Attendance

  • WCSD Attendance Accommodations in Relation to COVID-19

    In the 2020-2021 school year, the Warren County School District has made accommodations to the attendance policy (Board Policy 10110) in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Specific changes include the following:

    - Students and guardians will now receive a first notice warning letter when a student has accumulated three (3) unexcused absences.

    - A second letter will be issued after a student has accumulated six (6) unexcused absences.  In the second letter parents/guardians and the student will be invited to a Student Attendance Improvement Conference (SAIC) to develop a Student Attendance Improvement Plan (SAIP).  If the parent/guardian does not contact the school to let them know of a scheduling conflict and does not attend the meeting, the meeting will proceed without the parent present.  A Medical Notice Letter will be issued at the time of the conference, in which the student will need to provide medical documentation for any future absences in order for them to be excused.  Failure to do so and additional unexcused absences may result in the school district filing truancy violations with the local district magistrate and referring students to local community based children and youth agencies.

    - The Warren County School District schools will no longer issue a Medical Notice Letter for students for an accumulation of ten (10) absences verified by written parent excuse.  In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the school district does not wish to have parents sending students to school if they are ill due to being unable to provide a medical excuse.

    - Written parent excuses will be accepted by hand at the school level, by email, or by fax to the student's school building.  Emailed excuses will only be accepted if received from a verified parent email account that is on file with the school district.  Please make sure that if you are going to use this method you confirm your parent email with the school building secretaries.

    - An excuse template has been created and made available.  It can be found HERE or on individual school websites.

    WCSD Excuse Template

     

    Compulsory Age of School Attendance Update

    The state of Pennsylvania has updated the compulsory age of school attendance.  The new definition of "Compulsory School Age" is as follows:

    Compulsory school age,” shall be defined as the period of a child's life from the time the child's parents elect to have the child enter school and which shall be no later than six (6) years of age until the child reaches eighteen (18) years of age. The term shall not include any child who holds a certificate of graduation from a regularly accredited, licensed, registered, or approved high school.

    The new school attendance regulations can be found in the Board Policies as Board Policy 10110.

     

    Act 138 of 2016 – School Attendance

    In November 2016, the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Wolf enacted a comprehensive overhaul of truancy law in the form of Act 138 of 2016.  Pennsylvania school districts will be required to implement changes in their attendance policies, and the methods by which they address student truancy, for the 2017-2018 school year. 

    Act 138 of 2016 creates opportunities for schools to be emphasize on improving attendance with greater flexibility rather than solely punitive consequences.  The new procedures formalize the emphasis on truancy elimination and support for truant students and their parents.

    Among the changes included in Act 138 of 2016 are specific definitions for previously ambiguous terms such as “truant” and “habitually truant.”  The new law also defines “person or parent relation” to include a person with whom a child lives or who is acting in a parental role of a child. 

    In addition, Act 138 includes new mandated procedures school district will follow when a child is truant, which includes a requirement to send written notice to the student’s parent as well as requirement to facilitate a School Attendance Improvement Conference (SAIC) within ten days from the third illegal absence. 

    Contact Dr. Mead of the Warren County School District at hawleyp@wcsdpa.org or 814.723.6903, ext 1055 to discuss the Act 138 of 2016 further.

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