When is my student considered truant?

A parent or guardian has legal responsibilities for educating their child. More information about those legal responsibilities is accessible at the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

  • Absences shall be treated as unlawful until the school receives a written excuse explaining the absence.
  • Parents and guardians have three (3) days after an absence to submit a written note.
  • A maximum of ten (10) cumulative, lawful absences shall be permitted during the school year.
  • Request for excusal of absences after ten (10) lawful absences shall require a written physician's note.
  • An unlawful absence shall be defined as an event in which a student is absent without a valid, acceptable note.
  • A student is considered habitually truant when he or she accumulates 6 or more unlawful absences.

Here is an overview of legal responsibilities:

  1. Student is absent: absence is considered unlawful until School District receives a written acceptable excuse per School District policy.
  2. If three (3) calendar days pass after the absence with no excuse (or acceptable excuse per School District policy); the absence is permanently considered unlawful.
  3. School District personnel (principal/teacher in public/private school) and private teacher (tutor) are required to report cases of habitual truancy (six (6) days, or equivalent, of unlawful absences without lawful excuse).
  4. If a student is absent ten (10) consecutive days, the School District must drop the child from active membership roll unless:
    1. a) a legal excuse is provide, or
    2. b) the School District is pursuing compulsory attendance prosecution.
  5. Up to ten (10) cumulative lawful absences during a school year are permitted; all absences beyond the ten (10) day limit require a physician's excuse.
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