Attendance

Attendance Policy And Procedures

The school recognizes regular attendance as necessary to achieve consistent educational progress. Classroom learning experiences are a meaningful and essential part of the educational system. Time lost from class is irretrievable, particularly a student’s opportunity for interaction and exchange of ideas with other students and teachers. The absent student loses the benefits of lectures, discussions, and participation with other students. Vision Academy Charter School therefore considers consistent and timely attendance a major responsibility. Once enrolled every student regardless of age is subject to the school’s attendance policy.
Students are expected to be in the class to which they are assigned on every school day except for the excused absences: illness or injury, school related activity, family emergency or religious observance. It is the responsibility of the school’s administration to monitor student attendance and communicate with students and their parents when attendance patterns do not meet school standards. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their children are in school unless a valid reason for absence exists and to notify the school when their child will be absent.
Schoolwork missed by the student during an absence shall be made up regardless of the reason for the absence.

Absences

Absences may occur any time a student misses a class, is more than 10 minutes late to class, is truant, or fails to follow correct check-out/in procedures. In order to deliver the quality education expected by the community, students must attend classes on a regular basis. Unexcused absences are those that are not considered excused. Excused absences are defined as:
• Absences because of temporary illness, injury or family emergency.
• Absences for extended period because of physical, mental or emotional disability.
• Absences for attending any school-sponsored activities of an educational nature, with advance approval by administration.
• Absences by those who are in the custody of court of law enforcement.
• Those determined by school administration to be excusable such as doctor’s appointments or juvenile court appearances.
Excessive absences will require verification form the appropriate doctor/dentist/agency, etc. Parents must notify the school office when their child will not be in school. Students will be allowed up to 48 hours to make up work for each day of absence, except major project, which are due the day specified. Out-of-school suspensions will not count as absences and work may be made up. Family vacations during school time are strongly discouraged, as they are considered unexcused absences and may result in the total student absences exceeding the specified limit. Absences to extend school vacations are not excused.

The school recognizes three types of absences:

• Excused: Excused absences shall be those caused by illness, injury, family emergency, religious observance, or those absences granted in advance by the principal. In the case of an absence granted by the principal, the work must be made up ahead of time. The responsibility for making the absence excused rests with the parents and students. Students taking part in a school related activity will not be counted absent.
• Unexcused with parent/guardian’s knowledge and/or consent: If a student is absent with parent/guardian’s consent for reasons other than those stated above, the parent/guardian is expected to call the school or send a note to explain the absence. If the absences become habitual, the principal shall file a Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect with the local Social Services or the State’s Attorney for appropriate action. Habitual absence is defined as ten or more absences per semester.
• Truant: Truancy is defined as being absent from one or more classes without the consent of parent/guardian or school officials. This includes absence from any class, study hall, or activity during the school day for which the student is scheduled. It also includes absences from any after-school special help session or disciplinary session that the student has been directed to attend. It does not include absences due to disciplinary suspension. When truancy occurs parents will be contacted by phone or letter as soon as practical. Subsequent truancies will require a conference including the principal, parent, student, teacher and/or counselor. The principal is given board authorization at this point to implement a range of solutions for truancy problems that would include, but are not limited to: 1. Detention 2. Suspension 3. Retention.
No student will be permitted to take part in any extra-curricular activity, game or practice, if he or she is absent after the mid-point in the day the event is to take place. A medical or dental appointment or other such appointment will be judged accordingly by the administration.

Excuse Notes

• **A written note must accompany all absences when a student returns to school (even if the parent has contacted the school by telephone).
• **A physician’s note MUST accompany all absences lasting three days or more.
• No excuse will be accepted after a period of three school days. If documentation is not supplied within three school days of the absence, the absence will be considered unexcused.
• When a student exceeds fifteen absences a doctors note will be required for all subsequent absences or the absence will be considered unexcused.

Tardy Policy

It is every parent’s responsibility to ensure that their child arrives at school on time. The school believes that students who are late to school begin the day at a disadvantage. This is why the school makes every effort to see students arriving promptly in the morning. Each student may accumulate three unexcused tardies per half year. More than three unexcused tardies per half year may result in the following corrective action.
• Warning
• Counseling
• Detention
• Family/ School meeting
• Attendance Contract
Students are expected to demonstrate a commitment to on time school attendance. Students who do not demonstrate such a commitment may be recommended for expulsion.
Absences Accrued Due to Chronic Tardiness
It is the policy of Vision Academy Charter School that students who are tardy (arriving after 8:25 AM) three times without a valid excuse shall be counted as having one unlawful absence. Valid excuses are identical to those listed above. Parents must sign students in when they are tardy and fill out a tardy slip with a legitimate excuse to be given to their child’s teacher. Please do not drop your child off after 8:25 AM without filling out the form.

Cumulative Lawful Absences

A maximum of ten days of cumulative lawful absences verified by parental notification may be permitted during a school year. All absences beyond ten cumulative days should require an excuse from a physician. Under Section 11.24, students who miss ten consecutive school days shall be dropped from the active membership roll unless the school is provided with evidence the excuse is legal or the school is pursuing compulsory attendance prosecution. Students who miss 18 cumulative days will be retained at grade level.

Charter School Responsibilities

Charter schools must report to the student’s school district of residence when a student has accrued three or more days of unlawful absences. It is the responsibility of the school district to enforce the compulsory attendance laws in accordance with the Public School Code. However, charter schools should also follow PDE’s Recommended Responses to Unlawful Absences for the first, second and third unlawful absences including the school/family meeting and implementation of a TEP.  Charter schools should also refer the child to the county children and youth agency as stated in Section V above.
School District Response to Charter School Absences
Under compulsory attendance laws, the parents/guardians of a student who has accumulated three unlawful absences are to receive notice stating any subsequent unlawful absences will result in a citation being filed with the magisterial district judge. The school district of residence should send the notice to parents/guardians immediately upon notification of the third unlawful absence by a charter school. It is recommended that such notice be sent through certified mail. Future unlawful absences should be filed with the magisterial district judge. Charter schools and cyber charter schools must cooperate with school districts by providing necessary documentation for the truancy filings, and attending the hearings to provide testimony, if necessary.

Early Dismissal Requests

• Please make every effort to adhere to regular dismissal times.
• If your child needs to be dismissed early, you must call the school a minimum one (1) hour in advance or send a note to school with your child.
• Only authorized adults whose names are on file in the main office may pick up your child.
• Please provide the main office with names and telephone numbers of adults who may pick up your child. Please update the names if your family situation changes.
• Communicate with your child that he/she has an early dismissal
• Meet your child in the main office.  Please try your best to be on time.
• If your child is getting picked up by someone other than the parent; we need permission in WRITING.  The note must specifically state the person’s name that is picking up the child.  The person must be at least 18 years old.

Dismissal Procedures

The first students to be released are the bus riding students. Thereafter, students are will be taken outside to line up outside the school if the weather allows. In case of harsh weather conditions, pick up students will be in the first floor of each building for parent pick up. All students are expected to go to their cars and leave the school premises in an orderly and safe manner. Bus riding students will be picked up by staff members from their classrooms to be taken to the designated dismissal location and enter their assigned bus in an orderly and safe manner.

Late Pick- Up

The school day ends at 3:32. All children are expected to be picked up no later than 3:45. If a child/children are not picked up by 3:45, parent/guardian will be charged $5 after school care fee for each 5 minutes the child is picked up late until 5:05 pm. If the child/children is not picked up after 5:05 pm, the police will be called and the child/children will be taken to the nearest police station until you arrive.
School Sponsored Activities:
Students who miss class because of participation in school field trips, musical performances, student conferences, or school related competitions will not be considered absent. Teachers and administrators will be provided with a list of students participating in such activities at least 48 hours in advance. ASSIGNMENTS ARE TO BE COMPLETED AND TURNED IN PRIOR TO A SCHOOL SPONSORED TRIP. Administration/teachers may refuse the right of a student to participate if their academic expectations are not being met.