Rose Tree Media School District Attendance Procedures
What are acceptable reasons to miss school?
· Child illness
· Death of an immediate family member (funeral)
· Major religious holiday
· Urgent reasons (court appearances, doctor appointments, etc.)
What are my obligations following my child’s absence?
1. Students must be called out for each day of absence.
2. A note must be provided within three days of each absence.
3. If your child was out for five or more consecutive days due to illness, you must provide a doctor’s note.
4. If your child has already missed 10 school days, you must provide a doctor’s note with each additional absence.
Contact your child’s Principal or the Home & School Visitor (610-627-6197) for clarification on these procedures.
What happens if …
1. my child doesn’t provide an absence note upon returning to school?
Any absence without an excuse note is an unlawful day.
2. my child accumulates unlawful absences?
Notifications are sent home for each of the first two unlawful absences. Once your child has accumulated 3 unlawful absences, a warning letter will be mailed to you by certified mail. This is the only warning that you will receive before court action may be taken.
3. my child continues to miss school without a legal excuse?
After receiving the warning letter mentioned in question 2 (above), the School District will invite the family to attend an Attendance Improvement Conference. If your child accumulates six or more unlawful absences and the Attendance Improvement Conference has been held, the school district will make a referral to the Office of Children and Youth Services and may file a truancy citation against the student or his/her parents. The district justice may order: fines, community service, jail, participation in the Child Guidance Truancy Prevention Program and loss of the student’s driver’s license.
4. my child accumulates 10 or more days of absence?
A letter will be mailed to you explaining that any additional absences will require a doctor’s note. If a doctor’s note is not received following receipt of this letter then the absences will be unlawful. See questions above for more details on unlawful absences.
Why is daily school attendance so important?
It gives your child the opportunity to:
- Gain knowledge and skills for future success
- Discover new interests
- Develop positive relationships
- Learn how to manage time
- Learn how to set goals and reach them
- Prepare for college, work, or the military.
Why do students skip school?
It could be due to trouble at school or home or personal problems.
Reasons may include:
- Bullying problems that make students afraid to go to school
- Learning difficulties
- Domestic violence
- Family discord
- Alcohol or other drug use
- Falling in with the “wrong crowd”
- Teen pregnancy or parenthood
- Mental health problems
- Having to work to help support the family.
Teach your child that skipping school for any reason only creates more problems.
The dangers of truancy
An unexcused absence from school is called truancy. This includes skipping classes, skipping entire days of school, and failing to provide an excuse note.
Truancy puts students at risk for many problems including:
- Poor grades
- Teen pregnancy
- Alcohol or other drug use
- Criminal behavior
- Truancy court involvement.
Truancy also increases the risk that students will drop out.
And high school dropouts are more likely to:
- Be unemployed
- Earn less money than high school and college graduates
- Be dependent on public assistance
- Serve time in prison.
How can I help my child be successful in school and beyond?
Set high expectations. Offer praise and encouragement. Find ways to reward achievements.
Talk with teachers and counselors.
Don’t wait for problems to happen. Attend parent-teacher conferences. Also, let teachers know about any special situations when your child will need to miss school.
Monitor time spent doing things such as:
- Watching TV
- Using the internet (especially games, email, social media)
- Playing video games
- Working at part-time jobs
- Participating in after-school activities
- Sleeping (10 hours is ideal even for teens)
Set and keep a curfew.
It makes a difference! You might be able to:
- Volunteer at your child's school
- Chaperone a field trip
- Help with a fundraising drive.
Create a love of learning.
Make reading a regular part of your home life. Take advantage of what your community offers- for example, museums or cultural events. Show your child that education is important.
Talk about your child's day.
Ask specific questions about school. And talk about important issues such as:
- Smoking, alcohol or other drug use
- Your child’s friends.
Let your voice be heard.
For example, you can:
Make sure your child knows he or she can come to you with any problems.
What to do when you child has trouble attending school:
Talk to your child.
Try to find out why he or she does not want to go to school.
Talk to the school.
Work together to find a solution. Let your child be involved in the process. Guidance counselors are an excellent source for information and help.
For example, your child may need:
· More supervision
· After-school tutoring
· An evaluation to determine if he or she has a learning disability
· Help with an alcohol or other drug problem
. Home visits from the Home and School Visitor or other school personnel.
Be sure to stay in close contact with the school to monitor your child’s attendance.
If the trouble continues, contact local community resources such as the DelawareCounty Truancy and Delinquency Prevention Program (484-454-8700).