Attendance is taken very seriously at Wakefield High School. The staff and administration believe there is a high correlation between attendance and achievement and that regular attendance is crucial to student success. WHS will maintain accurate attendance information and will share this information with parents and students. It is extremely important for parents and students to closely monitor and document absences.
Students will not be counted absent from school when participating in school-sponsored events. School assemblies are considered school-related. If students do not attend the assembly, it is considered an unexcused absence. To be counted present during the school day, students must be in school at least one half of the day (2 periods). A student must be in class a minimum of 45 minutes to be counted present for period attendance.
Excused Absences are defined by School Board Policy #6000.3 as:
- Illness or injury which makes the student physically unable to attend school.
- Isolation ordered by the State Board of Health or the Wake County Health Department.
- Death in the immediate family.
- Medical, dental, or other appointment with a health care provider for the student or for a child for whom the student is the parent.
- Court when a student is under subpoena.
- Religious observance, as suggested by the religion of the student or parent.
- Participation in an educational opportunity, such as travel with prior approval as documented on the “Request for Excused Absences for Educational Reasons.”
- A catastrophic event or natural disaster.
Consistent attendance in school is linked to student achievement and higher grades. Absences such as oversleeping, missing the bus, traffic, car trouble, or absent from class without permission are unexcused. A note from the student’s parent or guardian must be brought to the Attendance Office within 2 days of returning from the absence. Following an unexcused absence, work can be completed for full credit provided the student attends a remediation session (Pride Time or SMART LUNCH) to complete assignments. Absences resulting from suspensions are unexcused and the same make-up policy applies.
Upon return from an absence, students should bring a note from a parent or doctor to the Attendance Office. Absence notes should include the following:
- Student’s name – first and last – no nicknames
- Date(s) absent
- Time leaving school
- Reason for leaving
- Parent/Guardian signature
- Home and work phone numbers of parents
Notes must be brought to the Attendance Office within two (2) days of returning from the absence and presented BEFORE the start of first period or during lunch. Absences not documented within two (2) days will be classified as unexcused, as mandated by School Board Policy 6000.4. Absence notes will not be accepted via fax or email.
EDUCATIONAL LEAVE FORM
In order for a student to be excused for educational reasons, an education leave form (1710) must be completed. This form is available at… http://wakefieldhs.wcpss.net/infoforms.php. All teachers must sign this form prior to it being submitted. It must accompany a 300 word essay regarding the educational value of the absence. All paperwork MUST be turned in at least three (3) school days prior to the documented absence.
Juniors and Seniors are allowed to take school days to visit colleges. Juniors are provided one day per semester and Seniors are provided 2 days per semester. When taking these days students do not need to submit an educational leave form. For the absence to be excused the student must submit verification that they were on the college campus within two days of the visit. Acceptable verification can be a validated parking pass or verification of the visit on university letterhead. Brochures of the college will NOT be accepted as verification.
Students arriving to school after 7:35 AM must sign in at the Attendance Office and receive an Admittance Slip. This slip should be shown to every teacher whose class was missed. Habitually late students will receive disciplinary consequences and may lose parking privileges and/or off-campus lunch privileges. With the new initiative, Pride Time, students who arrive after 8:04 M-TH should report to the Attendance Office. On Friday, students who arrive after 8:08 should report to the Attendance Office.
CHECK-OUT – WITH NOTE
A student who needs to leave school before the end of the school day should present a note to the Attendance Technician before the start of first period indicating the following: student name, date/time of absence/appointment, reason for leaving, parent/guardian signature, home/work telephone of parent/guardian. Students should return to the attendance office at the appropriate time to check out and check in when they return. All notes will be verified. Phone calls, faxes, and emails will not be accepted for checking out students. In the case of forgery, disciplinary action will be taken. All absences are marked unexcused until a valid note for the absence is turned into the attendance office.
CHECK OUT – WITHOUT NOTE
If a student needs to check out early and does not have a note, a parent or guardian must go to the Attendance Office and check the student out. Phone calls, faxes, and emails are not accepted. Any parent/guardian who checks out a student must show a picture ID and be on the approved contact list. If a student goes off campus for lunch and does not return because he or she is ill, a parent must go to the school and officially check the student out. NO student may be checked out during the last 10 minutes of school on either campus. Students who leave campus without following proper sign-out procedures will receive a permanent unexcused absence in classes missed, and they will be considered skipping. Skipping will result in disciplinary action.
Attendance information is shared with parents and students via the student handbook, school website, and announcements at the beginning of the semester. Each evening School Messenger, an automated telephone system, phones home to alert parents when their student is absent. Even if we know the reason for the absence, the machine still calls. It doesn’t matter if the absence is excused or unexcused; state law requires parents be informed.
Additionally, letters are sent to parents when students reach 6 and 10 absences. These letters are a requirement of state law. This written documentation gives parents knowledge of the resources available to address attendance issues. Letters are sent whether the absences are excused or unexcused.
PARTICIPATION IN INTER-SCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES
All students participating in interscholastic activities must be present in school for the entire day in order to participate in activities, performances, or practices…except where exempted by a physician.
Any student who misses a class is entitled and expected to make up assignments. The student is responsible for getting the missed assignments and scheduling times to make up tests. Teachers will communicate their expectations for completing make-up work. Each teacher’s assistance/office hours are posted outside his/her classroom door. Students who are absent for an extended time due to illness or emergency should contact student services for assignments. Assignments that are assigned prior to an absence will be due upon return; this includes tests that are scheduled for the day of return. If make-up work is not assigned in advance, for absences of 1 to 3 days, the student will have a minimum of 1 day for each absence to complete the missed assignments. For absences exceeding 3 days, the student will have a minimum of 2 days for each absence to complete assignments. Students receive full credit for make-up work after an absence if it is completed according to teacher expectations.
Absences resulting from out-of-school suspensions are unexcused. Make-up work can be arranged with teachers. Students will receive full credit for exams.Exam Exemption POLICYAll students, 9-12, may be exempted from exams if the following criteria are met:
“A” average with 3 or fewer absences for the course.
“B” average with 2 or fewer absences for the course.
“C” average with 1 or fewer absences for the course.
All absences count in the exemption total except for school-sponsored field trips, activities, and approved college days. No student can be exempted from a State EOC test or VOCATS. Teachers will determine students who are exempt in each class based on the above criteria.
TEACHERS AND ATTENDANCE RECORDS
School Board Policy 6000.1: Teachers will: 1) monitor and report student absences daily, following all attendance regulations; 2) keep detailed records, entering attendance daily into Power Schools and a separate roll book; 3) when students reach 3 absences in a class, parents will be notified
SCHOOL SPONSORED EVENTS and TESTING
Teachers conducting a field trip or school related activity should notify the Attendance Technician (include an email to all staff) of all students who were present before the trip or activity. When there is school-wide testing, such as the PLAN or ACT, the testing coordinator will email a list of students present within one day of testing; teachers are responsible for adjusting their attendance according.
Students who were absent from school the previous school day and have a note must report to the attendance office before school from 7:05 – 7:20 or during lunch. STUDENTS SHOULD NOT BE SENT OUT OF CLASS TO TURN IN EXCUSED NOTES. Without a note, the absence is unexcused.