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Attendance:
Children are expected to attend school every day that it is in session except in the event of illness or for other acceptable reasons. Please make every attempt to schedule doctor appointments, private lessons, family trips, etc. either after school or during regular school vacations.
  • Excellent attendance and school success go hand in hand. The more often a student is absent—even if the absence is unavoidable—the harder it is for the student to keep up with the class.  Students with good attendance are more likely to be academically successful in school. 
 
  • Coordinating with school-based staff, the Dartmouth Public School Attendance Officer investigates attendance problems. The officer works in the community, visits homes, and counsel students and their families. When necessary, the Attendance Officer files and represents chronic cases in Juvenile Court.
  • Regular and punctual school attendance is essential for success in school.  Dartmouth Public Schools does recognize that parents of children attending our schools have special rights as well as res­ponsibilities, one of which is to ensure that their children attend school regularly, in accordance with state law.
  • Therefore, students may be excused from school atten­dance for the following reasons:
  • Illness or injury that prevents the student from attending school verified by a physician’s note
  • Bereavement in family
  • Weather so inclement as to endanger the health of the child (per authorization of the Superintendent of Schools)
  • Observance of major religious holidays
  • Court Appearances
  • College Visits
  • Nurse Dismissals
  • Suspensions
  • A child may also be excused for other exceptional reasons with ap­proval of the school administrator.
 When a child has accumulated five (5) unexcused absences state law requires we notify parents and offer to meet and develop a plan to improve attendance.  In the case where absences are chronic (10 days or more unexcused) state law requires us to meet and develop a plan for attendance.  In instances of chronic or irregular absence reportedly due to ill­ness, the school administration will request a physician's statement certifying such absences to be justifiable. 

Reporting Absences:
  • If a student is ill and unable to school, the parent/guardian must notify the school.  Kindly note that parental notification of a child’s absence is not considered an excused absence (refer to listing of above). 
  • When your child will not be attending school, you will need to call the school office at 508-996-6759. Since we have voice mail, parents/guardians may call the school's "Student Attendance" voicemail line at any time during the night or early morning on the day of the absence to leave a message. The message should include the following information:  child’s name, grade level, teacher’s name, and the reason for the absence.
  • Once the school day begins and classroom attendance has been submitted to the school office, absences that have been called in by parents will be noted.  If a child is listed as absent, and if the parent/guardian has not called the school, the District’s automated notification program will contact the parent/guardian to inform them that their child is not in school.
  • If you know in advance that your child will be absent on a given day, you may notify the office in writing by sending a note with your child. 
It is important that parents/guardians contact the school office with any change of home phone, place of employment, and/or emergency contacts.

Family Vacations:
  •   We strongly discourage families from taking vacations when school is in session
    • It is important for children to receive continuous instruction; every day missed sets a child back and creates added pressure on the child and on the teachers. 
    • The school calendar is published in advance of the school year and available on the district's website to help parents plan family trips so they coincide with school vacations.  Introduction to new material occurs daily; therefore, any absence will affect your child's progress.  In addition, teachers are not required to provide missed assignments for students on vacation.  Non-attendance due to family vacations are considered non-excused absence.
    •   Furthermore, the Massachusetts Department of Education sets very tight schedules for annual student testing.  Therefore, make-up dates for an absent student are few in number.  Any missed tests are counted as FAILING.  All test results become part of a student’s school record.
    •  
    • Students absent for more than seven days within any six-month period for a vacation or other non-authorized absence may be referred to the School Attendance Officer.

Change of Contact Information:
  • It is important that parents/guardians contact the school office with any change of home phone, place of employment, and/or emergency contacts.
Dismissal/Tardy:
  • To complete an entire day, children must be in attendance through the end of the school day at 3:30 P.M. Any children dismissed prior to that time will be charged with a "dismissal" on his/her attendance record. Also, children arriving after 9:05 A.M will be marked "tardy" on his/her attendance record.