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Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School Attendance Policy

Plain Language Summary for High School and Middle School Students

The Fort Plain Junior-Senior High School Attendance Policy was developed in an effort to:

  • Clearly define the expectations for school attendance;
  • Establish a healthy learning environment which teaches a strong work ethic through regular attendance;
  • Ensure that record keeping and maintenance of attendance is consistent and fair;
  • Enhance the academic learning experience for students.

Copies of the Comprehensive Attendance Policy are available in the school’s main office.

The complete Comprehensive Attendance Policy is posted on this website.

Please contact your school principal if you have additional questions or need more information about the Attendance Policy.

The school’s fax number is: 518-993-2897

To achieve the objectives stated above the district developed a record keeping system to accurately track student attendance. At the Junior-Senior High School attendance will be taken at the beginning of each scheduled period of instruction.

Excused and Unexcused Absences and Tardiness

Any absence will be recorded as excused or unexcused. A student who arrives late or leaves early from school, will be marked as excused or unexcused

Excused absences include:

  • Illness*
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Religious observance
  • Medical appointments**
  • Required court appearances**
  • Participation in a school-sponsored activity
  • Pre-approved individual education trip

*Parent notes will cover absences up to three (3) consecutive days, but a doctor’s note will be required for any subsequent absences.

**A doctor’s note or legal/court document must be submitted to be considered an excused absence.

Any other absence, tardiness or early departure is considered to be unexcused. Family vacations will not be considered an excused absence.

  • A parent/guardian is expected to notify the Attendance Office by telephone or email on the morning of their child’s absence, tardiness, or early dismissal.
  • A parent/guardian is also required to send a written excuse to school within five (5) school days of the absence stating the date and reason for the absence, tardiness or early dismissal.
  • If a note is not received within five (5) days the absence will be marked unexcused.
  • The Attendance Officer will call home to verify student absences.
  • A parent/guardian is required to come into school to sign out the student at the Attendance kiosk before he/she can be dismissed.

Student Attendance Procedure

Regular school attendance is essential to the total learning process. Although some absences may be unavoidable, each student is expected to make every effort to attend school regularly.

Any student absent from a class more than 20 days for a full year course and 10 days for a half year course, for any reason, may be denied the opportunity to take examinations for that course.

Attendance Policy for Students in Grades 7-12

  1. The Building Attendance Committee will review monthly updates of students who have accumulated 3, 5, 7 or 10 days from half-year courses and 5, 10, 15, 20 absences from full-year courses.
  2. After the 3rd absence from a half-year course or a 5th absence in a full-year course, a postcard will be sent home to better educate students and caregivers about the importance of school attendance.
  3. After the 5th absence in a half-year course or 10th absence in a full-year course, a letter will be sent home notifying the caregiver of the situation, offering strategies to improve attendance and encouraging students to make up missed work.
  4. After the 7th absence in a half-year course or 15th absence in a full-year course, a letter will be mailed home notifying the caregiver of the situation. If the student is currently failing the class, a meeting will be scheduled with the student to discuss attendance patterns, possible repercussions and strategies to improve attendance and classroom performance.
  5. After the 10th absence in a half-year course or 20th absence in a full-year course, caregivers will be notified by registered mail. The Attendance Review Committee will meet to review the student’s complete attendance record. The caregiver, student, and the student’s teacher will be invited to the meeting. The committee may decide to deny credit for the course or offer the student the opportunity to enter into an Attendance Improvement Contract.
  6. The student or caregiver may appeal the decision in writing to the Superintendent of Schools.

Attendance Policy for Students Taking Courses for College Credit

Any student taking a college credit-bearing class in Fort Plain will be subject to the attendance criteria set by the college or university. This college policy supersedes Fort Plain’s attendance policy. This policy is only applicable to students seeking college credit. High school credit is subject to the same provisions as all other courses in the school district.

Incentives and Disciplinary Sanctions

Attendance may be positively affected by the use of incentives to encourage pupil attendance and disciplinary sanctions to discourage unexcused pupil absences, tardiness and early departures from school.

Incentives to promote pupil attendance may include: free homework pass, free ice cream, certificate of recognition for perfect attendance.

When sanctions are necessary to discourage a specific instance of an unexcused absence the following sanctions may be implemented: parent conference, meeting with classroom teacher, lunch detention, in-school suspension.

Additional Information

  1. A student will be considered as absent to class if he/she misses more than 15 minutes of class due to tardiness or early dismissal. Five tardies (5) will be the equivalent of one (1) absence.
  2. Students who receive five (5) tardies, or late arrivals to school, will be assigned a lunch detention as per the Code of Conduct, to make up the time missed from school.
  3. Students who receive five (5) early departures from school, will be assigned a lunch detention, as per the Code of Conduct, to make up the time missed from school.
  4. Students who are ill for an extended period of time shall receive home tutoring upon a request by the parent/guardian along with a doctor’s notification of duration of illness and need for the homebound situation.
  5. Teachers are responsible for reporting individual class absences to the attendance officer in accordance with procedures stated for half-year and full-year courses.
  6. Teachers are encouraged to maintain an open line of communication with parents/guardians, notifying them of concerns regarding student attendance that may affect classroom performance.
  7. When making a final review of student’s attendance record, the Attendance Committee will consider the following:
    -Age (If the student falls within the age of compulsory attendance he/she may not be removed from the class or school attendance)
    -Behavioral record in class
    -Academic average in the class
    -Teacher recommendation
  8. Although we have always emphasized the value of good attendance, we understand during this time of post COVID, attendance may be compromised. However, students are expected to attend school daily and teachers will take attendance.
  9. Although the requirement for universal masking has been eliminated, COVID is still among us. If a student does not feel well please have them stay home. Especially if the student has a temperature and any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, headache, congestion, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, or body ache.
  10. Our counseling team will be available daily to reach out to families dealing with excessive attendance issues and they will be considered under the lens of the current environment.
  11. Beginning in September 2022, automated messages will be sent to families to alert them of a student’s absence. Caregivers can reply via ParentSquare or by calling the school to identify the reason for absence.
  12. The Attendance Policy is reviewed and updated annually.