In November 2016, Governor Wolf signed into law new school attendance provisions. Act 138 of 2016, rewrites a substantial portion of the Public School Code that addresses unexcused absences and truancy. These new provisions are in effect beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. Essentially, if a student is absent without a note from a parent/guardian citing an acceptable reason the absence is classified as unexcused. If students accumulate three unexcused absences, they are considered “truant.” Six days or more of unexcused absences is considered “habitually truant” and subject to consequences that may include the filing of a citation in district court. When students accumulate 10 total days of absence, excused or unexcused, the District requires a note from a doctor for any subsequent absences.
As part of the new legislation, the State is encouraging schools and families to work together in understanding unexcused absences and how students can be supported when they struggle with attendance, for any reason. The school district will develop a “Student Attendance Improvement Plan” in its efforts to address attendance issues. For more in-depth information about the guidelines, please reference the Attendance Guidelines letter.
To report your child’s absence, contact your child’s school by 8:30am on the day of the absence.