ATTENDANCE (POLICY 5200)
Regular attendance is a significant student responsibility at all grade levels. Many studies correlate regular attendance with success in school. Regular attendance means that the academic learning process is not interrupted, less time is spent on make-up assignments, and students benefit from participation and interaction with others in class. Many important lessons are learned through active participation in classroom and other school activities that cannot be replaced by individual study.
Reporting Student Absences
Parents are requested to call the school and report their child’s absence by 8:00 am each day. Parents may do so by calling the High School Absence Hotline at 937.834.2453 and choose #4 from the main menu or via email to: MHSfirstname.lastname@example.org. Section 3313.205 of the Ohio Revised Code requires school districts to adopt policies notifying parents when a student is absent. If parents do not notify the school each day that their child is absent, the school is required to contact you by telephone or letter to verify the child's absence.
In accordance with statute, the Superintendent shall require, from the parent of each student of compulsory school age or from an adult student who has been absent from school or from class for any reason, a written statement (properly signed and dated by a parent/guardian) of the cause for such absence. The Board of Education reserves the right to verify such statements and to investigate the cause of eachsingle absence or prolonged absence.
Repeated infractions of Board policy on attendance may result in charges filed against the student/parent.
If within five (5) school days after returning to school following an absence, written documentation has not been received, the absence will be “unexcused.”
A. The parent/guardian (and not the school) maintains responsibility to make certain the telephone call and/or absence is submitted to the proper school attendance authority in a timely fashion.
B. If the parent/guardian fails to contact the school and school personnel have to initiate contact with the parent/guardian via phone call and they DO NOT make direct contact with a parent/guardian the absence will be considered unexcused until a parent/guardian makes direct contact with the attendance office to verify the student’s absence.
If a student is absent two (2) days without notice, the school reserves the right to send the district Attendance Officer to the student’s residence for inquiry.
Call the District Attendance Officer, Brooke Perry (937-869-1035) for further information.
Attendance need not always be within the school facilities, but a student will be considered to be in attendance if present at any place where school is in session by authority of the Board.
The Board shall consider each student assigned to a program of other guided learning experiences to be in regular attendance for the program provided that he/she reports to such staff member he/she is assigned for guidance at the place in which he/she is conducting study, and regularly demonstrates progress toward the objectives of the course of study.
At the discretion of the Superintendent or his/her designee, a student may be excused for a longer period of time than eight (8) days if a child's parent or guardian has recently died or become totally or partially incapacitated and there is no older brother or sister living in the home who is out of school. (The Superintendent may request a certificate of a physician attesting to the physical condition of the parent or guardian.)
When a student is absent, they are required to provide written documentation explaining the absence via parent/guardian or professional documentation. (See chart for excused/unexcused reasons) A parent/guardian may submit written documentation for reason of absence(s) not to exceed (8) eight days. Any students who exceed (8) eight parental/guardian absences will be required to provide professional documentation stating the reason for absence. Failure to do so will result in the absence being counted as unexcused.
Note: *Excused absences as outlined in the first column will not be counted in the (8) eight parental absences.
Excused Professional Documentation
● Medical or dental appointments (partial days, in most cases).
● Death/Funeral of immediate family member.
● Quarantine of the home.
● Appointments for court (partial days, in most cases).
● Post-Graduation Planning
Excused Parental Absence
● Personal illness or injury.
● Observation or celebration of a bona fide religious holiday.
● Pre-approved absences. (vacation, educational field trips)
● Head lice. Children excluded from school due to head lice are allowed one (1) excused on two (2) separate occasions in a school year.
● Emergencies and other reasons deemed good and sufficient by the superintendent and/or designee.
The school administration will make the final decision whether an absence/tardy is excused or unexcused. In general, unexcused absences/tardies include (but are not limited to):
● Missing the school bus.
● Experiencing transportation problems at home or on the way to school.
● Remaining at home to complete school assignments.
● Missing school without legitimate illness.
● Oversleeping, “alarm clock failed to work.”
● “My mom didn’t get me up.”
● Not having suitable clothing to wear to school.
● Working at a job during the school day without a proper work permit.
● Any form of recreation (unless pre-approved absence days).
● Personal business that can be done after school or on weekends.
● “Helping at home” or “Was needed at home.”
● “I had a game last night.”
● Senior pictures/portraits.
Medical excuses are acceptable documentation of an absence or tardy to school following a personal, in-office or hospital examination by a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. Physicians, et.al, may only excuse absences or tardies to school for the specific date(s) the student was under his/her direct medical care during which the student was medically unable to attend school. Excessive medical excuses may result the school contacting the physician’s office for additional medical documentation.
Students may receive up to five (5) additional excused absences per school year for the purpose of attending the deployment or return of a military parent/sibling. These days shall be approved in advance by the principal and will not count against the normal eight (8) absences provision. Additional days of excused absences may be approved by the principal in special circumstances. Parents must inform the principal in writing, at least 5 school days prior to the absence(s).
Vacations during the school year are discouraged: however, in situations where a parent’s vacation schedules necessitate a student being absent from school, the following guidelines must be met:
1. Parents must inform the principal in writing, at least 5 school days prior to the absence(s), with the dates and the nature of the trip.
2. The student is expected to obtain assignment prior to leaving and will be due upon return.
3. If no contact is made, the day(s) will be unexcused.
4. Up to five (5) days per school year can be excused for vacation.
5. Vacations will NOT be approved during testing windows.
**Vacation days are included in the 8 official absences
Students accruing unexcused absences will be handled on the following schedule:
● 18 unexcused hours = Friday Night School and Mandatory Meeting with District Attendance Officer and Absence Intervention Team to develop Absence Intervention Plan
● 36 unexcused hours = Friday Night School and Mandatory meeting with district Truancy Officer
● 54 unexcused hours = 2 Friday Night Schools
● 72 unexcused hours = 2 Friday Night Schools and truancy charges filed in juvenile court
** If a student is absent for unexcused reasons, they are not permitted to attend school sponsored events; including sporting events.
Leaving School/Early Dismissal
A student must have prior written parent permission to leave the school premises and sign out in the main office. The note must be signed by a parent or guardian and must contain a telephone number where a parent/guardian and/or doctor may be reached for verification. Due to security purposes, student dismissals cannot be taken over the phone. Notifications can be accepted by Fax, e-mail, or written note by parent/guardian.
When a student is absent from a class, it is his/her responsibility to check with the teacher to determine what work is to be made up. Excused absences and tardies allow students to make-up all missed class work, tests, and assignments. The general rule is the length of make-up opportunity is equivalent to the length of the absence. Students may not make up class work, tests, and assignments missed due to unexcused absences or tardies.
Students are held responsible for tests/assignments that are given on the day of return if the test/assignment was assigned prior to the absence. It is the student’s responsibility to take the initiative in making up the work. Work missed due to a field trip must be turned in by the original due date unless prior arrangements are made with the classroom teacher who has assigned the work. Teachers and administrators have the discretion to adjust these deadlines to support the learning needs of students.