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Student & Family Handbook » Attendance

Attendance

Regular and punctual student attendance in school is essential to the educational process. Connecticut state law places responsibility for assuring that students attend school with the parent or guardian. In Naugatuck we strive for all students to have less than 5 absences in a school year. Each school has a school attendance committee that provides support and intervention when students miss more than 5 days regardless of the reason.

Every attempt should be made to confine necessary appointments to after school, weekends and vacation periods. When a parent determines that an absence is necessary, parents are requested to contact the school according to each school’s procedures.


Attendance and Truancy

Definitions for Section I

  1. "Absence” - any day during which a student is not considered “in attendance” at his/her assigned school, or on a school sponsored activity (e.g. field trip), for at least one half of the school day.
  2. Disciplinary absence” - Any absence as a result of school or district disciplinary action. Any student serving an out-of-school suspension or expulsion should be considered absent. Such absence is not considered excused or unexcused for attendance and truancy purposes.
  3. Educational evaluation” - for purposes of this policy, an educational evaluation is an assessment of a student’s educational development, which, based upon the student’s presenting characteristics, would assess (as appropriate) the following areas: health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status and motor abilities.
  4. Excused absence” - a student is considered excused from school if the school has received written documentation describing the reason for the absence within ten (10) school days of the student’s return to school, or if the child has been excluded from school in accordance with section 10-210 of the Connecticut General Statutes (regarding communicable diseases), and the following criteria are met:
    1. Any absence before the student’s tenth (10th) absence is considered excused when the student’s parent/guardian approves such absence and submits appropriate written documentation in accordance with this regulation.
    2. For the student’s tenth (10th) absence and all absences thereafter, a student’s absences from school are, with appropriate documentation in accordance with this regulation, considered excused only for the following reasons:
      1. student illness (verified by an appropriately licensed medical professional);
      2. religious holidays;
      3. mandated court appearances (documentation required);
      4. funeral or death in the family, or other emergency beyond the control of the student’s family;
      5. extraordinary educational opportunities pre-approved by the district administrators and in accordance with Connecticut State Department of Education guidance and this regulation;
      6. lack of transportation that is normally provided by a district other than the one the student attends.
    3. A student, age five (5) to eighteen (18), whose parent or legal guardian is an active duty member of the armed forces who has been called for duty, is on leave from or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, shall be granted ten (10) days of excused absences in any school year, and, at the discretion of the administration, additional excused absences to visit such student’s parent or legal guardian with respect to the parent’s leave or deployment. In the case of such excused absences, the student and parent or legal guardian are responsible for obtaining assignments from the student’s teacher prior to any period of excused absence, and for ensuring that such assignments are completed by the student prior to his or her return to school.
  5. In Attendance” - Any day during which a student is present at the student’s assigned school, or an activity sponsored by the school, for at least half of the regular school day.
  6. "Student" - a student enrolled in the Naugatuck Public Schools.
  7. "Truant" - any student five (5) to eighteen (18) years of age, inclusive, who has four (4) unexcused absences from school in any one month or ten (10) unexcused absences from school in any school year.
  8. "Unexcused absence" - any absence from a regularly scheduled school day for at least one half of the school day, which is not excused or considered a disciplinary absence.
The determination of whether an absence is excused will be made by the building principal or his/her designee. Parents or other persons having control of the child may appeal that decision to the Superintendent or his/her designee, whose decision shall be final.


Written Documentation Requirements for Absences

  1. The first nine (9) days of absence will be excused upon receipt of a signed note from the student’s parent/guardian, a documented excused absence in PowerSchool by a school official who spoke in person with the parent/guardian, or a note from a licensed medical professional, as appropriate.
  2. For the student’s tenth (10th) absence, and all absences thereafter, documentation of the absence must be submitted for each incidence of absence within ten (10) school days of the student’s return to school. Consecutive days of absence are considered one incidence of absence, and must also include the reason for the absence and the following additional information:
    1. student illness:
      1. a signed note from a medical professional, who may be the school nurse, who has evaluated the student confirming the absence and giving an expected return date; or
      2. a signed note from school nurse who has spoken with the student’s medical professional and confirmed the absence, including the date and location of the consultation.
    2. religious holidays.
    3. mandated court appearances:
      1. a police summons;
      2. a subpoena;
      3. a notice to appear;
      4. a signed note from a court official; or
      5. any other official, written documentation of the legal requirement to appear in court.
    4. funeral or death in the family, or other emergency beyond the control of the student’s family: a written document explaining the nature of the emergency.
    5. extraordinary educational opportunity pre-approved by the district administrators and in accordance with Connecticut State Department of Education guidance and this policy: written pre-approval from the administration, in accordance with this regulation.
    6. lack of transportation that is normally provided by a district other than the one the student attends: none.
  3. Neither email nor text message shall serve to satisfy the requirement of written documentation. In rare and extraordinary circumstances, a building administrator may, at his/her own discretion, accept the delivery of written documentation through a scanned copy sent by email.
  4. The Naugatuck Public Schools reserves the right to randomly audit written documentation received, through telephone and other methods of communication, to determine its authenticity.
  5. Any absence that is not documented in accordance with this regulation within ten (10) school days after the incidence of absence will be recorded as unexcused. If documentation is provided within ten (10) school days, but is incomplete, the building principal may, at his/her own discretion, grant up to a five (5) school day extension for provision of the completed documentation.

Determinations of Whether a Student is “In Attendance”

1. A student serving an out of school suspension or expulsion shall be reported as absent unless he or she receives an alternative educational program for at least one half of the regular school day. In any event, the absence is considered a disciplinary absence, and will not be designated as excused or unexcused.
2. On early dismissal days and days shortened due to inclement weather, the regular school day for attendance purposes is considered to be the amount of instructional time offered to students on that day. For example, if school is open for four hours on a shortened day scheduled, a student must be present for a minimum of two hours in order to be considered “in attendance.”
3. Students placed on homebound instruction due to illness or injury in accordance with applicable regulations and requirements are counted as being “in attendance” for every day that they receive instruction from an appropriately certified teacher for an amount of time deemed adequate in accordance with applicable law.


Chronic Absenteeism

A student whose total number of absences at any time during a school year is equal to or greater than the percent of the total number of days that such student has been enrolled at such school during the school year is considered to be a “chronically absent child.” Such a student will be subject to review by the attendance review team and the chronic absenteeism prevention and intervention plan developed by the State Department of Education.
 

Leaving School Grounds/Release of Students from School

Under no circumstances may a student leave the school or school grounds during school hours without permission from his/her parents or guardians and school administration. In the event it is necessary for a student to be dismissed early, a parent or guardian should send a written request to the office. Telephone requests for early dismissal of a student shall be honored only if the caller can be positively identified as the student’s parent or guardian. Children of single-parent families will be released only upon the request of the parent whom the court holds directly responsible for the child and who is identified as such in the school records, unless prior arrangements have been made with the school. Arrangements should be made with the building administrator on the parent or guardian to pick up the student in the school office.

If someone other than a parent/guardian picks up the student, the person appearing in the school office should bring a note of identification from the parent or guardian.
 

Tardiness

Student attendance for a full day of school is required each day. If students arrive late to school, they must report to the office and sign in (with a parent/guardian) in PK-8 schools. Please refer to each school’s specific guidelines and procedures for arrival.