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Ithaca City School District Comprehensive Attendance Policy

The Ithaca City School District Board of Education recognizes that regular school attendance is a fundamental component of academic success. The Board has developed a policy that seeks to reduce the number of absences, tardies, and early departures from school by students, employs positive interventions, increases the likelihood of academic success through higher attendance rates.

Each time a student is absent, tardy, or leaves early from school without a written, approved excuse from a parent or guardian, the school will notify the parent or guardian. Each school also has policies in place to address tardiness to school.

In addition, when a student is absent, tardy, or leaves early from class five times, the school will send home a letter to parents/guardians documenting the absences and reminding them of the policy. The school will send home a second letter after ten such incidents. The school may commence the PINS (Person in Need of Supervision) process in the event that the student is not regularly attending school.

The Board of Education recognizes the important relationship between class attendance and student achievement. All students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. However, certain absences, tardies, and/or early departures may occur because of legitimate reasons, and will be excused. All others, unless excused by the principal, shall be considered unexcused.

The following is an illustrative list of absences, tardies, and/or early departures that the Board considers to be excused and unexcused. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. It is the responsibility of the Principal to make the final determination as to whether an absence, tardiness, and/or early departure is excused or unexcused.


Excused Absences Unexcused Absences
Personal Illness Truancy
Medical, mental health appointments Shopping
Court or legal hearings Vacations
School field trips Oversleeping
Career Visits Senior Skip Day
Religious Observance Driver’s Test
Illness or Death in Family Hunting/Fishing
College Visits Birthday Celebrations
Military Obligations Personal
Student Services Appointments Babysitting
Out of School Suspension Missing the Bus
In-School Suspension  
Participation in school-sponsored events  
Music Sectionals  
Impassable roads or weather  


The Board of Education recognizes an important relationship between class attendance and student performance. Consequently, each marking period a student’s final grade may be based on classroom participation as well as student’s performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc.

Students are required to attend all scheduled classes, unless their absence is excused. Consistent with the importance of attendance and classroom participation, unexcused absence, tardiness, or early departure may affect a student’s classroom participation grade.

All students with absences, tardies, and early departures are expected to consult with their teachers regarding missed work. Make up opportunities will be available for students with excused absences and must be completed by a date specified by the student’s teacher for the class in question. Teachers may provide opportunities for students with unexcused absences, tardies, or early departures to make up work.

Schools have developed incentive programs to encourage exemplary attendance and attendance improvement.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 January 2011 )
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