Policy 5015: Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy
The Chappaqua Central School District shall maintain adequate attendance records verifying the attendance of all children at instruction. The District shall examine attendance patterns and develop effective intervention strategies to improve student attendance, if needed.
The District encourages each student to attend school on time and for the maximum number of days and instructional periods possible. To encourage attendance, the District shall utilize strategies including incentives for good attendance, disciplinary action for attendance lapses, and the establishment of attendance standards for earning course credit.
- Attendance record keeping shall be maintained in accordance with administrative regulation.
- The District shall develop a coding system in administrative regulation that covers absence, tardiness, early departure, class cut, truancy, unexcused events and excused events.
Excused and Unexcused Absences
- The Board recognizes the following as legal excuses for student absence.
- Personal illness
- Death in the immediate family
- Religious observance
- Required attendance in court
- Approved school-sponsored activities, including field trips, interscholastic athletics, musical performances and other competitions
- Directed or authorized presence at the Administrative Offices or Nurse's Office.
- Dental and medical appointments
- Military obligations
- Approved cooperative/work study program
- College visitations only for juniors and seniors with the prior knowledge and approval of parents and counselors, so long as it does not exceed 4 days in a school year.
- Parent/guardian should notify school officials in advance of any absence or lateness, where possible. The student needs to submit a written excuse, signed by a parent/guardian, on the day when returning to school following such absence. Any absence not covered by a written excuse within three school days shall be deemed an unexcused absence. Any absence or lateness/early departure not provided for on the excused list shall be deemed an unexcused absence.
- At the secondary level, class cutting shall be deemed an infraction of the Code of Conduct in the nature of insubordination to the teacher and school administration. The Code shall prescribe a range of disciplinary interventions to address class cutting.
- Whenever a student exhibits a pattern of unexcused absence, tardiness or early departure, notice will be given to the parent(s)/guardian(s), in writing and/or by telephone communication, and the student shall be conferred with by the classroom teacher and/or a guidance counselor regarding the pattern in an effort to remediate the underlying problem. Notice shall also be given to the Building Principal who may address the matter with the student and/or their parent(s)/guardian(s).
- In the event that the school level interventions have not improved the student's attendance, the Principal may recommend interventions such as a Person In Need of Supervision (PINS) petition to the Family Court and/or contact with the appropriate social services agency to initiate a neglect petition in accordance with the District's Policy and Regulation on Child Abuse Reporting #9005 and 9005 R. Any mandated reporter who has reasonable cause to suspect educational neglect is required to make a report to the Statewide Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment.
High School Course Credit Standard
- High school students must regularly attend class to receive course credit. The maximum allowable absences per semester/year are as follows:
Maximum Allowable Absences
4 or more times per cycle per semester
4 or more times per cycle per year
3 times per cycle per semester
3 times per cycle per year
1 or 2 times per cycle per semester
1 or 2 times per cycle per year
- Any high school student who exceeds the maximum number of absences in either a semester or year long course shall be ineligible for course credit unless an appeal is made and approved as outlined in section B. Any student who is not successful in the appeals process shall receive either a "W" or "WF" on his/her transcript to indicate that he/she was "withdrawn" or "withdrawn while failing".
- Students who have exceeded the class absence limit may present an appeal in writing, with supporting evidence to the high school principal or the principal's designee. The principal or designee will meet with the student, review the absences and consider documentation that missed class and home assignments have been made up by the student. The principal will resolve the matter within 10 school days and communicate the decision in writing to all parties involved.
- Make-up assignments shall be required to be completed for all excused absences within five school days of the student's return to class. With the approval of the Building Principal, make-up assignments may be waived in exceptional circumstances or where a §504 accommodation is warranted.
- The school will make every attempt to notify parents of absences which are accumulating at a high rate under this policy, however, it shall be the responsibility of the student and his/her parent/guardian to track absences or lateness/early departures. Students and parents who have questions about their status should contact the appropriate assistant principal.
Reasonable efforts shall be made to assist the student in addressing the causes of the attendance problem. Such efforts may include:
- Discussions with the student's teacher or teachers.
- Discussions and/or meetings with the student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s).
- Discussions with the student's guidance counselor.
- Recommendation to the appropriate administrator for the suspension of extra- and co-curricular activity privileges.
Encouraging Student Attendance
With the approval of the Building Administration, and in consultation with student psychology or guidance services, teachers shall utilize attendance incentives (addressing not only attendance but also tardiness and early departure as well).
Extracurricular Activity Participation
A student who has been absent from school all day may not practice or compete in their sport/activity after school. In order for a student to participate in a given activity on a particular day a student must attend at least 50% of their classes.
Extenuating circumstances will be given special consideration by school administration for excused absences that are not due to personal illness or quarantine.
- The Building Principal and/or his/her administrative designee shall be responsible for reviewing student attendance records and initiating appropriate action consistent with this policy.
- The Board of Education shall annually review building level student attendance records to determine if the comprehensive student attendance policy is effective. If a decline in attendance is evident, the Board shall review the policy as deemed necessary to improve student attendance.
Distribution of Policy
The Superintendent of Schools, at the direction of the Board of Education, shall publish to the community information about the District's Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy. The policy shall be available and explained (to students through classroom discussions or assemblies and student handbooks). Each teacher, administrator, and new administrator or new teacher, promptly upon hire, shall be provided with a copy of the policy and any amendments thereto.
Policies are available in each school building, the Chappaqua Library, and the District Clerk's office in the Education Center.
Adopted by Board: June 21, 2005
- December 2, 2008
- May 5, 2009
October 11, 2023