Attendance

  • Regular school attendance is critical to a quality education.  The Elizabethtown Area School District attendance practices support the academic success of your child.  Please read over the following guidelines thoroughly.  EASD attendance information is written in accordance with Pennsylvania Compulsory School Attendance Laws.  For information related to attendance, please contact Jennifer Fields, EASD Home & School Visitor, at (717) 367-1533, extension 21108, or jennifer_fields@etownschools.org.

    PENNSYLVANIA COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE LAWS
    Beginning in the 2020/2021 school year, all students from age 6 to 18 must be enrolled and attend school (updated from ages 8 to 17).  Upon accumulation of three illegal absences, Pennsylvania Compulsory School Attendance Laws require that a first official notice be mailed to the parent(s)/guardian(s).   Letters are also sent when a student accumulates six and ten illegal absences.  PA Compulsory School Attendance Laws classify a student as “truant” upon the accumulation of three illegal absences.  PA Compulsory School Attendance Laws classify a student as “habitually truant” upon the accumulation of six illegal absences.  At this interval, a truancy meeting will be offered to the family to discuss the absences.  At ten illegal absences, a truancy citation can be filed with the local Magisterial District Judge.  If you receive an attendance notification, kindly respond promptly.  Be aware that illegal or illegal absences can result in the inability to make-up missed assignments and academic decline.  

    Please note that this policy and practices will be upheld for the 2020/2021 school year.  Please maintain contact with your student’s school for all types of absences.

    EXCUSABLE ABSENCES
    Excusable absences include: (1) legitimate illness; (2) medically/legally documented appointments; (3) quarantine; (4) death in the immediate family; (5) impassable roads; (6) exceptionally urgent reasons that affect the child as determined by the administration; and (7) Educational Trip experiences pre-approved by the administration.  All other absences are considered to be illegal.   Please note that absences for hunting, fishing, non-medical or legally related appointments, employment, or other circumstances not covered under the seven excusable absences above, will be coded as illegal/unexcused, regardless of a parent(s)/guardian(s) submitting notification of the absence.  All excuses must be submitted within 3 school days of the absence.

    COVID-19 ABSENCES
    As noted above, COVID related absences will be considered on an individual basis, focusing on safety.  Please adhere to the guidelines under the Family Declaration and Commitment Form, which indicates:
    Symptom screening is one of the most effective ways our families can lower the chance of COVID-19 transmission in our school buildings. As such, we are following local health department recommendations and asking that every family conduct a COVID-19 wellness check each day before boarding our school-offered transportation and/or entering our school buildings. Parents/Guardians should keep their child home if he/she meets any of the following criteria:

    • Child is displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Child is awaiting COVID-19 test results when the test was administered because child is exhibiting COVID-19 like symptoms.
    • Child has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Child has been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Again, communicating with your student’s school is essential for adequately tracking absences.

    EXCESSIVE EXCUSED ABSENCES
    Once a student accumulates ten excused absences (documented by a parent/guardian), all future absences or partial absences will require a medical excuse.  A notification letter will be sent to parent/guardian(s) when a student has reached these criteria.  Failure to provide documentation from a medical professional for each additional absence or partial absence will result in the absence being coded as illegal/unexcused.  These absences can result in truancy violations or disenrollment from the Elizabethtown Area School District.  Be aware that excessive excused absences can result in the inability to make-up missed assignments and academic decline.  

    Please note that this policy will be upheld for the 2020/2021 school year, yet considered on an individual basis due to Covid-19.  Please maintain contact with your student’s school for all types of absences.

    ATTENDANCE TRACKING
    Attendance is tracked by the district Home and School Visitor.   This position is part of the district Support Services.  The Home and School Visitor focuses on eliminating barriers to the attendance and academic success of each EASD student.  Please contact Jennifer Fields at (717) 367-1533, extension 21108 or jennifer_fields@etownschools.org, to discuss any attendance-related issues for all types of learning formats.

    REPORTING YOUR CHILD ABSENT
    Click on the appropriate link below for more information on how to report your child absent.

    EDUCATIONAL TRIPS
    A student is permitted, through pre-approval by the administration, an absence to attend educational trip experiences for a maximum of five days per school year.  A form must be completed and submitted to the building principal at least 5 days prior to the scheduled trip.  The form can be found on the district website.  The determination of each request will be made on the following basis: prior attendance, previous Educational Trip requests, and the educational value of the requested experience.  Please note that students may be required to complete all missing assignments and/or complete an educational project regarding their experiences, at the administration’s discretion.

    MAKE-UP WORK FOR ALL ABSENCES
    It is the responsibility of the student/parent/guardian(s) to communicate with teachers or school counselors to request missed assignments when absences occur.  In addition, school procedures require that students who are absent for excused reasons must make-up missed assignments within 3 days of the students return to school.  An alternative, comparable assignment may be assigned to cover missed class material, at the teacher’s discretion.  The intent of all make-up work is to help regain lost instructional experiences due to excused class absences.  Missed assignments due to illegal reasons may result in a “0” for the assignment, at the discretion of the teacher/administration.  Students who cut class will not be permitted to make-up missed work, and this action will result in consequences as determined by the building administration.

    HOMEBOUND INSTRUCTION
    Homebound instruction is available for those students who are absent for an extended period of time due to disability, illness, or injury.  Students are required to provide a written medical excuse before homebound instruction is considered.  Students on homebound instruction will NOT be permitted to attend school related activities.  If your child may need homebound instruction, please contact your student’s School Counselor.  For more information about the district’s homebound instruction policy please review EASD Policy 117.

    TARDIES AND EARLY DISMISSALS
    Absent students, or those (secondary) who arrive at school after 8:30 a.m., are NOT permitted to participate in an athletic game/practice, or school-related activity (i.e. plays, musical, field trips, etc.).  Exceptions are made if the absence is due to a legal or medical appointment, etc., with appropriate documentation.  The advisor/coach/advisor of the activity shall obtain approval for participation from the administration.  

    A student may be excused early from school for urgent or appropriate reasons.  Requests of this nature are to be submitted by the parent/guardian and presented in advance to the main office for evaluation.  For verification purposes, a telephone call may be made to the parent/guardian.  Students are encouraged to submit medical or legal documentation upon return to school.

    Please note that for the 2020/2021 school year, tardy, half-day, or any partial absences will NOT be subject to disciplinary action at the secondary level.  Be aware that these types of absences can contribute to an inability to make-up work and an academic decline.