Attendance Policy



  • All children over five and under eighteen years of age shall be required to attend a public day school, unless the parent or person having control of such child can show, to the satisfaction of the Board of Education, that the child is receiving elsewhere the equivalent instruction to that provided in a public day school. The parent or person having control of a child seventeen years of age may consent to such a child’s withdrawal form.

  • The Board has the responsibility to monitor compliance with all laws and regulations governing student attendance. Student attendance shall be monitored administratively for compliance with Board policies. The administration will work with the parent and those persons having control of the child to assist them in the assumption of their responsibilities relative to State Laws and Board of Education policies. Parents who do not assume responsibility for their child’s attendance as required by law may be referred to the State Prosecutor for prosecution. Administrative regulations shall govern procedures for implementation of this policy.

  • A student is considered to be “in attendance” if present at his/her assigned school or an activity sponsored by the school (e.g., field trip) for at least half of the regular school day. A student who is serving an out-of-school suspension or expulsion should always be considered absent.

LEGAL REFERENCES: Connecticut General Statute 10-184, Chap. 168, Sec. 1-199, Public Act 11-136, An Act Concerning Minor Revisions to the Education Statutes, Section 18, Public Act 15-225, Public Act 21-46, An Act Concerning Social Equity and the Health and Education of Children, Section 19 (a) and (b)


Attendance is taken at the start of every block period. Attendance is taken every block, and students must be in school for at least two blocks to be considered present. Please check PowerSchool for attendance records. 

The following codes are used in PowerSchool to report whether the student is in class or not: 

  • ILL – Illness

  • OEA – Other Excused Absence as identified in this document

  • MHW – Mental Health Wellness Days (Excused)

  • SRA – School Related Activity (Excused)

  • ABVU – Absence Verified but Unexcused (Parent/guardian contacted school and reason for absence provided did not fall into excused categories)

  • ABU – Absence Unverified (Parent/guardian did not contact the school to report an absence, and school personnel cannot reach a parent/guardian to determine the reason for absence)

  • TE – Tardy Excused

  • TU – Tardy Unexcused

  • ED – Early Dismissal 

  • ISS – In-School Suspension

  • OSS – Out of School Suspension

  • HBD – Homebound

  • T30 - Tardy Unexcused Exceeding 30 Minutes


The following conditions provide the ONLY acceptable reasons for a student’s absence, late arrival, or early dismissal from school:


When a student is unable to attend school due to an illness, the District reserves the right to require a physician’s or other appropriate certification for absences over five (5) consecutive days or a total of fifteen (15) days in any school year.


Activity absence is any absence that is school-sponsored. Extra-curricular activities may include but are not limited to field trips and athletic events. Absences beyond ten (10) in a school year require prior administrator approval.


The following examples fall under the Other Excused Absence Code:

  • Pre-arranged Appointments – We strongly encourage parents/guardians to schedule appointments for their children outside of the school day. However, we understand that in some cases, an appointment may need to occur during the school day. Please notify the school of any such appointments as they arise. When your child goes to school, the office will mark the time of the arrival/dismissal. This includes student court appearances, school related trips and college visitation.

  • Family Death or Emergency – For absences because of a death in the family or an emergency beyond the family’s control, the parent/guardian must notify the school and provide documentation for the absence.

  • Chronic/Extended Illness – For students who are absent because of chronic illnesses, a disability, or because of a need for homebound services, the parent/guardian must consult with the principal at the beginning of the enrollment of the student in the school or upon the onset of the student’s condition that affects regular attendance.

    • Reasons for health, including illness, incapacity, or doctor’s visits. The District reserves the right to require a physician’s or other appropriate certification for absences over five (5) consecutive days or a total of fifteen (15) days in any school year.

    • Documentation from a physician will be required. If the parent/guardian does not provide documentation from a physician of a chronic or extended illness, the principal will review the child’s attendance for needed services and/or applicable sanctions of the attendance law.

  • Religious Observances – Absences as a result of observances of religious holidays should be pre-arranged by the parent/guardian who is responsible for notifying the child’s school of the religious holiday(s) to be observed. If the parent/guardian is unable to pre-arrange the absence, a request for exemption must be received no later than the third day after the student’s return to school from the absence occasioned by the religious observance.

  • Extra-Curricular Activity Absence - Activity absence that is not school sponsored but is school-related, such as college visit. (Please provide documentation of visit)

  • Suspensions – For absences because of suspension, the parent/guardian will be notified of the suspension and when the student will be expected to return to school. The student must return on the indicated date. If there is no school due to a cancellation, that day does not count towards a suspension.

  • Exceptional Circumstances – The principal may approve a pre-arranged absence for situations in which an exemption from attendance appears to be in the best interests of the student and his/her family.

    • Before the student’s absence, the parent/guardian must report in writing the rationale for the absence, dates of absence, and siblings within the school division for whom the exception will also be requested.

    • The principal must respond in writing to the parent/guardian.

    • In documented extenuating circumstances, the principal may approve an absence after-the-fact as exempt from the attendance policy’s sanctions.

    • For those circumstances which cause the student to be absent and prior request for approval is not possible, the parent/guardian must request in writing within two days of the student’s return to school.

    • The principal may approve no more than five (5) days for exceptional circumstances during a school year. For requests of more than five (5) days, the request must be endorsed by the principal and approved by the superintendent/designee.


Students absent from school for (5) five days or more due to illness, injury, or surgery, must report to the nurse upon return to school with a note from the health care provider. Any student sent to the Emergency Room from school must have a letter from the health care provider upon returning to school. If a student is unable to attend classes for an extended period, the parent/guardian must contact the school nurse and the school counselor. They will make the appropriate referral to the Health Services Coordinator regarding eligibility for homebound instruction.


1. Students are limited to two MHW days per school year; 

2. MHW days cannot be taken on consecutive school days, (e.g., Friday and Monday, Wednesday and Thursday); 

3. MHW absences should always be excused when parent or guardian permission is documented, regardless of the number of absences a student has accrued in the school year (i.e., Level 1 or Level 2) as per the Guidelines for Implementation of the Definitions of Excused and Unexcused Absences)*; 

4. MHW absences should not be included in reporting or referrals related to truancy; 

5. MHW absences will count towards chronic absence calculations as students are missing opportunities to learn.

Please Note: 

A student is “truant” when the student accumulates four unexcused absences in any month or ten in a school year. A student is “chronically absent” when the student accumulates a total number of absences at any time during a school year that is equal to or greater than ten percent of the total number of days that such student has been enrolled at the school during the school year.

Appropriate school staff meet with parents of a child identified as truant or chronically absent to review and evaluate the situation, within ten days of such designation. Such meetings may involve the school or District Attendance Team.

Students so identified may be subject to:

(a)  retention in the same grade to acquire necessary skills for promotion or retention.

(b)  a requirement to complete a summer school program successfully before being promoted to the next grade.


Per Board of Education policy, whenever a student is absent for three consecutive days or there is a pattern of frequent absences without previous notice from the parent, the teacher will contact the home to make inquiries. 

Excused student absence may be granted for illness, recognized religious observances, family emergency, or other circumstances that are clearly emergencies that prevent school attendance.

  • After 5 unexcused absences, the school counselor will notify the appropriate Assistant Principal and schedule a meeting with the parent and/or student. 

  • If unexcused absences continue, the student will be referred to the Planning and Placement (PPT). 


Makeup work will not be provided ahead of time for unexcused absences. Students are encouraged to get makeup work assignments before returning to school. 

  • Excused Absences: Students have as many days to make up the missed assignments as they were absent. Please allow 24 hours for teachers to prepare assignments.

When students are absent (this includes absences for suspension), an opportunity to do makeup work will be provided. Makeup work is encouraged so that students will profit from future instruction. It is the student’s responsibility to ask the teacher for makeup work. Work (including tests) missed due to absence may be made up, and credit for such work completed in the same amount of time the student was absent. Students receiving accommodations and specialized instruction must work with the school 504 team to determine makeup assignments and allotted time for those assignments. 


Parents must contact the school the morning of the anticipated absence, tardy, or dismissal and provide a written note for any absence, tardy, or dismissal to be excused. The direct number to the attendance office is (203)790-2893 or (203)790- 2864. The following procedures must be followed to be excused tardy (TE) or early dismissal (ED):

  • Late arrival – Call the attendance office before the student arrives at school to document the late arrival. When students arrive at school, they must go to the office for a pass. The time of arrival will be documented.

  • Early Dismissal – Call the attendance office before the student’s departure. Students must go to the attendance office for their dismissal pass. The time of dismissal will be documented. Written documentation must be provided over five early dismissals.

Reminder: Students who become ill during the school day should report to the nurse. Parents/guardians will be contacted, and the students will be dismissed in the custody of the parent/guardian. No student under 18 will be dismissed without a parent/guardian contact.