Attending school regularly helps students feel better about school and themselves. Continue building this habit in Middle School so they know that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help students do well in high school, college and at work. Middle School students who have many absences, or who come into school late and get picked up early, have more academic difficulty.
Arrival to School / Absence from School
Highlands Middle School students must be in homeroom by 8:10 a.m. or they will be marked as having an illegal absence for the day. Students who arrive tardy to school must sign in at the office. An automated call will be sent to all homes/families of students who were marked absent from homeroom. (You do not need to call in the office to let us know that your student will be absent.)
Important Attendance Reminders
• Students are allowed 10 parent excuses for the school year. Excuses must be written and returned or emailed to teachers and/or school secretaries within 3 days.
• Legitimate doctor or court excuses do not count towards the total of 10 parent excuses. We accept the original copies of these excuses or a scanned copy. Pictures of the excuses will not be accepted.
• If the school nurse sends your child home for the day, the absences will automatically be excused and will not count towards the total of 10 parent excuses.
• It is not necessary to call the school when your child is absent. Feel free to communicate with your child’s teachers about absences, but please understand that a phone call will not excuse the absences - we need written or email documentation for our records.
• Family educational trips (up to 5 days) must be pre-approved by the building principal. Requests must be submitted at least one week in advance of the trip and should be submitted to the office.
• If an excuse is not returned within 3 days of the student’s last absence, that absence(s) becomes an Illegal absence. Excuses will no longer be accepted if they are turned-in late.
• If a student has 3 Illegal absences, parents will receive a Notice of Truancy in the mail notifying them of the Illegal days and encouraging them to contact the school to participate in an attendance improvement meeting over the phone or in-person.
• After the 6th Illegal absence, a letter will be sent in the mail with a date and time for a Student Attendance Improvement Plan conference. If parents cannot attend due to work, please contact the attendance office within 48 hours of the meeting to reschedule. Failure to attend the meeting and continued absences may result in a citation with the local magistrate.
• When a student reaches their 8th Excused absence, a Warning Letter will be mailed notifying parents that all absences beyond 10 require a doctor’s excuse or the absence is illegal.
• Please refer to your child’s school for their specific policies regarding tardiness and half-days.
• Truancy is 3 unexcused absences; habitually truancy is 6 unexcused absences.
• If student has 10 days of consecutive non-attendance, they will officially be withdrawn from Highlands School District. The student would need to be re-enrolled to attend Highlands School District in the future.
• Please call the school office at 724-226-0600 if you have any questions about attendance.
Middle School Tardy Policy
5 Unexcused Tardies = One day Illegal absence.