Monomoy Regional High School recognizes the importance of attendance for the successful academic development of its students. Studies have shown that academic success highly correlates with regular attendance. Students who are chronically absent or tardy are more likely to drop out before graduating than those who attend school regularly. A student, 16 years of age and older, who accumulates 15 consecutive days of non-attendance will be removed from the Monomoy Regional High School enrollment register per Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 18.
A student arriving at school after, or dismissing before, 12:00 PM will not receive overall attendance credit for the day. A student with an unexcused absence, dismissal, or dismissal/return for non-excused purposes will not be permitted to participate in any school-sponsored events (clubs, social, athletic, the Arts or extracurricular activities) during the period of such absence (unless administrative approval is given).
* Parents/ guardians are encouraged to regularly check ASPEN via the Parent Portal to view and monitor their child’s attendance record/pattern.
Reporting an Absence
If a student will be absent from a regular school day, a parent or guardian needs to inform the school to indicate the reason for the absence. If notification is not received to report the absence, an automated notification (automated phone call and/or email) will be generated notifying the parent or guardian of the absence.
Absences are not considered excused unless a document from a professional is received confirming the absence was necessary and sanctioned by the professional. Professionals mainly include doctors, medical facilities, legal, dentists, psychotherapists, chiropractors, orthodontists, etc. Notes received more than a week after the absence may not be considered.
Multiple Days of Absence Known in Advance
The student must present a note from a parent to an Assistant Principal indicating the dates and reason for the projected absence. The Assistant Principal will sign the note and determine whether the absences will be categorized as excused. The student can then bring the note to their teachers to receive assignments.
All non-attendance at school is considered an absence. Absences move to the excused category if:
- Parental notes indicate a death in the family or religious observance.
- Professional (not parental) notes supporting absences due to illness or appointments are submitted. Professional notes (doctor, court, etc.) should be presented as the absence occurs. Professional notes will not be accepted beyond 5 school days of the absence.
- Absences are school-sponsored (field trips, athletic dismissals, etc.).
- College visits (maximum of 3 days) are supported by professional notes from the college.
Excessive Absence Warnings
Excessive absences will be reported to parents in the following ways:
- Report cards/Interim Report notations
- Letters, emails and/or calls from teachers/administration at critical stages
- Attendance meetings with parent and student
In flagrant absentee cases involving students under age sixteen, the school may file a CRA petition with the court or initiate 51A (abuse, neglect) proceedings. The intervention process may be waived in cases of obvious extended illness or other verifiable hardship.
Loss of Credit Due to Absenteeism
Monomoy Regional High School reserves the right to deny credit to a student in grades 9 – 12 who exceeds eighteen (18) days of unexcused absence from school.
Students in 8th grade with excessive absences will be involved in the interventions listed above under Excessive Absence Warnings and Flagrant Absenteeism. Eighth graders may be subject to loss of credit earning potential with regard to World Language.
Loss of Credit/Appeals
Any student losing credit for excessive absence will have the right of appeal. An appeal board consisting of the Principal or an Assistant Principal, the student’s guidance counselor, and as appropriate, related school personnel (nurse, school psychologist, etc.) will hear student appeals. An appeal board decision in favor of the student does not assure passing grades. Application for an appeal hearing must be filed within ten days of the receipt of the loss of credit notice. If there is a properly documented, extended illness that exceeds the limits for loss of credit, the appeal board will waive the need for a hearing and credit will not be denied because of such absence.
If for any reason a student needs to be dismissed prior to the end of the school day, arrangements need to be made PRIOR to the dismissal. Students who require early dismissal must present to the office a WRITTEN REQUEST signed by their parent or guardian. Notes are due before 10:30 AM on the dismissal day, or earlier.
Forms of acceptable written request include:
- A note written and signed by parent or guardian including the date and time of dismissal.
- An email from the parent or guardian to the school (email@example.com). The parent or guardian will receive a reply email to confirm the emailed dismissal request was received.
- A fax from a parent or guardian (508)-430-7223.
It is understood that unforeseen situations and emergencies arise. These circumstances will be handled on a case by case basis. All students MUST be dismissed from the Main Office to sign out. For safety reasons, MRHS will not dismiss a student to anyone other than a parent or a specifically authorized adult unless written permission is received from the parent in advance. Students being dismissed early will remain in their scheduled class until their ride is in the office to sign them out. Students with authorized early dismissal notification who drive themselves, must obtain a pass to leave class at the designated dismissal time. Passes are obtained in the main office.
Students are expected to be on time for school and classes.
Students who are tardy to school must report to the Main Office to sign in on the tardy sheet, and receive a pass to class. A student MUST bring a parental note when tardy to school stating the reason for the tardy.
When a written note is received from a parent or guardian stating one of the following is the reason for tardiness, the tardy will be recorded as excused:
- Student had a legal, medical, psychological, physical, or dental appointment.
- Student not feeling well
- 504 or IEP diagnosis and accommodation is on file at MRHS and is specifically documented and addresses tardiness.
If such tardies become excessive, then “professional” notes will be required in order to excuse the tardy.
Tardy arrival to school attributed to the following, but not limited to, are unexcused, regardless of a note from home: sleeping in, alarm issues, missing the bus, arriving late by means of one’s own transportation, traffic, construction, etc. Parents are notified when unexcused tardies accumulate excessively.
Tardy Policy Per Semester
Policy resets to zero at the start of the second semester.
• Fifth Unexcused Tardy = Parent/Guardian notified by administrator or designee
• Tenth Unexcused Tardy = Saturday School
• Fifteenth Unexcused Tardy = Saturday School
Possible consequences for fifteen or more tardies per semester:
Loss of social privileges (dances, etc.)
Extracurricular eligibility for the remainder of the quarter.
Extracurricular activities include but are not limited to:
athletics, theater, clubs, dances, etc.
Return to School Following Certain Circumstances
Prior to a student’s return to school from incarceration, medical or behavioral facilities, a re-entry meeting will be requested to discuss re-entry and facilitate a successful transition back to school. A discharge summary will be requested indicating the student is medically able and safe to return to school.
In the event that you move during the school year, all withdrawals are processed through the school’s Main Office. You must complete a transfer form and sign a release of records, which will allow the forwarding of cumulative records to the receiving school. We will mail the documents through the mail and request sufficient notice to ensure a smooth transition for your child.
Massachusetts General Laws on Attendance
Chapter 76, section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws states that all children between the ages of six and sixteen must attend school. A school district may excuse up to seven day sessions or fourteen half day sessions in any period of six months. In addition to this law, each school may have its own attendance policy with which parents/guardians should be familiar.
Notification and Contact Information
Chapter 76, section 1A of the Massachusetts General Laws states that parents/guardians must be provided each year with the instructions for calling a designated phone number at a designated time to inform the school of the absence of a student and the reason for the absence. In addition, parents/guardians must provide the school with a home, work or other emergency telephone number so that they may be contacted during the school day so the school may call and inquire about said absence.
Who is a Supervisor of Attendance?
Chapter 76, section 19 of the Massachusetts General Laws states that each school committee must employ a supervisor of attendance. A supervisor of attendance has the power to apprehend and take to school any child who is truant and is required to investigate all cases where a child in the district fails to attend school.
What is a CRA?
A "CRA” (child requiring assistance) is a petition may be filed in court by a supervisor of attendance if the child is habitually absent and doesn't attend school for more than 8 days in a quarter without a proper excuse or A habitual school offender who doesn't obey the lawful and reasonable commands of the school.
What is a 51A?
A 51A is a report of suspected child abuse or neglect that is filed with the Department of Social Services. Under Chapter 119, section 51A of the Massachusetts General Laws, a report can be filed on behalf of a child under the age of eighteen for educational neglect if a child is not attending school on a regular basis.
Parents or guardians are legally responsible for ensuring that a child under their control attends school daily. It is a crime for a responsible parent or guardian not to cause such a child to attend school. If a child fails to attend school for seven day sessions or fourteen half day sessions within any six month period, the supervisor of attendance may file a criminal complaint in court against the responsible parent/guardian.
It is a crime to induce or attempt to induce a minor to miss school, or unlawfully to employ or to harbor a minor who should be in school.