One of the primary prerequisites to a successful school year is regular attendance at school. It is an important responsibility for parents to foster good attendance behaviors in their children. It is your responsibility as a student to attend school daily.
On the day a student will be absent or tardy, a parent/guardian must call the DLHS Student Call Off/Tardy Line (724) 265-5320 press 1, press 1 again) by 11:30 AM to report the student absent or tardy and the reason.
This line should not be used for any other reason other than to report a student off or tardy!
If a student is marked absent from school, our automated call system will call the primary number as listed in Skyward to notify the family.
Students who have been absent from school must bring in an excuse as required by state law. This excuse should be brought on the day that the student returns to school. The excuse provided will include the following information:
- Student’s first and last name
- Date(s) of absence.
- Reason for absence.
- Parent/guardian signature.
The excuse will be presented to the homeroom teacher. Students may NOT write and/or sign their own excuse, even if they are 18 years of age. If a student does not provide an excuse within three (3) days of return from the absence the absence is considered unlawful. When a student acquires three (3) unlawful absences, the school district is required by law to serve notice on the parents/guardians and the student will be enrolled in the Deer Lakes Truancy Prevention Program. The continuation of unlawful absences may require the district to file a summary citation for truancy with the District Magistrate. If found guilty, this may result in fines being issued against the parents/guardians and/or the student.
If a student leaves school before 9:00 AM (12:00 PM for Beattie & CCAC students) and does not return (or does return but has missed more than 4 periods) it will count as a full day of absence and they must turn in a written parental/guardian excuse or medical excuse within 3 days upon return to school. If a student is sent home sick before 8:00 AM (11:30 AM for Beattie & CCAC students), this will be considered a full day of absence and the student must turn in a written parental/guardian excuse or medical excuse within 3 days upon return to school.
The Department of Public Instruction School Attendance Register provides that a claim of continued or repeated illness justifies the school in requiring a statement from medical authorities.
- Verified illness – when providing an excuse for illness, two methods of explanation are acceptable. The first is a parental note specifying the nature of the illness (i.e. headache, upset stomach, cramps, etc.) The second is an excuse from a member of the healing arts (i.e. physician, dentist, orthodontist, specialist, etc.) A maximum of ten days of cumulative lawful absences verified by written parental notification shall be permitted during a school year. All absences beyond ten cumulative days shall require an excuse from a licensed physician. If parents are neglectful in providing written excuses or do not meet such requirements in a timely fashion, reasonable allowances will be made to accept parent’s explanations for their child’s absences without initiating any punitive response.
- Vacation approved by the building principal (5 total school days). Additional days per “special” circumstances need approval by the assistant superintendent of schools.
- Death in the immediate family
- Impassable roads as determined by the District Transportation Coordinator.
- Exceptionally urgent reasons that are not recreation or work oriented (religious exemptions, disasters, catastrophes)
- Students on suspension from school
- Court Attendance
Tardiness to School
If you arrive at school after 7:45 am, report to the Attendance Office for a late pass. Any student reporting late to school must have a written note from the parent/guardian explaining the reason for being tardy. Students may NOT write and/or sign their own excuse, even if they are 18 years of age. You must present a late pass to your homeroom teacher before you will be admitted to their room.
Tardies will be marked unexcused if not verified as having a reasonable cause. Accumulation of three or more unexcused tardies will cause detention and other disciplinary actions to be assigned according to the Student Code of Conduct. A student will be charged for a half day if they arrive after 11:00 am and a full day if they arrive after 1:00 pm.
Detentions and other disciplinary actions will start on the third unlawful tardy and will continue as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. More than ten episodes of unlawful tardiness to school will result in a charge of truancy to be filed with the magistrate’s office. After students accumulate ten unlawful tardies with a parental /guardian excuse, any further tardiness will be considered unlawful unless accompanied by a doctor’s excuse.
Parents are encouraged to make doctor and dental appointments during non-school hours or on non-school days. If this is not possible, release time from school may be requested. Parent/guardian are to call the Attendance Secretary at (724) 265-5320 ext: 2624 and/or provide a written note to request an early dismissal. A note from the parent/guardian must be presented to the office prior to first period. Students may NOT write and/or sign their own excuse, even if they are 18 years of age. The student will be given an Early Dismissal slip and will report to the office at the designated time. To ensure everyone’s protection, parents/guardians are asked to pick up the student at the main office. Parents will be required to present photo ID to enter the building and to pick up their child.
Special COVID Attendance Considerations
Under COVID conditions, students may be required to quarantine due to exposure or upon return from a trip. Students may be considered in attendance on days where they have logged into the student’s classroom(s) through remote access while in quarantine.
A student may be considered in attendance on days where they are not physically well enough to attend school in person, but have logged into the students classroom(s) through remote access and are actively participating in instruction.
The parents/guardians of a student who wish to have the student excused from compulsory school attendance in order to participate in an educational tour or trip must submit an application for Educational Tour of Trip (available in the Main Office and on the district website) to the principal. Except for emergency situations, which must be fully explained, this request should be submitted at least 5 calendar days prior to the date on which the student seeks to be excused from compulsory attendance.
The principal of the school shall exercise discretion in determining whether to excuse the student from compulsory attendance. Consideration shall be given to the length of the tour or trip, the number of requests made during the school year, and whether the tour or trip is likely to advance the educational growth of the student.
It is the practice of the Deer Lakes School District to discourage excused absences for educational tours or trips during the final two weeks of any school term. Students that receive permission to attend an educational tour or trip during the administration of a final exam will be also be granted the opportunity to complete the exam upon return.
Make-Up Work After Absences
Students who have been determined unlawfully absent will not be permitted to make-up any written work or to take tests missed during such absences.
Any student absent from classes for lawful reasons, including suspensions is required to make up all work missed. However, it is the responsibility of the student to see his/her teachers to obtain the work and help, if needed, to make up the work. Students will be given a number of days equivalent to the days missed to complete work.
Request for Missed Homework
In case of an extended absence (homework will not be able to be collected for 1 day absences) due to illness or injury, homework assignments may be requested. Students who will be absent a minimum of three (3) consecutive school days may request homework from the Attendance Office by calling (724) 265-5320 x-2624. A request for homework for students who will be absent for three (3) or more consecutive school days should be made as soon as possible (preferably the first day) during the expected period of absence. Requested homework will be available to be picked up in the office after 2:00 PM on the day following the phoned parental/guardian request. In addition, students may visit their teachers Google Classroom to check their assignments.
Withdrawal from School
If your family moves from the Deer Lakes School District or if you plan to withdraw from school for some other reason, complete the following steps:
- Meet with the School Counselor to secure a Withdrawal Form, which is to be signed by all of the student’s teachers.
- Return the completed Withdrawal Form to the Counselor to ensure that your school records will be sent to your next destination.