Attendance| How to Report an Absence

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    HOW TO REPORT AN ABSENCE

    As soon as you know your child will be absent, please contact the school receptionist via email , phone 847.214.3500, or in person at the second floor reception desk.  You may leave a message if calling before or after school hours. If you email, you may copy your homeroom teacher in the message.

    **Please include illness symptoms such as fever, vomiting, aches etc...**

    ATTENDANCE POLICIES

    Regular and consistent school attendance is key to academic success.  It also helps children become confident with the academic disciplines.  Sometimes absence cannot be avoided.  However, it is difficult to reproduce the impact of a lesson presentation once a child has missed it.  Since some school absences are inevitable the following policies will assist families in keeping children up to date in the event of absence.

    EXCUSED ABSENCES
    The main reasons for excused absence:
     

    • Illness or doctor’s visit
    • Death or family emergency of a critical nature
    • Pre-approved family trips
    • Professional appointments that cannot be scheduled outside the school day. A doctor’s note is required when absence due to medical appointments (please see the section below entitled “Absences - Responsibilities When Excused” for more details).
    • School sponsored activities
    • Juniors and seniors may also be excused for pre-approved visits to colleges they are considering attending. Juniors are permitted four days and seniors are permitted four days to visit colleges.

    NOTE: It should be noted that absences due to vacations, medical appointments, and other non-emergency situations should be kept to a minimum. It is difficult for students to stay current with their class work when missing class on a regular or extended basis. In addition, regular or sustained absences place an undue burden on teachers to help an individual student get caught up when the balance of the class has already progressed to another level. Excessive absence can be the cause of retention and loss of educational continuity. 

    Please also keep in mind that excessive, unexcused absences are reportable to local truancy agencies.  Chronic truancy is defined as any student who accumulates unexcused absences in excess of 5% of school days, according to the state of Illinois.  After a child reaches 5%, a doctor’s note must be provided for each day the child misses school due to illness.  Any child not at school by 10:30 am will be considered in NON attendance for that day.

    APPROVAL PROCEDURES
    In order for absences to be excused, families should do the following: 

    ILLNESS
    Parents must contact the school by phone before 8:30 am on the day of the absence.  In the case of absences exceeding a three-day period, a note explaining the reason for the absence should be brought when the child returns to school.  The note should contain the date of absence, the reason for the absence, and the signature of the parent.  It is important to remember that the reason stated in the note is the determining factor as to whether the absence will be excused by the school.


    ILLNESS DURING SCHOOL DAY

    If a student should become ill during the school day, he/she should report immediately to the school office.  Parents will be notified and a determination will be made concerning whether the child should remain at school or be taken home.  If the student is to be taken home, he/she will rest in the sick bay area in the school office until a parent can arrange to pick up the child.  In the case of sudden, severe illness, injury, or worsening of chronic conditions, the emergency card instructions and chronic illness Health Care plans will be followed for transporting the student to the hospital and contacting the family physician.  If a student needs to be transported to the hospital, a staff member will accompany him/her.


    DOCTOR VISITS

    The best time to schedule routine doctor visits is before or after school.  If children must be excused from school for doctor’s visits, a note containing the date and time of the visit should be submitted.


    DEATH OR CRITICAL FAMILY EMERGENCY

    Although the school understands the unexpected nature of family emergencies, parents should contact the school by phone as soon as possible.  It is important to advise the school office about the circumstances.  A note briefly explaining the circumstances and dates should be submitted to the school office upon the child’s return.  Excused absences are granted for situations that fall into these areas.


    FAMILY TRIPS

    A note explaining the family trip must be submitted prior to the planned family vacation.  The school will allow up to six (6) consecutive days for planned family trips.  Family vacations are defined as vacations with the student’s family and must be pre-approved to assure that an excused status is granted.  Unexcused absence will be assessed for each extra day missed.  Families are asked to resist extending scheduled school holidays with extra days for family trips.

    PARTIAL-DAY ABSENCES
    If a student’s family finds it necessary that he/she arrives late to school, he/she must have a note, signed by a parent, which explains the circumstances for the late arrival.  The school will determine upon receipt of the note, whether the absence will be excused or unexcused.  Harvest Christian Academy encourages families to plan ahead to arrive at school on time daily.  Unless special admission is granted, for students to qualify for an after-school activity, he/she must be in school by noon.  All students must secure both school and parental permission in order to leave school early.


    UNEXCUSED ABSENCES
    Although most absences are excused with parental explanation, an occasional absence is considered unexcused.  Unexcused absences occur when students are absent from school without explanation, or if the absence is not approved under the school policies.  An unexcused absence will also be assessed for family trips when the trips extend beyond six consecutive days.  An unexcused absence affects work completed or assigned for the specific date of the unexcused absence.  A lowering of grades may occur as a result of an unexcused absence.  The student penalty is a 10% or letter grade reduction of the current grade.  Any child not at school by 10:30 am will be considered in NON attendance for that day.
     

    MAKE-UP WORK
    In the event of an excused absence, all schoolwork is to be made up.

    When an absence is due to an illness, a student is allowed an equal number of make-up days as days absent, unless he/she has requested and been granted special permission by the principal to do otherwise.

    When an application for absence has been pre-approved, the work missed must be completed and turned in upon the student’s return to school, unless they have requested and been granted special permission by the principal to do otherwise. This also applies to students missing school for school-sponsored activities in which they are active participants (i.e., athletic trips, choir tours, college tours, field trips)

    In the event of an unexcused absence, all schoolwork is to be made up. All assignments are due on the day of return. All tests and/or quizzes missed during the absence are to be made up on the day of return. All work/tests/quizzes are subject to the teacher’s penalty for late work.

    EXCESSIVE ABSENCES
    Any Lower School student exceeding 20 days or more in absences may be considered for retention.

    HOMEWORK REQUEST OF ABSENCES
    Parents may pick up homework after school (3:00 PM to 3:30 PM) from the school office.

    TARDINESS
    Lower School: Punctuality to school is critical to student success.  A student is considered tardy if he/she is not in the classroom and seated when the morning late bell sounds.  When students in the Lower School have five unexcused tardies, parental contact will be made.  Continued tardiness after parental contact is made will be handled between the school administration and the parents.

    Middle & High School: Students in grades 6 through 12 who arrive to class late (unexcused) will be penalized according to the following guidelines (per quarter):

    Tardy to class1-3 times – warning

    Tardy to class 3+ times – detention

    Each subsequent tardy after four tardy per quarter, will be cause for a student detention at the principal’s discretion.



    MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL PROCEDURES

    High school absentee lists are sent to the office via the school’s email by 8:10 AM. Students not reporting to first period by 8:10 AM will be marked absent. Any high school student arriving to school after 8:00 AM must report to the Middle & High School Office on floor four. 

    Middle & high school teachers take and record attendance before each class. Teachers compare their attendance with the absentee list for the day immediately reporting any students who are not present for class.

    Upon their return from absence, middle & high school students are required to submit a note to the second floor receptionist stating the reason for their absence. 

    HIGH SCHOOL ABSENCES- PARTIAL DAYS
    A high school student must be present a minimum of four class periods in order to be given credit for a half-day. A student must be present a minimum of seven class periods in order to be given credit for a full day. Both excused and unexcused absences are recorded.

    In addition, the attendance of high school students will be recorded by class periods. A high school student accumulating more than 15 absences in a single course may not receive credit for that course (i.e. a high school student may miss more than 15 first-period classes and still receive attendance credit for a full day on the report card. At the same time, he/she may jeopardize receiving credit for that first-period class because he/she has exceeded 15 absences.)

    Half-day absences are recorded on report cards and permanent records.

    CREDIT LOSS AND GRADE RETENTION FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
    A student accumulating more than fifteen absences in a semester may not receive credit for that course. Both excused and unexcused absences count toward the 15 absences. Extensions may be applied for and granted to the student by the principal. Application for extensions must be made in writing to the principal by the parent or guardian detailing the reason for the excessive absences. The school will attempt to notify parents when 10 absences have been accumulated. When 13-absences have accumulated, a conference between parent(s) and principal will be held to discuss the potential of imposed restrictions and/or credit loss.

    TRUANCY FOR MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
    Truancy (or skipping) is willful absence from school or any assigned class or study hall without the prior knowledge of the parent and appropriate school authority.

    Class: Arriving in the classroom more than 10 minutes late is considered skipping a class and is recorded as an absence. All work must be made-up and will be subject to the teacher’s penalty for late work. In addition, the student may face further disciplinary action. For high school students, this absence from a class will be considered as part of the 15 maximum allowable absences per semester.

    Day: Skipping two or more consecutive classes is considered skipping a day. All work must be made up and will be subject to the teachers’ penalty for late work. In addition, the student may face further disciplinary action.

    FAMILY TRIPS
    A note explaining the family trip must be submitted prior to the planned family vacation.  The school will allow up to six (6) consecutive days for planned family trips.  Family vacations are defined as vacations with the student’s family and must be pre-approved to assure that an excused status is granted.  Unexcused absence will be assessed for each extra day missed.  Families are asked to resist extending scheduled school holidays with extra days for family trips.

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    The mission of Harvest Christian Academy is to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission. HCA is a ministry of Harvest Bible Chapel, one church on multiple campuses located throughout the Chicagoland area. HCA is located at the Elgin Campus.
    Address : 1000 N Randall Road Elgin, IL 60123
    Phone : 847.214.3500
    Fax : 847.214.3501
    Email : [email protected]
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