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School success goes hand in hand with good attendance! Too many absences — excused or unexcused — can keep students from succeeding in school and in life. How many are too many? 10% of the school year — that’s 18 missed days or 2 days a month — can knock students off track.

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Monomoy Regional School District recognizes the importance of attendance for the successful academic development of its students. Research shows that children who attend school regularly perform better academically, socially, and behaviorally. Students who are chronically absent are more likely to drop out before graduating than those who attend school regularly. Arriving on time to school – and remaining in school for the entire school day – is equally important. Every child’s success depends on a solid educational foundation, and our school can’t build that foundation if a student is regularly absent, tardy, or dismissed.

Daily attendance is part of our school’s overall accountability measures, based on requirements from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Massachusetts defines Chronically Absent as missing at least 10% of days enrolled (e.g., 18 days absent if enrolled for 180) regardless of whether the absences are considered excused, unexcused and/or for disciplinary reasons. Under these accountability measures, our school is responsible for reducing the number of students who are chronically absent – those who miss eighteen (18) or more days in a year for any reason. While a limited number of absences due to illness, injury, legal or medical situation, or urgent family matter is natural in any school year, absences for family vacations, missing the school bus, or other non-urgent reasons are not appropriate.

To limit the number of chronically absent students, our school will take the following steps:
  1. When a student reaches six (6) absences, regardless of reason, a school administrator or their designee will reach out to reaffirm the importance of daily attendance and to offer support and assistance.
  2. When a student reaches nine (9) absences, regardless of reason, a school administrator or their designee will reach out to discuss and document the concerns and to offer support and assistance.
  3. When a student reaches twelve (12) absences, regardless of reason, the school will reach out to arrange a meeting between the household and school officials to explain potential legal consequences for continued absences and to offer intervention services.

Monomoy Regional School District has adopted a program to improve school attendance through the “Keep Them Coming” initiative, in which the school collaborates with parents/caregivers, the District Attorney’s Office, and other community entities to develop methods for improving student attendance. If the family is not responsive to the attendance outreach from the school, Keep Them Coming will be used. 

Please help improve students’ overall attendance by: scheduling appointments to take place before or after school hours, or during school vacations; taking family vacations only during weeks of school vacations; knowing the start and end times for the school day and respecting the hours in between for learning; and regularly checking Aspen’s Family Portal to view and monitor the student’s attendance record/pattern.

A student arriving at school after, or dismissing before 11:20 a.m. (CES/HES) or  12 p.m. (MRMS/MRHS) will not receive overall attendance credit for the day. A student who is absent 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 it is approved by appropriate school personnel.

Superintendent's Presentation to the School Committee

First page of the PDF file: FinalVersionChronicAbsenteeMonomoyvsStateSchoolCommitteePresentation2023

Reporting an Absence

If necessary, you can also call the school. When a student is absent without notifying the front office, an automated email will go to the student’s primary contact. If return correspondence is not received, the school may perform a wellness check.  

All non-attendance at school is considered an absence. MRSD understands that some absences are unavoidable. Please advise the school if:

  • There is a death in the family or religious observance.
  • The student is ill or has a professional appointment. Professionals mainly include doctors, medical facilities, legal, dentists, psychotherapists, chiropractors, orthodontists, etc.
  • The absence is school-sponsored (field trips, college visits, etc.).