Regular attendance is essential to a student’s success in school. Most subjects are taught in sequence, requiring the understanding of each concept in the order of its presentation. Persistent absenteeism creates a gap in the student’s acquisition of knowledge, which frequently leads to lower grades. Excessive unexcused absences are reported to truancy court and the administration may recommend Saturday School for students.
It is important to recognize that frequent tardiness to and/or absence from school accumulates valuable minutes and hours of lost instructional time. Missed instructional time can affect your child’s ability to be successful in school. Please make every effort to have your child present and on time each day to ensure a happy and productive school year.
Students are marked late when arriving past 8:30am.
Please note, if a student arrives after 10:30am, they are marked as a half day absent.
Please send excuse notes into your child’s teacher no later than 3 days after the date of the absence.
Please see the District Attendance Policy portion of the website here:
When your child is absent from school, send in written excuse for this absence within three days of your child’s return to school. If your child is absent more than three consecutive days, please notify the teacher. The following reasons are the only recognized excused absences:
Who is Required to Attend School?
The Pennsylvania School Compulsory Law requires students from the ages of 8-17 to attend school on a daily basis. As Philadelphia is a District of the First Class, the requirement for school attendance is between the ages of 6-17. Once a student is enrolled in school, he/she can only be withdrawn if he/she transfers out of the District. The student will remain on the District’s roll and the child/family is subjected to Truancy Court if they do not attend school.
What Happens (at the school level) When my Child is Absent?
1. Parents must submit an absence note to the school within three days of the children’s unexcused absence. After 3 days, the School Principal/Designee will make a determination if the note will be accepted. If the note has been accepted, the teacher will make the corrections on the roll sheet and then submit to the main office so that it can be changed in the School Computer Network (SCN) or Scholar Chip.
2. At the 3rd unexcused absence the C-31 (Three Day Legal Notice) should be sent to the Parent/Guardian to make them aware that the child has missed 3 days (consecutive/nonconsecutive) of school.
3. At the 6th unexcused absence the school must utilize the Online Interventions Module (MTSS/RtII) and create an attendance plan for the student. The school should also arrange a meeting with the parent/guardian of the child to inquire about the truancy and come up with a plan to help remove any barriers to the student’s truancy.
4. At the 10th unexcused absence, the Truancy Referral should be submitted to the Office of Attendance & Truancy.
5. Once the referral has been submitted to the Office of Attendance & Truancy, it may take up to 6 weeks for the student/family to receive a citation for Truancy Court. Schools can check the S73 (Court Activity Screen) in School Computer Network (SCN), once a student has a court date to view dispositions and status updates.
6. Grades K-3 must be submitted on the DHS Referral Sheet, which is available on the office’s web site.
7. Grades 4-11th must be submitted on the Family Court Referral Sheet, which is available on the office’s web site
8. Siblings from the same school should be submitted together on the referral sheets.
Blank Excuse Notes
Please feel free to these access Absence-Excuse-Notes