LIVINGSTON BOARD OF EDUCATION LIVINGSTON, NEW JERSEY PUPILS ATTENDANCE POLICY #5200

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1 LIVINGSTON BOARD OF EDUCATION LIVINGSTON, NEW JERSEY PUPILS ATTENDANCE POLICY #5200 MANDATED The Board of Education of the Livingston Township Public Schools requires the students enrolled in the District to attend regularly in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey. The educational program offered by the District is predicated on the regular presence of the student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. The regular contact of students with one another in the classroom and their participation in a well-planned instructional activity under teacher supervision are vital to this purpose. In certain instances, the building principal or his or her designee may excuse attendance at school giving consideration to evidence of family illness or death, educational opportunities, written parental permission and religious observance. All absences not excused in the discretion of the building principal or his or her designee shall be deemed unexcused. Students shall be subjected to the District response for cumulative unexcused absences during the school year as outlined in N.J.A.C. 6A: and applicable Board Regulations. This response may include, but is not limited to, reasonable attempts at notification to the student s parent or legal guardian of each unexcused absence, an investigation to determine the cause of each unexcused absence, as well as the development of an action plan designed to address any pattern of unexcused absence and to have the student return to school and maintain regular attendance. Students absent from school for any reason are responsible for the completion of assignments missed due to their absence. Prolonged or repeated absences, excused or unexcused, from school or from class, deprive the student of the classroom experience which is essential to learning. Such a prolonged or repeated absence may result in retention at grade level or loss of credit toward the high school diploma. In addition, unexcused absences from school or from class shall subject a student to the disciplinary rules of the Board which may include denial of a student s participation in cocurricular activities and/or athletics competition. The Superintendent shall calculate and monitor the average daily attendance rate for the District and for each school in the District. Whenever the average daily attendance rate does not meet the New Jersey Department of Education requirements, the Superintendent or his or her designee shall develop performance objectives to improve student attendance pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A: (a)3. Legal References: N.J.S.A. 18A:36-14 et seq. Page 1 of 2

2 N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25 et seq. N.J.S.A. 34: et seq. N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.8, Attendance N.J.A.C. 6A:32-8.3, School Attendance N.J.A.C. 6A: , Student Attendance ADOPTED: 11 August 2008 Page 2 of 2

3 LIVINGSTON BOARD OF EDUCATION LIVINGSTON, NEW JERSEY PUPILS ATTENDANCE REGULATION #5200 District Administrators shall abide by Board of Education Policy, the Student Handbook, the District Code of Conduct and the below regulations in ensuring that students enrolled in the District attend regularly in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey. Students, parents and legal guardians shall be made aware of the expectations and consequences regarding the timely arrival and attendance of students at school and classes. ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES In implementing policies and procedures regarding student attendance, District Administrators shall first determine whether a student s failure to report to school is an unexcused or excused absence. The determination as to whether to grant an excused absence lies in the sole discretion of the building principal or principal s designee. In making this determination, an unexcused absence shall be based on the definition of a school day as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A: This section provides that a school day shall consist of not less than four (4) hours of actual instruction. The determination of whether a student s failure to report to school is an unexcused or excused absence shall also be based on the following five considerations: 1. Student Illness. If the child is anticipated to be absent for more than three (3) consecutive school days or a pattern of absence is suspected, a written medical excuse must be provided by the child s physician and verified by the school physician. The parent or legal guardian must consent to allow for communications between their personal physician and the school physician for the purpose of verification. If it is determined that the parent or legal guardian meets the State criteria for financial hardship, the parent or legal guardian should contact the building principal to request assistance in obtaining the appropriate medical documentation. A student with a chronic medical condition should submit documentation to the school nurse for the possible development of an Individual Health Plan. 2. Family illness or death. 3. Educational opportunities. Educational opportunities include those closely tied to the child s then courses of study, and may not be those whose duration unduly disrupts the continuity of student instruction. 4. Written parental permission. For instances in which an absence shall be an undue disruption to the continuity of the child s instruction, the request for an excused absence may be denied notwithstanding receipt of written parental permission. 5. Excused religious observances. Please see the State Department of Education website at for the list of State Approved Religious Holidays. Page 1 of 6

4 6. Provisions of an IEP, where applicable. Matters concerning excessive absence or a pattern of absence shall be referred to the Child Study Team as needed. Except in the event of an emergency, the parent or legal guardian must submit to the building principal or principal s designee an advance written request that their child be excused from school, or from a portion of the school day, on a given date or dates for one of the reasons set forth above. This written request must be accompanied by any documentation that the parent or legal guardian wishes the building principal or principal s designee to consider. Where emergent circumstances prevent the submission of a written request in advance of the anticipated absence(s), this documentation must be submitted as soon as practicable thereafter. All absences not deemed excused by the building principal or principal s designee shall be treated as unexcused and result in the below consequences. In response to an unexcused absence; school staff must: For up to 4 cumulative unexcused absences: (1) make a reasonable attempt to notify the student s parents or legal guardians of each unexcused absence prior to the start of the following school day; (2) conduct an investigation to determine the cause of each unexcused absence, including contact with the student s parents or legal guardians; (3) develop an action plan in consultation of the student s parents or legal guardians designed to address patterns of unexcused absences, if any, and to have the student return to school and maintain regular attendance; (4) proceed in accordance with all applicable statutory and regulatory provisions if a potential missing or abused child situation is detected; and (5) cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities and agencies, as appropriate. For between 5 and 9 cumulative unexcused absences: (1) make a reasonable attempt to notify the student s parents or legal guardians of each unexcused absence prior to the start of the following school day; (2) conduct a follow up investigation, including contact with the student s parents or legal guardians, to determine the cause of each unexcused absence; (3) evaluate the appropriateness of an existing action plan; (4) revise the action plan as needed to identify patterns of unexcused absences and establish outcomes cased upon the student s needs and specify the interventions for achieving the outcomes, supporting the student s return to school and regular attendance that may include any or all of the following: (i) (ii) (iii) referral to or consultation with the building s I&RS Team; conduct testing, assessments or evaluations of the student s academic, behavioral and health needs; consider an alternate educational placement; Page 2 of 6

5 (iv) (v) (vi) make a referral to a community based social and health provider agency or other community resource; refer to the court program designated by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts; and proceed in accordance with all applicable statutory and regulatory provisions if a potential missing or abused child situation is detected. (5) cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities and agencies, as appropriate. For cumulative unexcused absences of 10 or more, students between the ages of 6 and 16 are truant and the District shall: (1) make a mandatory referral to the court program required by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts; (2) make a reasonable attempt to notify the student s parents or legal guardians of the mandatory referral; (3) continue to consult with the parent or legal guardian and the involved agencies to support the student s return to school and regular attendance; (4) cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities and agencies, as appropriate; (5) abide by all statutory and regulatory provisions regarding compulsory attendance at school, as required. In addition to the above, the Code of Conduct requires that all students, regardless of age, who accumulate a total of 10 absences, whether excused or unexcused, participate in a conference with their parent or legal guardian and the building principal or principal s designee. All students, regardless of age, who accumulate a total of 15 absences, whether excused or unexcused, shall be required to participate in a second conference, with their parent or legal guardian, convened by the Superintendent or his or her designee to address same. TARDIES, EARLY DISMISSAL & CLASS TRUANCY Tardies and class truancy shall be handled in accordance with those procedures set forth in the Student Handbook. For attendance purposes, it must be noted that the following shall apply: Tardies of fewer than 10 minutes to any class shall be counted as a 1/3 absence from class. Tardies of more than 10 minutes to class shall be counted as a full absence from class. Early dismissal from school, unless for administrative reasons, shall be counted as an absence from class for each period missed. If, during the course of one school day, a student is absent from class to the extent that he or she does not receive at least four (4) hours of actual instruction, the student shall be considered absent from school for that school day. Page 3 of 6

6 Whether or not an absence from school due to accumulated tardies, early dismissal or class truancy shall be deemed excused or unexcused lies in the sole discretion of the building principal. In making such a determination, the building principal shall follow the Attendance Procedures set forth above. LOSS OF CREDIT/RETENTION A student must be in attendance a minimum of 90% of the school year in order to receive course credit. As such, a student absent more than eighteen (18) days of school, regardless of whether the days are considered excused absences or unexcused absences, shall be subject to penalties up to and including retention. A student absent more than 18 days (9 days for a halfyear or marking period course) from a particular course shall be subject to penalties up to and including loss of credit for that course. Although a student may satisfactorily complete the course objectives, he/she may not receive credit if the attendance requirement for that course is not fulfilled. If a student exceeds the allowable number of absences, his or her parent or legal guardian may appeal the non-credit status in accordance with the following appeal procedure: A written petition must be submitted to the Principal by the student s parent or legal guardian, no later than five (5) school days after the receipt of no credit status. Failure to do so will forfeit the right to an appeal. If the student, through his/her parent or legal guardian initiates an appeal, he/she must regularly attend school and class until his/her appeal is heard and a decision is rendered. In keeping with the dictates of the due process procedure, the attendance review committee, which will be designated by the building principal, shall review cases brought by petition. Decisions of the attendance review committee can be appealed to the building principal, within five (5) days of the student receiving the committee s determination. Participation in co-curricular activities is a privilege. A student must attend classes regularly in order to be eligible to participate in these activities. Students who have lost credit under the attendance policy guidelines shall not be permitted to participate in co-curricular activities for the remainder of the school year. All absences shall be applied toward the 18 absences allowed during a year, except those due to an approved field trip or school activity, administrative prerogative or exclusion, religious observance, a required college interview, court appearance or the administration of the state driver s exam. Family vacation days and absences due to illness shall be applied toward the 18 absences allowed during a school year. Page 4 of 6

7 ACTION PLAN Please be advised that your child, school on the following date(s):, failed to report to Based on the documentation provided or lack thereof, such absences have been deemed unexcused by the Administration. To date, your child has accumulated a total of: unexcused absences from school, and excused absences from school. Please recall that a student absent more than eighteen (18) days of school shall be subject to penalties up to and including loss of course credit and retention. All absences shall be applied toward the 18 absences allowed during a year, except those due to an approved field trip or school activity, administrative prerogative or exclusion, religious observance, a required college interview, court appearance or the administration of the state driver s exam. Family vacation days and absences due to illness shall be applied toward the 18 absences allowed during a school year. Given the dates listed above, a pattern of unexcused absences is emerging and we wish to take immediate action in order to have your child return to school and maintain regular attendance. As parent or legal guardian, we welcome your input in this process and expect your full cooperation with our efforts. Through our discussions and consultation with you, we have identified the following potential causes underlying each unexcused absence: In order to further compliance with District attendance policies and procedures, we have discussed with you the following interventions designed to support your child s return to school: Page 5 of 6

8 Please be advised that, if the above interventions fail to correct this emerging pattern of unexcused absence, the appropriateness of this Action Plan will be evaluated and same will be revised as needed. To the extent that District personnel can assist your home efforts in implementing this Action Plan, please do not hesitate to contact the building principal. Meeting Date: Meeting Participants: Page 6 of 6

9 Livingston Public Schools Student Medical Certificate Form 1001 Student Name: Grade/Homeroom: I. To Be Completed By Parent/Adult Student: I,, hereby authorize this physician to provide the following information to Livingston Public Schools relating to absence from school. Signature: Date: II. To Be Completed By Physician: I hereby certify that I provided health care services to, a student in the Livingston Public Schools on [date(s)]. On the basis of that episode of care, I am providing the following information for use by the district in determining if this absence should be excused. 1. Diagnosis and Time Line of the problem: a) Diagnosis: b) Date of onset of problem (or most recent episode if problem is chronic): c) Expected duration of the problem or most recent episode: 2. Is this an acute or chronic problem for the student? YES NO 3. The student's symptoms were subjective, with limited findings: YES NO 4. Student seen when ill? YES NO VERIFICATION BY PHYSICIAN: Name (please print): Address: (stamp, business card or letterhead acceptable) Telephone #: Signature: Registration No. CPSO: Date: Page 1 of 1

10 Livingston Public Schools Form 1000 REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OF EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY Student Name: School: Dates/Times of Activity: Class(s) to be missed: Please describe the specific extraordinary opportunity: Please describe the educational relevance of this activity: I understand that if my request is approved, all missed assignments will be my responsibility and it is not expected that my child s teacher(s) will provide advanced assignments nor individual instruction for material presented during this absence Student Signature Date Parent Signature Date Student Name: Activity: School: Dates/Duration: Approved: Denied: Not Recommended: Principal Signature Date Superintendent/Designee Signature Date

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