Attendance Policy / Bell Schedule

2016-2017 School Year & Attendance Guidelines

BELL SCHEDULE

Kindergarten
8:40-12:40 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8:40-12:10 Wednesday (Minimum days)

Grades 1-3
8:30-2:45:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8:30-12:45:  Wednesday (Minimum Days)

Grades 4-8
8:30-3:10:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8:30-12:45:  Wednesday (Minimum Days)

DATES TO CALENDAR

September 7, 2016 – First Day of School
September 14, 2016 – Back to School Night
October 10, 2016– No School/Teacher In-Service
November 5, 2016- Harvest Faire, 11am-5pm
November 11, 2016 – Veteran’s Day
November 21 -25, 2016 – Thanksgiving Break
December 23, 2016 -January 6, 2017 – Winter Break
January 16, 2017 – MLK Day
January 23 -27,2017 – Parent Conference Week – Minimum Day Release at 12:45
February 17 -20, 2017 – President’s Day Weekend
March 10, 2017 – No School/Teacher In-Service
April 3 -7, 2017 – Spring Break
May 29, 2017 – Memorial Day
June 16, 2017 – Last Day of School – Minimum Day Release at 12:45

Festivals and other major school events will be featured on the school calendar

ATTENDANCE

At Journey School, students are taught in carefully designed, complete units known as Main Lesson blocks which last 3-4 weeks each. Missing a portion of a block will affect full comprehension of that block as well as future lessons. When school is missed, rhythm is disrupted, lessons cannot be replicated and missed work becomes a burden to complete while staying caught up on current assignments. Regular attendance is extremely important for many additional reasons, including:

  • Attendance at school is mandatory by law. Note that the school is required to keep accurate attendance records. The school office must “verify” all absences with the parent, regardless of the reason.
  • Journey School depends on student attendance for funding. When a student is absent, school funding is reduced, regardless of the reason for the absence.
  • Regular attendance shows a commitment by the family to the school and to the student’s education.
  • Regular attendance helps to ensure each student can reach his/her full educational potential.
  • As a charter school, Journey School is accountable for overall student performance. A low attendance rate generally has a negative effect on student performance and can therefore affect the school as a whole.
Punctuality

If adults have a good relationship with punctuality and attendance, then our children will learn reliability and respect for others. Consistent punctuality, difficulty though it is for all of us, will do more than anything else to strengthen the will of both adults and children. For this reason, Journey School maintains a consistent daily rhythm for the children. The beginning of the school day establishes the mood for the day, with activities such as movement, speech and music, which bring the class together and prepare the children for work. The students recite a morning verse in unison. It is important that your child is present for these activities and it is equally important that latecomers not interrupt the class.

First Day of School Policy

Students who are not in attendance due to an unexcused absence will be dis-enrolled from the school roster after the 3rd day for which attendance is expected, as it will be assumed that the student has chosen another school option. The School will attempt to reach the Parent/Guardian on a daily basis for each of the first three days to determine whether the student has an excused absence. If the student has a basis for an excused absence, parents must notify the school of the absence and provide documentation.

Reporting Absences to School

Parents are to notify the school office of a student’s absence (regardless of the reason–excused or unexcused) as soon as possible, ideally before 9:30 am when attendance is entered. Physician, dental, counseling and other appointments should be scheduled after school hours whenever possible. If unavoidable, please notify the office and have the child attend classes both before and after the scheduled appointments. Absences will remain unexcused and accumulate as such unless they are excused for a valid reason (see below). A child’s absence may be verified/excused up to five (5) days after your child has been absent. Absences that are not verified within the time allowed will be considered unexcused. Unexcused absences due to no verification generally will not be changed after five (5) days. Extenuating circumstances will be considered.

At the school’s discretion, a physician’s statement of diagnosis may be required at any point to excuse an absence or extended absence related to illness. Generally, a physician’s statement will be requested on the 3rd consecutive day of a student’s medical absence or when a student’s total days of medical related absence reach seven (7). After seven (7) total medical absences, a doctor’s statement will be required to excuse any further medical absences for the remainder of the year.

If one or more of the following occurs, your child will be sent home: temperature of 100 or higher, vomiting, pain in the chest or stomach, fainting, live nits or lice found in hair, injury other than minor cuts or bruises. Please have current emergency contacts listed on your child’s Emergency Forms. Please contact the school immediately if these numbers change during the year.

Absences and Tardy Policy

Journey School’s daily goal is 100% attendance with no tardies. Each day of school is part of a sequential learning process; therefore missing a part of one day without good cause should be avoided.

Excused Absence

Absences for the following reasons will be considered as excused absences:

  • Illness that involves fever, vomiting, injuries, serious allergies, or situations when a physician recommends a student miss school
  • Medical or dental appointments which cannot be scheduled outside the school day
  • Religious Holidays
  • Court ordered absences
  • Other unusual circumstances when approved by the director and requested in advance
Unexcused Absence

Absences for the following reasons will be considered as unexcused absences:

  • Minor colds, congestion, and minor allergies, or medical situations when a physician does not recommend the student miss school.
  • “Long weekends” and vacations
  • Moving days (change of residence)
  • Transportation problems
  • Appointments for non-essential activities such as haircuts.
Procedure for Excessive Unexcused Absence

The following procedure will be followed to manage Unexcused Absences:

    • 1 to 4 Unexcused Absences – A staff or faculty member will call home each occurrence to verify the student’s absence and discuss how the school can help to resolve the problem.
    • 5th Unexcused Absence – A written notice of excessive unexcused absence will be sent home and placed within the student’s cumulative record.
    • 8th Unexcused Absence – A second written notice of excessive unexcused absence will be sent home and placed within the student’s cumulative record. Subsequently, a meeting will be scheduled with the parent/guardian, School Director and classroom teacher to discuss the unexcused absences and create a plan for correcting the problem. It is the School’s intent to identify and remove all barriers to the student’s success. At this meeting, a parent /guardian will be formally notified in writing of the possibility of their child losing enrollment preference as a continuing student at Journey School the following year if three (3) more unexcused absences occur. The parent/guardian will be required to sign a contract formalizing the agreement to improve the child’s attendance or face escalated actions.
    • 10th Unexcused Absence – The administrator will inform the Parent/Guardian in writing that the student will be considered to no longer be “attending” the school and therefore may have lost his or her admissions preference as a continuing student for Journey School for the following year. The student can re-apply to Journey school the following school year; or, if Journey is over-enrolled, the student can participate in the admissions lottery just like all the other students desiring to attend the school. Notification will be sent to the district of residence of the “non-attending” student.

The School will use the contact information provided by the parent/guardian on the enrollment forms. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached at the number or address provided on the enrollment forms, the student will be deemed to have voluntarily dis-enrolled and notification of the dis-enrollment will be sent to the district of residence.

Note: Different procedures may apply to students with extenuating circumstances and/or those students receiving special education services. The school reserves the right to initiate legal action for violation of the compulsory school attendance laws.

Tardy to School

Students who arrive at school after the start of the student day are considered tardy. Those who arrive after the start of the student day (8:30 for grades students) are to stop by the office where they will be marked tardy and receive a pass that will permit them into the classroom.

Excused tardies are those that are verified in writing by the director and or his/her designee.

Leaving Early/Early Departure

Please avoid picking up students before the dismissal time. It is important to honor every class and all instructional time at Journey School. If a pattern develops, administration will schedule a parent conference at which additional measures for compliance will be discussed and during which placement at the school and/ or other additional actions may be considered.

For additional information regarding the absence and tardy policies, see the School Handbook.