Not only is daily attendance required by Pennsylvania state law, it is essential for successful completion of each course of study. The most common cause of academic failure is absenteeism. Because Tri-State Christian Academy expects students to succeed, we require students to attend school regularly and be prompt in arriving for classes. Since the majority of our students are residents of Hancock County, WV, the following policy aligns with that of Hancock County Schools.
Procedures Regarding Absences
To comply with state law, all schools must record excused and unexcused absences. For uniformity, the following procedures should be followed.
1. When a student is absent, it is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to inform the school by phone call or text of the reason for the child’s absence. If phone contact has not been made, upon returning to school, the student shall present a written note. If phone contact or note is not presented within three days, the absence shall remain unexcused.
ATTENDANCE HOTLINE #: We have set up an attendance hotline number for parents to report absences. The number is 724-757-1785. Please text or call and leave a voicemail informing the school of your child’s absence. Please do not call the main office or contact the personal cell numbers of the principal, teachers, or other staff members for absences. Messages on the attendance hotline number will be checked from 7:45 am till 3:30 pm.
2. If a parent has not contacted the school, the principal or designee shall contact the parent/guardian within two hours of school starting time, or as soon as feasible, to confirm a student absence.
3. Participation in school functions (sporting events, formals, field trips, etc.) will be contingent upon regular school attendance.
The following are legal, excused absences as approved by Tri-State Christian Academy.
a. Personal Illness (verified by parents/guardians) – Limited to ten (10) days per school year. When personal illness absences exceed ten days the Student Attendance Board (SAB) will convene if necessary. Parent will be notified of a pending hearing. (In case of extenuating circumstances, the principal may waive this guideline.)
b. Illness or injury with a physician’s written notification. If excessive, the SAB will convene.
c. Death in the family.
d. Parent Request – Limited to five (5) days for the school year and two days prior approval required.
e. Chronically ill with proper documentation from physician.
Absences for all other reasons not stipulated in this policy will be considered unexcused.
For calculating purposes, attendance will be recorded to the nearest half day according to the following definitions:
Full-day attendance is being present at least 75% of the school day. (4.5 hrs)
Half-day attendance is being present 50% to 74% of the school day. (3 - 4.4 hrs)
Less than 3 hours will be considered a full-day absence.
After three (3) unexcused absences of a student during a school year, the Attendance Director will serve the first written notice to the parent/guardian. The parent/guardian may contact the Attendance Director for any appeal or clarifications of the attendance history.
In the case of five (5) unexcused absences of a student during a school year, the Attendance Director will serve a second written notice to the parent/guardian stating they have ten (10) days to schedule and meet with the Student Attendance Board in order to discuss and correct the circumstances causing the unexcused absences. If the parent/guardian does not comply with this provision, the Attendance Director shall file complaint against the parent/guardian before the magistrate of the county of residence of the child.
Late Arrivals (Tardies)
A student arriving late must first report to the Attendance Director Office and provide an explanation. The excuse must be verified by phone contact with parent or written note.
Level 1 – Attendance Director Notification – Parents will be notified by letter after 3 to 5 tardies. Letter will include expected time schedule to be followed. Tardies may be converted to one (1) unexcused absence.
Level 2 – Principal Notification – Parents will be notified by letter at 6 to 9 tardies. Letter will include consequences of continued tardiness (which may include filing complaint before the magistrate of the county of residence of the child).
Level 3 – School Attendance Board (SAB) Notification – After ten (10) tardies, parents will meet with the SAB to discuss necessary corrective action.
If a student drives him/herself to school, that privilege will be revoked after ten (10) tardies.