Enrolled students are required by New York State Education Law to attend school on a daily basis unless they are legally excused.

Regular school attendance best serves an educational rather than a punitive purpose. Student attendance and academic achievement are strongly connected. By attending school regularly and punctually, a student can progress toward state and local learning standards, experience academic success, and become involved in a safe and stable learning community. All students and their parents should understand that regular, punctual attendance prepares students for successful employment. On the other hand, chronic absence often leads to dropping out of school and unemployment.

Pioneer Central School District is committed to continuous improvement for both attendance and learning. To this end, teamwork is expected among students and their parents, teachers, administrators, other school staff and the community at large.

Attendance Records Maintenance

The Superintendent will establish a system of attendance records maintenance for the District, subject to Board approval. Attendance will be taken during each class period. The system of record keeping will reflect electronic capability to generate period-by-period daily attendance information, record excused and unexcused absence and lateness on student records, and identify individual and group absence patterns.

Absences, Excuses, and Lateness

Parents are expected to play an active and informed role in promoting their children's attendance and minimizing absences or lateness. When a parent anticipates an absence or lateness on any given school day, the parent is expected to inform school officials before the school day begins. Specific reason(s) for absence or lateness should be stated clearly and should be excusable.

Excusable absences include personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads or weather, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, medical or dental appointments, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, or other reasons approved by the Commissioner of Education or the School Board. All other absences will be defined as unexcused and will be considered truancy.

Lateness is defined as not being present in class and not being excusably accounted for at the beginning of the school day or at the beginning of any instructional period during the school day.

Each school will establish a procedure to contact the parents of absent or tardy students when no advance notice of the absence or lateness has been provided. Emphasis will be placed on finding out why the absence or lateness has occurred.

The student returning to school on the day after the absence must present a written excuse, signed by the parent, specifying the reason(s) for absence or lateness.

Attendance Incentives

Each school will design and implement a program to acknowledge and publicly celebrate efforts to improve attendance and sustain excellent attendance. Results will be reported regularly to the school, Board, and community.

Consequences of Absence

A student's grades will not be reduced, nor will receipt of course credit be denied, solely because of absenteeism, regardless of whether or not the reason is excusable.

A student who is absent from school is responsible for all the work missed in class. During or after an excused absence, a student will be afforded reasonable opportunity to complete missed work, and the academic merit of such completed work will be reflected in course grades and credit.

During or after an unexcused absence, a student may be denied an opportunity to make up uncompleted work associated with the absence. Failure to complete assigned work and/or to participate in classroom activities may serve as a criterion for course grades and credit. Non-academic sanctions such as loss of privileges or participation in extracurricular activities may be used to enforce attendance.

Incremental Interventions

Each school will design and implement a program of incremental interventions to address substandard attendance and/or lateness to school or class. Each program will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Levels of intervention that focus on removing barriers to regular attendance and progress incrementally from direct teacher involvement, to development of a comprehensive intervention plan, to legal recourse.
  2. Specific performance benchmarks for triggering interventions, with responsibilities assigned and specific steps outlined for each level of intervention.
  3. Provisions for School District and school site attendance/lateness policies and procedures to be explained orally and in writing to student and parents, with parent and student signature(s) required to verify commitment.
  4. Provision for maintaining verifiable personal contact with parents to engage their cooperation.
  5. Counseling that includes identification of root causes of absences or lateness.
  6. Opportunities for students to complete missed work either during or after an absence.
  7. An appeals process to ensure that all absences are treated equally and that there is accuracy and fairness in policy implementation.
Research and Evaluation

Each school is expected to develop and analyze attendance data regularly so that causes of absenteeism may be identified and addressed, improvement may be recognized and celebrated, and evaluation may be submitted periodically to the Board of Education.

Education Law Sections 3024, 3025, 3202, 3205, 3206,
3210, 3211, and 3213
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Sections 104.1, 109.2 and 175.6

Adopted: 11/1/05
Readopted: 3/11/08