Attendance & Absence Slips
Attendance and Truancy: Pennsylvania State Law
For the safety of students, parents are reminded to contact the school to report your child absent. Absences can be reported by dialing 610-861-4040. Our office sends automated telephone messages when students are absent.
The Pennsylvania Compulsory Attendance Law states that children between the ages of 8 and 17 must attend school on a daily basis. The Southern Lehigh Board of Education considers the following conditions reasonable cause for school absence: illness, quarantine, family emergency, recovery from an accident, required court attendance, death in the family, family educational travel with prior approval, and educational tours and trips with prior approval. The following reasons are also considered justifiable for part-day school absence: medical/dental appointments, court appearances, family emergencies, or other urgent matters.
If a student is under 17, School Code requires that absences be treated as unexcused and illegal until such a time as the school receives a written note giving lawful reason for the child’s absence. In order for the absence to be excused, the parent/guardian must submit a signed note stating the student’s name, and give the date(s) and reason for absence. The note must be turned in to the main office within three (3) days of the student’s return to school. If a note is not received the absence is considered unexcused and illegal. Please be aware that we are unable to accept notes by email because we cannot verify that the sender is a parent.
In accordance with School Code, ten (10) cumulative lawful absences are permitted in a school year. All absences beyond the 10-day limit require a physician’s excuse. Absences exceeding 10 days in a school year that are not supported by a physician or judicial agency note are unexcused and illegal.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education defines truancy as any unexcused or illegal absence from school. Under the law, principals must report to the superintendent any child who has had three (3) unexcused absences in a school year. A notice of truancy will be sent to parents if a child accrues three unexcused absences in a school year. If the student continues to miss school after this letter is sent, the school district may file truancy charges with the District Magistrate following the fourth unlawful absence.
If a student is absent for ten (10) consecutive days, the student will be dropped from the school rolls for non-attendance.
The Attendance regulations can be found in Southern Lehigh School District Policy No. 204 (http://slsd.org/files/filesystem/204%20Attendance%20REV.pdf). Attendance rules are also summarized in the Student-Parent Handbook posted on our school website.
Educational Family Trip Requests
Families choosing to vacation during the school year are required to submit an Educational Family Trip request form ten (10) days in advance of the trip. Educational Family Trip request forms can be found on our school district website. Approval for educational trips are at the discretion of the principal. A student’s attendance and/or academic standing may impact upon the approval process. Absences resulting from unapproved trips are unexcused. Approved trip absences count toward a student’s cumulative absence record. Educational family trips should be avoided during PSSA testing.
Requests for homework will be accommodated for absences from school for 2 or more days. Parents may email teachers directly or contact the main office to file a homework request.
When a student is late to school, he/she must report to the office with an excuse note before proceeding to class. Elementary/Intermediate students must be accompanied into school by a parent or guardian. Students who are habitually late to school may be charged with an unexcused absence. Excessive lateness to school may also result in disciplinary action.
- Students reporting to school after 8:50 A.M. and before 10:30 A.M. are tardy.
- Students reporting to school after 10:30 A.M. will be charged with a half-day morning absence.
- Students leaving school before 2:30 P.M. will be charged with a half-day afternoon absence.