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.
Any absence which is not covered under the definition of excused absence is classified as unexcused. For students under age 17 these absences are also illegal. Illegal absences are a summary offense addressed under the Pennsylvania Public School Code Compulsory Attendance Law amended by Act 29 of 1995. As such, penalties (i.e. a fine up to $300.00, a jail sentence up to five days, attend parenting classes, community service in the school district of up to six months, etc.) may be imposed against parents, guardians and others responsible for truant school children under the age of seventeen. In cases where the student is determined to be in violation of the compulsory attendance law, he/she will be subject to penalties (i.e. a fine up to $300.00, assignment to an adjudication alternative program, driver’s license suspension for 90 days, disposition as dependent child, etc.) When a student accumulates three (3) illegal absences, parents will be sent what is termed a “First Notice.” Subsequent illegal absences will result in prosecution. After a parent receives a First Notice, they must contact their child’s guidance counselor to discuss and develop a plan on how to improve their child’s attendance.
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/illegal.
Students will be permitted a maximum of 3 unexcused tardies per year without penalty. For each additional 2 tardies, the students will be charged with a half day illegal absence. Please note that habitual tardies are subject to the compulsory attendance laws. (Health care appointments are
not counted as unexcused tardies.)
At no time may students leave the building without permission from the office. Students who leave school on an early dismissal must present an excuse to the office stating the time and reason for dismissal and signed by a parent or guardian. Parents/Guardians are required to sign their child out in the school office.
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.
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 or illegal. 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/illegal unless prior approval is obtained and the child is in the company of an adult for the entire time. With approval, a child may be given up to 5 days of excused absence for trips and vacations. All additional days are unexcused/illegal. If, at the time the request is received, the student has accumulated 3 or more illegal/unexcused absences, the request will be denied. Such travel requests will not be approved/excused for trips taking place during posted PSSA administration dates. A Travel Form must be filled out and turned in to the school office no later than one week prior to the trip
. For a copy of the Travel Form, please click here