Absences fall into two categories: Excused and Unexcused.
In accordance with Board of Education policy, the following are considered excused absences:
1 – Medical or professional appointments (requires note by doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc);
2 – College visits (see below);
3 – Religious holidays, as provided by state law (N.J.S.A. 18A:36-14 through 16 and N.J.A.C. 6A:32-8.3(j));
4 – School approved activities (e.g., assemblies, pep rallies, blood drives);
5 – Death in the family (verified by a parental note);
6 – Driving test (verified by showing valid driver’s license or note from the Motor Vehicle Agency confirming that a driving test was taken);
7 – In-school suspension;
8 – Out-of-school suspension.
Written documentation must be presented to verify all excused absences and must be submitted within five (5) school days after returning to school.
This is not a permissive policy establishing or “licensing” a limit of days, which may be missed with no harm. Rather, it assumes absences will occur for personal illness, serious personal or family problems, religious holidays, quarantines, and professional appointments that cannot be scheduled during non-school times. Absences for any other reason not listed above must be acceptable to the administration or the absence will be considered unexcused.
Requests for absences due to non-school related extracurricular activities (including, but not limited to, travel sports programs, equestrian events, non-school sponsored competitions and music/theater auditions and jobs), must be pre-approved by the student’s grade-assigned assistant principal. Long-term or chronic illness will be considered individually by the administration and documentation of such should be on file in the Nurse’s Office as soon as possible.
Students are not required to bring parental notes to school following an unexcused absence. Parents/guardians, guidance counselors, and the Child Study Team will be notified of a student’s absence following the fourth (4) and seventh (7) unexcused absence in a semester course, and the seventh (7), tenth (10) and thirteenth (13) unexcused absence in a full-year course. Course credit will not be issued if a student exceeds the number of unexcused absences allowed by Board of Education policy (see below).
DAYS MISSED DUE TO FAMILY VACATIONS/TRIPS DO NOT QUALIFY AS EXCUSED ABSENCES.
District Procedure for College Visits
Students are permitted to go on college visitations during the school day. For these days to be excused absences, the student must:
- Complete a college visitation form and submit it to the Guidance Office at least three (3) days prior to the visit, and
- Provide written verification of the visit on college letterhead within five (5) school days to the Attendance Office. The college verification must clearly state the student’s name and date of visit. E-mails or communications from the college dated before the visit date (e.g., “Thank you for registering for a college tour” or “We look forward to your upcoming visit”) cannot be used to excuse a student’s absence from school. The college excuse note must be obtained at the time of the visit, and the original note (not a copy) must be turned into the Attendance Office for the student’s absence to be excused.
- If a college visit requires extensive traveling (i.e., the college is located in a different geographic region/area), a student may have absences excused for travel time only if the travel days are adjacent to the date of the college visit (i.e., the travel day is the day before and/or the day after the visit date).
Loss of Course Credit
Students with the following unexcused absences will be subject to loss of credit in a course:
- Students who miss more than six (6) classes in a semester course,
- Students who miss more than twelve (12) classes in a full year course.
Parents/guardians will be sent letters notifying them of a student’s loss of course credit. Guidance counselors and the Child Study Team will also be notified. A student who loses credit because of excessive absences will have his/her grades recorded for each of the four marking periods listed on his/her report card but in lieu of final grades the designation of N/C (no credit granted) will be listed.
Review and Appeal Process
A student who has lost credit in a course must make all appeals for reinstatement of credit lost due to excessive absence in writing to the administration within ten (10) days of notification.
Making Up Work Following Absences
A student may make up work following any absence. Upon returning to school after an absence, the student will have two (2) days for each day of absence to make up work unless the student makes other arrangements with his/her teachers. However, all work should be made up within a maximum of ten (10) school days following the student’s return. In the event that illness or recovery limits a student’s workload, at the conclusion of the absence, parents may petition in writing the administrator in charge of attendance for an extension beyond the ten (10) days.
Credit Restoration Program
Students who lose credit due to excessive absences may earn credit by completing a Summer Credit Restoration Program. Through this option, a student may earn course credit lost, but the grade earned would be decided by the work done during the regular school year. No grade improvement is possible. Students who have failed a course may not use the Summer Credit Restoration option to earn course credit.