Maryland Law requires compulsory attendance of all children who are from five years of age through the age of sixteen. A waiver of one year may be given to a kindergarten child who needs time for personal development. The responsibility for compliance with the law belongs to the parents or guardians.
State Law requires that private schools be open a minimum of 180 days. The school is obligated to keep an accurate record of daily attendance for each student. Class time is a valuable component of a child’s education. Every effort should be made to ensure your child’s daily attendance.
The following are valid reasons for excused absences from school (if properly documented by the student’s parent or guardian upon the student’s return to school):
- Illness of the student (after three days of illness, student must provide medical documentation that indicates the student is able to return to school);
- Death in the student’s immediate family;
- Necessity for a student to attend a judicial proceeding;
- Lawful suspension or exclusion from school by chief administrative officer.
- Temporary closing of facilities or suspension of classes due to severe weather, official activities, holidays, malfunctioning equipment, unsafe or unsanitary conditions, or other conditions requiring closing or suspension of classes;
- Other absence(s) approved in advance by the principal upon the written request of a parent or guardian. Failure to provide advance notice may result in an unexcused absence.
Any absence that does not fall into one of the above categories, or is not properly documented by the student’s parent/guardian, is an unexcused absence.
In the case of absence, the parents or guardian of the student will call the school the morning of the absence and will also provide the school with a written excuse giving the dates and reason for absence. If a student does not present a written excuse upon returning to school, or if the school has reason to suspect the validity of the excuse, the principal will investigate the situation and apply appropriate remedies. Parents may wish to take their student out of school for several days for personal reasons. This is strongly discouraged; however, when such a request is made, the teacher, and principal if necessary, should discuss the student’s progress with her/his parents and advise them of the effect such an absence would have on the pupil’s work. The final decision, however, is the responsibility of the parents. Assignments missed during such absences will be completed after the student returns and in a reasonable time frame determined by consultation with the teacher. Teachers will not provide work in advance to accommodate vacations during the school year. Eighth grade students who wish to “shadow” a high school student for a day must have the absence approved in advance by the principal.
Students who are absent during the school day may not attend after-school or evening activities.
No student is allowed on school grounds before 7:35 in the morning. No student may remain more than 15 minutes after dismissal unless s/he is under the direct supervision of a teacher or coach. Exceptions to this are students in Before or After Care. Students who are at school prior to 7:35 or more than 15 minutes after dismissal will be sent to Before or After Care and parents will be charged the drop-in rate. The extended school day, including Before and After Care, runs from 6:30am until 5:30pm. UNLESS WE HAVE A WRITTEN NOTE OR A PHONE CALL BEFORE 2:15, CHILDREN WILL BE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW THEIR REGULAR DISMISSAL ROUTINE. Please remind children to give notes with dismissal changes to their teacher FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. The school office clocks are the official time pieces for attendance.
Releasing Students No child will be released from the school’s supervision without the parent first coming to the office and signing the daily log. Personnel from the school will notify the teacher to send the student to the office to meet the parent or responsible party. If a parent is sending someone to pick up his/her child, the parent must give advance notice to the office by letter or phone and the individual picking up the child will be asked to show a photo ID.
Only those who have been listed on the student’s emergency form may pick up a child without a written request from the parent. A phone call by the parent to the office is sufficient when someone who is listed on the emergency form picks up the child. If a parent knows that someone will pick up the child on a regular basis, s/he may write one note, which will provide that information to the office. This note will be kept for the school year and will give the school authorization to release the child to the person(s) named.
Divorced or separated parents must file a court-certified copy of the custody section of the divorce or separation decree with the school office if the rights of either parent are limited. The school will not be held responsible for failing to honor arrangements that have not been placed on file. In the absence of a court order to the contrary, the rights of both parents to have equal access to their children will be upheld.
Tardiness All students should arrive by 7:50 a.m. Arriving after 8:00 constitutes tardiness. Any student arriving after 8:00 must be signed in by a parent and obtain a slip from the office before being admitted to class. A successful day begins with good organization; therefore, it is important to arrive at school on time. Chronic tardiness is not acceptable and a conference with the principal will be required to correct this situation. Perfect attendance awards are given only to students whose attendance is perfect. This means that students must be present, arrive on time, and remain throughout the entire day every day of the school year.
Doctor/Dental Appointments Doctor and dental appointments are to be scheduled after school hours. Appointments during the school day impact perfect attendance. If it is absolutely necessary to make an appointment during school, a written excuse must be presented to the school office at the opening of the day. It is the responsibility of the student to find out and make up work s/he has missed.
Illness The importance of regular attendance cannot be overemphasized; however, if a child is running a fever, nauseated, or ill at home before school time, please do not send the child to school to expose others to the illness. Parents are asked not to request teachers to keep a child indoors at recess or lunch. Special exceptions may be arranged with the principal. When it is necessary for a student to be absent from school because of illness, a parent is required to call the school office with the nature of the illness or a note from the parent stating the reason for the absence is required when the child returns to school. Should there be the need for an extended absence, please call the school.
Children will be sent home if any of the following conditions exists, so please keep your child home in the morning if s/he exhibits:
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Severe or unusual cough
- Yellowish, watery or red eyes
- Difficult of rapid breathing
- Abnormal body temperature or fever, below 97 degrees or above 100 degrees
- Once parents of ill students are contacted by the school office or nurse, immediate pick up is necessary.
For cases of strep infection, ringworm, impetigo, conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and other infectious conditions, a child must be on medication for 24-48 hours prior to returning to school. A doctor’s note is required in order to return. A child’s temperature must be within normal range for at least 24 hours before returning to school. Children must be free from nausea, diarrhea and vomiting for 24 hours before returning to school.
Upon notification from parents, children will be excused from active participation in physical education classes. If a student is unable to participate in class for more than 3 days, a doctor’s note is necessary.
Make-up Work Whenever a student is absent, that student is responsible for the work that s/he missed and is required to go to the teacher involved for make-up tests, homework, or class work. Any make-up work is to be done on the student’s time, so that class instruction is not interrupted. The appropriate time frame for make-up work can be determined by allowing one day to make up the work for each day absent.