Comprehensive Attendance Policy

I. Attendance Objectives: Attendance in school is linked to positive school culture. School culture is the overall physical and psychological atmosphere in a school, the behaviors, attitudes and beliefs exhibited by all school staff, parents, and community. A positive school culture has profound effects on student performance. St. Agnes Cathedral School encourages all school staff, parents, and community members to foster such an atmosphere for all students. This environment will be accepting and inclusive, providing all students the opportunity to learn.

II. Strategies: Due to the positive correlation between consistent school attendance, class participation and successful academic performance, St. Agnes Cathedral School has adopted this attendance policy to ensure that all stu-dents comply with the academic standards set by the New York State Department of Education Law Section 3205 for successful school completion and to ensure the maintenance of adequate records verifying attendance of all children at instruction in St. Agnes Cathedral School.

This policy also establishes practical strategies for the school to account for the whereabouts of its children throughout each school day and ensures sufficient pupil attendance at all scheduled periods of actual instruction or super-vised activities.

Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each school day prior to the first period of instruction. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each scheduled class period when pupils move freely between classes. Attendance will be taken after the pupils return from lunch. Attendance will be taken on class and/or school field trips.

In the event that your child is absent, you must call the health office at 678-5550 before 9:00 A.M. If you do not call, the school will make an effort to call you. Only the person and number listed on a health form distributed to the children at the beginning of the school year will be called. Upon the re-turn to school, a note explaining the reason for absence is required. A doc-tor’s note is required when a student is absent for 3 or more consecutive days.

III. Excused and Unexcused Absences:

Excused The following reasons for absence or tardiness may be considered excused.

scheduled medical appointments
sickness or death in family
day of religious observance
bad weather
impassable roads
court appearance
family emergency
district bus problem
other school activity

Unexcused The following reasons for absence or tardiness would  ordinarily be considered  unexcused.

music lessons
take child to work
high school visits
family trips
CYO trips
didn’t have a ride

IV. Attendance Codes:  
EM=Medical Appointment
EF=Family Sickness
ED=District Transportation
EO=Other UT=Trip/Vacation                                                                                 UO=Other (not acceptable)
FT=Field Trip

V. Attendance and Course Credit: 
Elementary School Students: Grades K-5:
Ten (10) absences/trimester and thirty (30) absences for a full year may result in the denial of credit for the year.

Middle School Students: Grades 6-8:                                                                             Five (5) absences/trimester and 15 absences for a full-year may result in the denial of credit for the year.

Excessive absences due to extraordinary circumstances will be considered on an individual basis by the attendance committee, the principal and homeroom teacher.

VI . Incentives and Sanctions:

To encourage good attendance yearly certificates for perfect attendance and perfect attendance awards at graduation will be distributed.

To discourage high absenteeism notification via a phone call or email  by the principal to the parents/guardians will be made when an attendance issue arises.
VII. Notification Process: 

Two attempts by the health office will be made to reach a busy line and calls will usually be made before 10:00 am. It should be understood that  there will be occasions when parents will not be able to be reached.  The school will assume no responsibility beyond making reasonable efforts to reach the parent through the single number provided to the  school.

VIII. Intervention Strategies:

Absenteeism: Health Office will call parent to verify child’s absence on the first day of absence. A written notification will be sent home if communication via the telephone is not successful after two attempts.

Tardiness: Students will receive a late pass from the main office  when arriving to school after 8:15 A.M. Teachers will issue a warning  to students in grades 5-8 who are late. Three         warnings/trimester  will constitute an after school detention.

Early Departure: Parent or guardian must sign child out from the main office and indicate in the sign-out book the reason for early departure
Tardiness and Early Dismissal may not be excused except for the reasons listed under excused absences.
 Review of Attendance Records: The  assistant principal will review attendance records monthly and initiate action to address attendance issues. Homeroom teachers will notify the assistant principal if an attendance issue arises prior to the monthly review.

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