CENTRAL BUCKS SCHOOL DISTRICTL E A D I N G T H E W A YAugust 2018
The issue of school attendance plays an important role in ensuring that your child receives a quality education during the school year. There is a documented link between attendance and declining achievement. Children who do not attend school regularly rarely achieve their full potential. Missed instruction and the challenges students face as they attempt to complete missed work are important factors that impact student performance.
As educators, we recognize that promoting regular school attendance is a key component in the successful growth and development of all students. To maximize student learning, we ask that you be mindful of our district attendance policy. The Compulsory Attendance Law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires that an absence excuse, signed by the parent or guardian, be on file for every day of the student’s absence.
- According to State Law, the following excuses qualify as excused absences: religious holiday, illness, death in the family, educational trips or vacation with prior written approval by the principal.
- School district policy allows principals to approve a maximum of five vacation or educational travel days per academic year.
- Unexcused absences are defined as: truancy, oversleeping, missing the bus, shopping, child care, visiting relatives or friends, recreational activities, remaining home to do homework, and exceeding the five day vacation policy.
- After three (3) days of unlawful absences within one school year, parents will receive a letter from the school outlining the consequences of habitual truancy and inviting them to a School Attendance Improvement Conference. Additional absences may result in a referral to a school-based attendance improvement program, referral to Bucks County Children and Youth Services, and/or a citation for violating compulsory attendance laws. Penalties for conviction include fines of up to $750.00 for each offense.
- A note from a physician may be required for each absence over 10 days. Absences beyond ten (10) days may require an excuse from a physician. In cases when a physician’s note is required, absences not documented by a physician’s note will be considered unlawful.
- Any absence to be "excused" must be substantiated by a parent phone call, parent e-mail, or a written note within 3 days of the student’s absence listing the name of the student, date of the absence, and reason for the absence. This includes students eighteen years or older.
Regular attendance is not a problem for a majority of our students; however, there are small steps that all parents can take to monitor and limit absences thereby enhancing their child’s academic success.
- Strive to make appointments (doctors, dentists, etc.) during after-school hours.
- Never schedule extracurricular activities while school is in session.
- When planning an activity that will require absence from school, weigh the educational value against lost instructional time.
- Plan for some unstructured time to occur each weekend. Free time goes a long way in rejuvenating young minds and bodies.
Our district calendar provides various days off that we hope will allow your child ample opportunities to experience life outside the educational setting. Please take advantage of these school holidays, while being vigilant about the importance of regular daily attendance. With your support, Central Bucks High School West will continue to optimize instructional time and student learning opportunities.
Timothy P. Donovan
Timothy P. Donovan