Every student has a right to educational opportunities that will help develop his or her fullest potential. Regular attendance maximizes the student's interaction with his or her teachers and peers, contributes to increased academic achievement and is a prime factor in school success.
Successful implementation of any attendance policy requires cooperation among all members of the educational community, including parents, students, teachers, administrators, and support staff.
Compulsory Education Under New York State Law
School age minors, ages six to 16, must attend school regularly and for the entire time school is in session.
The compulsory education law is designed to require school attendance and ensure that no child is denied the opportunity to receive an education.
In the Schenectady City School District, a child who becomes six years of age on or before January 1 during a school year is required to attend school beginning in September.
A child who turns 16 years of age during a school year must continue to attend school until the end of the school year. According to state law, the school year begins July 1.
Expectations for Good Attendance
Good attendance, along with good instruction, enables a student to:
Learn subject matter and earn good grades
Develop responsible work and study habits, and
Prepare for the world of work
Under the New York State Education Law, parents are responsible for the regular attendance of their children.
Students who are absent less than 5% of the school year (less than one absence a month).
Students who are absent 5-10% of the school year (less than two absences a month).
Students who are absent more than 10% of the school year (more than two absences a month).
Emergency Attendance Situation:
When a students is absent more than 20% of the school year (One absence or more per week).
Students who are absent more than 10% of the school year are at serious risk of lower reading and math levels as well as dropping out of school.
The following are considered legal for the purposes of documenting student absences:
School activities/field trips
Excuse from teacher, principal or school employee.
Medically licensed professional or staff. Two days of absence for personal illness will be deemed legal upon contact between parent and principal.
Attorney or court officer.
Child Protective Services
School office personnel
All others by appeal to the associate superintendent or principal.
To qualify for "legally absent," status, students must furnish appropriate written documentation within five school days upon their return to school.
Unexcused absences include but are not limited to vacation, shopping, babysitting, over-sleeping, needed at home, cold weather,missing the bus and excessive illness without a doctor's note.
Any reason not listed as excused shall be deemed unexcused unless the Building Principal determines otherwise.
The two categories of unexcused absence/tardy are:
Unlawful Detention: Unlawful detention occurs when the pupil is absent with the knowledge and consent of his/her parent/guardian for other than an excused absence/tardy.
Truancy: A student who is absent from school without consent of parent/guardian is considered to be truant.