Welcome back to the 2023-2024 School Year!
We are excited to share our school’s Every Day, Every Student Attendance Policy and Plan. This policy will hopefully provide you with the information and guidance you need to help you help your child attend and stay in school!
Our School Community Goal Attendance matters.
Missing a day of school means missing hours of instructional time. Research shows that students who attend school regularly achieve greater success in school and in life. Our school’s collective goal for attendance remains the same. We want every child attending school every day or at least 95% of the school year. (That means no more than 9 absences for the school year)
Our school takes attendance each morning from 8:15 a.m. until 8:45 a.m.
If you know your child is going to miss a day of school or will be missing school for an extended period of time, please notify the school in advance by calling the school (718) 424-7700 and leaving a message. Please clearly speak your child’s full name and class in your message along with the reason for his/her absence.
If your child is absent, we will follow up that same day by making a phone call home. This follow-up helps us to ensure that your child is safe, healthy and that your family has what it needs to help your child overcome the barriers of attending school.
It is very important for the school to have families’ up-to-date contact information. To make sure we can always reach you, please alert us of any changes to you address or phone number by: coming to the school and filling in a new emergency/blue card or by sending a note to your child’s teacher.
While every single absence is equal to missed instructional time, we nonetheless mark absences as excused or unexcused. If a student is not physically in school whether it is an excused or unexcused absence, your child is marked absent because they are not present. Please provide us with information on the reason for your child’s absence. Here is what you need to know regarding excused or unexcused absences:
A student who is not in school at least one instructional period is marked absent for the day. Absences may be excused (but not eliminated) and the attendance team will follow up with families about recurring attendance issues, including recurring absences that may be considered excused.
• Illness/injury: When a student is unable to attend school due to illness or injury, a document or notification (call or note from the family or doctor) is required to indicate it as excused. --- If an accommodation is required to return to school (cast or medication) families must call Ms. Muñoz, (718) 424-7700 about 504 plans or Medication Administration Forms. If families fail to seek the necessary accommodation plans, any continuing absences due to illness or injury, including asthma-related absences, may be considered unexcused. Learning Today for the Challenges of Tomorrow!
• Religious observation: When a student is unable to attend school due to religious observation, the family’s request in writing is required to indicate an excused absence.
• Family emergency: When a student is unable to attend school due to a death or an emergency, notification and documentation by the family is required to indicate an excused absence. --- If a student requires supports to return to school (transportation, counseling, supplies), the family must call Ms. Ferrara (718) 424-7700 to discuss their needs. ***Absences to attend funerals outside the country are not excused
• Pre-arranged appointments: When a student is unable to attend school due to appointments with the court, social services, or other city agencies, notification and documentation by the family is required to indicate an excused absence. --- Whenever possible, families are expected to schedule appointments, including school visits and doctors’ visits, outside of regular school hours, or to schedule appointments so the student does not miss an entire day of school.
• Unexplained absence: Families are expected to notify the school whenever a student is unable to attend school, either in advance of the absence (preferred) or following the absence. Without explanation of a reason, the absence(s) are considered unexcused.
• Immunization exclusion: When a student is unable to attend school due to lack of appropriate immunizations the absence(s) are considered unexcused.
• Family vacations or travel: Families should plan vacations and trips when school is not in session. All family travel plans during the school year when school is in session are considered unexcused.
Even if a student is late, they are still marked as present. If you know your child is going to be late on a certain day please contact the main office (718) 424-7700, or inform the teacher prior to the lateness.
Just as with absences, we flag lateness as excused and unexcused. Here is what you need to know regarding excused and unexcused lateness:
Students are marked late if they are not in their classroom or designated meeting area by 8:15 a.m.
Students who are less than 10 minutes late (at or before 8:25 a.m.) should enter through the late door on 78th Street (Exit 6) and then go promptly to class where the teacher will mark the lateness and collect any documentation for the lateness.
Students who arrive after 8:25 a.m. should enter through the main entrance and go directly to the main office. They will fill out a late pass and bring that to their classroom teacher.
• Lateness may be considered excused for the same reasons provided above for absence (Illness/injury, religious observation, family emergency, pre-arranged appointments) or school bus delays or documented MTA delays.
• Lateness due to routine delays in public transportation are not considered excused. Students and families need to allow ample time for travel and monitor MTA reports. There are no exceptions for inclement weather, and families are advised to leave extra time. Learning Today for the Challenges of Tomorrow!
The attendance team will follow up with families about recurring lateness issues, including recurring lateness that may be considered excused.
Leaving School Early
If your child is going to leave school early on a certain day (leaving before 2:35 p.m.), please notify the classroom teacher by sending in a note. This is important so that the teacher is aware and the student will be ready and available at that time.
Leaving school early must be arranged in advance. A student can be dismissed from school early to the family or a person who has been identified on the Emergency/Blue Card. Anyone picking up a student must come to the office and provide a photo ID.
• Students under age 18 may/may not leave school early unescorted
• Early departures may be indicated by a reason code on the student’s attendance record.
• The attendance team will follow up with families about recurring incidents of leaving school early
Attendance and Make-up work
No number of absences can prevent promotion to the next grade or graduation. However, it is more likely that a student who misses school will have lower grades, test scores and may not meet the academic standards for promotion or graduation.
• Lateness to class may result in a lower class average due to the loss of instructional time in activities such as: classroom participation, examinations (quizzes/full period exams), dialogues, speeches, group work, lab work, etc.
• It is the student and family’s responsibility to arrange for make-up work
When students are frequently late or absent
The school ensures that appropriate outreach and guidance interventions are provided for students who exhibit attendance problems, including arriving late or leaving early. Principals, guidance counselors, teachers, social workers, or other school staff can all be involved in facilitating attendance resolutions.
• After five absences, excused or not, outreach will be conducted by a member of the Attendance Team to understand the reasons and set up an intervention plan.
• Whenever students miss ten days in a row, outreach to the family is required to understand and try to resolve the reasons for the absences. For students in grade 8 and under, such outreach is also required when the students miss 20 days within three months.
• For continued unexcused absences (or lateness or leaving early) the Attendance Team may make further recommendations that may include:
❖ Home visit or family conferences to better understand causes;
❖ Home visits as an intervention;
❖ Family coaching on time management or managing family issues;
❖ Referral to ACS preventive agency services to address underlying reasons;
❖ Connection to outside agency or program for additional services;
❖ Consideration if there is educational neglect and possible ACS report