Milford Elementary Schools are committed to providing quality educational experiences for all of its students. We believe there is a direct correlation between school achievement and regular school attendance. With this in mind, the Milford Public Schools encourage daily attendance of all students.The compulsory Massachusetts attendance statute, General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 2 requires that children, ages 6-16 attend school. In addition, Chapter 76: Section 4 states: Inducing absences; penalty states: Whoever induces or attempts to induce a minor to absent himself unlawfully from school, or unlawfully employs him or harbors a minor who, while school is in session, is absent unlawfully therefore, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars.STUDENT ABSENCE NOTIFICATION PROGRAMChapter 76 Section 1A of the General Laws of Massachusetts states that the school committee of a city, town or regional school has the obligation to establish a student absence notification program to be monitored by the schools. Therefore, parents/guardians of each student must call the school by the time and number requested by school administrators to inform them of the child’s absence, the reason for the absence and to provide a number the guardian/parent can be reached at during the day. If a student is absent and the school is not notified by the time indicated, the school will call the student’s guardian/parent.See here for your school’s Call Back NumberPlease note that using the Call Back System DOES NOT excuse any absence.ATTENDANCE POLICY
The following is a step-by-step procedure that will be used in situations of UNEXCUSED ABSENCES:Step One: When a student has a total of six (6) days of non attendance, within a given 6-month period and none of those days have been covered by a health care professional’s note or other administratively approved excuse, then a telephone call will be made and/or a letter will be sent to the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) warning the family that the student is at risk for requiring an intervention that would necessitate a school communication.Step Two: If the student continues to be absent without appropriate excuses and the total of non-attendance days is nine (9), within a given 6-month period, prompt communication by the parent with a school administrator will be necessary upon receipt of student’s attendance history. Such communication would focus on the concerns associated with absences, and provide clear warning that further non-attendance would necessitate the filing of a Failure to Cause School Attendance with the Milford District Court. In some situations it would be useful for the student and family to also work with the School Adjustment Counselor in order to support improved attendance. This would be voluntary on the part of the student and family.Step Three: If the student continues to be absent from school without appropriate excuses, and the number of non-attendance days reaches twelve (12), within a given 6-month period, then the school’s administrator (or designee) would be obliged to file a Failure to Cause School Attendance with the Milford District Court. The Juvenile Probation Department would then decide if further action is necessary. If the Court did decide to move forward with the claim, it would be the responsibility of the school administrator (or designee) to liaison between school, Court and student/family in order to ensure school attendance.Step Four: Any further absences from school would be brought to the attention of the Juvenile Probation Office by the school administration. It would be up to the Court to determine if further intervention or consequences would be necessary.TRUANCYUnnecessary absences, due to a student’s willful decision or a parent’s inability or unwillingness to ensure attendance, is a violation of law and district policy. Parents who support or enable a chronic pattern of unnecessary absences may be subject to the Department of Social Services and/or court action. Such cases will be referred to the principal and/or the juvenile police officer.HOMEWORK DUE TO ABSENCESAfter a child is absent from school for three (3) or more days due to illness or injury, we recommend that parent(s)/guardian request homework by calling the school before 10:00 AM. Homework can then be picked up that afternoon at the office.FAMILY VACATIONSAn extended absence (3 or more days) from school for family trips, vacations, etc. is discouraged as this can be disruptive to your child’s education. Schoolwork for students will not be provided before an extended absence of this nature. Parent(s)/Guardian are asked to work with their child to complete any make-up assignments the teacher may provide after any extended absence. If an extended absence is unavoidable, please send a note, indicating the dates your child will be absent, to your child’s teacher. Family vacations during the school year are not considered excused absences.Please Note: Parents should be aware that we administer standardized tests in the fall, mid-year and in the spring.TARDINESSIt is important for parents to have their child(ren) report to school on time. Attendance, lunch count, and opening exercises in the classroom take place within the first fifteen minutes of the day. Arriving late means your child is starting their day one step behind their peers. Students reporting to school after 8:30 AM must report to the office to obtain a tardy slip. No child will be permitted to enter class unless a tardy slip has been obtained. Parents are expected to escort their child to the office in the event that they are tardy. A tardy log is maintained by the school office personnel.The parent(s)/guardian of any student who is tardy six (6) or more days per marking term will be notified by a telephone call and/or letter and an explanation will be required as to the reason for repeated lateness. If a reasonable explanation is not received, such tardiness will result in a conference between the parent(s)/guardian(s), school officials and the juvenile police officer. Continued tardiness may result in court and/or Department of Social Services action.DISMISSALWhen six (6) or more dismissals per marking period are accumulated, a telephone call will be made and/or a letter will be sent home to parent(s)/guardian(s) and an explanation will be required as to the reason for repeated dismissals. If a reasonable explanation is not received, such dismissals will result in a conference with the parent(s)/guardian, school officials and the juvenile police officer. Continued dismissals may result in court and/or Department of Social Services action. A dismissal log is maintained by the school office personnel.In order to ensure the continued safety of your children, a Dismissal Policy has been approved and adopted by the Milford School Committee (September 1, 1994).Anticipated dismissal:
- For the purpose of this policy, an absence will be defined as occurring any time a student is not present at the start of the school day, and does not check in (as late, tardy to school) with the school’s office.
- A tardy to school will be defined as occurring any time a student arrives late to school (after 8:30 AM) and needs to go to the school office in order to be considered present and attending school for the remainder of the school day.
- It is recognized that students may miss school for a number of reasons in which a physician’s note or an alternative excuse may be considered. The only excuse that may be accepted to excuse an absence is a physician’s note, a dentist’s note, a note from any other health care professional, or a legal reason such as a court date or family death.
- Any absence or tardy that is explained or covered by a health care professional’s note, or other excuse (such as death in the family) that is considered appropriate by the School Administrator, shall be counted as an EXCUSED ABSENCE. We ask that you contact the school administration prior to an such request.
Upon arrival at school:
- Parent or guardian will provide the school (via student) with a written notice of dismissal including date, dismissal time, return time, if applicable and name of person to whom the child will be dismissed.
***ALL STUDENTS MUST BE DISMISSED FROM THE OFFICE***In the event that no advance notice has been given, and persons other than the parent/guardian seek to dismiss a student, the school will contact the parent/guardian to verify the dismissal request. After verification the standard procedure for dismissal will be followed.It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to notify the school of any unusual or legal circumstances that may impact a student’s safety. (e.g., restraining orders, custodial rights, etc.)
- Parent/guardian or designee will report directly to the office and not to their child's individual classrooms;
- Parent/guardian/designee will be required to sign Dismissal Log and may be required to provide positive identification.