Regular and punctual school attendance is essential for success in school. The School Committee recognizes that parent/guardians of children attending our schools have rights as well as responsibilities, one of which is to ensure that their children attend school regularly, in attendance with the Massachusetts General law Chapter 76 ,Sec 1.
A student’s understanding of the importance of the day to day school work is an important factor in the shaping of his/her character. Parents/guardians have the responsibility for ensuring that students attend and remain at school daily. All absences, dismissals and tardiness will be considered “unexcused” except for the following.
- The following absences are defined as excused absences:
- Illness covered by a physician’s note or other medical professional
- Bereavement, when confirmed in writing by the parent/guardian
- Observance of a major religious holidays
- Approved school related activities including field trips, college visits, and job interviews.
- Mandated legal appearances.
When a child is going to be absent, the school district requires the parent/guardian to call the school to inform them of their child’s absence. To call your child out absent, please contact the Main Office: (508) 234-6346. Please note: a parent phone call does not excuse your child’s absence. In order for medical absences to be excused, please provide a written physician note with 5 school days of the absence. If a student is absent and the school is not notified, the school will call the student’s parent/guardian. Therefore, it is important that parents/guardians provide their current contact information to ensure proper notification can be made.
If your child is going to have an extended absence due to medical reasons, please notify the school nurse and principal.
Any other absence will be considered unexcused. An absence will be defined as occurring any time a student is not present at the start of the school day, and does not check in (as late, tardy to school) with the school's’ office. A tardy to school will be defined as occurring anytime a student arrives late to school (after 8:35 am). If a student is tardy, a parent must accompany the student to the main office
The following is a step-by-step procedure that will be used in situations of unexcused absences.
Step One: When a student has a total of five (5) unexcused days of non-attendance and none of those days have been covered by a healthcare professional’s note or other administratively approved excuse, then a telephone and/or letter will be sent to the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) warning the family that the student is at risk of requiring an intervention that would necessitate a school communication. According to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 76 Section 1B, “each school committee shall have a policy of notifying the parent or guardian of a student who has missed 5 or more school days unexcused in a school year”.
Step Two: If a student continues to be absent without an appropriate excuse and the total of non-attendance days is ten (10) a second letter notifying the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the attendance concern and request for a diversion meeting with the school's attendance designee. The meeting will focus on the concerns associated with the student’s attendance and develop an action plan to support improved attendance.
Step Three: If a student continues to be absent from school without appropriate excuse or the parent did not participate in an attendance diversion meeting then the following actions may be taken:
- An additional meeting may be held at the school’s discretion
- The school’s administrator (or designee) may be obliged to file a Failure to Cause School Attendance with the Milrford District
- The school’s administrator or designee may be obliged to file a 51-A for educational neglect with the Department of Children and Families.