Lexington Public Schools require a high level of participation in engaged learning. Regular class attendance enables students to benefit from classroom discussions, presentations and interactive activities. These shared academic experiences are integral to the learning process and cannot be re-created or replicated.
Massachusetts law requires compulsory attendance for all students. Chapter 76, section 1 of the Mass General Laws states that all children between the ages of six and sixteen must attend school. A school district may excuse up to seven day sessions or fourteen partial day sessions in any six-month period. The school must uphold the law.
An EXCUSED ABSENCE/TARDY includes:
§ Documented illness or injury
§ Bereavement/family funeral
§ Major religious observances
§ Extraordinary family circumstances (excused at the discretion of the principal)
An UNEXCUSED ABSENCE/TARDY is not covered by the aforementioned definition. Examples of an unexcused absence may include, but may not be limited to:
§ Repetitive or chronic absence or tardiness due to illness or injury not documented by a doctor or other medical professional
§ Family vacations
§ Undocumented absences
§ Non-emergency family situations
Tardy Consequences: Work and/or instruction missed may be made up at recess.
§ After 8th tardy - Letter home
§ After 10th tardy – Conference with the parent and student
Subsequent tardies may result in the child being referred to the Student Resource Officer.
We strongly discourage family vacations when school is in session. In addition to compromising the attendance law, family vacations interrupt the educational process in each subject area in ways that make-up work cannot reverse. Teachers are not required to provide work in advance of a family vacation.
Attendance Policy – If a student has…
§ Five (5) or more consecutive days absent, parents must obtain a doctor’s note and submit it to the school.
§ Seven (7) absences (excused or unexcused), a letter of warning will be issued to parents reminding them of the school’s attendance policy, and that they will be contacted to schedule a meeting should absences approach 10 days.
§ Ten (10) absences (excused or unexcused), a parent conference will be scheduled to discuss the attendance policy and to develop a proactive attendance plan.
§ Fifteen (15) absences (in disregard of the personal attendance plan), an attendance hearing will be held with the parents, administrators, and School Resource Officer.
§ Twenty (20) absences (in disregard of the personal attendance plan), a 51A (neglect) or CHINS (child in need of services) may be filed.
§ Twenty-five (25) absences or more, it could result in retention.