Attendance: Students must make every effort to attend school. Activities, discussions, simulations, and presentations occur 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 particular family or religious events.
Compulsory Education Law: Utah Compulsory Attendance Law 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.
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 due to an absence and shall return them according to classroom procedures.
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 within one week and notify the school of their student’s absence. After one week, the absence will remain unexcused.
Truancy Policy and Guidelines for Excessive Absenteeism
● Compulsory Education Letter acknowledged with registration at the beginning of the year.
● The administrator meets with students to discuss attendance concerns.
● Letter #2 may be sent home by Attendance Office after the student misses 80 classes
● Truancy School may send a student to Truancy School for missing over 120 classes.
● Note: Other consequences and interventions can occur at any time, such as ASD, ISS, and counseling.
Check-In & Check-Out Policy:
Any student coming to school during the first 10 minutes will go directly to their first period class. Any student coming to school after the first 10 minutes should go to the attendance office to check in. A parent note to check in will not be needed. *PLEASE NOTE our check-in, checkout and absence excusal procedures have changed. You may find tutorials on these procedures by clicking on the following links:
Clinic / Illness:
Students exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms while at school will be isolated until a guardian or emergency contact can come pick them up. If a student is checked-out of school due to COVID-19 symptoms, they cannot physically return to school unless their symptoms are not due to a communicable disease as confirmed by a medical provider (or ten days have passed since they were checked-out).
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. A student may lie down in the sick room for up to 15 minutes, after which they will be sent back to class. Students must sign out of the sick room in the Attendance Office. Students are counted truant if they do not sign in and out properly. If a student is too ill to remain at school, parents/guardians will be contacted to provide transportation to the doctor or home as soon as possible. Only a parent or family/emergency contact listed on Skyward may check a student out of school. In case of an emergency, the paramedics and the student’s parents will be notified.
Closed Campus and Visitors:
Volunteers and visitors will be limited. Volunteers and visitors must wear a face covering and complete a symptom check upon entering the building.
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. Only currently registered students will be allowed to attend classes and activities or be on school property. Student visitors are not allowed at school. Adult visitors must report to the main office to sign in and receive a visitor’s pass. Parents wishing to attend a class must obtain the permission of the administration and the teacher prior to the visit.
Students may apply for up to 10 days of educational leave per school year. Students will obtain a leave form in the attendance office and complete and return the form before leaving on vacation.
Emergency Phone Numbers:
In order to reach parents in an emergency, make sure you submit changes of address or phone numbers to the attendance office or via your parent Skyward log-in. 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 ten school days, a parent needs to contact the Counseling Center to arrange for Home and Hospital teaching services. Students must provide the doctor's note 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
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.