Attendance

ATTENDANCE

FILE: JEA, JEAA, JHB


Research shows a strong correlation between a child’s school attendance and their school success. Learning experiences that occur in the classroom are meaningful and essential components of a child’s education, and are often difficult to replicate. At Mt. Ararat Middle School, we expect students to attend school each day and to arrive to school on time. 


Attendance will be taken every morning at the beginning of the day. If you know that your child will be absent or tardy, please contact the school either by phone (729-2950) or email (mammainoffice@link75.org). In your message, please include your child’s name and the reason for absence/tardiness. If a parent/guardian has not called to report the absence, the student will be marked absent and an automated call will be dispatched from the school to the person listed as the first emergency contact. If you have any question about your child’s attendance, our attendance policies, or procedures for reporting an absence, please contact the Main Office. 


A student involved in sports, clubs, or other extra-curricular activities may not participate in those activities on any day that he/she is absent from school or dismissed for illness. If absent for a reason other than illness, the Principal or designee may grant permission for the student to participate in extra or co-curricular activities.


Every child returning from an absence must have a note for the main office. The note should be dated and should specify the date(s) of absence and the reason for the absence. Following an extended absence (5 days or more), we require a doctor’s note. If a student returns to school without a written note or email from his/her parent identifying the reason for the excused absence, the absence will be considered unexcused and will be referred to administration for appropriate follow up and potential consequences. Prolonged unexcused absences from school may result in referrals to local law enforcement agencies and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.      

EXCUSED ABSENCE


Per Maine Law, a person’s absence is excused when the absence is for the following reasons:


  1. Personal illness
  2. An appointment with a health professional that must be made during the regular school day;
  3. Observance of a recognized religious holiday when the observance is required during the regular school day;
  4. A family emergency;
  5. A planned absence for a personal or educational purpose (Trips with parents or relatives must be documented in the Main Office using the Planned Absence Form two (2) weeks in advance in order to be considered for classification as an excused absence.);
  6. Education disruption resulting from homelessness, unplanned psychiatric hospitalization, unplanned hospitalization for a medical emergency, foster care placement, youth development placement or some other out-of-district placement that is not otherwise authorized by either an individual education plan or a superintendent’s student transfer agreement. “Education disruption” does not apply to a student who is out of school for 10 or more consecutive school days as a result of a planned absence for a reason such as a family event or a medical absence for planned hospitalization or recovery.


Absences from school for reasons other than those listed above are not excused. If you have a question about whether or not an absence will be excused, please contact the Main Office at 729-2950.


PLANNED ABSENCE


Parents are discouraged from removing their children from school for extended periods of time for non-educational reasons, as time away from school constitutes disruption in a student’s learning process and it becomes difficult for some to meet the standards. Requests for extended leaves-of-absence from school need to be submitted in writing to the Principal at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the leave using the Mt. Ararat Middle School Planned Absence Form. When you make a choice to remove your child from the school setting, please do not expect teachers to provide alternatives to classroom learning. Additionally, teachers are not required to prepare work in advance for your child's absence. Students may work with teachers to make up missed work upon their return.


TRUANCY


Consistent attendance at school is essential for a student’s success in school. When a student is absent from school or class without prior permission of his or her parent or guardian or a school official, that student is considered truant. Habitual truancy under Maine State Law occurs when a student “has the equivalent of 10 days of unexcused absences or 7 consecutive school days of unexcused absences during a school year.” The MAMS administration will attempt to resolve all habitual truancy issues in an informal way with the student and his/her parents. Formal means, involving the Superintendent of Schools, School Board, and Law Enforcement, may be employed if informal means are not successful in resolving issues of truancy.


TARDINESS TO SCHOOL


Students are expected to be at their advisor’s meeting location by 7:40 a.m. (8:40 a.m. on Wednesdays). Students arriving after this time are considered tardy to school and must report to the Main Office as soon as they enter the building in order to obtain a tardy pass for their teacher. Every child arriving late to school must have a note for the Main Office. The note should be dated and should specify the reason for the tardy. Students who are habitually tardy will be referred to the Counseling Department. If the problem continues, administrative action may be deemed necessary.


EARLY DISMISSAL FROM SCHOOL


A student requiring early dismissal from school should present a written parental request to the Main Office prior to 7:45 a.m. (8:45 a.m. on Wednesdays) on the day that the early dismissal is requested. When a request for early dismissal is approved, a dismissal pass will be issued to the student. That pass must be shown to the teachers and the Main Office when he/she leaves. Dismissal passes issued by the Health Center must also be shown to the Main Office. A student will not be dismissed solely upon his/her verbal request. Parents must come in to the school building to sign out their student during the school day.

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