It is the expectation of HCS that students attend all classes. Classroom instruction may include lectures, discussions, cooperative learning activities, guest speakers, hands-on learning and teacher feedback on student learning. These vital components of a child’s education are lost when a child is absent, even though the missed work may be made up. Not only will the student’s learning be negatively impacted, but also unexcused absences, tardiness, and early departures will affect a student’s grade, including credit for classroom participation for the marking period. Please note an absence means not being in class for any excused or unexcused reason.
Once a pattern of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures has been identified, the appropriate school counselor will work with the student, parent and appropriate staff to discuss strategies to directly intervene with the problem. These strategies could include referrals to administration to involve the PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) procedure or other community resources. At the high school level, any student with more than 25 absences for a full year (40 week) course may lose credit for the course. This will be at the discretion of the administrative team and the teacher. Any student with 13 or more absences for a half-year (20 week) course may lose credit for the course. Any student with 7 or more absences in a quarter (10 week) physical education course may lose partial or full credit for the course. Permissible absences including medical appointments, personal illness, disability, illness or death in the family, religious observances, quarantine, required court appearances, field trips, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations or other such legitimate reasons as determined by the district, will not result in consequence.
New York State law requires that each day a student is absent, the parent must contact the school or the school contact the parent. To minimize the need to disrupt parents at home or work to verify an absence, parents should follow these procedures.
If parents know in advance their child will be absent and/or late to school:
As soon as parents know the absence or late arrival will occur, they should send a signed note indicating the child’s name, grade, reason for absence (or late arrival), and the date or time of expected return. Students should bring the note to the Attendance Secretary in the Attendance Office.
On the first day of a child’s unexpected absence:
Parents should call the “Attendance Hotline” (24 hours a day) at 229-5171, extension 6200. The message should include the name and grade of the child, the reason he/she is absent or tardy, and the day or time he/she is expected to return. If the child does not return to school on or before the day or time originally indicated, the procedure should be repeated.
If parents do not send a note in advance or call the Attendance Hotline:
The school will contact parents by phone at home or work through our automated ConnectEd system to notify parents of the absence. They may also attempt to call emergency contact numbers. Use of the Attendance Hotline will avoid this situation.
Truancy is absence from school without a justified reason. Truancy will be dealt with as specified in the HCS Code of Conduct. Consequences include detentions, in-school suspensions, and referral to legal authorities.
No student is to be excused from the building unless the notification comes from the Attendance Office, on the daily attendance bulletin, or by a pass signed by the Attendance Secretary or Principal. Students who are to be excused must bring a note signed by the parent to the Attendance Secretary before classes begin. In emergencies, a parent may call school (x3012) to arrange for early dismissal. If a student is sick, only the school nurse or principal can excuse the student.
All students must be in attendance the school day before a school trip and the school day after a school trip. In extenuating circumstances, the Secondary Principal may grant an exception.