Niskayuna Schools > Student Services > Required Notifications

Attendance Policy Summary

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All students are entitled to a sound basic education that will enable them to enjoy life and become effective citizens. This goal can best be achieved within the public schools by regular class participation. The objective of this policy is to encourage student commitment to, staff awareness of and parental support for regular class attendance.


The basic strategy of this policy is to recognize the relationship between participation in class activities and the mastery of course material. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss assigned material.

Failure to attend class thwarts this objective and requires compensating or corrective actions. Such actions should be based on valid data. Consequently, class attendance shall be recorded in accordance with state requirements and shall be reported to parents* at the end of each marking period or more frequently if so required by the school code of conduct.

Excused Absences

Tardiness or absence for the following reasons is excused: personal illness or injury, death or emergency illness in the immediate family, obligatory religious observance, required court appearance, medical and dental appointments, school sponsored events, college visits and interviews, career development or explorations programs approved by the principal, driver's road test (not permit tests), late arriving bus, impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe, music lessons, or others as authorized by the principal. Tardiness or absence for any other reasons is unexcused. Students with an excused absence shall be given an opportunity to make up missed work.

Relationship between Attendance and Course Credit

In order to obtain the minimum passing grade for a course, students must demonstrate sufficient comprehension of the course material to justify promotion to a subsequent course of study. To obtain a higher grade, students must demonstrate by examination, class participation and the completion of assigned work that they have sufficient mastery of course material to satisfy established departmental standards. Unexcused absences may also affect a student's grade and course credit.

Incentives, Sanctions and Notice

Each school is encouraged to recognize the impact of good attendance on student learning and to develop incentives that provide individual motivation to students and families. Students with unexcused absences shall be subject to the sanctions provided by school codes of conduct. Parents shall be notified by phone or by letter whenever their child is absent, tardy or departs early without a proper excuse.

Intervention Strategies

Additional actions shall be taken for students with severe attendance problems. These include referral to a student support or child study team, the provision of counseling service, and referral to a judge for court supervision (PINS petition.)

*The term "parent" includes guardians and others in an established parental relation with the student.