Interventions for Excessive Absences or Tardiness
Attendance procedures are included in all school handbooks, outlining school department policy with clear directions for parents regarding the reporting of a child’s absence and the parents’ responsibility for their child’s attendance. Parents need to provide a written explanation for the absence of their child at all times. When chronic or irregular absence occurs, reportedly due to illness, the administrator may request a physician’s statement certifying that such absence is justifiable.
In an effort to foster attendance and punctuality and to strengthen the enforcement of M.G.L., Chapter 76, Section 2, absenteeism and chronic tardiness is closely monitored. If a child’s absences or tardiness becomes excessive, Building Principals notify the BPS Attendance Office. Reports of unresolved truancy, chronic tardiness and/or absenteeism may result in the filing of one or more of the following with the Essex County Juvenile Court: (a) a CRA Petition (Child Requiring Assistance), Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 119, sec. 39E); (b) a Failure to Cause Complaint, Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 76, sec. 2; or (c) an Inducing Absenteeism Complaint, Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 76, sec. 4. Prior to a formal court proceeding, a student and/or parent may be asked to attend an informal administrative hearing with the Attendance Office and a Probation Officer.
If there are extenuating circumstances which are preventing your child from attending school on a regular basis, please contact your school's adjustment counselor.