Attendance & Excuse Cards

  • GHMS Attendance Policy

    Office Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Office Phone: (717) 397- 1294


    Excuse notes are required for all absences, tardies, and early dismissals. An email must be sent within three (3) days to the attendance office. A handwritten is also acceptable. If emails/notes are not received within three (3) days after the child returns to school, the absence will be considered unlawful if the child is under 18. 



    Once a child enters school at any grade above kindergarten, attendance must be continuous until age 17. Students should strive to be present every day school is in session. All absences and tardies are entered on each student’s permanent record.  

    At Conestoga Valley, we recognize the importance of regular attendance in school as a means of helping students achieve academic success. We want parents to be informed about state laws and district policies regarding attendance: please use the information provided below and this Attendance Brochure to stay informed about attendance practices and procedures.

    Excused Absences

    The Conestoga Valley School Board,in accordance with Pennsylvania School Code considers the following conditions to constitute reasonable cause for absence from school: illness, college visits (max of 3 days with prior approval), prior approved trips/vacations, religious observance/instruction, death in the family, required court attendance, & family emergency.*
    *Building principals have the discretion to excuse up to 5 absences incurred because of family emergencies. Principals may ask for an explanation of the emergency. Excused absences due to family emergencies will be deducted from the 5 days of excused absences permitted under the vacations & trips provision of this policy.

    Unexcused Absences

    Any absence which is not covered under the definition of excused absence is classified as unexcused. Absences shall be treated as unexcused until the district receives a written excuse explaining the absence to be submitted within three days of the absence. Habitual truancy due to unexcused absences is a summary offense addressed under the Pennsylvania Public School Code Compulsory Attendance Law amended by Act 138 of 2016. As such, penalties (i.e. a find up to $750, a jail sentence up to three days, attendance at parenting classes, community services in the school district of up to six months) may be imposed against parents, guardians, and others responsible for truant children under the age of 17. In cases where the student is determined to be in violation of the compulsory attendance law, he/she/they will be subject to penalties (i.e. a fine of up to $400, assignment to an adjudication alternative program, driver's license suspension for 90 days, disposition as dependent child). Referrals to Lancaster County Children and Youth Agency can be made for habitually truant students.


    Parents must furnish a signed written explanation for all absences, tardies, and early dismissals. The date and the reason for the absence, tardiness, or early dismissal are to be clearly indicated on a school excuse card. If excuse cards are not received within 3 days after the child returns to school, the absences will be considered unexcused.


    Students arriving after 7:35 a.m will be considered tardy. A parental excuse is required for each occasion of tardiness. Students arriving tardy should report to the office. After 3 unexcused tardies, disciplinary action will occur.

    Early Dismissals

    Early dismissals where students miss 2 or more hours will be recorded as a half day absence. Otherwise, dismissals less than 2 hours will be recorded as early dismissals. Students will not be dismissed without written permission from their parent or guardian. Before leaving, and after returning students must report to the attendance office.

    Medical Appointments

    Medical/dental appointments should not be scheduled during the instructional day whenever possible. When no other arrangements can be made, a note is to be submitted to the office in advance of the appointment. Students will not be dismissed without written permission. Before leaving, and after returning, students must report to the attendance office. Excused time will be limited to time for the appointment and normal travel time. Administration may restrict the time and number of these absences.

    Excessive Absences

    7 Day Letter - After 7 days of absence, for any reason, the principal will notify parents confirming those absences. The letter is for information only.

    10 Day Letter - Any student who has accumulated 10 or more absences (not excused by a physician) will be required to furnish a written physicians excuse for all subsequent absences. Failure to do so will result in the absences being recorded as unexcused. In addition to the above policy, the district reserves the right to require a physicians excuse when deemed necessary by the school administration.

    Vacations and Trips

    All trips and vacations are unexcused unless prior approval is obtained and the child is in the company of an adult for the entire time. Please submit the Travel Form attachment below to the main office. 
    With approval, a child may be given up to 5 days of excused absence for trips and vacations. All additional days are unexcused. If, at the time the request is received, the student has accumulated 3 or more unexcused absences, the request will be denied. Such travel requests will not be approved/excused for trips taking place during posted PSSA administration dates.

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