POLICY #5113
The Board of Trustees, administration, and faculty of Norwich Free Academy believe that the learning experiences that take place in the classroom environment are considered to be an essential part of its educational system. Therefore, prompt and regular attendance to school and to assigned classes is a valid and reasonable requirement for the promotion of academic success.
Connecticut state law provides that each parent or other person having control of a child five years of age and older and under eighteen years of age is obligated to cause the child to attend school regularly during the hours and terms school is in session, unless such parent or other person shows that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction or that the child has graduated from high school or that the child age seventeen has withdrawn from school with the written permission of the parent or person having control of such child.
A tiered approach to intervention shall be implemented for students whose attendance in school is unsatisfactory or at marginal level of acceptance, and for students who are considered “truant.” Any enrolled student who has four (4) unexcused absences from school in any one month or ten unexcused absences in a school year shall be determined to be “truant” pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-198a and Board Policy #5112.3. For truant students, the intervention approach shall include prompt referral to a planning and placement team in accordance with Connecticut Agencies Regulations Section 10-76d-7/
Course Credit
In order to receive credit for a course, students must earn a passing grade and fulfill the attendance requirements as stated below:
1.     Course credit will be withheld when a student exceeds nine (9) class absences from a class in a semester.
2.     Class absences due to a student participating in a pre-approved school-sponsored activity, suspension days, religious holidays, or an approved college visit, will not count toward the total of nine (9) class absences in a semester.
3.     Course credit being withheld because of excessive absences will not affect the grade awarded and recorded as earned. However, course credit toward graduation may not be awarded.
4.     A student who may have course credit withheld due to excessive absences may appeal to the administration for a waiver. All appeals must be made in writing to the student’s house principal.
5.     Parents/guardians and students can monitor attendance at any time by accessing the information through their Power School accounts.
6.     On the tenth (10) class absence in a semester, parents/guardians will be notified of the student’s course credit being withheld. Information on the appeals process shall be provided to the parent/guardian at that time.
Unexcused Class Absences (Class Cuts)
1.     Unauthorized absences from class are prohibited.
2.     A student having a record of three (3) unexcused class absences (class cuts) in a semester will have credit withheld for that semester.
3.     Class cuts, study hall cuts, or detention cuts will result in discipline assigned to the student as determined by the school’s disciplinary structure.
4.     Class cuts, study hall cuts, and detention cuts are a major factor in the deliberations of the appeals committee.
5.     Parents/guardians will be notified of unexcused class absences (class cuts).
Tardiness to Class
1.     All students are expected to be on time to all classes.
2.     If a student is detained or required to be out of class for a part of the class period, the student must present a pass when arriving to class.
3.     Unexcused tardies of more than ten (10) minutes will be considered a class cut.
4.     The appropriate discipline for tardiness to class will be assigned to the student as determined by the school’s disciplinary structure.
Tardiness to School
1.     When a student is tardy to school, he/she must report directly to the appropriate house office. Failure to do so will result in assignment of the appropriate discipline as determined by the school’s disciplinary structure.
2.     For students with chronic tardiness to school, appropriate interventions will be implemented to provide support to improve tardiness.
3.     Class time missed due to tardiness to school will be considered as an absence from class and will count toward the total number of class absences for the semester.
Early Dismissals
1.     On the morning of a requested early dismissal from school, a student’s parent/guardian must either present a signed request or call by phone the house office.
2.     The request for early dismissal from school must include the date, time, and reason for the dismissal.
3.     Classes missed due to early dismissal from school will be counted toward the total number of class absences for the semester.
Family Travel/Vacation
Student absence from class for purposes of family travel or vacation results in a loss of valuable instructional time. If circumstances demand that students accompany their parents/guardians on travel or vacation during the school year, disciplinary action will not be taken. However, the number of school days missed as a result of family travel or vacation will be counted toward the total number of class absences for the semester in determining course credit.
Appeal Process
A student who has exceeded the established number of class absences and class cuts for a semester and has had course credit withheld may appeal this action by submitting an attendance appeal application to the house principal. Requests for an attendance appeal, absent extenuating circumstances, must be made prior to the beginning of the exam period. The attendance appeals committee will be composed of administrative personnel and the student’s guidance counselor. The attendance appeals committee, absent extenuating circumstances, will meet prior to the end of each semester. Students are reminded that an attendance appeal does not necessarily mean that a decision to grant an attendance waiver and course credit will be made. When filing an appeal, accountability must be made in all absences. Partial accountability of absences to bring the total number below the established number of class absences is not considered an acceptable appeal. Parents/guardians and students will receive written notification of the decision of attendance appeals committee.
The attendance appeals committee will consider, but not be limited to, the following criteria in its deliberations:
1.     Extenuating circumstances for the absences in question with supporting documentation.
2.     Class absences since the date of credit being withheld.
3.     Recommendations of the classroom teacher or other school personnel.
4.     Record of unexcused class absences (class cuts), study hall cuts, and detention cuts.
5.     Record of tardiness to school.
6.     Evidence of improvement.
7.     Student’s written reflection regarding his/her absences
Students are reminded that any and all cuts, including class, study hall, and detention cuts, will weigh heavily against granting an attendance waiver and course credit.
The administration shall publish the specific requirements for student attendance to school and class and the school’s disciplinary structure in the Pilot, Norwich Free Academy’s Student Handbook.
Legal Reference:          Connecticut General Statutes
10-184 Duties of parents as amended by PA 98-243 and PA 00-157
10-185 Penalty
10-199 through 10-202 Attendance, truancy - in general
10-221 (b) Rights of Boards of Education to prescribe rules See Also:           Pilot, The Norwich Free Academy Student Handbook
Annual Notice to Parents/Guardians of Obligations Under Connecticut General Statutes 10-184
Policy Adopted:           August 11, 1993
Policy Revised:             August 10, 1995
November 27, 2001
May 22, 2007
April 22, 2008
August 27, 2014
February 8, 2018
  • #5113