All absences are classified as either excused or unlawful. Illness, religious holidays, death in the family and exceptionally urgent situations that affect the student, are the only reasons for excusable absence from school. By state law, all other absences must be entered as unlawful.
Following three (3) days, parents/guardians shall be notified in writing by the principal of the penalties for violation of the Compulsory Attendance Laws if further unlawful absences should occur. School officials shall initiate action against parents/guardians of students who have accumulated in excess of three (3) days of unlawful absences.
When a student has an excessive amount of absences accumulated throughout the school year, the parents/guardians will be notified to provide a physician’s statement for each succeeding absence.
ABSENCES AND ILLNESSES
We request that you CALL THE SCHOOL (PRESS OPTION 1) if your child is going to be absent from school. You may call at any time to record a message on the auto-attendant system – please note: this is the preferred method. You may call as early as the previous afternoon if you know your child will be absent the following school day. When calling a child off, please state the date and give your child’s name, the teacher’s name and the reason for the absence.
You may also request homework for the student at this time. However, please be aware that your message must be recorded by 9:00 a.m. the day of the absence and understand that it may not be available until the end of the school day. This advance notice gives the teacher time to collect and prepare the work. Homework may be sent home with a sibling, friend or neighbor or picked up in the office after 3:30 p.m.
A written excuse for the student’s absence should be presented to his/her teacher upon return to school. A doctor’s excuse is requested after an absence of three (3) or more days.
RELEASING STUDENTS DURING SCHOOL TIME
ALL early dismissals and returns from unavoidable appointments MUST be made through the Office (sign-out/in). Children will not be permitted to wait for their parents in front of the school or in the parking lot. When coming to the Office during the day, you should park on the west-side parking lot next to the cafeteria. NO PARKING is allowed in front of the school at any time. The front parking lot is reserved for staff parking.
PLEASE avoid dropping off or picking up children at the front of the building, especially at the bus time listed. Please use the west side of the building. Children can be dropped off there between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. They can also be picked up there at 3:20 p.m., but you must park and meet them at the bottom of the steps; they will not be released to walk unaccompanied through the lot. At any other time, you must come into the Office to sign them in/out. Children who arrive after 9:00 are tardy and must be signed in. No child is to be released without being signed out. This is a safety measure to help prevent unauthorized persons attempting to pick up children. If your child and that is to be released to someone other than a parent/guardian, please send a note to the child’s teacher; make sure that ONLY the person named in the note picks up the child they are prepared to present some form of photo identification.
Failure to follow these procedures causes serious safety hazards. DRIVE SLOWLY whenever on school property. Please remember that our student population is primarily 5- to 10-year-old children.
ABSENCES FOR EDUCATIONAL FAMILY TRIPS
We realize that many trips may have a high educational value (Governor Mifflin has been very reasonable with family absences), but school attendance cannot be taken for granted. Attendance in school is a state law; if the law is broken without a legitimate reason, we must follow the mandate of the law and mark the absence as unlawful. Requests will be considered on an individual basis depending on the educational value of the trip. A standard form used district-wide must be completed to request approval of a trip (one per family); these are available in the Office.
The Governor Mifflin School District strongly discourages student absence from school except when illness or other urgent reasons prevent the child from attending. The school district officials are aware that it is not always possible to schedule family trips and vacations when school is not in session. In keeping with our guiding philosophy, but also recognizing the importance of the family unit, the school district will approve educational tours or trips up to a maximum of five (5) school days per student per year, providing that the following provisions are met:
The “request for Excused Absences” form, designed for preplanned educational tours or trips, must be submitted to the school office for consideration at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the intended trip.
There is space on the form to detail the educational value of the trip and list the name of the person responsible for supervision. This area must be completed.
The request will be forwarded to Central Office, who will evaluate the request in terms of its educational value, duration and adequateness of supervision. If approved by Central Office, the absence will be considered excused subject to the student’s satisfactory completion of assignments missed during the absence, it is the responsibility of the student to request assignments prior to leaving on the trip and to make up all work missed during the absence within two (2) weeks after returning to school.
A student may be excused from school to accompany his/her family to attend important family functions such as graduations, weddings, funerals, etc. that are out-of-town and require lengthy travel. Excusal from school for this reason requires prior approval from the building principal or designee and satisfactory completion of all work missed during the absence.
Hunting, fishing, skiing and other recreational-oriented trips are not considered to be educational trips or compelling reasons for absence, and absences for these purposes will be considered unlawful.
The absence of a student taking a trip or tour which has not received prior approval will be considered unlawful and subject to the provisions of the Compulsory Attendance Laws (section 1333 of the School Code and Article X section B of the District’s Behavior Code). Any day(s) of unlawful absence beyond the first notice (three unlawful days of absence) shall result in the school district pursuing appropriate legal action according to the Pennsylvania Public School Code attendance regulation. This action shall include the filing of a citation against the parent(s), which may result in a fine being levied by the local district justice.