Attendance at school is essential for maximum success. Absences due to illness, quarantine, death in the family, impassable roads, pre-approved family educational travel/education tours/trips, and school board approved observance of a religious holiday are excused. A written request from the parent/guardian for educational trips and religious holidays must be received and approved by the administration prior to the date of absence. Other excuses for absence are classified as unexcused and unlawful. These excuses will be reviewed by the Principal/Designee to determine if the absence is excused or unexcused. All absences will be recorded as unlawful for students under the age of eighteen (18). In the case of excessive excused absence, a doctor’s excuse may be required. When the first unlawful absence is recorded, an official notice is sent the parent /guardian. Additional unlawful absences may result in arrest and fines for violation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Compulsory School Attendance Law.
Upon returning to school, students are required to bring in an excuse note signed by the parent/guardian including the dates of and the reason for the absence. All excuses should be sent to the Attendance Secretary or to the homeroom teacher. If such an excuse is not presented within three (3) days, the absence will be considered unlawful, and the student and parent/guardian may be subject to all penalties specified in Section 1333 of the Pennsylvania School Code.
Tardiness or being late for school, between 8:10 A.M. and 9:45 A.M. each day, is detrimental to a student’s academic success. Late students must report to the main office where the time of arrival will be recorded by the office secretaries and a pass will be issued to class.
Early dismissals or being excused from school between 1:45 P.M. and 3:00 P.M. each day, is detrimental to a student’s academic success. These students must report to the main office and sign out before they leave. The time of dismissal will be recorded by the secretaries.
Any student arriving between 9:45 A.M. or leaving before 1:45 P.M. shall be marked one-half day absent.
The following is a list of consequences for unexcused tardiness:
- 1st, 2nd tardy: Warning
- 3rd, 4th tardy: Lunch Detention
- 5th, 6th, 7th tardy: one (1) Detentions
- 8th, 9th, 10th tardy: two (2) days of Detention
- 11th, 12th tardy: one (1) day of ISS
These are minimum standards. If a pattern of absences or tardiness develops with repeated infractions of unexcused absences or tardiness, additional disciplinary action may be taken at the discretion of the principal or assistant principal. Such actions may include loss of privileges such as participation on athletic teams, field trips, attendance at school dances, and so forth. Seniors scheduled for senior early dismissal who are persistently late may lose their early dismissal privilege.
Students who are not in attendance on a school day or who have a tardy that has not been excused by the principal or assistant principal are not eligible to participate in extra curricular activities on that day which includes sports, activities, and dances.
Reasons to excuse a tardy to school will be those whereby students that they had an appointment that morning present a statement from a doctor, dentist, etc. or the situation is determined to be an emergency by the principal or assistant principal. (Note: car trouble, oversleeping, missing the bus, etc. are not emergencies).
The Western Wayne School District Student Attendance Improvement Plan (SAIP) is an inter-disciplinary approach designed to reduce excessive student absences from school. The goal of the SAIP program is to reduce the overall rate of absenteeism. The SAIP program is a school-based intervention for students and families who are in danger of magisterial citation due to truancy. The SAIP team consists of administration, teachers, counselors, school nurse, children and youth services, social worker, probation, Wayne County Office of Behavioral and Developmental Programs and Early Intervention, and Magisterial court. The function of the SAIP team is to organize meetings with students and families when the student’s absences have reached the truant level as defined by the PA Compulsory Attendance Law. In lieu of an initial citation to the district magistrate for truancy charges, the student and family will be required to attend a Student Attendance Improvement Conference (SAIC) at the school. At this meeting, the team will discuss with the student and family the issues and concerns relating to the student’s absences, academic performance, and behavioral concerns.
The team will also be responsible for:
- Educating the student and family on the negative effects of habitual absenteeism.
- Offering and/or coordinating services for the student and family both in and out of school.
- Developing and drafting a truancy elimination plan with the student and family.
- Monitoring and evaluating the plan.
First Unlawful Absence – Notification/Action
- Email is sent to the parent/guardian outlining Pennsylvania School Code provisions for school attendance and the Western Wayne School District attendance policy.
Third Unlawful Absence – Notification/Action
- Pursuant to the BEC 24 P.S. 13-1327, schools are required to notify the parent/guardian regarding the need for a joint conference upon the third unlawful student absence. The school-family conference engages all participants involved in the student’s life to explore possible solutions to increase the student’s school attendance. Maintaining open communication between the student and adults will facilitate positive outcomes.
- Certified letter sent home to parent/guardian informing them of Pennsylvania School Code/Western Wayne School District Attendance Policy and SAIP procedures.
- Parent/guardian is contacted to attend a Student Attendance Improvement Conference (SAIC) with the goal of cooperatively developing a Student Attendance Improvement Plan (SAIP).
- For all IEP/504/Gifted students, a formal invitation will be sent.
- Phone conferences are acceptable and will be properly documented.
Fifth Unlawful Absence – Notification/Action
- A letter is sent and phone call to parent/guardian informing them of Pennsylvania School Code/Western Wayne Attendance Policy violation and potential consequences of continued unlawful absences.
Sixth Unlawful Absence – Notification/Action
- Citation filed with magistrate for truancy.
- Copy to be provided to Wayne County Children and Youth Services and SAP team
- Every 3 subsequent unlawful absences a complaint filed with the magistrate.
Ten Cumulative Absences
- Medically excused and school approved absences do not count toward the 10 cumulative absences regarding truancy, however they do count toward a student’s total attendance record.
- Certified letter sent home to parent/guardian.
- Copy provided to Wayne County Children and Youth Services.
- Required attendance at SAIC meeting in school with parent/guardian and student present.
- Any cumulative absence over 10 total days for a student will require a written medical excuse from a physician or it will be considered unlawful.