Attendance and Tardy Policy
The Lexington Public Schools require a high level of participation in engaged learning. Regular class attendance enables students to benefit from classroom discussions, presentations and interactive activities. These shared academic experiences are integral to the learning process and cannot be re-created or replicated.
Massachusetts law requires compulsory attendance for all students. Chapter 76, section 1 of the Mass General Laws states that all children between the ages of six and sixteen must attend school.
Absence and Tardy Information
Students arriving late to school must report to the main office with a parent and be signed in. A child is considered late for elementary school if he or she is not in the classroom by 9 a.m. ready to begin the school day.
Student Absence Notification Program
At the commencement of each school year, parents/guardians will be sent a notice instructing them to call a designated telephone number at a designated time to inform the school of the student’s absence and the reason for such absence. The notice will also require such parent or guardian to furnish the school with a home, work, or other emergency telephone number where they can be contacted during the school day. If the school does not receive a message from the parent/guardian by the designated time, then the school shall call the telephone number or numbers furnished to inquire about the student’s absence. Parents will be contacted within three (3) days of the student’s absence if the Parent(s) or Guardian has not contacted the school regarding the absence.
Parent(s) or Guardians will also be notified when a student who has at least five days in which the student has missed two or more classes/periods (unexcused) or who has five or more unexcused absences in the school year and a meeting will be scheduled with the building Principal (or his/her designee), the Parent(s)/Guardian and the student to develop an action plan to improve the student’s attendance.
Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact school staff and word collaboratively with them to correct the reasons that the student is missing school.
An Excused Absence/Tardy includes:
- Documented illness or injury
- Bereavement/family funeral
- Major religious observances
- Extraordinary family circumstances (excused at the discretion of the principal)
An Unexcused Absence/Tardy is not covered by the aforementioned definition. Examples of an unexcused absence may include, but may not be limited to:
- Repetitive or chronic absence or tardiness due to illness or injury not documented by a doctor or other medical professional
- Family vacations
- Undocumented absences
- Non-emergency family situations
- Word and/or instruction missed may be made up at recess.
- After 8th tardy – Letter home
- After 10th tardy – Conference with the parent of student Subsequent tardies may result in the child being referred to the Student Resource Officer.
We strongly discourage family vacations when school is in session. In addition to compromising the attendance law, family vacations interrupt the educational process in each subject area in ways that make-up work cannot reverse. Teachers are not required to provide work in advance of a family vacation.
A meeting will be scheduled with the building Principal (or his/her designee), the Parent(s)/Guardian and the student to develop an action plan to improve the student’s attendance if a student has accrued any of the following:
- Five (5) or more unexcused absences in the school year
- Five (5) or more days tardy (unexcused)
- Two (2) or more classes/periods (unexcused)
- Please note that when a student has been absent for five (5) or more consecutive days, parents must obtain a doctor’s note and submit it to school.
If a student is absent for eight or more days in a quarter, school officials may file a CRA (Child Requiring Assistance) petition with the Juvenile Court which could result in a hearing before a Juvenile Court Judge. Prior to the filing of a CRA, Families and Students will be required to work with school administrators to improve the student’s attendance.
Chronic absenteeism may also lead to academic failure for the year and retention of the student.
If your child will be leaving during the school day, please send in a note to the homeroom teacher. Then, plan to pick up your child at the office where personnel will call the homeroom to notify the child and teacher.
Parents and students are reminded that Massachusetts Law requires compulsory attendance for students. We strongly discourage family vacations when school is in session. In addition to compromising the attendance law, family vacations interrupt the educational process of each course in ways that make-up work cannot reverse. Teachers are not required to give out homework assignments prior to a family vacation.