Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools




170 Chestnut Street,
Amherst MA 01002

Policy JH: Absences

Home 5 Policy JH: Absences

Regular and punctual school attendance is essential for academic success in school. When a student is absent from class or school, the continuity of the instructional process is disrupted, and the benefits of classroom instruction are lost. Parents/guardians have the responsibility of ensuring that their children attend school daily and on time.

Students may be excused temporarily from school for the following reasons:
1. Personal illness or quarantine
2. Death or serious illness in the family
3. Religious observance or obligation
4. Urgent medical or dental treatment
5. Other exceptional reasons with the approval of the principal or his/her designee.

The school will attempt to confirm all absences of children in grades K – 12.

Students will be required to present a written note from a parent/guardian, explaining the absence and excusing the student, on the day that the student returns from an absence. If the student does not provide a note from the parent/guardian within twenty-four hours of the student’s return to school, the absence will be considered “unexcused.”If the absence is for a reason other than those reasons allowed under this policy or in the school handbook, then the absence will be considered “unexcused.”

The parent/guardian must also provide a written explanation for any tardiness.

Written explanations should be provided in advance for the types of absences where advance notice can be given.

Parents/guardians of students with chronic or extended illnesses should provide a doctor’s note to one of the schools’ administrators as soon as possible, or in advance when advance notice is possible, that specifies the nature of the illness and the extent to which it will affect attendance. Students who will be out of school for an extended illness on consecutive days may be eligible for home or hospital tutoring if the absence will extend beyond fourteen days and the situation meets the home/hospital regulations. (603 CMR 28.03 (3) (c),28.04 (4) )

No pupil will be dismissed from school before the close of the school day, except in case of illness or other emergency, unless the school receives written request from the parent/guardian. All cases of early dismissal will be recorded. Students may not leave the school building until the person receiving the student has been properly identified No student may leave the school grounds without permission of the principal or his/her designee.

Students who have missed school or a class are expected to make up missed assignments, tests, and other school work. Students who know that they will miss school because of planned activities (including college visits, exchange trips, or field trips, etc.) should notify the affected teachers in advance in order to make arrangements with the teacher for making up work and with classmates to take class notes and record assignments on their behalf.

The School District is required to comply with state laws on school attendance. Parents/guardians will be notified of unexcused absences,school tardiness, or repeated class tardiness. Students with a pattern of poor attendance will be referred to the district Office of Student Services for investigation and intervention. If a student has a pattern of excessive absences (truancy), the Superintendent or his/her designee may file a CHINS (Child in Need of Services) petition with the Juvenile Court.

The School Committee directs the Superintendent to develop guidelines for the implementation of this policy and to publish these guidelines in the appropriate handbooks. These guidelines will include procedures to monitor student attendance, to communicate with parents/guardians about student attendance, and to intervene if a student has a pattern of poor attendance.


MGL 76:1 , 76:1A , 76:2 , 76:4 , 76:16 , 76:20603 CMR 28.03 (3) (c), 28.04 (4)


Region Voted to Approve:09/11/07
Amherst Voted to Approve:12/11/07
Pelham Voted to Approve:1/03/08
Effective Date:1/03/08