Attendance/Tardiness

ATTENDANCE P4040
The diocesan schools consider the development of good attendance habits as a vital and desirable undertaking for two essential reasons. First, it is difficult for young people to learn if they are not in class: the teaching-learning process builds upon itself. Secondly, research shows that educational achievement is directly related to attendance. A student who misses a day of school misses a day of education that cannot be retrieved in its entirety.
I. PARENT / LEGAL GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITY
Parent/legal guardians are responsible for having their children in school. Indiana law prescribes that parents must have their children in public or private school from the age of seven (7) until the date on which the child:
           A. Graduates; or
           B. Reaches at least sixteen (16) years of age or less than eighteen (18) years of age and:
    1. the student and the student's parent or guardian and the principal agree to the withdrawal;
    2. at the exit interview the student provides written acknowledgment of the withdrawal which must                 include a statement that the student and the student’s parent/guardian understand that withdrawing from the school is likely to reduce the student’s future earnings and increase the likelihood of the student being unemployed in the future, and the student’s parent or guardian and the school principal  each provide written consent of the student to withdraw from school; and
    3. the withdrawal is due to financial hardships requiring the student to be employed to support the student’s family or dependent, illness or the order of a court that has jurisdiction over the student, or reaches the age of eighteen (18) years.


II. ABSENCES FROM SCHOOL
Absences from school shall fall into one of the three following categories:
A. Absences which are counted as present:
     1. Serving as a page for or honoree of the Indiana General Assembly;
     2. For students in grades 7 through 12, serving on a precinct election board or as a helper to a political  candidate or political party on election day with prior approval of the principal;
     3. Court appearances pursuant to a subpoena;
     4. Active duty with the Indiana National Guard for not more than ten (10) days in a school year;
     5. Placement in a short-term inpatient treatment program which provides an instructional program;
     6. Homebound instruction;
     7. Religious observances.
B. Excused Absences (Missed work will be sent home by the classroom teacher.)
     1. Illness of the student (with a written statement by parent/guardian or doctor)
     2. Funerals
          a. for death in the immediate family
          b. for persons outside of the immediate family with parental permission
     3. Medical and legal appointments - Such appointments should be scheduled after school hours when possible.
     4. Out-of-school suspension
     5. School/college visits (2) - parents need to check with the individual school's policy for arranging such visits.
     6. Students are allowed a ½ day to visit a Catholic 7th-grade school with a parent. A letter signed by the visiting school’s principal must be turned into St. Joseph School’s office upon the student’s return.
C. Unexcused Absences – (Missed work will not be sent home by the classroom teacher and will receive a 0%.)
     1. No parent/guardian contact with the school giving an explanation for the absence on the day of the absence.
     2. No physician's note to excuse an absence once more than 5 days of absence have occurred (see                   Frequent or Prolonged Illness below).
     3. Family vacations.
     4. Absences other than those defined as excused or absences counted as present.


III. REPORTING AN ABSENCE
A parent/guardian shall contact the school to report a student's absence. Absences will not be excused if the procedure for reporting an absence is not followed. When your child will be absent for the day, a parent/guardian is to call the school office between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. (There are days when the staff will be meeting before school for morning prayer. During this brief time, no one will be available to answer the phone. In this situation, we ask you to please use the answering machine and leave a voice message in regards to your absent child. Please do not e-mail in a student’s absence. We can not guarantee we will receive an e-mail message.
A written explanation for any absence, signed by a custodial parent/guardian is required upon the return of the student to school. The school is not required to provide credit for makeup of assigned work missed because the student's absence is unexcused or the student is truant.


IV. FREQUENT OR PROLONGED ILLNESS
If a student is absent for five consecutive days due to illness or has contracted a contagious disease, a physician's statement may be required in order for the student to return to school.


V. RESPONSE TO IRREGULAR ATTENDANCE
If an irregular attendance pattern begins to develop, the school may use the following procedure to encourage the student's return to a pattern of regular school attendance.
     A. Call daily from school (secretary, principal, or attendance clerk), to parent/ guardian to verify absence and to determine the reason.
     B. After a student is absent 6 days per school year, a school administrator, attendance clerk, or counselor will make contact with the student's parent/guardian. The date and content of this contact shall be documented.
     C. After a student is absent over 12 days per school year, a conference shall be held with the parent/guardian and the student. An attendance contract may be established at this time and documentation shall be kept.
     D. After a student is absent over 15 days per school year, a referral shall be made to the principal. If the principal is unable to successfully resolve the attendance problem, a referral may be made to the intake officer or the DeKalb County Juvenile Probation Department.


VI. HABITUAL TRUANCY REPORTED TO BMV
If the student is at least 13 years of age but less than 15 years of age and is truant more than 10 times in 1 school year, the student shall be designated as a habitual truant and reported to the bureau of motor vehicles as provided by State law.
Ratified November 16, 2012, Diocesan Bishop


TARDY
A student is considered tardy if he/she is not in his/her classroom at 8:00 a.m
     A. A written excuse signed by the parent/guardian stating the reason for tardiness must accompany the student.
     B. Students arriving on a late bus are not considered tardy.
     C. Students who are tardy 10 days in a semester will be considered chronically tardy and parents/guardians may be required to attend a meeting with the principal to discuss the problem and explore possible solutions.


EARLY DISMISSAL
     A. The principal is authorized to grant early dismissal to a student, provided the request is made by the parents/guardians. These requests are usually made for medical or dental appointments.
     B. The parent/guardian must come to the school office to meet the student and sign the early dismissal form.