardiness.
- Classroom instruction begins promptly at 8:45 am. We value every minute of the school day with our students
Daily Attendance Expectations for Middle School
Students are expected to be in homeroom by 7:50am. The academic day ends at 2:35pm.
Students who are late to school must report to the main office to check in.
Daily Attendance Expectations for High School
Students are expected to be in their designated 1st Block class by 7:30am. The academic day ends at 2:22pm. If a student must leave school for an appointment, the parents must provide the student with a written note explaining the duration and reason for excusal. This note should be given to the attendance office prior to 7:25
Students who are late to school must report to the main office to check in. Students will receive disciplinary consequences for unexcused lateness.
Students must attend, be prepared and be on time for all of their assigned classes.
What Can Parents Do
Parents can encourage good attendance in school by establishing daily routines; going to bed on time and getting up on time, removing stimulating or distracting items from the child’s bedroom: cell phone, TV, computers and video games.
Listen to your child. What is preventing your child from attending consistently?
If your child is reporting an ongoing physical concern, a physical examination with your child’s physician may be helpful in understanding what may be interfering with your child’s attendance.
Parents can seek help and advice through professional counselors in the community.
Parents can contact the child’s teachers in school and monitor their child’s progress at school on Power School via the internet.
Parents are encouraged to ask for consultations with School Counselors and Home and School Visitors. These supportive professionals can meet with you and your child and help you and your child and help you create an action plan to eliminate truancy.
The District Judge will assign a time and date for the truancy hearing. The student and their parents or legal guardian must attend. A representative of the school district will also attend. At that time, the judge will review the case and decide how to proceed. Penalties for truancy vary but can include community service, fines, loss of driving privileges, required completion of a course or program designed to improve school attendance or jail time.
Students attending truancy court must come to school before and after their court hearing.