Attendance Policy

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE


SCHOOL HOURS

 

School hours are 8:05 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday - Thursday  (Lower/Middle School grades K-8th)

School hours are 8:20 a.m. to 4:05p.m.   Monday - Thursday (Upper School grades 9th – 12th

School hours are 8:05am to 1:00pm on Fridays



Attendance Policy


  • Parent or guardians will be notified after each absence by our automated system. Please maintain up-to-date contact information to ensure the receipt our important school communication.

  • All excuse notes must be presented within 72 hours after a child returns to school.

  • All absences will be coded “parental neglect” which is unlawful if a note is not provided by the guardian within 72 hours of a student’s return from school


EXCUSED

Parents should call the school office to notify us that their child will be absent from school due to illness. Please notify our school nurse if your child is ill with a communicable disease such as chicken pox, measles, etc.


If you call before 7:30 AM, please leave a message. Sankofa may excuse the absences of students under certain circumstances with original documentation.  Those circumstances are for emergency (non-routine) doctors’ appointments, court subpoenas, or funeral notices only. (Routine medical and dental appointments are to be made after school hours.  All written documentation explain. Families are asked not to schedule vacations during the school year due to vacation during the school year will be coded parental neglect. If this kind of absence persist beyond a week, the absence will be reported to the appropriate authorities. 


UNEXCUSED

Parents/guardians and students are to submit a written explanation of the reason(s) for an absence within three calendar days of the absence.  If they provide a written excuse within three days of the absence, the absence is counted simply as “Unexcused.”


Excessive Absences

  • Student will be deemed truant when they have accumulated 3 unexcused (unlawful) absences.

  • When a child attains a 3rd unlawful absence, a letter will me mailed home providing “official notice of the child’s illegal absences” and establishing their classification as truant.

  • When a child attains a 6th unlawful absence, they will be considered habitually truant. A letter will be sent home explaining the school’s requirement to refer the student and parent/guardian to the magisterial district court for truancy and parental neglect, along with a request for both the student and parent/guardian to attend an

  • Attendance Improvement Conference. The student will then be enrolled in the school’s Truancy Elimination Program (TEP).

  • When a child attains a 9th unlawful absence, a letter will be mailed home providing “official notice of the child’s illegal absences” and the student will be escalated to tier 2 of the T.E.P.

  • When a child attains a 12th unlawful absence, a letter will be sent home along with notification of a mandatory Attendance Improvement Conference (AIC) and a continuation of the student’s enrollment in the Truancy Elimination Program. The student and parent/guardian will again be referred to the magisterial district court for truancy and parental neglect.

  • After ten (10) consecutive unexcused absences, students will be dropped from Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School’s enrollment.



Truancy Prevention/Policy

SFA will take the following measures to prevent our students from being truant:

  • A letter will be sent home after the students 5th unexcused absence reminding them of the importance of being present.

  • A mandatory parent conference may be requested by the Dean of Students after a student’s 10th unexcused absence.

  • A mandatory conference may be requested by an administrator after a student reaches their 14th unexcused absence.

  

LATE ARRIVAL 

 

EXCUSED

 Scholars are expected to be in the school for Morning Circle by 8:15 AM (grades k-8) and 8:30 am (grades  9th-12th) .  In order to be excused, scholars must have a written note from a parent or guardian, except in the case of the school bus being late (all bus tardiness is excused and a note is not required).  If more than 3 hours of school (but not the full day) are missed, it is considered a ½ day absence.  

 

 UNEXCUSED

All tardiness unaccompanied by a note from the parent or guardian, other than the bus being late, is unexcused.


Consequences for Lateness to School

  

  • Parent or guardians will be notified after each lateness by our automated system. Please maintain up-to-date contact information to ensure the receipt our important school communication.

  • Excessive lateness to school will result in further disciplinary action and will likely impact academic performance.  

  • Ten (10) unexcused latenesses in one year will result in a letter being sent home to the Parent/Guardian indicating that their behavior is threatening the student’s ability to achieve.

  • Fifteen (15) unexcused latenesses will result in a meeting with the student and their parent/guardian with the Dean/Site Administrator 

  • Twenty (20) unexcused latenesses will result in a conference with the student and their parent/guardian with the Principal.

  • Students with over 20 lateness will result in a conference with the student and their parent/guardian with the C.O.O. Those students who reach 20 latenesses will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular events/trips. 


EARLY DISMISSAL

 

  • For the safety of all the children we require that parents stop by the office if they are picking up a child before 3:45 p.m. (grades K-8th) and 3:55 p.m. ( grades  9th-12th).  Please send a note or call in advance so that the teacher may make the necessary arrangements for your child to be dismissed early.  


  • All early dismissal notes must be presented to the main office by 10:00 am. Main office staff will verify the early dismissal by contacting a parent.  

  • We will need parental permission to release a child to someone other than a legal guardian or a member on the emergency contact form.  

  • The person picking up your child must be at least 18 years of age and present a valid form of identification to the main office. 


  • All students k-8th grade must have an adult pick them up for all early dismissals.


  • Please limit early dismissals to necessary medical or dental appointments or other urgent matters.  This ensures that each child receives a full day of quality instruction.


 

WRITTEN EXCUSES

 

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires that schools receive a written excuse from the parent or guardian when a scholar is absent from school.  Please bring a written excuse to the teacher within 3 days upon return to the school following an absence.


Please note the following with regards to chronic lateness or absenteeism:


The school will place a scholar who is absent 5 days or displays a pattern of multiple absences under an attendance contract. This contract will indicate to the parent and scholar that he/she is in danger of receiving no credit for the class and/or is in jeopardy or being dropped from roll. 


The school will place a scholar who is late 15 times or displays a pattern of frequent of multiple lateness under a lateness contract.

Scholars who incur ten consecutive unexcused absences will be in jeopardy of being dropped from roll and a report will be filed with the proper authorities.