Attendance is critical to a student's ability to succeed in school.
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 a 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 District of Haverford Township has established the following reasons for an excused absence from school:
- Personal illness
- Death in the immediate family
- Observance of religious holidays
- School sponsored activities
- Out of school suspension
- Approved planned absences
*To report an absence download the School Messenger App
or contact the appropriate grade level office.
When a child has unexcused absences, they may be considered truant. If a student accumulates three or more unexcused absences, they may be subject to state truancy regulations and penalties. A First Warning of Truancy letter may 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.
Parents and students can be referred to the District Judge via a Citation for Truancy.
The District Judge will assign a time and date for the truancy hearing. The student and his/her 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, referrals to other services and time served in jail.
Daily Attendance Expectations
- Students are expected to be in their designated homeroom by 7:50 am. The academic day ends at 2:35pm.
- If a student must leave school for an appointment the parent must provide the student with a written note explaining the duration and reason for excusal.
- Students attending truancy court must come to school before and after their court hearing.
- Students must attend, be prepared and be on time for all of their assigned classes.
Absences and Lateness:
- If a student is unable to attend school due to illness, a parent should report the absence through the School Messenger Safe Arrival app or call the student's grade level office to report their child's absence.
- Upon the student's return from absence, a note explaining the reason for the absence is to be presented to the grade level office. If a note from a parent is not received within five days of the absence, the absence will remain unexcused. A note is not necessary if the absence was reported through the School Messenger app.
- Students who are late to school must first report to their grade level office to check in.
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. Remove 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 ongoing physical concerns, 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 though professional counselors in the community.
- Parents can contact their 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 create and action plan to eliminate truancy.