The major responsibility for acceptable attendance lies with the individual student and his/her parent. Teachers, administrators and counselors have the responsibility to assist the parent and student in meeting the goal of acceptable attendance.
The individual teacher’s class activities should be of such impact that a student’s learning would be adversely affected by an absence. Likewise, a teacher has the professional responsibility to create a classroom environment that is conducive to learning.
The Walled Lake senior high schools recognize three kinds of absences.
- Excused: absence with parental notification within two school days after student’s return to school (notification on day of absence preferred).
- Unexcused: all other absences with the exception of suspensions, debarments and failure to complete prearranged absence form within the specified time.
- Explained: absences resulting from suspension, debarments and failures to complete prearranged absence form within the specified time.
Absences and the Credit/Grading System
- Loss of Credit and/or Failure – Loss of credit and/or failure will not be automatic because of a numerical limit; however, academic failure may result because of excessive absences in classes. Teachers are urged to make daily attendance a part of their overall evaluation whether it be through written work, short quizzes, major tests, recitation, physical and mental involvement, laboratory work, etc. Teacher expectations should include a student’s daily and timely presence in the classroom. Early in the semester, teachers should inform students and parents of attendance expectations and resulting sanctions when expectations are not met.
- Prearranged Absences – A prearranged absence form must be completed for all planned absences of two days or longer. It is recommended that this form be completed at least five school days before the absence so that teachers have time to give and receive make-up work, if required. This will also give parents the time to consider the wisdom of allowing the student to miss school after reviewing the teachers’ responses.
- Make-Up Work and Tests
- It is recommended that whenever possible a student be able to complete make-up work. Teachers are not required to re-create the missed classroom setting, but are urged to provide alternative methods of making up missed work, i.e., papers due, make-up papers, make-up exams, etc.
- It is further recommended that teachers provide time for make-up work or tests to be completed. A guideline could be to permit make-up deadlines to equal the length of the student’s absences. Students on extended or prearranged absences will make arrangements with teachers for assignments in advance.
- Teachers will consider whether the absence was excused or unexcused when making determinations regarding time for make-up work, tests and evaluations.
When a student is absent from school, the parent is expected to notify the school of the reason for the absence by 1:00 p.m. on the same day that the student is absent. Failure to notify the school by 1:00 p.m. on the second day after the student’s return to school will result in an automatic unexcused absence. A daily call for each day of absence is expected unless the absence is a result of hospitalization, death in the family or prearranged absence.
Teacher and School Responsibility
Each teacher is required to record daily attendance in his/her class book. This record book is considered the official document in all matters dealing with attendance. When a teacher feels that a student’s attendance has begun to affect his/her classroom performance, the teacher is required to take the following action preferably in the order listed:
- Hold a conference with the student to make him or her aware of his or her attendance problem. This could be done in the classroom at the end of the hour.
- Contact the parent by phone or by letter noting the attendance problem. Teachers will request that a parent contact him or her during the appropriate conference hour. Parental contact is mandatory when the fifth unexcused absence has occurred.
- Contact a building administrator by completing a discipline report. The administrator will meet with the student and/or parent to determine what action is necessary to solve the attendance problem.
- When a teacher becomes aware of a deliberate truancy or excessive tardiness on the part of a student, regardless of previous attendance history, the teacher should notify the administration and the section of the Student Conduct Code pertaining to truancy or excessive tardiness shall be invoked. Students are not to be admitted back to class without administrative authorization.
Nothing in this policy should imply that regular and timely attendance automatically ensures a passing grade.
The administration may deviate from this policy after consulting with the parents and/or teachers when extenuating circumstances appear to warrant the deviation.