NHS places a high priority on attendance. It is essential that parents and students complete the emergency card that is sent home at the beginning of each year. This is how the school collects updated telephone numbers. It is the family’s responsibility to inform the school if phone numbers have changed.
When a student will be absent, the parent or guardian must contact the school on the morning of the absence to confirm that the student is absent with parent permission. This process is essential to ensure the safety of all students.
Please call 720-5403 to report a student absence. An email address is also available for parents if this is a more convenient way to communicate. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the parent or guardian does not contact the school, School Messenger will be used to automate calls to parents/guardians regarding student absences and class cuts. Parents may request that we call a different number; please call 720- 5403 to make this request. School Messenger will call the number listed in PowerSchool around 10:00 a.m. to alert you that your child was not in homeroom and then will call again around 5:00 p.m. for any student who was thought to be cutting a class.
If the parent or guardian contacts the school, the absence will be considered explained. An explained absence is still unexcused (see below). We will know that the student is under parent supervision and has not cut school. Medical or legal documentation is necessary to excuse an absence.
Students are allowed sixteen unexcused absences for a full year course and eight unexcused absences for a half-year course. If a student exceeds the allowed number of unexcused absences, he/she will be denied credit. If a student is absent from one course more than another due to tardies or early dismissals, credit will be denied in the affected course. Absences may be excused with proper documentation and students should provide this documentation to the Attendance Office within ten days of the absence. The office will document the excused absence and this may avoid the denial of credit process. Excused absences do not affect credit standing. It is wise to submit documentation as soon as the absence occurs to avoid losing the documentation. Please read the section below for a full explanation of excused absences.
A student’s absence from school shall be considered excused if written documentation of the reason for the absence has been submitted within ten school days of the student’s return to school and meets the following criteria:
A. For absences one through nine, a student’s absences from school shall be considered excused when the student’s parent/guardian approves such absence and submits appropriate documentation (e.g. a signed note from the student’s parent/guardian, a signed note from a school official that spoke in person with the parent/guardian regarding the absence, or a note confirming the absence by the school nurse or licensed medical professional)
B. For the tenth absences and all absences thereafter, a student’s absences from school are considered excused for the following reasons:
• Illness or injury requiring hospitalization, quarantine, remedial health treatment, or doctor’s visit. Written verification from treating physician or medical provider must be provided to the Attendance Office in order to excuse the absence.*
• Death in the family. Documentation will be based on individual circumstance.
• Religious observances. Documentation will be based on individual circumstance.
• Medical/legal appointments which cannot be made after school hours. Written notification from medical provider or court official must be provided to the Attendance Office.
• Court appearance. Written notification from the court must be provided to the office.
• Out-of-school suspension (OSS) or expulsion.
• Homebound instruction registered and approved with the district.
• College visits (limit three). Written notification from the college must be provided to the office to excuse the absence.
• Approved attendance at a school-sponsored activity.
• Absences for other emergency or hardship reasons are subject to the approval of an administrator.
*Any student who travels out of the country while school is in session and misses scheduled school days will incur unexcused absences for each day missed. No medical excuses will be accepted by doctors outside of their attending physician unless the treating doctor from the foreign country provides documentation of the illness including the medical reason for the delay to the attending physician or the district’s medical director. If a student’s return to school is delayed due to an illness, along with providing this documentation, proof of delay such as airline flight ticket change must be provided for the absences to be excused.
Credit denial due to unexcused absences
When a student exceeds the number of unexcused absences, the school will contact the student and parents/guardians informing them that their child has lost or is in danger of losing credit due to excessive absences. Documentation to excuse student absences will be accepted up to ten days after contact with parents/guardians.
Attendance Review and Appeal Process
Students who have been denied credit, or are in danger of being denied credit, due to exceeding the attendance policy for unexcused absences, but have passed the course, will have the opportunity to meet with the Review Appeals Committee to seek restoration of credit. A PARENT MUST BE PRESENT AT THE MEETING. Students are encouraged to remain in the class and maintain a passing grade until the Appeals Committee makes a decision. The Appeals Committee will be comprised of an administrator, counselor, attendance officer, and the student. A student’s parent/guardian or other advocate may attend at the request of the student. The Committee will hold appeal hearings on an as-needed basis throughout the year.
The student must initiate the request for an appeal by completing the “Request for an Appeal” form (available through the attendance office) and delivering it to the counselor within 10 days.
The counselor will notify the student of the date and time of the appeals hearing. The student is responsible to bring any documentation or other evidence of extenuating circumstances that caused excessive absences that will help the Committee with its decision.
The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.