UPPER SCHOOL ATTENDANCE POLICY Daily Attendance The philosophy behind our attendance policy is to teach the value of punctuality and regular/consistent attendance in the workplace. For students, school is their workplace. Parents, please partner with us to reinforce this. All students shall be punctual and regular in attendance. Uninterrupted daily attendance is extremely important to foster a positive learning environment. Absences disrupt the learning process and environment, not only for the student who is absent, but also for other students and the teacher. Teachers keep individual class attendance records for the students, and attendance is reported for each block, including chapel and homeroom, on Veracross daily. For each semester, a student will be allowed six absences per class, not including school-related functions* Parental permission is required for each absence. Written communication from the parent must be made to the school office within 48 hours of absence. *Please see exam exemption policy for more information. Excessive Absence Notification Procedure After the 4th absence from a class, an email will be sent to notify the parent/guardian of the dates of the student’s absences. After the 5th absence from a class, an email will be sent to notify the parent/guardian of the dates of the student’s absences, and that the student has one remaining absence. After the 6th absence from class, a meeting with the student, parent, and upper school leadership team will be held. A loss of semester credit may occur. The Upper School Leadership Team may address extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Participation in School Activities and Truancy • Students must attend academic classes for at least 3½ hours of the regular school day to participate in school activities scheduled to occur that day. • Students serving a suspension from school may not participate in school activities during the term of their suspension. If the suspension term includes the day before a weekend or holiday, the student may not participate in any school activity until he/she returns to class. Notification of Absence When a student is absent from school, the parent/guardian must contact the Upper School in writing via email ([email protected]) before 9:00 am to inform the school of the student’s absence. Parents should contact the school each day a student is absent. Consequences for Excessive Absences Students may be required to appear before an attendance committee to explain excessive absences after the 5th absence per semester. Truancy is an absence from school for any reason without the knowledge and consent of parents/guardians and Hill Country Christian School officials. Students who are truant will be reported to the Dean of Students and disciplinary action will be determined. Medical and Dental Appointments Parents should make every effort to schedule medical and dental appointments outside of school hours. An optimal time for this is Monday morning due to the students’ scheduled late start. If it is necessary to miss school for such an appointment, a parent should follow student pick-up procedures below. Upon returning directly from an appointment, students are to bring a signed excuse from the medical provider and sign in with the 1st floor receptionist (middle school) or the Upper School Office in Portable 9 (high school) to obtain a pass to class. Student Pick-Up Procedures In an effort to reduce classroom disruptions, parents should send a note in the morning with a student requesting a permit to leave. Please do not email teachers directly requesting permission to leave class. Permits to leave class can only be secured from the 1st floor receptionist or the Upper School Office before the school day begins. If the situation does not allow prior notice and the parent wishes to pick up a student early, the parent should come to the 1st floor receptionist (middle school) or Portable 9 (high school), request the student and sign the student out. Make-up Work Policy • • It is the parents’ responsibility to contact the principal and teacher(s) if a student will be out for an extended period of time. Students who demonstrate a consistent pattern of absences for tests, quizzes, or projects will be referred to the Upper School principal. Homework/Daily Assignments: • Unplanned Absence: It is the student’s responsibility to collect missed homework/daily assignments from individual teachers when he/she returns to school from an unplanned absence. A student has the same number of class sessions to make up a homework/daily assignment as the number of class sessions he/she was absent, e.g. absent two class sessions, two class sessions to make up the work. The Late Work Policy applies to make up work due to unplanned absences (see the Late Work Policy below). • Planned Absence: Any assignment due on the day(s) of a planned absence MUST be turned in prior to the absence. This includes but is not limited to any school-related activities (sports, field trips, college visits, etc.). The student must confer with his/her teacher before the absence and submit the assignment(s) prior to the absence. Major assignments (for example: long-term projects, term papers, take-home quizzes, etc.) due on a day a student is absent are still required to be turned in to that teacher by the end of the school day on the due date. Students must submit the assignment directly to the teacher, or via email, Google drive, or Veracross where it will be time stamped. • The Late Work Policy applies to make up work due to planned absences (see Late Work Policy below). Major Projects/Assignments • If a student is absent (planned or unplanned) on days that major assignments or projects are due (e.g., research papers), it is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements to have the work turned in by the beginning of class on the day that it is due. Failure to meet this requirement will result in a 10% grade reduction per calendar day. Tests • Unplanned Absence: If a student is absent for a test, he/she must take the test within 2 school days (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis). Failure to meet this requirement will result in a 10% grade reduction per school day. If a student was absent only for the review session before the test, and no new material was given, he/she must take the test at the regularly scheduled time. • Planned Absence: If a student knows in advance that he/she will be missing a scheduled test, before the planned absence occurs, he/she must schedule a date for taking the test. The test may be taken (upon teacher discretion) before or after the original date. This includes absences for school-related activities. Failure to meet this requirement will result in a 10% grade reduction per school day. • Students who demonstrate a consistent pattern of absences for tests, quizzes, or projects will be referred to the Upper School principal. Tardiness Tardiness disrupts the learning environment and takes valuable time away from teaching, therefore habitual tardiness is not acceptable. Students who develop a pattern of tardiness will be subject to additional restrictions and/or disciplinary action. • Tardy to School: All students who arrive to campus after the published start time of a school day must sign-in with the 1st floor receptionist (middle school students) or Upper School office (high school students) and receive a pass to give to their classroom teacher. • Tardy to Class: All students who arrive after the published start time of a class are recorded as tardy to class. If a student arrives to class 30 minutes late or later the student will be counted as absent for that class block. Following three tardies to any one class in a semester, students are required to serve a 90-minute detention AND accrue one absence for that class which counts toward the total number of six allowed absences per semester. Late Work Policy • Homework/Daily Assignments: An assignment is late if the student is not present with their work when the teacher collects it or in-class grading begins. Late work will be accepted up to two school days after the due date with a deduction of 30%. Failure to meet this deadline will result in a grade of zero. • Major Assignments/Projects/Take Home Exams: The penalty for a late major assignment or project will be a 10% deduction per calendar day. Students must submit the assignment directly to the teacher or via email, Google drive, or Veracross, where it will be time stamped. Students must submit electronic photos of any assignment or project that cannot be submitted electronically.