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    ~Information on attendance procedures from the School Handbook:
     
          
    ATTENDANCE AND TRUANCY

    The purpose of these student attendance guidelines are to identify
    various laws, regulations and quidelines for attendance which are
    mandated or agreed upon, and to present the procedures to implement
    enforcement of student attendance regulations.

    Compulsory School Attendance

    Regular school attendance is necessary for a successful school
    experience. Instructional continuity is interrupted and the valuable
    interaction that occurs with teachers and among fellow students is lost
    when a student is frequently absent, tardy or dismissed early from
    school. Realizing that regular attendance in school is necessary for
    students to gain maximum benefits from public education, the School
    District urges all parents/guardians to stress punctuality and regular
    attendance habits with their children. Policy No. 204 of the Lower
    Moreland Township School District regulates attendance in the schools
    of Lower Moreland. In addition, the school laws of Pennsylvania require
    every parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of a
    child or children between the ages of eight and seventeen to send them
    to school. The laws further require that, “Once a parent elects to send
    his child to school, the child must attend continuously until seventeen
    years of age, has graduated from a senior high school or has secured
    legal employment at age sixteen.” If parents will not insist that the child
    take advantage of the free educational opportunities offered, it becomes
    the duty of the state and the district to require that the student attends school.

    Excused Absence

    The school will classify an absence as “excused” for one of the following
    reasons only:

         
    Illness
         Quarantine
         Death in the family
       Family Educational tours or trips WITH prior approval (not toexceed ten days per year)
         R
    eligious holidays or observances

    Any absence that can be anticipated beforehand should be brought to
    the attention of the building principal well in advance of the absence.
    Secondary students who are absent in excess of twenty percent (20%)
    of the regularly scheduled class meetings of a particular course may be
    denied credit for the course, at the discretion of the building principal.

    Educational Tours or Trips: Requests by parents/guardians for
    permission to have children absent from school for educational tours or
    trips must be made to and processed by the principal or his/herdesignee.
    The request must be received by the principal at least two weeks prior to
     the anticipated absence.
    The total number of approved days of
    absence shall not exceed six (6) days in a given school year.
    Days exceeding these guidelines shall be considered unlawful and/or
    unexcused. The parent/guardian must assume the responsibility for
    checking with the principal or his/her designee, at least one (1) week
    or more if possible, in advance of the trip, to ascertain the present
    scholastic standing of the child in the class. The student shall be held
    responsible for making up missed assignments. Families are encouraged
    to avoid family vacations or educational field trips during the state testing windows.
     
    Religious Observation: All absences occasioned by observance of the
    student’s religion on a day approved by the Board as a religious holiday
    shall be excused. A penalty shall not be attached to an absence for a
    religious observance.

    Unexcused or Unlawful Absences

    All absences for reasons other than those previously cited will be considered
    as “unexcused.” Unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Shopping trips
    • Oversleeping
    • Car trouble
    • Missed the bus
    • Pleasure trips/sporting events
    • Illegal absences from school

    All “unexcused” absences for students under the age of seventeen are
    also recorded as “unlawful.”

    Parent Responsibility:  When a student is absent from school, a parent/guardian must notify the school by calling the attendance message line (215-938-0270) early in the morning to report any absences or the Attendance Office direct line (215-947-3603) during school hours.  The parent/guardian must also click on the "blue card" link on the Lower Moreland High School website (www.lmtsd.org) to complete the online form with the date of the absence and the reason for the absence.  This online form must be completed within five (5) days of the student's return to school.  (An email or fax to the Building Attendance Secretary will also be accepted.)  If an online form is not completed, the absence will be permanently considered unlawful.

    District Responsibility

    An automated call will be sent to families whose student is marked
    absent and the family has not reported their student's absence to alert
    them that their child is not in school. The District will notify the parent/
    guardian in writing of the first, second, and third unlawful absence(s).
    Following the third unlawful absence, the District will coordinate a
    school-family conference to discuss truancy and develop a mutually
    agreed upon Truancy Elimination Plan (TEP). The fourth unlawful
    absence, and every one that follows, will result in referral to the
    magisterial district judge or the local Children and Youth agency.
     
    Tardiness and Early Dismissal

    Whenever students arrive late or depart prior to the end of the school
    day, parents must present the school with a “yellow card” written note
    explaining the situation. These incidents are recorded as “excused” or
    “unexcused” applying the same criteria as those for full-day absences.
    Students arriving after the midpoint of the school day or departing
    before the midpoint of the school day will be recorded as ½ day absent.
    Occasionally, student appointments are scheduled during the school
    day. If this need arises, please send a note to the main office stating the
    rationale for the appointment and the time for pickup. The office will call
    the classroom for your student to report to the office upon parent/
    guardian arrival. The student and or parents/guardian must report to the
    greeter in the lobby to sign "out" of school for all appointments.
    Students in the high school will need to carry their student id card as
    this card will be scanned to record the late arrival or early dismissal.

    College Visitations and Medical Appointments: Students requesting
    excusal from school for these reasons are required to present written
    evidence of the appointment prior to the excusal, if possible, and
    definitely upon the return to school on a form obtained from the
    attendance office. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
     
    Early Dismissal: Students who desire an early dismissal should report
    to the attendance secretary in the Main Office prior to 7:25 am. A
    “Yellow Card” from the parent stating the reason for the request is
    required. Appointments for doctors, dentists, etc. should be made at a
    time other than during the school day, whenever possible. Early
    dismissals will be verified with parents. Students who leave school
    without written administrative approval will be subject to disciplinary
    action.

    Family Trips: All students requesting to be excused for purposes of
    family travel must submit an application to the district superintendent at
    least two weeks prior to the planned trip. Excused family trips may not
    exceed six school days in a given year. All additional days will be
    considered Unexcused Absences.
    Lateness: A student is late if he/she is not in Forum by 7:25 am. A test
    or quiz missed due to lateness will be rescheduled by the teacher. It is
    the student’s responsibility to see the teacher on the day of the lateness
    before the student’s lunch period to make arrangements. At the
    discretion of the teacher, the student may be required to make up the
    test on the day of the lateness.
    Make-up Work: It is the responsibility of the student to make up any
    work missed for any reason. This must be done within a period of time
    equal to the time missed during the excused absence. Arrangements
    are to be made with the teacher.
    Unexcused Absences/Make-Up Work: At the discretion of the
    teacher students with unexcused absence or lateness may be permitted
    to make up work.
    Sports/Activity Participation: Any student who has not been properly
    admitted to school by 8:30 am shall not be permitted to participate in
    any scheduled interscholastic contest/activity on that day.

    Cumulative Absences

    Whenever a student accumulates fifteen or more absences in a school
    year, an “Attendance Improvement Plan” will be developed to improve
    student attendance. Pre-approved family educational trips/tours, preapproved
    college visitation absences, and absences excused by a
    doctor’s note will not be included. All absences beyond fifteen
    cumulative days will require an excuse from a physician.

    Consecutive Absences

    Whenever a student has ten (10) consecutive absences and there is no
    evidence that these absences are “excused,” the district shall begin the
    process to remove the student from its active membership roll.

    Unlawful Absence Consequences

    Schools are a critical part of a child’s support system and have a
    significant opportunity to assist children and families. Therefore, a letter
    will be sent to the parent/guardian after each unlawful absence.

    (1) First Unlawful Absence

    Parent/guardian receives a letter of unlawful absence from the school
    district. The legal penalties established by law for violation of
    compulsory attendance requirements are attached to the letter. In
    addition to stating the legal punishments, the name and telephone
    number of a school contact person shall be included. Parents are then
    able to contact a specific person to request assistance.

    (2) Second Unlawful Absence

    Parent/guardian receives a second letter of unlawful absence from the
    school district. Once again, the legal penalties established by law for
    violation of compulsory attendance requirements and the name and
    telephone number of a school contact personal shall be included.
    Additionally, another offer of assistance should be made to the parent.

    (3) Third Unlawful Absence

    Parent/guardian receives a third letter of unlawful absence by certified
    mail providing “official notice of child’s third illegal absence.” Attached to
    this letter will be penalties for violation of compulsory attendance
    requirements as they pertain to both the student and the
    parent/guardian, including information that three days after giving such
    notice, the student or parent/guardian who again violates the
    compulsory attendance requirements shall be liable without further
    notice. The School district shall coordinate a school/family conference to
    discuss the cause of the child’s truancy and develop a mutually agreed
    upon Truancy Elimination Plan (TEP) to resolve truant behavior. Issues
    to be reviewed at the school/family conference include the
    appropriateness of the child’s educational environment, current
    academic difficulties, physical or behavioral health issues, and
    family/environment concerns. At the end of the conference all parties
    should sign a comprehensive TEP that is agreed to by the school
    representative, the child, and the parents and/or family. The plan could
    include accessing academic and social/health supports from the school
    and community organizations, an outline of family/parent and student
    responsibilities, and levels of performance monitoring that include
    rewards and consequences.

    (4) Subsequent Unlawful Absence

    After agreeing to a truancy elimination plan (TEP), or if there is not
    agreement on a TEP and three (3) days have passed since the
    parent/guardian received the official letter of the child’s third illegal
    absence, if a child is unlawfully absent, at any point within the school
    year, an official letter of unlawful absence will be sent home. The
    purpose of this correspondence is to inform the child’s parent/guardian
    that the child has again violated the compulsory attendance
    requirements, and advise the parent/guardian that a citation will
    immediately be sent to the magisterial district judge. To ensure the
    parent/guardian receives the notice, the notice will be sent through
    certified mail. After this step, the school shall continue to contact the
    parent/guardian to inform them of additional truant behavior. The school
    will refer all future incidents of truancy directly to the magisterial district
    judge having jurisdiction in the region.

    Habitually Truant

    The School Code defines habitually truant as absence for more than
    three (3) school days or their equivalent following the first notice of
    truancy given after a child’s third unlawful absence.

    Referral to County Children and Youth Agency

    (a) Children Under 13 Years of Age

    Any child who has not attained the age of 13 who fails to comply with
    the compulsory attendance requirements and is habitually truant, shall
    be referred by the school district to the local county children and youth
    agency for services, which may include addressing family issues that
    may be responsible for the child’s truant behavior, or possible
    adjudication as a “dependent” child under the Juvenile Act. The referral
    to the county children and youth agency may be in addition to
    proceeding against the parent/guardian by sending the citation to the
    appropriate magisterial district judge or a school may decide to refer a
    family to the local county children and youth agency instead of sending
    a citation to the appropriate magisterial district judge. If the
    parent/guardian provides written consent, a copy of the TEP should be
    forwarded to the county children and youth agency.

    (b) Children 13 Years of Age and Older

    Any child who has attained the age of 13 who fails to comply with the
    compulsory attendance requirements and is habitually truant may, in
    lieu of being prosecuted (as described below), be referred by the school
    district to the local county children and youth agency for services, which
    may include addressing family issues that may be responsible for the
    child’s truant behavior or, possible adjudication as a dependent child
    under the Juvenile Act.

    (Refer to the district website for further information regarding unlawful
    absenses.)

     
Last Modified on August 6, 2019