Lower School Attendance Policy
Mounds Park Academy believes full-time attendance is an essential element in our students’ educational process. Regular attendance fosters a climate conducive to learning, perpetuates effective teaching, protects the integrity of the school day, and ensures quality education. Regular attendance, a responsibility shared by students, parents, and school, is one mean by which students learn responsibility and self-discipline. Students who miss class will never be able to make up that shared classroom experience. Our attendance policy reinforces this value of being in class.
It is very important students and families communicate closely with the school regarding any circumstances that prevent a student from regular attendance. The Lower School Child Study Team and/or Lower School Director reviews multiple absences and may request a meeting with parents to discuss the academic status of students who have missed several days of school during any given quarter.
Short-Term Absences - The school must receive a phone call before 8:30 a.m. or a note from a parent in order to have an excused absence. Without this communication, the school will call home if a student is not present. Calls from students themselves are not acceptable. An absence may be one or two hours, an entire day, several days, etc. Upon their return, students must check in with teachers to make-up required work and transition back to school. If a family would like work sent home, please email teachers directly.
Planned Absences: In order to minimize absences and their inevitable impact on students’ learning, we ask parents to schedule off-campus appointments outside the academic day. We strongly request that families schedule vacations during our designated school breaks. Such absences are considered detrimental, affect classroom learning, and teachers cannot be expected to provide extra instruction on topics covered during the absence. If a student plans to miss school because of a family trip, religious holiday, or some other event that the family considers important, a Planned Absence Form, available in the Lower School Office and on the Lower School Web Page, should be submitted. If possible, we request notice one-two weeks in advance. This procedure insures that the student and the teachers can consult about missed assignments, tests, and length of time allowed for making up missed work. The Lower School administration will determine if the absence is excused.
Extended Absences: In the event of a prolonged family emergency or illness, the absence will be excused for the time needed. Following an extended absence, parent(s) should consult with the Lower School administration prior to the student’s return to school. The Lower School faculty will work with the family to set up a plan to assist the student in his/her effort to make-up the required work and transition back into school.
PE/Recess Participation: Students are expected to meet all PE responsibilities and to participate in recess unless excused by the Lower School administration for illness by a doctor's recommendation or parent request. Medical excuses for missing PE should be taken to the Lower School Office.
School Hours - The school day begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. but the classrooms open at 8:15. Students are encouraged to arrive by 8:20 so they have time to go to their locker and get ready for the school day to begin. Students arriving prior to 8:15 should go to Panther Club. The school day ends at 3:10p.m. Students must leave school by 3:30 p.m. unless they have registered for tutoring, Panther Club, or a school-sponsored activity.
Tardiness/Arriving Late: Students are expected to arrive at school and be in class in a prepared and timely manner. They are considered tardy if they arrive after 8:30 a.m. Students arriving after 8:30 a.m. must sign in at the Lower School Office. If a student is tardy, s/he must report to the Lower School office, sign in, and receive a pass to give his/her classroom teacher.
Excused Reasons for Arriving Late/Tardiness:
- Late bus arrival (This is a school issue. Students are not considered tardy and consequences do not apply.)
Consequences Due to Arriving Late/Tardiness:
- Three tardies are allowed per trimester.
- Parents receive communication on the fourth tardy and may be asked to meet with the Lower School administration to discuss the frequency of the tardies and brainstorm possible solutions.
- Students may be asked to put in extra study time to make up time missed in the classroom
Please Note: Oversleeping or running late is not an acceptable reason for being late and may result in the Lower School administration contacting the family on the fourth tardy. Students may be asked to participate in student service work to make up missed time in the classroom.
Leaving Early/Returning: If leaving early, the student should present a note to the Lower School Assistant when arriving in the morning. When leaving school, the child’s parent should sign their child out in the Lower School office. Returning students should similarly be signed in by their parent, receive a pass, and present it to the classroom teacher. The same policy for tardies will be followed for the frequency of leaving early.