Policies - Attendance
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Excused and Unexcused Absences
When students are absent from school, they miss out on the whole educational experience of direct instruction and interaction with texts, other materials and classmates. Furthermore, when students are absent (excused or unexcused), Pine Valley loses much needed funding. Doctor or dentist appointments, funerals, religious holidays and illnesses are the only legally excused absences. Parents are urged to use discretion in excusing their students from school. The average number of absences per year in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District is less than ten per student. Absences for reasons other than those listed above are unexcused. Please note that any absence (excused or unexcused) counts against perfect attendance. To cut down on excessive absences, we ask your support in arranging medical and dental appointments for after school or on student release days. Please do not excuse students for these reasons: 1) being unprepared for a test or project, 2) going on vacation, or 3) visiting with friends or relatives. These absences are unexcused, and parents will receive a truancy letter if they exceed three days in a school year.
If a student does not attend class and no valid reason is given, the absence will be classified as a "cut" and will be dealt with in the following manner: First Offense: Referred to an assistant principal. A parent will be notified and the student will be assigned to Saturday School. Second Offense: The student will be referred to an assistant principal. An after-school student/parent conference will be arranged, and the student will again be assigned to Saturday School. Continued nonattendance will result in the student being classified as an habitual truant, which will necessitate a referral to the School Attendance Review Board.
PLEASE NOTE: The office must have prior notification by a parent per note or phone call if a student is to be released to any other adult 18 or older. Valid identification must be presented before students will be released.
Clearing an Absence
In accordance with State guidelines, it is the responsibility of the parent to verify all absences, including absences for part of the day. Parents are asked to call the special attendance number (479.7798) before 10:00 am each day his/her student is absent, giving the following information:
Name of Student
Reason for absence
Expected duration of absence
A student whose absence has not been verified by telephone, must bring a note signed by a parent upon his/her return to school. It is the responsibility of the parent to report the absence. The school keeps a record of absence notifications on file. For a full explanation of district policy on attendance, please see the Annual Parent Information Packet (APIP).
In the event of an extended absence (minimum of 5 days), parents may request an Independent Study Contract in writing at least 5 days prior to the student’s absence. Students pick up their class assignments from the office the day before their absence begins, and turn in the completed assignments to their teachers on the documented date of their return. If the assignments are not completed and submitted to the teachers on that date, students will not receive credit for those assignments, and may possibly be refused future Independent Study Contracts. See the Attendance Secretary for details.
Students are expected to be in class on time and ready to begin work when the bell rings. The only valid excuses for a tardy are those previously noted: doctor or dentist appointments, funerals, religious holidays and illnesses. Students are not excused for oversleeping, a missed ride, or car trouble. Please refer to individual classroom policies regarding consequences for the first three unexcused tardies. The fourth unexcused tardy that a student accumulates for a given class will result in a referral to the office. School detention will be assigned, and parents will be notified. If tardies persist, the student will be assigned Saturday School or other corrective measures. Also note that if students are tardy or absent for more than 30 minutes in a school day without valid excuse on three occasions in a school year, they are considered truant and will receive a truancy letter. Students who are truant will be required to attend Saturday School.
Call the Attendance Office in the morning if you know your student will be late for school. If you do not call, students coming directly to school from early appointments must bring notes and report to the Attendance Office. All late students must sign in and get an admit slip to class if arriving after 8:30 am.
Leaving During the Day
Students must obtain a "Permission to Leave Grounds" slip before8:10 A.M. from the Attendance Office the day a student needs to leave school. A parent/guardian must either call the Attendance Office or send a note before permission to leave grounds is given. No student will be released unless the parent/guardian has notified the Attendance Office. At the beginning of the period, that slip should be shown to the teacher. Sign out in the Attendance Office indicating the exact time of your departure. If the student returns to school on the same day, s/he must sign back in to the office and receive a pass to go back to class.
Like all middle schools in our district, Pine Valley is a closed campus. This means that students are expected to remain on campus during the entire school day, and no students may leave our campus without special permission from the office. Also, as a closed campus, no other students are permitted to visit. If a student is requesting permission to go home every day for lunch, written permission must be on file with the Attendance Secretary. This arrangement will also need to be confirmed by telephone. Just as non-Pine Valley students are not allowed on our campus before, during or after school without special permission from the office, our students are expected to observe the same policy at our neighboring schools. Students are not to go on to the campuses of our neighboring schools without first getting permission from the school office.