Attendance Information

Electronic Absence Submission

If your child will not be in school for the day due to illness or doctor/dentist appointment, please follow the steps on our electronic submission request page to submit the absence online through PowerSchool. 

Absent Phone Line and Email Address for Cedar Cliff High School
[email protected]

Attendance & Absences

Attendance and Tardiness (Board Policy 204)
The school law of Pennsylvania requires the regular attendance of all students from six to 18 years of age. It is not mandatory for a parent to enroll their child in kindergarten. However, once a student is enrolled and has begun classes, they must follow the same attendance guidelines as all other students. 
The following reasons constitute a legal absence: illness of the student, death in the immediate family, exceptionally urgent reasons affecting the child as determined by the administration, impassable roads as determined by the administration, and educational trip experiences pre-approved by the parent and principal. With prior approval, a maximum of two days in any given school year during a student’s freshman and sophomore years and a maximum of six cumulative days over the junior and senior years will be excused for college visitations. All other absences are considered unlawful.
Upon returning to school following an absence, the student shall bring a note signed by the parent or guardian giving the date of the absence and the reason for the absence. Absence excuses and doctor’s notes may also be submitted electronically. Visit the school website for a link to the Electronic Absence Submission form.
If an excuse is not furnished within three days after the absence, the building secretary will record the absence as unlawful. After a student has been unlawfully absent for a total of three days during the school year, they are considered truant and an official notice of absence will be mailed to the parents. 

A student having six or more unlawful absences during the school year is considered habitually truant under definitions set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Parents who fail to comply with the provisions of the compulsory attendance law may be taken to court and upon summary conviction thereof, be required to pay a fine plus court costs.
In the case of excused absences, the student will be expected to make up assignments or tests that may have been missed and for this purpose will be granted a period of time equal to the length of the absence. As a general policy, students with unexcused/unlawful absences will not be permitted make-up privileges; however, the building principal may give consideration to extenuating circumstances beyond the child’s control.
Secondary students who arrive late to school but before 9:37 a.m. will be marked as tardy, and students arriving after 9:37 a.m. will be marked absent one-half day (morning). If a student leaves school before 12:45 p.m., he or she will be marked absent one-half day (afternoon). Students arriving after 12:45 p.m. will be marked absent for the full day. Students who wish to participate in an athletic event must arrive to school by 11:00 a.m. that day.
Attendance information is detailed in Board Policy 204. 
Compulsory Attendance Laws
Penalties for violation of compulsory attendance requirements are set forth in Public School Code and are: 
“Every parent, guardian or person in parental control or charge of any child or children of compulsory school age who shall fail to comply with the provisions of this act regarding compulsory attendance shall, on summary conviction by the local District Magistrate, be sentenced to pay a fine, not exceeding three hundred dollars ($300) for the first offense, five hundred dollars ($500) for the second and seven hundred fifty ($750) for the third and subsequent offenses. Parents in default of the payment of such be sentenced to the county jail, perform community service, or any combination thereof.”
Doctor’s Certificate
It may be necessary to present an original written statement or doctor’s certificate from an attending physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner to the office for three or more consecutive days of absence. Such certification must be presented to the school within three days of the student’s return and shall indicate that the student was seen by the physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner; indicate the date of the visit; and include the date the student may return to school. Such certification may be required for every absence if/when a student’s absences exceed ten percent of the number of days school has been in session. 
Failure to present validation may result in the day(s) being declared unlawful. An electronic signature or other authorized facsimile signature directly from the physician’s, physician assistant’s, or nurse practitioner’s office is acceptable. 
The building principal has the discretion to review each student’s absences and base his/her decision on the student’s attendance history.
Early Dismissal
If a student must be excused from school prior to the end of the school day, a note from the parent should be presented to the office before school begins. Early dismissals should seldom be requested and be restricted to unavoidable circumstances. Permission is generally not granted for an early dismissal to attend counseling, tutoring, or private lessons.
All work missed due to the dismissal must be completed. A student leaving school property must check in at the office before departing and an excuse from the physician/dentist must be submitted to the office upon the student’s return. Students will not be released to the custody of a person other than the parent or guardian unless written permission is granted by the parent. 
Truancy is the unlawful absence of compulsory age students from when they begin school or from six to 18 years of age. It is not mandatory for a parent to enroll their child in kindergarten. However, once a student begins kindergarten, he/she will fall under the attendance rules of all other students. 
The Pennsylvania School Code mandates that when a student reaches three unlawful absences, they be deemed truant. It is then the responsibility of the school where the child attends to send an official notice to the parent or legal guardian outlining the days of unlawful absences. 
The official notice will outline the penalties which may be imposed by the District Magistrate if there are more unlawful absences. After three unlawful absences, a school administrator or counselor must also schedule an Attendance Improvement Conference with the student and parent or legal guardian to discuss why the student is missing school and a course of action if it continues to occur.
Students 15 or older found guilty by the District Magistrate of violating compulsory attendance law(s) may lose driving privileges or have their learner’s permit withheld 60 days for each offense. 
Withdrawal Procedure
A student planning to withdraw from school should discuss the matter with a counselor so the implications of this decision can be carefully reviewed. If a decision to withdraw is ultimately made, the counselor or principal, in consultation with the child’s parent, will issue detailed instructions concerning the procedure for withdrawal. 
It is mandatory for all students who withdraw from school to pay any outstanding financial obligations to the District and return school materials.
Dental and Medical Appointments
It is preferred that dental and medical appointments be scheduled during non-school hours; however, if a medical or dental appointment must be made during the school day, a note requesting that the student be excused from school should be sent by the parent no later than 7:37 a.m. the day of the appointment. Students will be required to submit a doctor’s excuse upon return to school. Failure to do so within three days may result in the absence being considered unlawful.

Educational Trips (Board Policy 231)

The Board recognizes the value of educational trips which enhance and enrich the school experience for the children of this School District. Therefore, students may be allowed to be absent from school during the designated school year for such educational trips/experiences at the expense of the parents or guardians provided that parents/guardians submit the appropriate form (available in school offices and on the Parents tab of the District website) no less than five school days in advance of the proposed trip. 
The following procedures shall be followed in requesting approval for an educational trip:
  1. Parents shall submit the appropriate form no less than five (5) school days in advance of the proposed trip. Failure to follow this procedure will result in denial of the educational trip request.

  2. A family having children enrolled in more than one building who will be participating in the trip shall submit one (1) request form. The form shall list the name of each child for whom permission is sought to participate in the trip and shall be submitted to the principal serving the youngest child's building. The principal receiving the form will take responsibility for notifying the principal(s) of the other building(s) and will consult with them on the appropriate response. A copy of the form will be forwarded to each principal.

  3. The principal receiving the request will notify the parents in a timely manner of the decision to approve or disapprove the trip.

  4. The cumulative number of days for educational trips that will be considered for approval during a given year shall not exceed five (5) school days per child. The cumulative number of days that will be considered for approval of college visitations also shall not exceed five (5) school days per child.

  5. Educational Trips and College visitations will not be approved for the first five (5) school days of the school year, nor the final ten (10) days of each school term.

  6. Requests for educational trips, including college visitations, will be considered in terms of student absence guidelines delineated in Board Policy 204.

  7. Approved trips will be recorded as excused absences and will not be considered as days of attendance for consideration of perfect attendance.

The Decision For Approval
The basis for approving a request for an educational trip shall be its direct relevance to the needs of the student, and whether or not the request coincides with the recognized date for the activity, for example, "Take Your Daughter/Son to Work Day." The ease with which the same trip could be made at times other than during the school year or day will also be considered.

The following specific categories of trips will not be approved as educational trips:

  1. Shopping, hunting, fishing, visits to relatives, etc.
  2. Events or places which could be visited outside of school time because they are nearby and/or scheduled for substantial hours beyond the school day.
  3. Trips to educational sites for which a  previous request has been approved. Site in this instance refers to a specific place; for example, it would be possible to schedule several trips to New York City without visiting the same sites.
  4. Trips for more than five (5) school days duration (cumulative within a given school year). Absences beyond five (5) days will be recorded as "unlawful" or "unexcused", as appropriate, and subject to provisions outlined in Attendance Policy 204.
  5. Accompanying the family to locate a new home due to a planned move.
  6. Trips taking place during the time period in which District testing or final examinations are being administered.

Should the family disregard a principal's decision to disapprove a trip request, then the absence(s) will be marked as unlawful. The building administrator may exercise discretion concerning makeup privileges for work missed during such unapproved and unexcused absences.

Appeal of Denial
When a request for an educational trip has been denied at the building level, the parent may submit a written request to the principal to reevaluate the issue. This request, accompanied by a recommendation from the principal, will be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent for review.
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