Pupils are expected to attend school every day school is in session, unless prevented by personal illness or family emergency. Massachusetts General Law states that a Superintendent or his/her designee may excuse cases of necessary absence for causes other than physical incapacity. A note to the classroom teacher after any absence is mandatory. This is in addition to a phone call to the school’s Save-A-Child line before 8 a.m. on the day of the absence. A reason for absence should be stated both when calling in an absence and in the note. Absences in excess of fifteen days per school year may lead to retention at any grade level.
Schools are required by law to keep track of attendance. If a school identifies a student who is exhibiting an attendance problem, which may or may not include tardiness, the school is required by law to address that problem. This could be as simple as notifying the parent or guardian of the issue and working together to improve the student’s attendance. However, in extreme circumstances or instances, it may require the school to solicit assistance from the COURT or DEPARTMENT of CHILDREN and FAMILIES SERVICES.
Non-Scheduled Vacation Periods and Policy
When a student is not in class, it is a lost learning opportunity. Parents should be aware of the fact that if planned absences do not coincide with school vacation periods, teachers will not be responsible for providing students with the missed work, tests quizzes or homework before or after the absence. Planned absences and time out of school should coincide with school vacation periods. Vacations during school time are discouraged. Any absence of this nature is considered an unexcused absence. This gives children the clear message that school is important and a priority.
Children who are absent from school because of an illness or accident on an extended basis (14+ days) are eligible for home instruction. Applications for this ) service are made through the office of Pupil Personnel Services at (781) 462-3251.
At times, however, there are some extraordinary circumstances that are unavoidable. In such cases, parents are to submit a note to the principal before the absence, indicating the circumstances.