The Superintendent shall provide an accurate system of recording student attendance and absences to comply with state attendance reporting requirements. Patterns of irregular attendance will be investigated and appropriate action taken. Following are administrative procedures to monitor student attendance.
- The principal or school personnel will notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) if his/her child has missed 5, 10 and 15 days from school. The written notification that will be provided to the parent(s)/guardian (s) will document the number of days missed. If written notification is not possible, the school will document all contacts and/or attempts to contact the family. Medical and court notices are excluded from the days documented in the notification.
- When a student accumulates 15 days of absences, he/she will be referred to the school’s pupil personnel worker. The pupil personnel worker will investigate the case. The investigation may include conferences with school personnel, review of school records, referral to the student support team, and/or contact with community agencies.
- When a student is absent more than 20 days, he/she will be scheduled for an attendance review. Those present will be the principal/principal’s designee, pupil personnel worker, parent(s)/guardian(s) and student. The attendance review officer will judge the circumstances of the excessive absences. At the conclusion of the review, a recommendation concerning supports and interventions will be made.
- If the school attendance review is deemed unsuccessful, or if the student continues to violate the attendance guidelines established during the review, the student may be referred to agencies for additional support. Severe or ongoing attendance issues may be referred to the state’s attorney for Charles County.
- Exceptions to this procedure would be granted to students in the Chronic Health Impaired Program (CHIP), on home teaching or whose absences exceed 20 days and are excused by a doctor’s statement. At times, there are circumstances that the student cannot control that might cause the student to be absent for an extended length of time; for example: the death of a family member, loss of a home or other adverse personal circumstances. Projected absences that would have an adverse effect on the student’s attendance will be referred to the pupil personnel worker to investigate. In such cases and with agreement between the school principal and the pupil personnel worker, those days will be exempted from the attendance monitoring procedures. Parent(s)/guardian(s) and students will be notified of the exemption. All absences due to school suspension will count toward the attendance monitoring procedures.
Reward Process/Motivational Program
Schools are to develop a reward system which includes motivational programs to reward regular school attendance.
The school attendance policy and rule will be published and distributed to appropriate personnel in the public school system. It will be disseminated through the annual Parent Handbook/Calendar and Code of Student Conduct, and will also be available on the school system website . All students at the secondary level will sign off that they are knowledgeable of this policy and a copy will be sent home to the parent(s)/guardian(s). Copies of the policy are available in all schools for public use.
The Annotated Code of Maryland and COMAR (Code of Maryland Regulations) comprise the legal foundation for the development and implementation of the attendance policy.
Compulsory Attendance Age Requirements
Section 7-301 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, sets forth the State’s compulsory school attendance law. It requires a child who is age 5 or older and under 17 to “attend a public school regularly during the entire school year” unless the child satisfies an exemption to the law. One of the exemptions is if the child “attends an alternative educational program.” Please note that the age of compulsory school attendance will rise from 17 to age 18 on July 1, 2017.