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EPPING MIDDLE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

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ATTENDANCE INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES

ATTENDANCE

EPPING SCHOOL DISTRICT - JH – ATTENDANCE - ABSENTEEISM, TARDINESS, AND TRUANCY  (click to open)

EPPING SCHOOL DISTRICT - POLICY JHA – STUDENT ATTENDANCE & CONSEQUENCE GUIDELINES   (click to open)

ATTENDANCE PHILOSOPHY

The philosophy of Epping Middle School is that regular school attendance is an integral part of a meaningful educational program. Thus, our purpose in implementing the following procedures is to maintain a high rate of daily attendance, minimize day-to-day disruptions in the instructional process, and maximize the time students are engaged in learning.

SCHOOL NOTIFICATION

Parents/Guardians are asked to call the school to report a student’s absence within TWO school days of the day of the absence (two schools days means the day of the absence and the following school day). This will allow Epping Middle School staff to more accurately track student attendance.  Students should always provide documentation (i.e. note from a doctor or documentation of an appointment) to the main office when they have been absent from school. This documentation should include the date of the absence and the reason for the absence. This documentation may be helpful in particular when a student’s absences become excessive. Documented absences do not count toward the total number of absences allowed by the Attendance Policy.

PARENT / GUARDIAN NOTIFICATION

In an effort to keep parents/guardians informed, a courtesy call will be made to notify parents/guardians when their student is absent from school and a call has not be received notifying Epping Middle School of the absence. Letters that notify parents of the number of days students have been absent are periodically mailed home.  Parents/Guardians who have questions regarding their child’s attendance and/or the attendance policy should contact the attendance secretary at the Epping Middle School main office or the Assistant Principal.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

Attendance shall be required of all students enrolled in the District during the days and hours that school is in session, except that the Principal may excuse a student for temporary absences when receiving satisfactory evidence of conditions or reasons that may reasonably cause the student's absence.  The Board considers the following to be excused absences:

  • Illness
  • Recovery from an accident
  • Required court attendance
  • Medical and dental appointments
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Observation or celebration of a bona fide religious holiday
  • Religious instruction
  • Family vacations and educational activities away from home (with administrator’s advance approval).
  • Such other good cause as may be acceptable to the Principal or permitted by law.

Any absence that has not been excused for any of these reasons will be considered an unexcused absence.

For other absences, parents must provide written notice or a written excuse that states one of these reasons for non-attendance. The Principal may require parents to provide additional documentation in support of their written notice including, but not limited to notes from medical practitioners, religious authorities, and educational agencies; court documents; obituaries; or other documents supporting the claimed reason for non-attendance.

If parents wish for their child to be absent for a reason not listed above, the parent must provide a written explanation of the reason for such absence, including why the student will be absent and for how long the student will be absent.

The Principal will make a determination as to whether the stated reason for the student's absence constitutes good cause and will notify the parents via telephone and writing of his/her decision. If the Principal determines that good cause does not exist, the parents may request a conference with the Principal to again explain the reasons for non-attendance. The Principal may then reconsider his initial determination. However, at this juncture, the Principal's decision shall be final.

Students will be allowed and encouraged to make up any work.

Students who do not attend school for any reason will not be allowed to participate in school activities on the day of the absence unless previous arrangements and approval for the absence were made through the school and/or athletic office.  School activities includes before, during, and after school activities.

Absences are categorized as follows by Epping Middle School:

  1. Truant - The student is absent from school. There has been no communication from the parent/guardian regarding the absence (i.e. no telephone call, no note). Per policy JH, truancy is defined as any unexcused absence from class or school.  Any absence that has not been excused within TWO school days (two school days means the first day of absence and the following school day) of the absence will be considered a truancy.
  2. Excused Absence - The student is absent from school. There has been communication between the parent/guardian and Epping Middle School regarding the absence within the two day period.
  3. Documented Absence/Tardy - The student is absent/tardy from school. Formal documentation regarding this absence/tardy has been provided to Epping Middle School (i.e. Doctor’s note or documentation of appointment).  

EXTENDED/DISCRETIONARY ABSENCE POLICY

Generally, absences other than for illness during the school year are discouraged. The Principal or his/her designee may, however, grant special approval of absence for family vacations, provided written approval is given in advance.  Families going on vacation while school is in session must notify the Main Office and all teachers in writing two weeks in advance. Parents should recognize that students will miss valuable classroom activities and interactions that cannot be duplicated outside school or after the student’s return.

Prior to the absence, teachers will provide a brief synopsis of topics to be covered in class during the student’s absence. It will be the responsibility of the parents and the student to keep current in curricular topics presented in the school during a discretionary absence.  Students, are responsible for turning in work.  

Teachers are not required to provide assignments, design a separate program and will not be able to recreate classroom activities for students who are absent for reasons other than illness or emergency.

Policy JHA - Student Attendance & Consequence Guidelines image 1
Policy JHA - Student Attendance & Consequence Guidelines image 2

TARDINESS

Tardiness is defined as being late for class or school. Students have a responsibility to be present and on time.  School administration will implement student tardy and consequences guidelines. Exceptions may be authorized by the School Principal or his/her designee.

Students who arrive to school or to class late are missing valuable time in the classroom.  Students who come in to class tardy also impact the flow of instruction.  Ample time is allowed between periods for students to go to their lockers, use restrooms and attend to other needs.  Students are encouraged to be responsible about reporting to classes on time. Students who are tardy to school should provide a note that documents the reason for the tardiness.  Students who are tardy to class should provide the teacher with a pass that documents where they are coming from and the reason for being tardy. When documentation or a pass is not provided, students will be allowed to enter the class, but may be subject to consequences such as detention from the teacher.

School starts at 7:25am each day.  Students are expected to be in their first class by 7:25am. Students who arrive to school and/or class after 7:25am must report to the Main Office to be issued a pass to class before reporting to class.

  • Students are allowed three tardies per quarter without an assigned consequence.
  • A fourth tardy, within the same quarter, will result in an after school administrative detention.
  • Tardies five through eight within the same quarter will result in further administrative action.

DISMISSALS

Parents/Guardians must come in to sign out their child at the office. Parents/Guardians will be asked to show appropriate identification in order to dismiss their child.  If you know ahead of time that your child will be dismissed from school, please send in a note with them to be dropped off at the beginning of the school day to the main office.  Students will receive a dismissal slip and will show this slip to their classroom teacher at the time of dismissal and will come to the office to sign out.  If you are returning to school after a dismissal, students must check in with the office and receive a pass back to class.

TRUANCY

EPPING SCHOOL DISTRICT - JH – ATTENDANCE - ABSENTEEISM, TARDINESS, AND TRUANCY    (click to open)

Per policy JH, truancy is defined as any unexcused absence from class or school.  Any absence that has not been excused on the day of the absence will be considered a truancy the following school day.  Students who are absent from school or class without permission from a parent/guardian are considered truant. RSA 189:35-A defines truancy as an unexcused absence from school or class and defines habitual truancy as 10 half days of unexcused absence during a school year.  Students who are habitually truant or excessively absent (unexcused) may be subject to consequences and interventions including, but not limited to, parent/student meetings with Administration, suspension and court involvement.

Truancy Intervention

The process shall include:

  1. Investigate the causes of the student’s truant behavior;
  2. Consider, when appropriate, modification of her/her educational program to meet particular needs that may be causing the truancy;
  3. Involve the parents in the develop of a plan designed to reduce the truancy;
  4. Seek alternative disciplinary measures, but still retains the right to impose discipline in accordance with the District’s policies and administrative guidelines on student discipline; and
  5. Determine whether school record keeping practices and parental notification of the student’s absences have an effect on the child’s attendance.

Guidelines will also include parental notification when a student reaches habitual truancy status or is in danger of reaching habitual truancy status.  Administration will send the student’s parent/guardian a certified letter which includes:  

  1. A statement that the student has become or is in danger of becoming habitually truant;
  2. A statement of the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the student attends school; and
  3. A request for a meeting between the parents and administration to discuss the student’s truancy and to review the student’s plan for reducing the student’s truancy.