• MHS Attendance Information

    (As taken directly from MHS handbook - Page 8)

    The Montgomery Township Board of Education requires students enrolled in
    Montgomery Township schools to attend school regularly in accordance with
    the laws of the state. The consistent contact of students in the classroom with
    one another and their participation in a well-planned instructional activity under
    the direction of our faculty is vital to our students’ success. Parents are
    encouraged to work in partnership with their children and school to minimize
    excessive or unnecessary absenteeism.

    Attendance (Policy 5200)
    The Montgomery Township Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to
    provide a thorough and efficient education for every student within the district
    in keeping with the prevailing laws of the State of New Jersey. In order for
    administrators and teachers to successfully fulfill their responsibilities to
    students, it is essential that all students accept their responsibility to attend
    school as scheduled, and that parents/guardians support and reinforce their
    child’s regular attendance.
    To conform to state regulations requiring school districts to define “excused”
    and “unexcused” absences:
    An “excused absence” is a student’s absence from school for a full day or
    portion of a day for one or more of the following reasons:
    • New Jersey state approved religious holidays pursuant to N.J.S.A.
    18A:36-14,
    • Take Your Child To Work Day
    • Montgomery High School curricular/co-curricular activities held
    during the school day or requiring early dismissal,
    An “unexcused absence” is a student’s absence for all or part of a school day
    for any reason other than those listed above.
    An unexcused absence can be categorized as either an unexcused absence not
    counting toward truancy or an unexcused absence counting toward
    truancy.
    An “unexcused absence not counting towards truancy” which will not
    impact student’s course credit, is a student absence for all or part of a school
    day for one or more of the following reasons:
    • Personal illness (health care provider documentation) * On official
    office script pad or stationary-Must include duration of absences
    to be excused, and date of appointment. * All doctor’s notes will
    be subject to MHS validation of appointment date.

    • Professional appointments that cannot be scheduled during non-
    school hours (health care provider documentation),

    • Court appearance (court notice to appear),
    • Driver’s test (appointment card or license documentation),
    • Family illness or death,
    • College visitations; juniors and seniors only maximum 3 days
    (documented by a statement from the admissions office),

     

    • Where appropriate, when consistent with Individualized Education
    Programs,
    • Suspension from school,
    An “unexcused absence counting toward truancy” is a student absence for
    all or part of a school day that do not follow under the category of excused
    absence or unexcused absence not counting toward truancy as listed above.
    An “unexcused absence” is a student’s absence for all or part of a school day
    for any reason other than those listed above. Though a student may be absent
    with parental approval for reasons other than those listed above, the absence
    will be defined as verified but “unexcused counting toward truancy.” It is
    also recognized that the parents/guardians may not always take their child to
    the doctor every time he/she is sick. The district assumes that the “unexcused”
    absences will be used when it is necessary to miss school and documentation
    cannot be provided.
    An “unexcused absence counting toward truancy” is a student absence for
    all or part of a school day that do not fall under the category of excused
    absence or unexcused absence not counting toward truancy as listed above.
    Notice to School of Student Absence
    Parents should call the attendance line at 609-466-7610, (select #6, then #1) as
    early as possible to report an absence. This does not “excuse” an absence but
    informs the school that your child is absent with your knowledge. The
    student’s absence will be deemed either “excused” or “unexcused not
    counting toward truancy” or “unexcused counting toward truancy” “based
    upon the documentation explaining the reason for the absence(s) that is
    presented to the Main Office by the student following their return to school.
    The school will make every effort to contact parents/guardians of any student
    who is absent for whom a phone call from home was not received.
    School Response to Unexcused Absences Counting Toward Truancy
    N.J.A.C.6A:16-7.6, school staff responses for unexcused absences are as
    follows:

    For up to four cumulative unexcused absences counting towards truancy,
    the school district shall: make a reasonable attempt to notify the student’s
    parents of each unexcused absence prior to the start of the following school
    day; make a reasonable attempt to determine the cause of the unexcused
    absence, including through contact with the student’s parents; identify in
    consultation with the student’s parents needed action designed to address
    patterns of unexcused absences, if any, and to have the child return to school
    and maintain regular attendance; proceed in accordance with N.J.S.A. 9:6-1 et
    seq. and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-10, if a potential missing or abused child situation is
    detected; and cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities and
    agencies, as appropriate.

    For between five and nine cumulative unexcused absences counting
    towards truancy, the school district shall: make a reasonable attempt to
    notify the student’s parents of each unexcused absence prior to the start of the
    following school day; make a reasonable attempt to determine the cause of the
    unexcused absence, including through contact with the students’ parents;
    evaluate the appropriateness of prior action taken; develop an action plan to
    establish outcomes based upon the student’s patterns of unexcused absences
    and to specify the interventions for supporting the student’s return to school
    and regular attendance, which may include any or all of the following: refer or
    consult with the building’s intervention and referral services team (I&RS),
    pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8; conduct testing, assessments, or evaluations of
    the student’s academic, behavioral, and health needs; consider an alternate
    educational placement; make a referral to or coordinate with a community
    based social and health provider agency or other community resource; refer to a
    court or a court program; proceed in accordance with N.J.S.A.9:6-1 et. Seq. and
    N.J.A.C.6A:16-10, if a potentially missing or child abuse situation is detected:
    and engage the student’s family. Cooperate with law enforcement and other
    authorities and agencies, as appropriate.


    For cumulative unexcused absences counting towards truancy of 10 or
    more, a student, between the ages of six and 16, is truant, pursuant to
    N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25, and the school district shall: make a determination
    regarding the need for a court referral for the truancy; continue to consult with
    the parent and the involved agencies to support the student’s return to school
    and regular attendance; cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities
    and agencies, as appropriate; and proceed in accordance with N.J.S.A.
    18A:3828 through 31, Article 3B, Compelling Attendance at School, and other
    applicable State and Federal statues, as required; and a court referral may be
    made as follows: when unexcused absences are determined by school officials
    to be violations of the compulsory education law, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-
    25, and the district board of education’s policies, the parent may be referred to
    municipal court; a written report of the actions the school has taken regarding
    the student’s attendance shall be forwarded to the municipal court; or when
    there is evidence of a juvenile-family crisis, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-22.g,
    the student may be referred to Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part;
    a written report of the actions the school has taken regarding the student’s
    attendance shall be forwarded to the juvenile-family crisis intervention unit.
    For a student with a disability, the attendance plan and its punitive and remedial
    procedures shall be applied, where applicable, in accordance with the student’s
    individualized education program, pursuant to 20 U.S.C 1400 et seq., the
    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; the procedural protections set forth
    in N.J.A.C. 6A:14; accommodation plan under 29 U.S.C. 794 and 705(20); and
    individualized healthcare plan and individualized emergency healthcare plan,
    pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-2.3(b)5xii.


    Absence and Student Activities


    In order for any student to participate in after-school activities (clubs, team
    practices, games, plays, concerts, etc.), he/she must be in school for four (4)
    hours on the day of the activity. Any student who is absent or serving a
    suspension on the day of a scheduled school event will not be allowed to attend
    the school event as a participant or spectator.


    Making Up Work Following an Absence


    Upon returning to school, students must arrange with their teachers to make up
    any assignments or assessments missed during the absence from school. Work
    must be made up within a time equal to the class time absent. Responsibility
    for making up work and scheduling any necessary assistance from the
    teacher(s) rests with the student. Teachers shall make reasonable
    accommodations to extend time for students.


    Late Arrival to School


    Students are expected to be in their first class block at 7:20 am during a normal
    school day. Until 7:30 students should report directly to class where their
    teacher will record their late. The consequences for late arrival to school under
    10 minutes are the same as those listed in the section: Class Tardiness. Students
    arriving after 7:30 am with documentation must sign in at the Main Office.
    Students arriving after 7:30 am without documentation must sign in at the Main
    Office by scanning their student identification card and printing their class
    admittance pass.


    NOTE: A student arriving in any class block after the first ten (10) minutes of
    the class block will be recorded as absent for that class. If the reason for
    arriving late is a result of any of the reasons defined as “excused” (see
    “excused” absences) the absence will be recorded as an excused absence
    providing that the student presents the appropriate documentation.


    Class Tardiness


    A student arriving to any class block within the first ten (10) minutes of the
    class block without a pass or proper documentation will be considered tardy,
    when students are tardy, they run the risk of jeopardizing their education.
    Teachers plan a full eighty-four-minute lesson and it is imperative that students
    be present for the entire class. Students are expected to be in their assigned
    class when the bell rings to begin each class block. Students entering class late
    should have a signed pass. To protect the education of all students, the
    following policy is in effect:
    1st Tardy: Student will be issued a warning by teacher.
    2nd Tardy: Student will be issued a warning by teacher and be informed
    that a 3rd tardy will result in a teacher detention.
    3rd Tardy: Student will receive a teacher detention.
    4th – 5th Tardy: Student will be issued a warning by teacher informing them
    that a 6th tardy will result in an office referral.
    6th Tardy and every subsequent third tardy: Student will be referred by
    teacher to a vice principal and may be assigned an after
    school detention and/or additional disciplinary
    consequences.

    Class Cut

    A class cut occurs when a student is in school but absent from a class block
    without the approval of an administrator or teacher whose class block is missed.
    A class cut is considered an “unexcused absence.” The consequences for a
    class cut may result in the student receiving a zero on an assignment and/ or
    assessment. Additional consequences are found in the section: Pupil
    Discipline/Code of Conduct of this handbook.


    CLASS CUTS

    A cut is defined as absenting oneself without permission from scheduled periods,
    including classes, lunch, or activities such as assemblies. Students demonstrating a
    pattern of missing class time, including but not limited to, time during class or at
    the end of class, will receive a cut.

    Administrative action as it relates to a cut from an assigned instructional or non-
    instructional period will be addressed as outlined below:

    1st Occurrence:
     Written parental notification
     Teacher detention or restorative practice of attending after school extra
    help session
     Documentation in student file
    2nd Occurrence:
     Verbal parental notification
     All work missed must be made up for a grade of no more than 50% of
    total credit for the assignment
     Documentation in student file
    3rd Occurrence:
     Parental notification
     Administrative Detention
     Attendance Contract
     All work missed must be made up for a grade of no more than 50% of
    total credit for the assignment
     Documentation in student file
    Early Dismissal from School Procedures
    Parents/Guardians are encouraged to schedule doctor/dentist appointments after
    school hours. However, personal circumstances may arise requiring a student
    to be released early from school. To ensure the smooth and safe handling of
    such situations, parents/guardians must send a note requesting permission for
    the student to be released early from school. Students must present this note
    to the Main Office prior to the start of school at 7:45 a.m. Parents must
    include the reason (doctor/dentist appointment- doctor’s/dentist’s name,
    appointment time and telephone number, etc.) and a telephone number
    where the parents/guardians may be reached during the school day. The
    student will be given an Early Dismissal Pass for the time specified in order to
    present to their teacher at the appropriate time. The school recognizes that
    certain situations exist that create a legitimate need for release from school and
    as a result student will be allowed to make up all work missed. Parent/
    Guardians are required to meet their child in the Main Office at the time
    indicated in their note. The student must present his/her approved Early
    Dismissal Pass to their teacher before reporting to the Main Office. The
    parent/guardian will sign out their child in the Main Office. Students
    returning to school after signing out earlier in the day must re-enter via the
    Main Office and sign back in. If someone other than the parent or
    guardian is to meet the student, a note is required indicating the person
    has parent/guardian permission to pick up that particular child.

     

    NOTE: Please refer to the section on Health Services for early dismissal
    due to unexpected illness.


    Denial of Course Credit


    A student may be denied course credit when he/she exceeds ten (10)
    “unexcused absences” in a full year course or five (5) “unexcused absences”
    in a semester course. The student’s parent/guardian will receive written
    notification of their child’s loss of course credit due to attendance. If a student
    and their parent/guardian believe there are extenuating circumstances that have
    prevented the student from attending school on a regular basis they may be
    awarded the opportunity to appeal the loss of credit due to attendance. This is
    not a permissive policy establishing or licensing a limit of days that may be
    missed with no harm.


    Credit Appeal Process


    This process grants a student the right to appeal the loss of credit due to
    attendance. Students must submit appeals to the office of the administrator in
    charge of attendance no later than five (5) school days after receipt of no credit
    status. The appeal should state the reasons for admitted “unexcused absences”,
    documentation that would reduce the number of absences, and reasons why
    they should receive course credit. A Credit Review Committee comprised of a
    teacher, school nurse, school counselor, and child study team caseworker may
    evaluate the student’s appeal. The Credit Review Committee will consider each
    appeal on a case by case basis and if deemed necessary develop an appropriate
    credit recovery plan. Keep in mind that appeals deal with the attendance record
    of the entire semester or the entire year.

     

     

Last Modified on June 3, 2022