Attendance

Attendance Policy


Statement of Value
Great Work Montessori believes that regular attendance is the doorway to our students’ academic success, social-emotional health, and functional relationships.  Research shows that chronic absence, or missing 10 percent or more of school days due to absence for any reason—excused absences, unexcused absences, and suspensions—can translate into significant academic and social-emotional setbacks.  This policy is enacted in an effort to ensure engagement between the school and our students and their families.  It is intended, when necessary, to identify and support students for whom attendance begins to impact developmental outcomes.
As a feature of this school-wide value, the Young Children’s Community program is designed both to meet the developmental needs of our youngest students and to lay the foundation of grace and courtesy at school. Maintaining a consistent routine is of the utmost importance to your child and to our Young Children’s Community as a whole, and your arrival within the scheduled drop-off window is integral to this routine. The YCC is also designed to meet the needs of your family. We ask that you give your guide timely notice when arriving after the drop off window as it helps us to anticipate any additional needs of the day.


JeffCo Attendance Policy

Attendance is the responsibility of the student, the parents, and the school. The importance of regular, daily attendance as a basis for academic achievement cannot be overemphasized. Absences have a negative effect upon instructional continuity, regardless of attempts to make up the work. The district believes duplication of the classroom experience can never be accomplished with after-school assignments. The school cannot teach students who are not present. The regular contact of students with one another in the classroom and their participation in a well planned instructional activity under the tutelage of a competent teacher are vital to this purpose.


The following shall be considered excused absences:

A student who is temporarily ill or injured or whose absence is approved by the school administration on a prearranged basis. Prearranged absences shall be approved for appointments or circumstances of a serious nature only, which cannot be taken care of outside of school hours.

A student who is absent for an extended period due to physical, mental, or emotional disability.

Excused absences include funerals, illness, injury, legal obligations, medical procedures and religious observations, and extenuating circumstances determined by the principal.

A student who is attending a school sponsored activity or who is receiving Jeffco educational services shall not be considered absent for attendance reporting purposes.

A student who is visiting a parent or guardian who is an active duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty, is on leave from, or immediately returning from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting.

A student who is visiting a parent or guardian who is an active duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty, is on leave from, or immediately returning from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting.

The district may require suitable proof regarding the above exceptions, including written statements from medical sources. 3 illness days in a 10 day period requires documentation from a healthcare provider. Schools will then notify the parent or guardian if the absence will be considered unexcused pursuant to district policy. 

Any absence not specifically covered by another section, such as family vacations, college visits, or other extended absence, must complete a pre-arranged absence form in order to be excused. This form must be submitted at least three days prior to the scheduled absence. In order for an absence to be excused, the student must meet one or more of the following conditions: 1) is in good academic standing; 2) has no unexcused absences; or, 3) has four or fewer excused absences in a semester or seven or fewer in a school year.

The school will enforce the written district policy for makeup work.

  Shared Responsibility
Responsibility for each student’s attendance is shared by school administrators, classroom teachers, parents or guardians, and the student themselves.
  1. Guardian’s Responsibility
    1. To ensure the student is attending school
    2. To inform the school in the event of any absence
    3. To cooperate with the school to resolve issues with attendance
  2. School’s Responsibility
    1. Daily attendance
    2. Accurate record-keeping
    3. Systematic and equitable application of this policy
    4.  Reporting of attendance records to the district

Reporting The Colorado School Attendance Law requires compulsory school attendance for children ages six to seventeen.  This law recognizes guardians’ responsibility for their children’s attendance and requires schools to submit accurate annual attendance records to the district.


Unexcused Absences
Any absence that does not suit the criteria for an excused absence will be recorded as an unexcused absence.


Accrual of Absences

Number of Absences

School Response

1+

Automatic contact to family alerting them to their child’s updated rate of absence, including total number of excused and unexcused absences and attendance rate percentage

4+

Meeting or phone call with Family Liaison including: discussion of the academic and social impacts of irregular attendance, possible obstacles and appropriate supports, and goal setting to improve attendance

7+

Meeting with parent, Guide, Dean of Students, Family Liaison to develop Attendance Intervention Plan

10+

Referral to JeffCo Office of Student Engagement for elevated support and/or judicial proceedings as appropriate*


*The JeffCo Attendance Policy states that the maximum number of unexcused absences a student may incur before judicial proceedings are initiated to enforce compulsory attendance is four days in one month or 10 days in one year.


Tardiness
Arrival to school after 8:15am constitutes an instance of tardiness, for which guardians are required to sign their student in at the front office.  Tardiness, as a form of absence, accumulates to represent congruent effects on academic success and social development and is recorded as such.


Number of Tardies per Semester

School Response

1+

Automatic contact to family alerting them to their child’s updated rate of tardiness, including total number of tardy arrivals

5+

Meeting with Family Liaison to develop plan to support timely arrival to school

8+

Mandatory conference with parent/guardian, Guide, Dean, Attendance, Family Liaison to develop Attendance Intervention Plan

A Note on Restorative Practices
As a school determined to value restorative behavioral practices over punitive, Great Work Montessori recognizes the correlation between exclusionary discipline practices and disengagement.  Schools’ historic handling of truancy is no exception to this correlation.  Our intention is to reintegrate families to engage with the school community, their classrooms, and curriculum by building the reaffirming understanding on which relationships thrive.  As a process that depends on vulnerability and suffers under the effects of shame, discretion and trust are paramount.  Legal sanctions will be the result of a failure of the restorative conferencing model to identify and enact supportive agreements around student attendance.


       ATTENDANCE LINKS
 
  • Attendance Form - for same-day absences, late arrivals, early pick-ups, alternate person picking, etc.

  • Pre-Arranged Absence Form - for any absence the is being reported more than three days in advance.


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