New for the 2023-2024 school year, absences are able to be submitted directly through the Parent Portal (not the Google Form used last year). Once signed in to the Parent Portal, click "More" and then "Absence Requests." At this time, notes from a doctor, or similar documents, are not able to be uploaded. Please simply send these documents in with your student(s).
As part of requirements from Pennsylvania’s Department of Education, a truancy elimination and absence reduction plan will be implemented to help reduce chronic absenteeism. Supports and services will be in place for students and families.
This plan is intended to be a support mechanism for parents and families to ensure students are able to be successful in their academic studies through increased attendance in school.
According to the Pennsylvania School Code, all children between the ages of 6 and 18 are required to attend school. Attendance is extremely important to ensure ongoing academic success of students. The educational program offered by the district is predicated upon the presence of the student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation in order for students to achieve academic standards and consistent educational progress. A maximum of ten days of cumulative lawful absences verified by parental notification may be permitted during a school year. All absences beyond ten cumulative days should require an excuse from a physician. “Schools are responsible for monitoring and maintaining records of the attendance of students. All absences should be treated as unlawful until the school receives a written excuse explaining the reason(s) for an absence" (Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2020). Parents/guardians and students should submit the written explanation within three (3) calendar days of the absence and should be informed that if they fail to provide a written excuse within three days of the absence, the absence would be permanently counted as unexcused/unlawful.
There are three types of absences:
Exempt – Absences listed below, when accompanied by the correct documentation. These absences are not counted when determining whether the student is out of compliance with the state attendance laws, as long as the verification is provided within the three (3) day limit.
Non-exempt – Absences which are accompanied with an excuse blank or note from a parent or guardian within three (3) school days of the return to school. These are excused absences, but are counted towards the state attendance laws (10 days maximum in a school year).
Unexcused/Unlawful – An absence which is not accompanied by any kind of a written explanation within three (3) school days of the return to school. In addition, a fine of up to $300 a day may be levied by a district justice for excessive illegal days (3 or more).
See Act 24 P.S. 13-1327 Compulsory Attendance and Truancy Elimination Plan, State of Pennsylvania
Approved medical or dental appointments
Approved educational travel
School authorized field trips or activities
Suspension from school
School related athletic events
Daily parents/guardians are notified of their child’s absence.
Notification to parents/guardians regarding unlawful absences will adhere to the following steps:
First Unexcused/Unlawful Absence: A letter will be sent to parent/guardians notifying them of the unlawful absence from school via regular mail. Legal penalties established by law for violation of compulsory attendance will be included.
Second Unexcused/Unlawful Absence: A letter will be sent to parent/guardians notifying them of the second unlawful absence from school via regular mail. Legal penalties established by law for violation of compulsory attendance will be included.
Third Unexcused/Unlawful Absence: A letter will be sent to parent/guardians notifying them of the third unlawful absence from school through CERTIFIED mail. Include legal penalties established by law for violation of compulsory attendance. Notify parents that they will be liable without further notice.
Subsequent Unexcused/Unlawful Absence: A citation is to be sent to the magisterial district judge. An official notice of unlawful absence through CERTIFIED mail is mailed to parent/guardians.
In addition to the above procedure, for students 16 years of age and under, a truancy citation may be issued in accordance with Pennsylvania School Code.
If a student must leave school early for an appointment, he/she must present to the office, in the morning before school starts, a written note from his her parent or guardian. The written note must contain the date, time of dismissal, a valid reason for early dismissal, and the signature of the parent or guardian. “PERSONAL REASON” is not a valid reason. Parents may be called if an excuse is in question.
There are multiple planned early dismissals on the district calendar. BCTC students who choose NOT to attend the BCTC on these days must have a signed permission form on file in the office prior to the first early dismissal day. This form will be provided to the students at the beginning of the year.
DISTRICT (WEATHER RELATED)
There are times during the year when inclement weather will cause the district to dismiss school before the regular time. Such information will be broadcast over an automated calling system, on local TV and radio stations, and will also be available on the website.
In the event of inclement weather or mechanical breakdown, school may be closed or the starting time delayed. School closing, delayed starting time or early dismissal will be announced over an automated calling system, the radio and TV. If no report is heard, it can be assumed that school will be in regular session. Telephone lines must be kept open for emergencies. School cancellations may alter the school calendar with respect to required days of attendance.
Middle School students who arrive to school after 7:40 will be required to sign-in and will be responsible for an excuse note. Students will receive a pass for admission to class. Students who report late without a valid excuse will be subject to discipline as outlined in the discipline policy.
Please use this link to view the procedures for approving an educational travel request for your child. https://5il.co/238y2
Pennsylvania Department of Education: Basic Education Circular. (2006). Compulsory Attendance and Truancy Elimination Plan . Retrieved from http://www.patruancytoolkit.info/providers/291/bec-compulsoryattendance.pdf