Student Attendance/Absences

The process of education requires continuity of instruction, classroom participation, varied learning experiences and study if students are to attain maximum educational benefits. The School Committee, administration and faculty believe that regular attendance and punctuality are in the best interest of all students in the Yarmouth School System.

The responsibility for school attendance rests primarily with students and parents. The administration and faculty will cooperate with parents to ensure good student attendance. Parents are asked to plan family vacations whenever possible to coincide with the school calendar. Only when alternative travel arrangements have been exhausted should requests for a Planned Family Absence be made.

Parents are requested to call the school office before 8:00 AM to report student absences. The attendance secretary will call home whenever possible to verify student absences. A student absent from school is required to bring a written note signed by a parent stating the reason for the absence on the day he/she returns.

Any student who comes to school later than 9:00 AM without approval of the principal or any student who has been dismissed because of illness will not be allowed to participate in or attend any school sponsored activities held that day. If a student does attend any activity having missed school, he/she will receive an unexcused absence for that day.

Leaving the Grounds:

No student is allowed to leave the school grounds during school hours without the permission of the principal or his/her representative.

Excused Absences:

The following are recognized as excusable absences:

  1. Personal illness;

  2. Appointments with health professionals which cannot be scheduled outside of the regular school day;

  3. Observance of recognized religious holidays when the observance is required during a regular school day;

  4. Emergency family situations;

  5. Visitations to other schools for purposes of transfer or college admission (A maximum of three school days may be used for this purpose.); and

  6. Planned family absences.

Written Excuse:

A note from the parent/guardian will be sufficient to explain cause of absence if the child is returning to school after ordinary illness.

Make-up Opportunities:

Students receiving excused absences are expected to make up missed classroom work. Students will be allowed an amount of time equal to the number of days absent to complete make-up work. For example, a student absent for two school days would have two school days to complete all make-up work. Given extenuating circumstances, individual classroom teachers may extend make-up deadlines; however, the work made up may be subject to a grade reduction if the deadline is extended.

Field trips are considered a regular school day, not as an absence from school. Work, extracurricular activities and interscholastic athletics will not be considered as valid excuses for not making up missed classroom work. Teachers are available on a daily basis for student help session during recess, preparation periods, before and after school.

Students coming in late to school will be expected to pass in all work that was due and take missed exams by the end of that day. Students dismissed from school will be expected to pass in all work that was due and take missed exams on the day they return to school. Any student who missed the day prior to a test which was announced at least 48 hours before its administration may be expected to take it.

Unexcused Absences - Grades 9-12:

Students who are unexcused will not be allowed to make up work missed. Unexcused absences include: “cutting” classes, sleeping late, missing the bus, recreational activities, Senior Skip Day, employment, prom related appointments, etc. Offenses shall be handled as stated in the high school handbook.

Planned Family Absences:

  1. Teachers will not be expected to reteach material;

  2. Tests and quizzes missed must be made up in accordance with the present make-up policy. (All homework must be made up within the same number of days as the days missed.); and

  3. Reports, term papers or projects that would become due during the period of absence must be submitted to the teacher prior to the absence or be subject to a grade reduction.

[Note: Without prior approval of the principal, failure to follow the Planned Family Absences procedure (see JH-E) will result in zeros for missed work.]

Legal Reference: 20-A MRSA§5001-A

Adopted: Prior to 1982

Revised: June 8, 1987; June 8, 1992; __________