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Managing absences is the law

As the cold and flu season ramps up, we thought it would be helpful to review the Penn-Delco Attendance policy.  Our new website contains a robust section addressing attendance.  Here are the highlights to help insure your child is marked as lawfully absent when illness, a family emergency, or other unplanned event prevents your child from attending school.

The law is clear

Regular attendance at school may seem like a simple goal for all parents and guardians.  But sometimes a child has a particularly difficult year with illness or other unforeseen challenges.  Making sure your child is present at school is not only necessary for their development, but is the law.  Informing your school of why your child was absent insures that the student is not marked with an unlawful absence.  An unlawful absence is defined as an event in which a student is absent without a valid, acceptable note.  Here are a few things to remember:

  • A maximum of 10 cumulative, lawful absences shall be permitted during the school year.
  • Absences are treated as unlawful until the school receives a written excuse explaining the absence.
  • Parents and guardians have 3 days after an absence to submit a written note.
  • Request for excusal of absences after 10 lawful absences shall require a written physician’s note.
  • A student is considered habitually truant when he or she accumulates 6 or more unlawful absences.  
  • How is truant defined

absence Our schools are responsible for enforcing compulsory attendance laws.  The state of Pennsylvania labels a child “truant” if the child has incurred 3 or more school days of unexcused absences during the current school year. A child is “habitually truant” if the child has incurred 6 or more school days of unexcused absences during the current school year.  

All public and nonpublic schools must notify, in writing, the person in parental relation to the child within 10 school days of the child’s third unexcused absence. The parental notice must contain a description of the consequences that will follow if the child becomes habitually truant, must be in the parent’s preferred language, and may include the offer of a School Attendance Improvement Conference (SAIC).



How do I make sure my child is marked lawfully absent?

Penn-Delco offers parents easy-to-use notes that can either be given to the teacher upon return or sent electronically to our absence email addresses for each school.   Notes still have to be handwritten and signed by the parent or guardian.  Absent notes are on the Penn-Delco website and are downloadable.

How can I track my student's absences?

Our new student management system Skyward is a handy platform for tracking relevent personal information about your child, including report cards, contact information, medical considerations, and absences.  You can log into your child's Skyward account to track absences in our system.  They are segmented as excused and unexcused.  

For more information on attendance at Penn-Delco, you can go to our attendace page on our main website.  For more information from the state of Pennsylvania, you can go to their attendance section.