Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Attendance Policy

As some of our students have already been absent from school for various legitimate reasons, sometimes for several days, I thought it would be a good time to highlight the new attendance policy adopted this summer and published in our Parent Student Handbook. Note that this policy aims at monitoring and curbing chronic absenteeism, and will most likely not affect you and your child.


Regular, daily attendance is an important part of the academic program at MPH. The class discussion and presentation are as important for academic success as written work. Occasional student absences are ordinary and unavoidable; illness and medical appointments affect us all. The School recognizes illness, medical appointments, religious obligations, family emergencies, and college visits (for Juniors and Seniors), as reasons for excused student absences. 

But no matter the reason, excessive absences harm a student's ability to thrive, and the School must assert the need for regular attendance. There are points at which a student's absences (even if they fall into the category of “excused absences” described above) may begin to alarm the School, with corresponding effects and outcomes. When excessive absences are due to a serious medical condition, parents and administrators will meet so that the School can devise the best plan for the future. Any decision may be appealed to the Head of School. 

1. When a student has been absent for four meetings of any class or six school days in a single quarter, the School will begin to pay particular attention to the student's attendance. Paying particular attention means that student's absences may be flagged by the Attendance Office, and the student and the student's family may be queried closely about the student's attendance pattern. At this point, the School is concerned about the student's ability to keep up in academic classes. 

2. When the student has been absent for six meetings of any class, or 12 school days, the School may determine that those absences will have serious consequences for academic progress. Serious consequences include the likelihood that missing work will not be accepted for credit, with the potential for a failing grade in a course. 

3. When a student has been absent for eight meetings of any class, or 16 school days, the School has grave concerns about the student's ability to return in the subsequent year, or perhaps even to continue in the current academic year. Grave concerns indicate that the School believes the student may not be able to finish the current academic year or be promoted to the next grade. Grave concerns might indicate a withdrawal from the School before the end of the academic year"

(Parent Student Handbook p 13)