Truancy Reduction

Suffolk Public Schools will continue to call your home following any absence.  In addition, the school division will notify parents in writing should their child ever accumulate three (3) unexcused absences in order to ensure that the parent is aware of those absences and their seriousness. 

Accordingly, it is important that parents keep Suffolk Public Schools advised of their current mailing address and phone number. Written notes explaining an absence must be received within five (5) days of an absence.  Every absence is considered unexcused until a written explanation for the absence is received in writing and approved by the principal or his/her designee. 

The student suffering an infectious or contagious disease, a serious illness, the severe illness of an immediate family member, the student’s exposure to a contagious disease, a death in the immediate family, fire or other serious damage to the home that requires the family to move, and similar circumstances constitute excused absences.

If a student accumulates five (5) unexcused absences, the parent will be contacted and, with the student, must attend an “in person” conference to discuss the particular causes or issues surrounding their child’s absences.  The conference will ordinarily include a teacher, the assistant principal, the school’s social worker, and a school resource officer.  At the conference, with the parent’s input, Suffolk Public Schools will formulate a truancy plan to enable and facilitate attendance. 

Should these efforts fail and the student misses a total of seven (7) unexcused days, more serious steps will be taken: the parent and the child will either be referred to a Truancy Review Team and/or the school division will file legal proceedings against the child and/or the parent in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.  The legal proceedings may include a criminal warrant against the parent(s) and/or a “child in need of supervision” petition.  It will remain Suffolk Public Schools’ policy that any student who has more than 20 unexcused absences during a school year may be required to repeat the year unless there are extraordinary circumstances.

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