COMPREHENSIVE ATTENDANCE POLICY FOR
KELLENBERG MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL

I. Statement of the overall objectives to be accomplished:

As part of the Philosophy of Education at Kellenberg Memorial High School, attendance is a critical component for academic achievement and success. Students are expected to be in school and on time on all days when school is in session. Class days are noted on the School Calendar, which is available to parents online.

Establishing a consistent pattern of attendance is critical to optimizing success at Kellenberg Memorial.  The fullness of the Kellenberg Memorial experience includes participation during the school days as well as after school hours; therefore, the Administration has set in place the following parameters to accomplish the objective of school attendance.  These policies are in accordance with Education Law Section 3205 and Commissioner’s Regulations Section 104.1(i).

Students who are absent on more than 5 occasions or who are absent for reasons that constitute unlawful detention may be liable to administrative intervention and disciplinary action, including, but not limited to: the intervention of the School Social Worker, disciplinary action from the Dean of Students, exclusion from school sponsored events and awards, and administrative withdrawal.

II. Description of the specific strategies to be employed to accomplish these objectives:

  1. Attendance is taken at the beginning of each school day prior to the first period of instruction by each Homeroom Moderator.
  2. Attendance is taken by all teachers at the beginning of each scheduled class or study period throughout the course of the day.
  3. Attendance is taken by all teachers during assemblies, class and school field trips, and retreats, etc.
  4. Once a student arrives at school in the morning, he/she may not leave the premises until the school day is over without parental permission and clearance from the Dean of Students.

III. Description of the procedure for student absence

  1. A parent should call to notify the attendance office when a student is going to be absent.
  2. When a student is marked absent, a text message will be automatically generated to the parent confirming that this student is not present in school. If the parent receives this message in error, the attendance office should be contacted as soon as possible.
  3. An absence note should be uploaded to the Kellenberg web site stating the date and reason for the student’s absence. Please be mindful that under New York state law, an absence note is still required in addition to a parent phone call.

IV. Determination of which pupil absences, tardiness and early departures will be excused and which will not be excused and an illustrative list of excused and unexcused pupil absences and tardiness (Refer to Absence Determination Chart):

  1. General Notes:
    1. A student is considered legally absent (excused) from school for the following reasons: sickness, death in the family, health treatment, and court appearances.
    2. A student who is not present in their respective homeroom during the attendance check is tardy.
    3. A student who is not present in their respective homeroom during attendance check is late if the cause is due to the failure of a district bus to arrive on time.
    4. Unlawful detention (unexcused) occurs when a student is absent with the knowledge and consent, stated or implied, by a parent, for other than legal reasons.
    5. A student whose parents expect the student to be in school and does not attend for other than legal reasons listed above is considered truant (unexcused).
    6. A student is excused early (early dismissal) only when parental permission is given in advance to the Dean of Students for reasons that would constitute a legal absence.
  2. Absence Determination Chart
    1. Refer to the following chart for Absence Determinationhttps://www.kellenberg.org/forms/

V. Description of Kellenberg Memorial High School’s policy regarding pupil attendance and a pupil’s ability to receive credit:

  1. Parents whose child will be out of school due to hospitalization should call the Kellenberg Memorial High School Guidance Department concerning the work the student is missing. If a student will be absent for several days due to illness, the parents or the student should refer to Schoology, contact the teacher and/or contact a fellow student, as necessary, concerning notes/work that will be missed.
  2. Students requiring excuse from an individual gym class must present a doctor’s note to the Health Office before 8:05 a.m. The Health Office will make an administrative decision concerning the validity of the request; the mere presentation of a parental note does not guarantee an excuse from gym class.
  3. An illegal absence on the day of the Trimester/Semester Examination will result in a zero on the Examination and a grade of fifty for the term. If the student has an illegal absence on the day of a Comprehensive Examination, the student will receive a zero on the Examination and a grade of fifty for the year.
  4. If a student is absent from a Comprehensive Examination for a reason which is approved by the Administration, then the student must take a Comprehensive Examination in the summer.

VI. Description of the incentives to be employed to encourage pupil attendance and the disciplinary sanctions to be used to discourage unexcused pupil absences, tardiness, and early departures:

  1. The penalty for truancy may involve demerits and Saturday detention. Repeated offenders will be disciplined at the discretion of the Dean. Students who are absent from a classroom or from assemblies are also liable to demerits. Students who are absent for reasons which constitute unlawful detention may also be liable to demerits.
  2. Students not present in their respective homerooms for the 8:10 a.m. attendance check are tardy and must report to the porter’s desk in the main lobby. Students will be instructed to sign in electronically and will receive a digital tardy pass. These tardies are noted on the school records and the report card. If they are tardy, students must report to the Dean for detention after school on the day of the tardiness unless excused by the Dean of Students. Repeat offenders are liable to further disciplinary action.
  3. Students with excessive absences threaten the integrity of the school year. Such students are liable to disciplinary action and appropriate remediation, which may include mandatory Saturday make-up classes.
  4. A student who has been absent from or late on a school day may not participate in any activities, sports, practices, etc., on that day. Any exceptions must be cleared directly with the Dean of Students in advance of the activity, game, etc.
  5. Students with perfect attendance are recognized and awarded certificates.
  6. Once the students arrive at school in the morning, they may not leave the premises until the school day is over without parental permission and clearance with the Dean. Requests for early dismissal that would constitute an illegal absence (i.e., vacation, work, etc.) cannot be approved. Likewise, requests for early dismissal due to weather conditions are not approved. Rather, if the school remains open, all students are expected to complete the school day as scheduled.
  7. The process for following up on students who are absent from school is as follows:
    1. After 3 days absent, the Attendance Officer will call home to determine the nature of the absence.
    2. After 5 days absent, the Guidance Counselor will call home to verify the nature of the absence and determine if the case is suspicious or warrants further investigation. If there is any difficulty obtaining accurate information, the School Social Worker will be notified.
    3. After 10 days of accumulated absences, any or all of the following action(s) may be taken:
      1. Certified letter requesting a parent meeting
      2. Authorize Social Worker Intervention which can include, but is not limited to:
        1. mandatory counseling
        2. report to Child Protection Services for educational neglect
    4. Following these measures, the Administration reserves the right to require a doctor’s note following an absence, exclude students from school sponsored events and awards, invoke disciplinary action, and initial administrative withdrawal. 

VII. Description of the notice to be provided to the parent(s) of or person(s) in parental relation to pupils who are absent, tardy, or depart early without proper excuse:

  1. Parents are informed of their child’s absence and tardiness on the report card. Parents wishing a more current record are free to call the Attendance Office any school morning.
  2. Parents who anticipate their child will be out of school for five or more days should call the Kellenberg Memorial High School Guidance Department concerning the work the student will miss.
  3. If a student will be absent for fewer than five days due to illness, parents or the student should refer to Schoology, contact the teacher and/or contact a fellow student, as necessary, concerning missed notes/work.
  4. After 3 days absent, the Attendance Officer will call home to determine the nature of the absence.

    After 5 days absent, the Guidance Counselor will call home to verify the nature of the absence and determine if the case is suspicious or warrants further investigation.  If there is any difficulty obtaining accurate information, the School Social Worker will be notified.

    After 10 days of accumulated absences, any or all of the following action(s) may be taken:

    1. Certified letter requesting a parent meeting
    2. Authorize Social Worker Intervention which can include, but is not limited to:
      1. mandatory counseling
      2. report to Child Protection Services for educational neglect
  5. Parents may bring errors or questions to the attention of the Attendance Supervisor.
  6. Absent notes not submitted in a timely fashion are pursued by the Attendance Supervisor. Failure to submit an absent note within two (2) school days after returning to school may result in the issuance of one, or a combination of, a detention, demerits, suspensions or a phone call to the parents.
  7. All requested early dismissals require a parental note. Early dismissals via the Health Office require parents to sign the student out in the General Office.

VIII. Description of the process Kellenberg Memorial High School will use to develop specific intervention strategies to address attendance problems:

  1. Parents inform the school of the absence by writing a note and uploading it to the school web site, on or prior to the day the student returns to school. This note, signed by the parents, gives the date(s) and reason for the absence. Students who fail to present an absence note within two (2) school days after returning to school are liable to disciplinary action. For extended absences of more than two days, parents are asked to call the school to advise the reason for the absence and anticipated duration. You can find the necessary note on our Forms page here: https://www.kellenberg.org/forms/
  2. A student who has been absent from school for any part of the day may not participate in any activities, sports, practices, etc., on that day. Any exception to this must be cleared directly with the Dean of Students in advance of the activity, game, etc.
  3. After 5 days absent for reasons that constitute unlawful detention, students may be liable to administrative intervention and disciplinary action. Excessive lateness may also be liable to administrative intervention disciplinary action.
  4. Parents whose child will be out of school for five or more days due to illness, should call the Kellenberg Memorial High School Guidance Department concerning the work the student has missed.
  5. Saturday Academic Make-up Sessions (S.A.M.S.) is assigned to students who have excessive absences. This program addresses the need for regular attendance and the detrimental effect of excessive absences. It requires a student to report to school on a Saturday for a period of directed study.

IX. Identification of the person(s) designated in Kellenberg Memorial High School who will be responsible for reviewing attendance records and initiating appropriate action to address unexcused pupil absence, tardiness and early departure consistent with the comprehensive attendance policy:

  1. Parents are informed of their child’s absence and tardiness on the report card. Parents wishing a more current record are free to call the Attendance Supervisor any school morning.
  2. Parents may bring any errors to the attention of the school through a letter addressed to the Attendance Supervisor.
  3. Students requiring excuse from an individual gym class must present the Health Office with a note from their parents. The Health Office will make an administrative decision concerning the validity of the request.
  4. Any student that is tardy must report to the Dean of Students after school on that day unless excused by the Dean.
  5. Students arriving after the morning attendance check are sent to the porter to sign in. Any discrepancies are reconciled by the Attendance Supervisor.
  6. A student is excused early only when parental permission is given in advance to the Dean of Students for reasons that would constitute a legal absence.