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Attendance

ATTENDANCE OFFICE
Attendance: It is very important that students make every effort to attend school. Activities, discussions, simulations, and presentations take place every day and cannot be duplicated even by after-school instruction or makeup work. Educational achievement comes through class participation as well as by assignments, projects, and tests. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to notify school officials of legitimate absences. Legitimate absences are defined as: verified illness, medical appointments, bereavement, court appearances, emergencies, pre-approved educational leave, and special family or religious events.

ATTENDANCE POLICY GOALS
The South Hills Middle School attendance policy will help students achieve success in their courses as well as accomplish the following goals:
● Develop student responsibility
● Develop quality citizenship
● Increase respect for teachers, other students and learning
● Prepare for future employment

Compulsory Education Law: Utah Compulsory Attendance Law 53G-6-202, requires every school-age child to be in school. Parents are responsible for their children’s regular school attendance and may be charged with a misdemeanor if they fail to ensure their student’s regular attendance. Parents are responsible for notifying the school when an absence occurs within five school days of the absence.

ATTENDANCE RESPONSIBILITIES
The Role of the School and Administration
● The administration shall identify students with attendance issues and work cooperatively with parents and students to improve attendance.
● The administration shall use earnest and persistent effort to improve student’s attendance.
● The administration shall announce random tardy sweeps during class breaks. Students late for class during a tardy sweep will be required to serve an After-School Detention (ASD).

The Role of the Attendance Office
● The attendance office shall keep administrators and parents informed of attendance problems.
● The attendance office shall notify parents of excessive absenteeism by phone message, calling machine or letter.
● The attendance office shall review attendance daily and resolve discrepancies in student attendance records.
● The attendance office shall provide check-in /check-out slips upon authorization by a student’s parent/guardian.

The Role of the Teacher
● Teachers shall keep accurate roll of all absences and tardies.
● Teachers shall emphasize the importance of punctuality by beginning class promptly with meaningful instruction.
● Teachers shall discuss attendance issues with students as they arise and inform the school administration if attendance does not improve.
● Teachers shall begin class with a “starter” in order to gain student focus.
● Teachers shall participate with the administration in random unannounced tardy sweeps. Students will be assigned an ASD if late to class during a tardy sweep.

The Role of the Student
● Students shall gain the most of their educational experience by regularly attending and being on time to all classes.
● Students shall be present in assigned or designated areas at all times.
● Students shall follow proper check-in/check-out procedures.
● Students shall obtain make-up assignments from the teacher because of absences and shall turn them in according to classroom disclosure statement.

The Role of the Parent
● Parents shall avoid interruptions of the academic year and plan medical appointments and vacations at times that will not require students to be out of school.
● Parents shall support school, district policies and state law by expecting regular school attendance.
● In the case of illness or other legitimate reasons for absences, the parent shall contact the attendance office and notify the school of their student’s absence.

General Attendance Policies and Guidelines
● Parents can excuse their student for up to 10 days/year without a doctor’s note. After 10 absences, parents must provide a doctor’s note or a documentation of a family emergency.
● Parents must call the Attendance Office within one week of an absence to excuse it. After one week, the absence will remain unexcused.
● Parents can excuse three late morning check-ins per quarter. After three late check-ins, students will be counted as tardy unless it is a legitimate excuse.
● Students who have missed or are expected to miss more than three days of school can request the school to collect work for them.

Truancy Policy and Guidelines for Excessive Absenteeism
● Compulsory Education Letter acknowledged with registration at the beginning of the year.
● Administrator meets with student to discuss attendance concerns.
● Letter #2 may be sent home by Attendance Office after student misses 80 classes
● Student may be sent to Truancy School for missing over 120 classes.
● Note: Other consequences and interventions can take place at any time such as ASD, ISS, and counseling.

Check-In & Check-Out Policy: Any student coming to school after 8:00 a.m. should come through the attendance office and check-in. No late notes from parents should go directly to the teacher. If the student brings the note to the teacher, they should be sent to the Attendance Office. A student is marked with an excused check-in (I) or an unexcused check-in (U) during the period they come to school. All unexcused check-ins count as a tardy. All checkouts are done only with a parent or other contacts listed on the student’s Skyward. Check-outs are to be handled in advance. Notes are to be brought to the Attendance Office before school begins to alleviate interruption of classes, assemblies, and activities. A phone call will be made to the parent for confirmation. Due to liability and safety concerns, parents will need to come into the attendance office and show proper identification to check out their child. Students will not be sent out to a parent. Students should use the attendance office telephone to contact parents—not their own cell phone or other phones.

Clinic / Illness: A student who becomes ill during the school day will report to the clinic in the Attendance Office with a note from their current teacher for permission to call home. Parents are to provide transportation to the doctor or home as soon as possible. In case of an emergency, the paramedics and the student’s parents
will be notified. Students must sign out of the sick room in the Attendance Office. Students are counted as truant if they do not sign in and out properly.

Closed Campus and Visitors: South Hills Middle School has a closed campus policy which means students are not allowed to leave the campus without following the proper checkout procedures. In accordance with Utah State Code 76-9-106, all visitors must report to the main office to sign in and receive a visitor’s pass. Parents and other adults are welcome to visit the school. Parents wishing to attend a class must obtain the permission of the administration and the teacher prior to their visit. Only currently registered students will be allowed to attend classes and activities or be on school property. Any person not having school related business to attend to should not be on school grounds.

Educational Leave: Students may apply for up to 10 days of educational leave per school year. A parent must call or send a note to the Attendance Office before students can receive an Educational Leave Form. Obtain a leave form in the Attendance Office, complete and return the form before leaving on vacation.

Emergency Phone Numbers: In order to reach parents in an emergency, please submit changes of address or phone numbers to the attendance office as soon as any changes occur. This may be done on Skyward. Please list anyone in the emergency contacts that you might want to have check-out your student; otherwise, we will be unable to release your child to that person.

Home and Hospital: When a doctor writes an order for a student to be out of school for over 10 school days, a parent needs to contact the Counseling Center to arrange for Home and Hospital teaching services. The doctor note must be provided to the Counseling Center before Home and Hospital instruction can begin.

Withdrawal From School: When students move outside the school boundaries, they need to withdraw from South Hills. This process includes obtaining a withdrawal sheet from the Attendance Office, receiving clearance from each teacher, returning all textbooks, cleaning out lockers, and paying fines/fees. Failure to complete all of these steps may result in delay or denial of credit.

School-wide Tardy Policy: Students are expected to be in their assigned seat with all materials when the final bell rings. Tardies will be handled in accordance with the South Hills Tardy Policy:
1-4 Tardies: Classroom intervention. Teachers may choose from the following:
● Parent contact
● Incentive or reward
● Tardy tracker
● Lower citizenship grade (based on school-wide citizenship rubric)

5 Tardies: Lunch intervention and parent contact
6-9 Tardies: Counseling with the hall monitor
10 Tardies: Lunch intervention, After-School Intervention, and parent contact
11-14 Tardies: Lunch intervention and parent contact for each tardy
15+ Tardies: Interventions will be selected on a case-by-case basis based on each student’s needs:
● ASD with parent contact (could be multiple ASD’s)
● Service hours assignment
● ISS with Attendance Reflection task
● Attendance and/or tardy tracker
● Suspension to a parent conference
● Truancy school
● Truancy mediation (combined with chronic attendance issues)
● Other parent or administrator proposed interventions

Notes
1. ASD will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:05 to 4:00 pm.
2. An ASD will be assigned to students caught arriving late to class in a Tardy Sweep.
3. Minimum tardy incentives will be used prior to fun assemblies (i.e., teacher talent show, student talent show, performances, etc.) and dances.

 Attendance Code Definitions
Code Explanation Definition
A Absent The student was absent and the school received no call or note from the parent or guardian
C Check In/Out Same Period The student checked-in or out with a valid note or excuse from a parent or guardian
D In school suspension Student is placed in a detention at the school and is in attendance
E Excused Absence The student was absent and considered excused because of illness, medical appointment, death or funeral of a family member, wedding, court etc...
G Guardian Called The student was absent and is considered excused because the
parent or guardian called or provided a note with an excuse not considered excused by the court system
H Home & Hospital Student receiving schooling at home for two hours a week. The student must have doctor's note to approve Home and Hospital.
I Excused Check-In The student checked-in or out with a valid note or excuse from a parent or guardian
J Testing Student is in a school sponsored testing situation
K Detention/Crisis Center Student is currently in a court detention setting or a crisis treatment facility
L Excused/made-up tardy The student came to class or left early with a valid and verified excuse
N School Activity The student is out of class due to a school sponsored activity
O Check-Out The student checked-out with a parent, guardian, or individual listed on the Attendance Emergency Card ONLY!
S Suspension Student has been removed from the school setting for disciplinary reasons
T Tardy Up to 10 minutes late to class
U Unexcused check-in The student checked into school late with no excusal
V Vacation/Education
leave
The student is absent due to a prearranged vacation or educational leave.
W Past 10 Minutes More than 10 minutes late to class
X/Y Administrative
Conference
Student was involved in a conference with a school counselor or administrator
Z Truant Student was truant and parents of school verified the truancy. This includes students leaving the school without checking out, not arriving at school as expected or missing any part or all of a scheduled class without permission.