• Explanation of Truancy Process

    All absences will be treated as illegal until the school district receives a written excuse explaining the reason(s) for an absence.  If the student does not submit an excuse within three (3) school days, the absence will be classified as unlawful. All absences beyond (10) cumulative days shall require an excuse from a licensed physician. Parents will be served a 1st Notice of Unlawful Absence as required by state law after three (3) unlawful absences.  Any and all notices served thereafter, during the student’s entire period of enrollment in the Highlands School District, shall be considered 2nd Notices with the issuance of a citation with the District Justice.


    First Unlawful Absence: Parent/guardian receives a notice of unlawful absence from the school district after three (3) unlawful absences, as required by state law. The legal penalties established by law for violation of compulsory attendance requirements will be documented in the notice.  Parents are welcome to contact the School Attendance Officer or their child's building attendance secretary.

    Second Unlawful Absence: Parent/guardian receives a second notice of unlawful absence from the school district after the 6th unlawful absence. The letter will include a date and time for a Student Attendance Improvement Plan conference.

    Third Unlawful Absence: Parent/guardian receives a third notice of unlawful absence. Three days after giving such notice, if the student again violates the compulsory attendance requirements, the student or parent/guardian shall be liable without further notice. 


    School Attendance Improvement Plan (SAIP)

    School districts shall coordinate a school/family conference to discuss the cause of the child’s truancy and develop a mutually agreed upon School Attendance Improvement Plan (SAIP) to resolve truant behavior. Issues to be reviewed at the school/family conference include the appropriateness of the child’s educational environment, current academic difficulties, physical or behavioral health issues, and family/environment concerns. At the end of the conference all parties should sign a comprehensive SAIP that is agreed upon by the school representative, the child, and the parents and/or family. The district must hold the SAIP conference even if the person in parental relation declines to participate or fails to attend.


    Subsequent Illegal Absence

    If a child is subsequently unlawfully absent at any point within the school year after a SAIP is in place, an official notice of the unexcused absence will be sent to person in parental relation. The purpose of this correspondence is to inform the person in parental relation that the SAIP has been violated and that further action will be initiated.

    To review a full description of Pennsylvania State Law as it relates to truancy, click here.