Comprehensive Attendance Policy

  • Statement of objectives to be accomplished

Saint Mary’s High School establishes this policy to ensure the maintenance of an adequate record verifying the attendance of all children at instruction in accordance with Education Law Section 3205.   The policy is designed to ensure sufficient pupil attendance at all scheduled periods of actual instruction or supervised study activities to permit such pupils to succeed at meeting the State learning standards.

  • Description of the specific strategies to accomplish each objective
  • Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each school day prior to the first period of instruction.
  • Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each scheduled class period when pupils move freely between classes.
  • Attendance will be taken after the pupils return from lunch
  • Attendance will be taken on class and/or school field trips
  • Determination of the kinds of absences, tardiness and early departures that will be excused and those that will not be excused; and a list of excused and unexcused absences and tardiness to illustrate each (Refer to Student Handbook ).
  • A pupil is considered absent if not present when attendance is taken.
  • A pupil who arrives after the time fixed by school policy for the beginning of the morning or afternoon sessions is tardy
  • A pupil is absent for part of day if present when attendance is taken and then leaves school.
  • Incidents of absence and tardiness will be classified as either excused or unexcused. An excused absence/tardiness is one recognized by the Education Department and the school administrators as valid and unavoidable.  An unexcused absence/tardiness occurs when the reason offered does not show unavoidable circumstances or necessity.
  • Truancy is the willful violation by a student of the compulsory attendance provisions of Education Law.

The following reasons for absence or
tardiness may be considered excused.


The following reasons for absence or
tardiness would ordinarily be considered unexcused.

  • sick
  • scheduled medical appointments
  • sickness or death in family
  • day of religious observance
  • bad weather; impassable roads
  • court appearance
  • family emergency
  • district bus problem
  • college interviews (limit 2)
  • funeral
  • other school activity
  • family trips
  • take child to work
  • high school visits
  • truant
  • Description of the coding system used to identify the reason for pupil’s absence, tardiness or early departure, recorded in the register of attendance

The following coding will be used.  Marginal notations may be made for clarification.

Excused Code Unexcused Code
Sick S Trip/vacation (family, CYO, etc.) TRP
Medical appointment (limited hours) MED Take Child to Work day A
Family sickness/death/emergency FS Visit to High School A
Religious observance RO Other (not deemed acceptable) A
Court appearance EC
Weather/impassable roads WE
District transportation ED
Other (documented/noted) OD
Other School Activity OSA
College Interview CI
Funeral FNRL
Medical Abs. Home Tutoring MABHT
Retreat RE
Out of school suspension OSS
In school suspension ISS
  • Description of Saint Mary’s High School’s policy regarding pupil attendance and a pupil’s ability to receive course credit (Refer to Student Handbook).

Regular attendance is a critical factor in school success for pupils.

Therefore, both pupils and their parents must view regular attendance as the most effective way of meeting course requirements. Course credit is awarded based on satisfactory completion of course requirements.  It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the school administration of an attendance concern.

Description of: 

  • incentives to be used to encourage pupils to attend school
  • disciplinary sanctions to be used to discourage unexcused absences, tardiness and early departures

St. Mary’s High School will identify those incentives and sanctions that will promote regular attendance.

 Incentives  Sanctions

Parents of students who are absent or late for ten days
of school within a semester will be invited for a conference with the school administration.

The school has established a policy to recognize perfect            attendance.

The absence/tardiness could preclude participation in extra-curricular activities on that day.

A parent/student conference would be required.

An erratic or irregular attendance pattern puts a student in jeopardy of retention in the grade.

  • Description of the notice to be provided to the parents of a pupil who is absent, tardy or leaves school early without an acceptable excuse
  • Parents of a pupil who is absent, tardy, or leaves school early without an acceptable excuse will receive verbal notification from the attendance office.
  • Description of the process the schools of the Diocese of Rockville Centre will use to develop specific intervention strategies to address attendance problems

When a child has been absent, the school must require a written excuse from a parent.  These notes must be kept on file for one year.  If a pupil is absent without an excuse, or if the school has reason to suspect the validity of the excuse, the principal should investigate the situation. 

  • It is the responsibility of the teacher to make the parents and administration aware of any attendance problems
  • After ten days, parents will be asked to come in for a conference to address attendance concerns.
  • If necessary an outside agency/proper authority will be notified.
  • Identification of the person(s) designated in each school building who will be responsible for:
    • reviewing attendance records
    • initiating appropriate action to address unexcused pupil attendance according to the comprehensive attendance policy
  • The principal has full charge of the internal administration of the school.
  • The principal may designate a school administrator or teacher to assist with implementation of the comprehensive school attendance policy.  Such designee will be identified for the beginning of the school year.
  • The principal and/or designee will review attendance data to look for patterns of unexcused absences and will initiate interventions to reduce such unexcused absences.
  • Attendance Secretary is the one responsible to identify and follow up on attendance concerns.
  • School policy includes guidelines for teachers and for the school nurse.