Montclair Public Schools
Montclair High School
Principal: James N. Earle
100 Chestnut Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
973-509-4100
8:00 AM - 2:33 PM
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MPS Home ➤ Schools ➤ Montclair High School ➤ Parents ➤ Policies ➤ Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy

In order for the Board of Education to fulfill its responsibility for providing a thorough and efficient education for each pupil, the complete cooperation of parents/caregivers and pupils is required to maintain a high level of school attendance.

The frequent absence of pupils from classroom learning experiences disrupts the continuity of the instructional process and limits the ability of pupils to complete the prescribed curriculum requirements successfully.

A pupil must not be absent more than 10 days per semester in order to be considered to have successfully completed the instructional program requirements of the grade/course to which he/she is assigned.

A waiver of these attendance requirements may be granted for good cause by the school administration.

In recommending the granting of a waiver of this attendance requirement, a review of the nature and causes of all absences rather than only those in excess of the 10 days per semester. Documentation of the nature and causes of these absences shall be the responsibility of the pupil and parent/caregiver.

If a student is to be tardy or absent from school, parents/caregivers should call the school Attendance Office at 973.509.4100, Ext 6413 and follow the prompts for the Main Building (Grades 10, 11, 12) and 973.509.4004, Ext. 2625 for the 9th Grade Academy.

A written note explaining the absence and signed by a parent/caregiver must be presented to the Attendance Office in the Main Building and/or the 9th Grade Academy.

See the full text of the Attendance Policy, with N.J.S.A. and, N.J.A.C. references.

Attendance Regulations

The chief school administrator shall develop procedures for the attendance of pupils which:

A. Ensure a school session which is in conformity with requirements of the rules of the state board;

B. Identify potentially missing and/or abused pupils;

C. Govern the keeping of attendance records in accordance with rules of the state board, including pupils serving in or out of school suspensions, or excluded for health and cleanliness reasons;

D. Impose on truant pupils such disciplinary measures as may be appropriate for infractions of school regulations, but no such penalty may have an irredeemable negative effect on the pupil’s record of achievement beyond that which naturally follows his/her absence from school activities;

E. Identify the habitual truant, investigate the causes of his/her behavior, and consider modification of his/her educational program to meet his/her particular needs and interests;

F. Address tardiness and class cutting in terms of the intent of this policy;

G. Ensure that pupils absent for any reason have an opportunity to make up work they missed;

H. Recognize exemplary attendance.

Tardiness to Class — Periods 2 through 8 only

Promptness is a requisite to learning. Students who are late to class miss essential portions of the instructional program and create disruption in the academic process.

1st Occurrence  20 min. Teacher Detention

2nd Occurrence  20 min. Teacher Detention/Phone Call home

3rd – 6th Occurrence  Meeting with SAC/Guidance/Assignment to ASCD

7th Occurrence  Parent Conference/Assignment to ISS

Students are deemed to have cut class when arriving to class in excess of 5 minutes late without a legitimate pass or note to present to the teacher.

Students without a legitimate note to enter class should report to the Team Office where they will be assigned a Detention for cutting.

Students who cut class are assigned a zero for all work missed including tests and quizzes and will not have the opportunity to make up the work. These zeros can have a serious negative effect on the grade in a course.

Truancy

The board will report to appropriate authorities’ infractions of the law regarding the attendance of pupils below the age of 16. Repeated infractions by enrolled pupils over the age of 16 may result in the suspension or expulsion of the pupil.

It shall be the policy of the board to consider the effectiveness and appropriateness to his/her needs of the educational program that is offered each pupil who is habitually and repeatedly absent from his/her assigned program and to consult with the child study team for its recommendations.

Unexcused Absences – Cutting

20 absences in a Full Year course

10 absences in a Semester course

5 absences in a Quarter course

Students who exceed these absences will NOT receive credit for that course. A designation of no credit (NC) will be reflected on the report card or students who fail a course will receive an F.

Attendance eligibility for participation in the 12th Grade Career Internship Program as of May 18, 2015 are:

15 or less absences in a Full Year course

8 or less absences in a Semester course

3 or less absences in a Quarter course

Study Hall attendance is required

All other absences with or without signed notes, and class cuts are cumulative and count towards the 20 absences for a Full Year course, 10 absences in a Semester course, and 5 absences in a Quarter course.

Please note, although a parent note validates that an absence is not a truancy or cut, it is still considered an absence.

All confirmed cuts for students in Grades 9-12 will be referred to the Assistant Principal for Discipline.

1st Occurrence:  40 min. After School Central Detention

2nd Occurrence:  40 min. ASCD and meeting with S.A.C./Guidance Counselor and Parent Contact

3rd Occurrence:  1 Day In-School Suspension/Parent Contact

4th Occurrence:  2 Day In-School Suspension/Parent Contact

5th Occurrence:  Loss of Credit and Counselor/Parent Meeting assignment to Study Hall

Students who receive no credit for a course should attend summer school at the expense of the parent/caregiver. Failure to do so may result in a delay of graduation.

Excused Absences

The board considers the following as cause for excused absence and do not count towards the 20 absences for a full year course, 10 absences for a semester course or 5 absences for a quarter course:

A. Disabling illness (please contact the School Nurse)

B. Recovery from accident

C. Required court appearance/attendance

D. Death in the immediate family

E. Religious observance in accordance with statute, no pupil absent for religious observance of a day recognized by the commissioner of education or this board of education shall be charged with an unexcused absence, deprived of an award or eligibility/opportunity to compete for an award, or of the right to take an alternate to a test or examination missed through such absence.

F. In-School Suspension

G. Out-of-School Suspension

H. School-sponsored activity (Field Trip, Athletic Trip, etc.)

I. Assigned Home Instruction

J. Such good cause as may be acceptable to the principal

Attendance need not always be within the school facilities. A pupil will be considered to be in attendance if he/she is present at any place where school is in session by authority of the board. The board shall consider each pupil assigned to a program of independent study, with parent/caregiver permission, to be in regular attendance for that program, provided that he/she is under the guidance of a staff member so assigned, reports daily or weekly, as prescribed, to such staff member the place in which he/she is conducting his/her study, and regularly demonstrates progress toward the objectives of his/her course of study.

Please contact the nursing staff as soon as possible if there is a chronic illness or medical disability.

Administrative approval must be obtained in advance for extenuating circumstances upon consideration of the student’s attendance and academic record.

Making Up Assignments

Scheduling the completion of assignments following each absence is the responsibility of the student. Students must meet with teachers. If a student is absent three (3) days or more due to illness, that student must be re-admitted by the school nurse who will verify the illness. The student will receive an admit slip from the nurse to return to class; this includes students on home instruction.

Here are some guidelines that the teachers may use when supported by appropriate documentation:

Days Absent   Make-up Deadline
  1-3          5 days
  4-6          10 days
  7+ days      arrangements with teacher and/or
               guidance counselor and/or administrator

Regular Release of Pupils before the End of the Normal School Day

There are varying situations which may justify release of certain pupils from school before the normal time for closing. Such situations are justifiable only if the release does not jeopardize the pupil’s educational program and the reasons for such release can be shown to have positive benefits for the pupil.

Late Arrival and Early Dismissal

The board recognizes that from time to time compelling circumstances will require that a pupil be late to school or dismissed before the end of the school day.

Students arriving after 8:00am due to any of the examples below must report directly to the Attendance Office in the Main Building or the Main Office in the George Inness Annex.

Students arriving with an excused tardy (legal documentation other than a parent note) should report to the Attendance Office in the Main Building or the Main Office in the George Inness Annex. Please refer to Excused Absences for non-cumulative tardy excuses.

If no documentation is presented student will be considered Tardy and assigned consequences as below.

If a student must leave school before the conclusion of the school day, the student must sign out in the Attendance Office or Main Office in the George Inness Annex. A note from parent/caregiver for early dismissal is necessary. (State law requires a minimum of four hours of attendance to be considered present). It is an established procedure, by school policy, that a student absent from school (legally or illegally) the entire day will not be allowed to participate in extra-curricular activities, athletic practices or competitions and work experience programs on the same day.

Students are not permitted to leave school without being officially signed out by the Nurse, the Attendance Officer or the Team Administrator. It is the student’s responsibility to give the sign-out slip to his or her teachers (to avoid receiving a cut slip). A student leaving school without signing out will be considered truant; this will result in a cut from the particular class(es) missed.

1. Some examples of reasons for Late Arrivals and/or Early Dismissals may be:

A. Medical or dental appointments which cannot be scheduled outside of school hours;

B. Medical disability;

C. Motor vehicle driver’s test;

D. Interview for college entrance or employment;

E. Family emergency;

F. Court appearance;

G. Such good cause as may be acceptable to the administration.

2. No pupil in grades kindergarten through eight shall be permitted to leave the school before the close of the school day unless he/she is met in the school office by his/her parent/caregiver or a person authorized by the parent/caregiver to act in his/her behalf.

3. Tardiness not covered by the causes listed shall be cumulative, and may affect course credit.

Tardy to School

Students arriving Tardy to School after 8:00am must report directly to the Attendance Office in the Main Building or the Main Office of the George Inness Annex to obtain a pass to class. ALL TARDIES WILL RECEIVE A CALL TO THE HOME.

Please note the following consequences:

1st-5th Occurrence:  Incidental Tardies

6th-10th Occurrence:  40 Minute ASCD

11th Occurrence:  1 day In-School Suspension

12th & Above:  May result in Out of School Suspension

Potentially Missing Children

The superintendent will develop procedures that ensure cooperation with law enforcement for substances, weapons and safety. This may include cooperation with law enforcement in the activation of an “Amber Alert” which provides for the rapid dissemination of information, including a description of the missing child through broadcast media.

A. If daily attendance records indicate a child is absent, and the parent/caregiver has not called, a designated person shall attempt to contact them.

B. If no telephone contact can be made, the attendance officer shall investigate.

C. If the attendance officer cannot locate the child, he/she shall inform the principal, who shall inform the appropriate local authorities.

D. If a child who was present in the morning is absent after lunch, the same procedure shall be followed.

Updated: 2/27/2017