The Diocese of Greensburg Office of Catholic Schools requires that school-aged pupils enrolled in a school of the diocese attend school regularly in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania state law requires 180 days of schooling for each student. The educational program offered by the diocese is predicated upon the presence of the pupil and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. A strong relationship exists between good school attendance and academic achievement. A good record of attendance and punctuality is an excellent recommendation for future school and career endeavors. Class absences disrupt instructional continuity and decrease direct teacher-student contact time. Absences limit opportunities for classroom interaction and direct participation with teacher and student.
Students who reach an absence total of 30 days will be retained in their existing grade level. These days may be comprised of missed days or excessive days tardy that equate to missed days. Three tardies can be equivalent to one missed day. In addition, legal authorities may be contacted if there is a suspicion of neglect.
Procedures for Reporting Student Absence and Transportation Changes:
To report your child absent:
Please call our office to report your child absent, 724-733-8840, option 1.
Early Dismissal Request/To change your child’s afternoon schedule:
Please send a note to your child’s teacher if you need to request an early dismissal or a transportation or afterschool change.
If something comes up after your child leaves for school, please call our office, 724-733-8840, option 2. We must be notified via phone prior to 2:30 p.m.
Please DO NOT email the teacher or office staff to report a child absent, request an early dismissal, or to change your child’s transportation. The message may not be read during the school day or the teacher/staff member may not be in the building.
Excused Temporary Absences
- The student is responsible for making up all assignments and tests missed during an absence from school. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the assignments and return them to the individual teachers at the time designated. Each grade level will determine the time for assignments as age appropriate.
- Absences can be full day or half day with both types requiring an excuse on day of return.
- Absences are excused for sickness, bereavement, court appearances or family emergencies.
- Absences for a portion of the day may be excused for health care.
- In the event of an absence, an excuse that includes the name and grade of the student, the date of the absence, and the reason for the absence must be written and signed by a parent/guardian or doctor, and be presented to the homeroom teacher upon returning to school the first day after an absence. The teacher keeps these notes on file for the entire school year as required by law.
- Absences without an excuse are considered unexcused absences. A phone call to the school does not take the place of a written excuse, which is required by law.
- Excessive absences jeopardize the academic standing of the child. After 15 days of cumulative absence, a written statement from a physician may be required for the purpose of issuing an excused temporary absence for any subsequent absences. After 25 days of cumulative absence, corrective actions may be issued, the magistrate may be contacted, and/or enrollment may be terminated.
- The school will notify parents of excessive absences by school mail, email, or postal mail. Letters will be sent after three unexcused absences, 10 cumulative absences, 15 cumulative absences, and 25 cumulative absences. Cumulative absences include both excused and unexcused absences.
- Corrective measures for excessive absences or truancy may include: counseling, conferences, suspension, or termination of enrollment.
- If a student is absent for 3 or more consecutive days, the school’s office must receive a Doctor’s Excuse prior to returning to school.
Pre-approved Excused Temporary Absences
- Education trips will be considered for approval if the school principal determines that such a trip will be of educational significance to the student.
- Parents should communicate with the principal prior to the trip for approval purposes. Upon approval, parents need to communicate with teachers for appropriate academic material.
- Students are granted the privilege of making up all assignments and tests missed during the excused absence. Classroom experiences, discussions, group activities, etc., cannot be made up.
- Teachers have two options or a combination of the two options to use when preparing class work:
- Individual teachers will have the discretion to prepare the assignments ahead of time, with all make-up work due on the day that the student returns to school.
- Individual teachers have the discretion to provide students with their assignments when they return to school, giving them two weeks to make up the work.
- Individual teachers may use a combination of both options with some work due upon return and some work due within two weeks of the return date.
- Parents must send an email to both Mrs. Szmed and the teacher prior to the trip and after the trip to find out what work is to be done during the trip and what work is to be made up after the trip.
- Students will not be permitted to take class time to receive assignments, to review what has been missed, or to turn in assignments.
- The responsibility for making up this work lies with the student and family. It is the responsibility of the student and family to return the assignments and make arrangements for makeup and missed tests.
- Work not completed is recorded as incomplete and receives a zero.
Unexcused or Unlawful Absences
The Diocese of Greensburg Office of Catholic Schools defines an unexcused absence as the absence of a pupil due to parental neglect or truancy. Absences without excuses are considered unexcused absences.
- School begins at 8:30 a.m., for opening announcements. Children arriving after 8:30 a.m., are marked absent by the classroom teacher. The student and Parent arriving after 8:30 a.m., must report to the school office to have the absence changed to a tardy, sign in, and be admitted to class.
- Students should provide an excuse from their parent, guardian or doctor.
- Chronic tardiness may be converted into equivalent days or unlawful absence. One absence can be comprised of three tardies.
- Late arrivals due to doctor appointments that cannot be scheduled at any other time are considered excused. Upon return, a doctor’s excuse is to be presented to the office, making this an excused tardy.
In the event that it becomes necessary to have a child dismissed from school early, please call the office at 724-733-8840 and press Option 2 to notify the office of the change. All early dismissals must be made before 2:30 p.m.. The parent or guardian should come to pick up the child from school, come into the office and sign the child out. The secretary will then notify the classroom teacher to send the child to the office for early dismissal. Chronic early dismissals will be discussed.