Attendance Policy 2020-2021
In response to COVID-19, the NYCDOE created policies and structures to track student interactions to account for attendance in both in-school and remote classrooms. Attendance is a measure of student engagement and instructional time in both remote and blended learning settings.
Our school-based staff is aware of the following policy information and will mark attendance accordingly:
- Present is defined as:
- In Person (blended) – student is physically present in the classroom, ready for instruction during the scheduled school day
- Remote – student is virtually present in a virtual learning environment for synchronous (live) instruction or asynchronous instruction during the scheduled school day*
- Absent is defined as:
- In Person – student is a blended student and was absent from in-person learning for that day
- Remote – student is a blended or remote student and was absent during virtual synchronous instruction and asynchronous on that day.*
Grading Policy will follow…grades are determined by quality of work that is handed in, not attendance!
*For special circumstances (for example: students travelling or lack of technology) certain students have been given individual accommodations and plans. If you feel that you require such accommodations, please reach out to Mrs. Delaney, Parent Coordinator, email@example.com.
Attendance every day is required for students’ academic success. Perfect attendance is the goal. Having 90% attendance means a student is missing 18+ days over a school year—a month of instruction—and at risk for dropping out later in school. With regular attendance, students learn the skills and habits to succeed in their academic and social lives.
NY State regulations require schools to maintain records that verify student attendance. Attendance must be recorded daily. Late arrivals and early departures must also be recorded.
Absences (Blended, In-person Days)
A student who is not in school when attendance is taken each morning is marked absent for the day. If the student comes in, the teacher will change the attendance. Absences may be excused (but not eliminated) for reasons listed below. Excused absences will still appear as absences on a student’s records. The attendance team will follow up with families about recurring attendance issues, including recurring absences that may be considered excused.
- Illness/injury: When a student is unable to attend school due to illness or injury, a document or notification (call or note from the family or doctor) is required to indicate it as excused. [reason code 01 or 02]
- If an accommodation is required to return to school (cast or medication) families must call Alexia Ferrauto at (718)236-7071 about 504 plans or the school nurse for Medication Administration Forms. If families fail to seek the necessary accommodation plans, any continuing absences due to illness or injury, including asthma-related absences, may be considered unexcused.
- The school follows the DOE policy on Head Lice.
- Religious observation: When a student is unable to attend school due to religious observation, the family’s request in writing is required to indicate an excused absence. Please refer to Chancellor’s Regulation A-630. [reason code 05]
- Family emergency: When a student is unable to attend school due to a death or an emergency, notification and documentation by the family is required to indicate an excused absence. [reason code 03, 06 or 08]
- If a student requires support to return to school (transportation, counseling, supplies), the family must call School Counselors Pina Pietanza and Anthony Venosa to discuss their needs.
- Pre-arranged appointments: When a student is unable to attend school due to appointments with the court, social services, or other city agencies, notification and documentation by the family is required to indicate an excused absence. [reason code 06 or 33].
- Whenever possible, families are expected to schedule appointments, including school visits and doctors’ visits, outside of regular school hours, or to schedule appointments so the student does not miss an entire day of school.
- Unexplained absence: Families are expected to notify the school whenever a student is unable to attend school, either in advance of the absence (preferred) or following the absence. Without explanation of a reason, the absence(s) are considered unexcused. [no reason code]
- Immunization exclusion: When a student is unable to attend school due to lack of appropriate immunizations the absence(s) are considered unexcused. Please refer to Chancellor’s Regulation A-701. [reason code 17=unexcused]
- Family vacations or travel: Families should plan vacations and trips when school is not in session. If students do miss school, families must work with the school to develop plans for take-home and make-up work. [reason code 25=unexcused]
When a student has to miss in-person school
It is the family’s responsibility to:
- Call 718-236-7071 and use prompt 7 before 8:00 a.m. to inform the attendance team of the reason for any absence and
- Make contact with the student’s teacher via Remind.
If the student with COVID Symptoms or under quarantine is well enough to work, the student may attend remotely for the day and be marked present (online). For circumstances other than COVID Symptoms or quarantine please reach out to the school and we will address each situation individually.
Our goal is to make sure that students are working remotely or in person everyday as long as they are well enough to work.
When a student returns from a full-day absence, he/she must submit a note or documentation to his/her classroom teacher or submit it via Renmind. A record of the absence (excused or not) will be shared with all of the student’s teachers and the school administration.
- For any absence, students must make up any exams, quizzes, interim assessments, or other tests. It is the family’s responsibility to coordinate make-up work with the teachers.
If a student will be out of school for two weeks or more, families are asked to attend a conference and complete a transition plan that will include a schedule for missed classwork and for mandatory tutoring/lessons at lunch, after school or Saturday upon return. Current contact information will be reviewed and updated to prepare for any contingency that delays the student’s return to school.
Absences (Remote Days)
A student who is not present for live synchronous instruction or a virtual meeting (Google, Zoom, etc) when attendance is taken each morning is marked absent for the day. If the student attends later, the teacher will change the attendance. Absences may be excused (but not eliminated) for the same reasons above. Excused absences will still appear as absences on a student’s records. The attendance team will follow up with families about recurring attendance issues, including recurring absences that may be considered excused.
When a student has to leave school early
Leaving school early must be arranged in advance. A student can be dismissed from school early to the family or a person who has been identified on the Blue Card in Operoo. Anyone picking up a student must come to the entrance and provide a photo ID.
- Early departures may be indicated by a reason code on the student’s attendance record.
Notification of absences
Every family of a student who is not in school when attendance is taken will be notified by a call. Even if families provided a documented reason and the absence is considered excused, a phone call may still be made.
It is very important to keep all contact information updated. Please alert Aida Stewart of any changes to address or phone numbers and be prepared to provide appropriate documentation and proof of address.
- Families can check student attendance online with a NYC School Account.
- At the end of each marking period the family should review the record of attendance that appears on the report card. If an error has been made, notify the classroom teacher. Errors in the attendance or lateness record cannot be corrected after mid-July.
- After the current school year, inaccurate attendance and lateness records may be amended, per Chancellor’s Regulation A-820 as a letter to the student's file.
- If families have any questions or concerns about getting students to school every day, they can call (718) 236-7071
When students are frequently absent or late
- The school ensures that appropriate outreach and guidance interventions are provided for students who exhibit attendance problems, including arriving late, or leaving early. Guidance counselors, teachers, social workers, or other school staff can all be involved in facilitating attendance resolutions.
- After five absences (or... lateness/leave early), excused or not, a guidance conference will be scheduled to understand the reasons and set up an intervention plan.
- After 10 absences (or... lateness/leave early), excused or not, students complete a contract with steps for mitigating the reasons.
- Whenever students miss ten days in a row, outreach to the family is required to understand and try to resolve the reasons for the absences. For students in grade 8 and under, such outreach is also required when the students miss 20 days within three months.
- For continued unexcused absences (or lateness, leaving early), the student appears before the Attendance Review Board to review the results of conferences and the contract and to make further recommendations that may include…;
- Home visit or family conferences to better understand causes;
- Home visits as an intervention;
- Family coaching or individual counseling on time management or managing family issues;
- Referral to ACS preventive agency services to address underlying reasons;
- Special education assessment or revision to IEP or BIP;
- Connection to outside agency or program for additional services;
- Family Assessment Program for truancy and potential PINS (Person in Need of Supervision) petition;
- Alternative setting/program, if applicable.
- Disciplinary responses to "Infraction A01/B01 Unexcused absence from school" cannot exceed a family conference, i.e., cannot result in exclusion from activities or removal from class. Disciplinary responses to "Infraction A03/B04 Being late for school or class" or "B03 Cutting classes" cannot exceed an in-school action, i.e., can result in exclusion from activities or communal lunchtime, but not in removal from class.
- Non-Attending Students: Students must be assigned to a full academic program and a transition plan on the morning following a return to school. Families must expect regular outreach to establish the safety and well-being of non-attending students and continuing interventions to return the student to school or apply an appropriate discharge.
Attendance and course grades
No number of absences can prevent promotion to the next grade or graduation. However, it is more likely that a student who misses school will have lower grades, test scores and may not meet the academic standards for promotion or graduation.
- Students are not required to make up the exact hours of missed instructional time. If students master course content and satisfactorily meet expectations, they must receive credit for the year. It is the student and family’s responsibility to arrange for make-up work and there may be asked to participate lunch, after school or Saturday lessons.
- Complete school grading and make-up policies are posted/shared in the handbook and at PS186.com
The school calendar is posted on the NYCDOE website and www.PS186.com. They are updated to show upcoming school events and testing schedules. It is also shared at the PTA and all school events.
Questions? Call us in the main office any school day.
Appendix: Special Circumstances
- Hospitalization or treatment: Admission to a private, acute, in- or out-patient program generally includes a consent to educate agreement with tutoring services at the facility. With this documentation, absences are considered excused [reason code 02]. The school maintains the student on the school’s active register and the family helps with the education and transition plans. For long-term treatment, families may consider if home instruction, hospital instruction, or a ReStart Academy is an appropriate option.
- Admission to a NYS Department of Mental Health Residential Treatment Facility is a discharge.
- Court-involved students: When a student returns to the school from a D79 program or another facility, the school must program the student and assign him/her to attend class as quickly as possible.