Attendance Policy

To fully take part in all that the Unity school day offers, students must arrive to school on time, in uniform, and be prepared to engage actively in their learning. Unity’s school day begins promptly at 7:30am—at this time, all students must be in their designated destination to be marked present. In addition to taking attendance at the beginning of the school day, teachers take attendance at the start of all classes and students are expected to be in their designated seat to be marked as present and on time. Phone calls will be made daily to inquire about students who are absent and have not given prior notice to the office. Students having an attendance rate of 98% or greater will be formally recognized for their achievement and perseverance at the end of each trimester during Unity’s school-wide Wednesday assemblies.

Attendance

Students who miss a day of school are required to submit a note to the main office in order for the absence to be counted as “excused.” Phone calls do not count to excuse absences. Notes for excused absences include a note from a doctor or other professional service or agency. Notes written by parent/guardian are accepted to excuse a student being absent up to three times per trimester. All notes must explain and verify the reason for the student’s absence. Students will receive full credit for being in class if their absence is excused and all required class notes and assignments are made up in a timely manner. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with all of her/his teachers to ensure that student make-up work for any absence.
 
In the event that a note is not provided or the three parent/guardian-note limit is exceeded for the trimester, students may receive only partial credit for making up assignments. For example, if a student misses school on a Wednesday without an excuse note, she/he will be required to attend the next Saturday tutoring session to complete any work that she/he missed. Increasing levels of interventions will accompany continued/chronic absences, up to and including potential reporting of educational neglect to the Administration for Children’s Services as required by law.

Attending school every day is vital to students’ academic success and ability to be promoted. Parents and students should make every possible effort to plan vacations during the several school breaks listed on Unity’s annual academic calendar. Missing school days directly before or after school breaks due to extended vacations is not permitted.

Tardiness

Students who are late to school are required to submit a note explaining the lateness to the Operations Manager in order for it to be counted as “excused.” Tardiness will be excused if, for example, a student provides documentation of a doctor or dentist appointment during school hours. Phone calls do not count to excuse tardiness. Should a student arrive to school late without a note, the student will be marked as tardy and assigned to serve a detention that afternoon. Should the tardiness continue, increasing levels of interventions will be implemented including parent/student meetings with the Dean of Students and/or Social Worker. If tardiness becomes a chronic issue, further interventions by school leadership and/or Social Worker may be implemented.

Leaving Early

If doctor or dentist appointments are scheduled during the school day requiring a student to leave early, the student must be picked up in the main office by a parent/guardian or other person listed on the student’s Emergency Contact form. A note on official letterhead from the doctor or dentist must be provided to Unity’s Operations Manager on the following day in order to excuse the student’s absence from her/his class(es). The student will receive full credit for the class(es) missed and all notes and assignments should be made up in a timely manner. Without an excusal note, the student will be marked absent from the class she/he misses. In the event that assignments are submitted late due to an unexcused absence, the student will receive only partial credit.

In the event of illness or emergency that require a child to leave school alone (i.e., a parent/guardian/emergency contact cannot come to pick up the child) during the school day, parents must send written permission for that child to leave school alone. Students will not be allowed to leave school alone without this written permission from a parent/guardian. Written permission may be sent via email or text to the Operations Manager or Director of Operations. If parents/guardians are unable to be reached, the child is unable to travel safely on her/his own, and the child’s situation is an urgent matter of health or safety, Unity staff may exercise discretion and contact law enforcement officials or emergency medical personnel to attend to the child.

Cutting Class

Unity considers cutting class to be more than an attendance issue—cutting is a serious infraction that impacts our school community. Please refer to “Section VII. School Culture” for details about infractions and consequences related to our discipline policy.

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