MAHS Attendance Tips and Reminders

This information is designed to help students and parents understand the state requirements and school procedures surrounding attendance recordkeeping. Additional detail is available in the Student Handbook and the MASD Policy Manual. Both are available online: www.masd.info. Contact the Assistant Principal’s office with questions: 570-278-6218. NOTE THAT STATE ATTENDANCE LAWS, THE RELATED MASD SCHOOL POLICY AND SEVERAL ATTENDANCE-RELATED PROCEDURES HAVE CHANGED FOR THE 2017-18 SCHOOL YEAR.

Absence from school:

  • Parents/Guardians are required by the state to provide excuses for all student absences within three school days of the student’s return to school. They must include date of absence, appropriate reason and a parent/guardian signature.

    • Excuses may be dropped off in the Assistant Principal’s office, preferably in the morning. If the absence is due to a medical/dental/counseling appointment, please provide documentation from the office so the day can be coded appropriately.
    • Excuses can be faxed to 570-278-6290
    • Excuses (with required signature) can be emailed or texted to attendance@masd.info

  • After 10 regular absences (not counting preapproved vacations, school related absences and documented medical absences) students will be required to provide medical documentation to have further absences excused.

  • Excessive unlawful (students under 17) or unexcused (students 17+) absences will result in these consequences:

    • After a 3rd unlawful absence, students are considered by the state to be Truant. The school district is required to schedule conferences and develop attendance plans for truant students.
    • After additional unlawful absences, the school district is required to contact Children and Youth and potentially file citations with the District Magistrate.
    • Excessive unexcused absences can result in the implementation of an attendance plan delineating the loss of privileges or assignment of disciplinary consequences.

  • Vacation and School Related Absence forms are available online and in the Assistant Principal’s office, and must be submitted for preapproval in a timely manner. These requests (for up to 10 days per school year) may not be approved for students with poor attendance, low grades and/or recurrent discipline issues.

Tardy:

  • Students are expected to be in Homeroom by 8:05 am (10:05 during 2-hour delay). Tardy students dropped off by a parent/guardian should be signed in to school by that person. Students receive detention or SSS after the 5th unlawful/unexcused tardy and every one thereafter.
  • Student drivers who are tardy must sign in and submit an excuse within three days. Parking passes are suspended after the 5th unexcused tardy and may be revoked after the 7th.
  • The state is very specific about what constitutes acceptable versus unacceptable excuses for being tardy. Please refer to the student handbook for details.
  • Student athletes and other students participating in after-school activities must be in school by 10:00 am to participate in practice or competition that day, unless a medical note is provided or administrative preapproval is granted.
  • Students who arrive after 10:20 am will be marked ½ day absent and students arriving after 1:00 pm will be marked absent for the full day.
  • Excessive tardies will be treated the same as excessive absences with regard to discipline and attendance plans.

Leaving school early:

  • Parents/Guardians and other authorized adults can pick up students at any time by reporting to the front office.
  • Students may also provide signed notes from parents indicating date, time and an appropriate reason for early dismissal to the Assistant Principal’s office, preferably in the morning. Student drivers will receive passes to be dismissed from class; other students will be called from class when their transportation arrives.
  • Students who are ill should report to the health office. The school nurse will call a parent/ guardian to pick up the student if necessary. Students feeling sick are asked not to text or call on their own without permission.
  • Notes can be faxed, emailed or texted (with signature).

Did you know (facts borrowed from www.attendanceworks.org):

  1. Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year. Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school. Read more

  2. An estimated 5 million to 7.5 million U.S. students miss nearly a month of school each year. Read more

  3. Research shows that missing 10 percent of the school, or about 18 days in most school districts, negatively affects a student’s academic performance. That’s just two days a month and that’s known as chronic absence. Read more

  4. The academic impact of missing that much school is the same whether the absences are excused or unexcused. Suspensions also add to lost time in the classroom

  5. When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating. Read more

A toolkit regarding chronic absenteeism for parents is available here.