WINDHAM COUNTY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE/TRUANCY PROTOCOL Revised February 7, 2011
Purpose To assure that the students and their families in Windham County Pre-K-12 schools have support in ensuring attendance at school. The intent is to ensure that students are in school and learning. Daily school attendance is critical to successful school performance. Being present on time is a life skill to be cultivated. The long term goal is for all students to gain an education and all that it makes possible. Measurable outcomes include an increase in attendance rates, a reduction of the drop-out rate and the number of juveniles on the Department of Children and Families (DCF) caseload. Process School District expectations of families regarding tardiness and truancy:
TRUANCY It is our shared responsibility to be sure that every child is safe and accounted for on every school day. If your child is absent from school, it is essential that you notify the school within 30 minutes of your school’s start time. The school will contact the parent/guardian at home or at work, but please note the following: If a child is not in school on a given day and we have not received notification from the parent/guardian, nor are able to verify the child’s whereabouts, we are required to report each unverified absence to the appropriate police agency or sheriff’s department as early in the day as possible. To ensure the child’s safety and to prevent truancy, the police agency will confirm the child’s whereabouts.
TARDINESS Students are expected to arrive at school no later than the stated start time for your school. Students arriving after this time are considered late and will be marked tardy. A pattern of tardiness puts a child at a disadvantage in school. Coming in late, the child regularly misses the opportunity to be greeted by everyone, settle into the day, learn the schedule for the day and generally get off to a positive start. We ask that parents work with the school to ensure that students arrive on time.
PROTOCOL APPROACH This school attendance protocol utilizes a team approach, if necessary, to explore with the student and family what obstacles are hindering school attendance. An individualized plan will be developed to increase school attendance. Follow-up steps are set to assess if the plan is working for the student and the family. Records are kept in school files of all contacts related to this protocol made with the family of the student. Team Membership The protocol initially relies on school staff to insure attendance. If needed at a later stage, staff from state and community agencies, as well as parent liaison supports, will assist.
Tardiness Tardiness is a disruption to the educational process. It sets a tone that de-values education. It disrupts the child’s schedule for the school day. After five tardy days Teacher contacts family in person or by phone. Letter to go out to family from principal.
After seven tardy days Letter to go out to family from principal. Parent meeting scheduled with counselor and teacher.
After ten tardy days Letter to go out to family from principal. Parent meeting scheduled with principal, counselor and teacher. At the meeting, a release of information is signed by the family to allow discussion between the school and outside agencies if necessary.
Absences – both excused and unexcused After five absent days Phone call or letter to go out to family.
After seven absent days Letter to go out to family, including if appropriate a request for a doctor’s note for any future absences.Parent meeting may be scheduled with Educational Support Team (EST) or school personnel. At the meeting, a release of information is signed by the family to allow discussion between the school and outside agencies if necessary. Law enforcement may assist ingetting release signed.* Copies of correspondence should be sent to DCF at seven absent days.*
After ten absent days Letter to go out to family.Parent meeting scheduled if appropriate with school personnel and representatives from outside agencies and programs. These could include the YouthServices, HCRS, DCF, and other community agency supports including law enforcement.
After fifteenabsent days Letter goes out to family. Referral may be made to family physician. Report will be made to DCF (with administrative discretion). Dependent on the DCF assessment Affidavit goes to Windham County State’s Attorney and law enforcement Dependent on the State’sAttorney’s assessment. The State’s Attorney makes the decision whether the case should go to Windham County Family Court or District Court. End of School Year Accumulation of Absences If a student misses more than 15 days of school by the end of the school year, the administrator will take these absences into account at the start of the next school year. If the pattern of absences once again occur, a report will be made to DCF.Missed Conference Meetings If a parent misses a conference regarding tardiness or absences, a follow-up letter will be sent: After 7 days.
After 10 days If a conference regarding absences is missed, DCF may be contacted.