1. 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.

    2. A tardy to school will be defined as occurring any time a student arrives late to school and needs to go to the school office in order to be considered present and attend school for the remainder of the school day. If the tardy arrival time is greater than 2 hours, the student will be considered absent for 1/2 day.

    3. A dismissal from school will be defined as occurring any time a student leaves school prior to the end of the day.  If the dismissal time is greater than 2 hours, the student will be considered absent for 1/2 day.

    4. An absence is only considered “excused” when a physician, dentist, or legal note documents a child was seen, treated, or required to appear on a particular day. Documentation of said visit or appointment must be submitted as soon as possible to the school administrative offices, and will not be accepted after 45 days from the absence.

    5. Any absence, tardy, or dismissal that is explained or covered by a physician’s note, or other excuses that are considered appropriate by the school administrator, may not be counted in determining if school consequences or further intervention is necessary at the discretion of the school administrator or Supervisor of Attendance.

    6. A student dismissed by a School Nurse will be excused the following day upon recommendation of the school nurse.

    The following is a step-by-step procedure that will be used in situations where an attendance problem exists:

    Step One: When a student has a total of five (5) days of unexcused absences which could include any combination of absences, tardies, and dismissals within any 45 day period of the school year, a letter will be sent out to the student’s parents/guardian(s) to review the attendance policy, advising the family that the student is at risk for requiring an intervention that would necessitate a school meeting.  Further interventions could involve the Department of Children and Families (DCF), or Juvenile Court through a CRA (Child Requiring Assistance) application. 

    Step Two:  If the student continues to be absent, tardy, or dismissed without appropriate excusal documentation and the total of unexcused absences is ten (10) which could include any combination of absences, tardies, and dismissals within any 45 day period, a school meeting will be mandatory. The conference would include parent/guardian(s) of the student, School Administrator or designee, and Supervisor of Attendance and may include the child.  During the meeting, a determination will be made whether a 51A (DCF), or CRA (Juvenile Court) is necessary at that time.  If not, a plan will be developed and implemented to monitor the student’s attendance. 

    In some situations, it would be useful for the student and family to also work with the School Adjustment Counselor, Supervisor of Attendance, or School Social Worker in order to support improved attendance.  This would be voluntary on the part of the student and family. 

    Step Three:  If a student has accumulated a total of eighteen (18) unexcused absences which could include any combination of absences, tardies, and dismissals at any point during the school year, a 51A (DCF) or CRA (Juvenile Court) will be filed. It would be up to DCF or the Court to determine if further intervention or consequences would be necessary. The student and family would be expected to work with the School Administrator or designee to assure compliance with school attendance laws.  Eighteen (18) or more absences in any school year is considered Chronic Absenteeism.  As a result of Chronic Absenteeism, retention may be considered as a remedy for the excessive time missed from class and school.

    Student Absence Notification Programs

    Chapter 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. Students are not allowed to call in their absences. 

    Parent/guardian(s) of each student must call their child’s school on the morning of the absence to inform the school staff of the following information:

    • Child’s name;

    • Child’s grade;

    • Homeroom number;

    • Reason for the absence;

    • Provide a parent/guardian(s) telephone number where they can be reached during the day;

    • Name of person calling in the above information.

    If a student is absent and the school is not notified by the time indicated, a call home will be made.   If the school cannot make contact with a parent/guardian(s), the Milford Police may be notified and/or a 51A may be filed.

    Vacations and Absenteeism

    Family vacations are unexcused absences and are subject to the above attendance procedures. School work will not be provided prior to students leaving for a non-school vacation. Students may be expected to make up any class work and/or homework assignments upon returning to school, as determined by the child's teacher(s).


    Unnecessary 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 Children and Families and/or Juvenile Court action.  Such cases will be referred to the principal, Supervisor of Attendance, and/or the School Resource Officer.


     Students reporting to school after the official school start time must check in at the main office before going to their assigned classroom.  No child will be permitted to enter class unless they have checked in at the office.

    •  Grades K-2: Parents are expected to escort their child to the office and check in with the administrative assistant. 

    •  Grades 3-5 : Students may enter the building on their own.