School attendance has been identified as an important issue by our administrators, faculty, and the employers who support our cooperative work and career programs. We are concerned about students who miss too many school days, even when absences are legitimately excused. Attendance and achievement are clearly linked, and poor attendance often leads to poor grades and failure.
Since our schools utilize a Block Schedule, with many students in 90-minute classes that end after 90 days or one semester, class attendance becomes even more crucial to student success. Each class missed in a semester course is equivalent to missing two class periods. Therefore, students cannot afford to be absent from class without experiencing consequences to their learning and their grades.
The NCCVT School District places a high priority on instructional time in which a student is actively engaged in learning while in attendance in the classroom or lab. All teachers are encouraged to incorporate formative assessments in their grading policies for work completed while students are in class. Much emphasis is placed on these learning applications during class time, as well as summative assessments, homework, and make-up work grades.
The NCCVT District Attendance Policy places a high level of responsibility on the student, enhances employability, and supports new learning. The policy emphasizes our commitment of fairness, consistency, and accountability. The essential elements of the NCCVT School District Attendance Policy are:
A student who has been given a failing grade due to excessive absences may appeal that action in accordance with the following:
Poor attendance is an indicator of larger, more complex issues of disengagement and student motivation, with school culture and structure contributing to both. Therefore, a continuum of building-level approaches and student supports in the school is essential. Although students and families must be held accountable, schools need to take a proactive approach in looking at what other factors contribute to attendance problems. To that end:
An excused absence is an absence for one of the reasons as listed below and for which a parent note or documentation is provided.
Reasons recognized as valid and necessary for legal excused absences are:
An unexcused absence is an absence:
Note: Family vacations scheduled during the school year are discouraged and count towards the student’s cumulative daily absences.
Students will be held accountable for all assignments or tests missed due to excused OR unexcused absences from school. Building principals shall, in cooperation with classroom teachers, establish the procedures for makeup work and shall communicate such procedures to parents. Parents and students are encouraged to use the Home Access Center for course assessment information and to communicate with individual instructors.
Following an excused absence, the student will be allowed to make up all work missed, to take tests which were missed, and to submit any assignments which became due during the absence without penalty. Full or partial credit for assignments or tests missed due to unexcused absences is recommended and will be approved at the discretion of the instructor and/or administration. In the case of vocational skills or labs missed due to an absence, the instructor may substitute an alternative assignment. The awarding of partial credit for make-up work after unexcused absences is to be no less than 50% of the original assessment’s possible points.
On the day a student returns from an absence, he/she must contact his/her teachers to determine what needs to be done for make-up work. The time allowance for taking tests or turning in assignments shall be equal to the number of school days or number of class meetings missed. A teacher may extend the time allowance for making up work missed if the specific circumstances of the situation merit such action. The time allowances should not exceed more than double the days the student was absent. Tutoring/extra help is available after school and/or Saturdays to assist in this effort. It is the student’s responsibility to take advantage of opportunities provided by the teacher to make up work. Parents and students are encouraged to use the Home Access Center (HAC) for course assessment information and to communicate with individual instructors.
If a student is to be dismissed from school prior to the end of the school day, a note indicating the reason for and time of the dismissal must be on file with the attendance officer no later than 8:30 a.m. on the day of the dismissal. No early dismissal will be granted without verification by the parent. (A phone number where parent can be reached must be on the note.) Every effort should be made to schedule appointments during non-school hours or on days when school is not in session. Students that are 18 years of age may not sign themselves out from school.
All students are expected to be punctual to school. Students who arrive after the late bell are tardy. A student who is tardy or late to school should present a written explanation for the tardiness. An excused tardy is given when the student provides, at the time of the tardiness, a written note of explanation from the parent/guardian for reasons such as personal illness, medical appointments, or appearance in court. Students should recognize that a written explanation from home does not automatically cause the tardy to be “excused.” An unexcused tardy will be given for such reasons as car trouble, personal business, heavy traffic, child care, needed at home, etc. Students tardy for unexcused reasons will be referred for disciplinary action.
STUDENTS WHO DO NOT ATTEND AT LEAST HALF OF THE PERIODS ON A GIVEN DAY WILL BE MARKED ABSENT AND WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PARTICIPATE IN SCHOOL ACTIVITIES FOR THAT DAY (ATHLETIC EVENTS, SCHOOL DANCES, etc.).
A pre-arranged absence is a student’s absence from school or class for one or more days to visit a college or university or for other educational activities approved by the principal. The absence should be pre-arranged by writing the principal, giving full particulars of the absence. Approval for such absences should be sought, where practical, at least one (1) week prior to the date on which the absence is to occur. Upon the development of a plan by the student and teacher for making up the assignments to be missed, the principal may then define the absence as “excused.”
Truancy is defined as an absence from school or class not deemed necessary or legal (Delaware Code, Title 14, Chapter 27). Parents who allow their children to be truant are subject to a fine or, in default of payment of the fine, imprisoned for not more than two (2) days for the first offense and not more than five (5) days for each subsequent offense. Students truant from school will be referred for disciplinary action. (See Discipline Code.) A student is not considered truant if a parent, to ensure safety and welfare of the student, refuses to send the student to school.
ALL ABSENCES ARE RECORDED AS DAYS MISSED FROM SCHOOL
and may be counted towards loss of credit.
Students late to class should report to the teacher with whom they are scheduled for admittance to class. The teacher will determine the validity of the excuse and shall require written verification when appropriate. If a student is late to class three (3) or more times without sufficient reason, the teacher will issue a detention. Lateness of more than fifteen (15) minutes shall be counted as an absence; in addition, three (3) latenesses of fifteen (15) minutes or less shall be counted as an absence.
A student is considered to be “cutting” class if he or she reports to school but does not attend a class for which he or she is scheduled and does not have the permission of either that subject teacher or other school personnel to be excused from that class. Students identified as “cutting” class will be referred for disciplinary action.
State law provides that a student reaches legal majority at age eighteen (18). The attainment of adult status provides that the student may assume responsibility for signing attendance notes and other matters pertaining to school activities; however, the Vocational-Technical District rules and regulations apply equally to adult students. Consequently, the school has the right to verify any attendance notes.
In extraordinary circumstances or in cases of long-term illness, the school will provide an instructor to teach the student in the home and serve as a liaison between the school and the home to assure a continuity of instruction. Contact the Guidance Department to arrange homebound instruction.Click Here To Download Attendance Policy