Summary of the West Mifflin Area School District Attendance Policy
Students are limited to no more than 10 absences in a full school year. Both excused and unexcused absences are applicable to this total. Any absence beyond 10 days must be accompanied with a medical doctor’s excuse. In addition, a student who exceeds the allowed number of absences may receive an incomplete grade and may be ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities. A student with a chronic health condition and/or other serious problem should submit a letter from a licensed physician of the healing arts.
Absences that will not be counted toward the policy are absences due to:
- out-of-school suspension
- in-school suspension
- field trips or any other school sponsored or initiated activity
- school bus transportation is unavailable
- homebound instruction or institutionalization
In the event of an absence, the student must bring a written excuse from their parent or guardian upon returning to school. If the student is absent for medical reasons, a doctor’s excuse should be submitted. The excuse must be received by the school within three (3) days of the student’s return to school. All excuses from parents/guardians concerning an absence or tardy should contain the following information:
- Date of the excuse
- Name and grade of the student
- Date of the absence or tardy
- Reason for the absence or tardy
- Signature of the parent/guardian
The student is responsible for making up all assignments and tests missed during the absence.
Parents/guardians are held legally responsible for the regular school attendance of their child. It is the responsibility of the parent to provide the student with a written excuse of their child’s absence.
Parents are expected to notify the school when an absence of several or more days is anticipated, as in the case of illness or family emergency. A written excuse is STILL REQURIED once the student returned to school.
A child may be excused from school for the following reasons:
- Religious Holidays
- Health Services (students are not expected to miss an entire day of school to attend a routine medical appointment, students should attend school either prior to or after their appointment)
- College Visitation/Job Interview
- Illness or other urgent reasons (the term “urgent” shall be strictly construed and shall not be a reason for irregular school attendance. Examples of “urgent” reasons are: death in the family, quarantine of the home, court appearances and unavoidable family emergencies)
- Educational Trips (not school sponsored; All educational trips must be approved by the building principal prior to the trip)
- Religious Instruction (restricted to a maximum of 36 hours per school year)
When a student accumulates three (3) or more days of unexcused absences, a legal written notice will be sent to the parent/guardian informing them that there has been a violation of the compulsory attendance provisions of PA School Law. Further violations will require the parent and student participation in an attendance improvement plan made between the student, parent and school staff. Continued violations may result in a citation being filed against the parent with the district magistrate.
A child’s absence may be considered unexcused for the following reasons:
- Failure to submit an excuse within three days of return to school from an absence
- Parent neglect
- Illegal employment
- Failure to submit a medical doctor’s excuse when required
- Missed the bus
Tardiness with be classified as excused or unexcused according to the same rules that apply to a full day absence. Tardies may be accumulated and translated into equivalent days for possible prosecution before the magistrate.