Apollo-Ridge Middle School Attendance Information
Purpose of Attendance
The Board of Education requires that school-aged pupils enrolled in the district attend school regularly in accordance with the laws of the State. The educational program offered by this district is predicated upon the presence of the pupil and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. The regular interaction of students with one another in the classroom and participation in a well-planned instructional activity under the guidance of a teacher are vital to this purpose.
Compulsory School Age
The term "compulsory school age" shall mean the period of a child's life from the time the child's parent/guardian elects to have the child enter school, which shall not be later than at the age of eight years, until the age of 17 years.
Absence From School
"Absence" is the nonattendance of a pupil on those days in which the school is in session. Arrivals after 11:05 a.m. will be counted as full day absences.
"Excused Absence" refers to absence for any one of a number of legal reasons. Examples are: illness, quarantine, recovery from accident, required court attendance, death in family, family educational trips, educational tours and trips, other exceptionally urgent reasons as determined by the principal. Pupils receiving an excused absence will be permitted to make up any class work missed during their absence.
A student returning to school must produce a written document verifying the absence. A student without an excuse from his/her parent/guardian will be recorded as an unverified absence. A student will be permitted 3 school days on this basis, after which time the unverified absence will be recorded as unexcused. Students receiving an unexcused absence may not be permitted to make up assigned work for that day.
Written Explanation For Absence
A parent/guardian shall furnish a written explanation for the absence of a child. A legal excuse is the parent's only protection from arrest. In case of arrest, the burden of proof is upon the parent to show that the absence of the child should be excused. In case of chronic and irregular absence, school authorities may request a physician's excuse showing such absence to be justifiable. Statements signed by licensed practitioner of the healing arts shall be accepted.
Tardiness is defined as arriving after the AM tardy bell rings at 7:40 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. Arriving any time between 8:05 a.m. and 11:05 a.m. will be a half day absence. When a child is illegally absent for a portion of a day, such portion will be considered cumulative and translated into equivalent days. Any student who arrives at school after the 7:40 a.m. tardy bell must report directly to the middle school office. At this time the student must submit a written excuse explaining the reason for his/her tardiness or it will be marked unexcused. The office will issue a tardy pass that admits the student to class. If a student accumulates 5 tardies a Wednesday detention will be assigned. Progressive discipline may result for continued tardies beyond the first 5 tardies.
Procedure For Return To School After An Absence
It is necessary for a student to bring an excuse from his/her parent or guardian when returning to school after being absent. This excuse must be presented to the Office within 3 (three) days upon returning to school. An unexcused absence will result if a student fails to comply with procedure. All excuses will be filed in the office. Official excuse forms can be found on the website or in the office.
It is the policy of the Apollo-Ridge School District to require a physician's excuse for a child's absence when it is determined that a child's school attendance pattern is chronic and irregular. The parent/guardian shall be notified by mail that a physician's excuse will be required for each day of absence after this has been determined. Failure to comply with this policy by the parent/guardian shall cause each day of absence to be recorded as unexcused.
The following guidelines will be followed to determine when a child's attendance pattern is chronic and irregular.
- When a child has been absent a total of ten (10) days for which no special verification has been submitted to the office, a doctor’s excuse will be required no later than the third day after the child returns to school for the remainder of the school year.
- When a child exceeds ten (10) days of absence the office will determine if a chronic or irregular pattern exists.
- In addition, a doctor's excuse may be required in the following situations:
- Any time a child has accumulated three (3) or more days of unexcused absences.
- Any time there is suspected abuse of the school attendance laws.
- NOTE: It is to the parent/guardians’ advantage, when an office visit to a doctor is made, to submit a doctor’s excuse to the office.
WhyTry Truancy Elimination Program
The WhyTry program is a curriculum that is designed to help motivate and give students the tools to be successful in school and in life. Students who are referred to the program have shown evidence of truancy and academic difficulties. The small group curriculum gives students information on a variety of social and emotional issues and challenges them to change their behaviors. Through one on one monitoring by the instructor at school and within the home, these students are given individualized attention to move them towards self improvement.