Last Updated: Aug. 26, 2019

Students are required to be on school grounds during the academic school day unless excused or in a school- sponsored activity. The school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Regular and on-time attendance and participation are necessary components of learning at Mounds Park Academy. To take full advantage of a MPA education, students need to be present in class and ready to learn.  

It is very important for students and families to communicate closely with the school regarding any circumstances that prevent a student from regular attendance. 

Please refer to each division’s section for more information about their specific attendance guidelines. 

Lower School Attendance Guidelines 

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 means 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 Student Support 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 8:00 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 8:00 a.m. but the classrooms open at 7:55. Students are encouraged to arrive by 7:55 so they have time to go to their locker and get ready for the school day to begin. Students arriving prior to 8:00 should go to Panther Club. The school day ends at 3:00p.m. Students must leave school by 3:20p.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 8:00a.m. Students arriving after 8:00a.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 sign 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. 

Middle School Attendance Guidelines

Attendance The school day begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Students are expected to attend school every day; they are expected to arrive on time in the morning and remain until dismissal time. Studies indicate a significant correlation between student absences and achievement. Full-time attendance, a responsibility shared by students, parents/guardians, and school, is an important way for students to learn responsibility and self-discipline. Students must arrive at school by 11:00 a.m. to participate in co-curricular and athletic events and practices.  

Additional Items Cold Weather Policy

When families make the decision that unsafe weather conditions require them to keep their student home, it will be considered an excused absence; however, since teachers make course and assignment information available online via Schoology, students are expected to still make progress on their work while not in school. The goal is that when a student returns to school after a weather-induced absence, he/she will be fully prepared to rejoin classes. The same is true for a day when school is closed due to weather—students should check online class resources to see if teachers have an assignment or activity for the day.  

Excessive Absence

It is very important that students and families communicate closely with the school regarding any circumstances that prevent a student from regular attendance. A student who misses seven or more days in a quarter for any reason may lose academic credit for that quarter. A student who is absent twenty or more days during the school year may lose credit or may not be allowed to return to Mounds Park Academy in the fall. The Middle School Director reviews multiple absences and may request a meeting with parents /guardians to discuss the academic status of students who have missed several days of school during any given quarter. If absences are due to medical reasons or other extenuating circumstances, the MS Director may grant a waiver from the attendance policy. Official documentation from a licensed provider may be required. Note: school-sponsored field trips and early dismissal for MPA athletics do not count toward the number of total absences.  

Illness and Appointments

The school must receive a phone call before 8:00 a.m., or a signed note from a parent/guardian, to have an absence excused. Without this communication, the school will call home if a student is not present. Calls from students themselves are not acceptable. A doctor’s note may be required after a longer absence. Students who become ill after arriving at school should report to the Nurse’s Office. Parents are contacted to take the student home. Early dismissal and appointments during the school day for any reason are discouraged. If an appointment must be made during school hours, the student should present a note to the Middle School Office when arriving in the morning to receive a pass to give to the teacher whose class s/he will leave. When leaving school, the student should sign out in the Middle School Office. Returning students should sign in, receive a pass, and present it to the classroom teacher.  

Physical Education Attendance

Students are expected to meet all P.E. responsibilities unless excused by the Middle School Director for illness or by a doctor's recommendation. Frequent or lengthy illnesses excusing participation require a doctor's note and an evaluation of whether a medical waiver will be granted.  

Planned Absences

Scheduling family vacations when the school is in session, including i-Term week, is strongly discouraged. Such absences have a negative impact on classroom learning, and teachers cannot be expected to provide extra instruction on topics covered during the absence. If a student plans to miss one or more school days because of a family trip, religious holiday, or other event that cannot be avoided, the student must email his/her teachers in advance through Schoology to get information regarding what will be missed. Parents/guardians should also contact the Middle School office. The Middle School Director will determine if the absence is excused.  

Tardiness

Students are expected to arrive at school in a prepared and timely manner. They are considered tardy if they arrive after 8:00 a.m. to their first block class, or after the start time of subsequent classes. Students arriving after 8:00 a.m. must sign in at the Middle School Office to get a pass.  

Examples of excused reasons for arriving late:  

  • Appointment or illness verified by parent communication  
  • Extreme weather conditions  
  • Late bus arrival  

Examples of unexcused reasons for arriving late/tardies:  

  • Arriving to class without proper materials  
  • Sleeping in (including siblings or parents)  
  • Socializing   
  • Traffic and carpool delays  

Consequences Due to Tardiness 

Recognizing that students in middle school are not responsible for their own transportation, parents will be contacted for excessive tardiness. Parents and families should make every effort to have students at school, ready to learn, each day as tardiness causes undue stress on the student and interruption to learning in the classroom.

Unexcused Absence  

Students are expected to attend all classes and school events unless excused by a parent or guardian in advance. Students missing the entire or significant portions of classes/activities without permission may receive detention, be suspended, have a parent conference, and/or lose credit for classes missed.

Upper School Attendance Guidelines 

Tardies

The expectation is that every student who arrives late to a class will need a pass from the Upper School office for admittance. Tardies will be tallied for each grading period (quarter or semester). Three (3) tardies in any given class will equal one (1) absence. Tardies that occur due to working with an MPA teacher or a class being let out late, and come with a pass/email from that teacher, will not count toward an absence.  Tardies to first block, regardless of being excused or not, will count toward an absence, unless the School has excused all tardies due to unsafe driving conditions/weather.

Absences  

At seven (7) absences from any one class (including accumulated tardies) a student will fail that class. Absences for pre-arranged MPA sponsored activities (field trips, athletics, etc.) will not count toward the cumulative absence total.   

An appeal process is available for medical or extenuating circumstances beyond the student or family’s control. Appeals will require a face-to-face meeting with an administrator and documentation of medical need or other factors. A student will not be able to attend the class in question until this meeting takes place. Should an appeal be successful, this process will repeat for each subsequent absence (including accumulated tardies).  

Routine absences on days when assessments are given may call into question a student’s academic integrity and could trigger an ethical review by that student’s teachers who would examine and determine if this is a pattern of behavior.  

Excused Absences:  After five excused absences in a grading period (quarter or semester) a parent will be contacted by an administrator to notify them of their student’s attendance standing.   

Unexcused Absences:  Follow-up for an unexcused absence will be immediate by an administrator.

1st unexcused absence: Parent contact by Upper School administrator, detention equivalent to class time missed, loss of privileges (free periods, off-campus privileges, study hall passes, etc.) for one day
2nd unexcused absence: Parent conference with Upper School administrator, detention equivalent to class time missed, loss of privileges for a week (free periods, off-campus privileges, study hall passes, etc.), loss of extra-curricular participation for that day
3rd unexcused absence: Parent conference with Upper School administrator, detention equivalent to class time missed, loss of extra-curricular participation for that day, loss of privileges (free periods, off-campus privileges, study hall passes, etc.) for the grading period for the class.
4th unexcused absence: Student will be suspended for one (1) day and any subsequent unexcused absences may result in dismissal. 

Attendance impact on extra-curriculars:  

Students may not participate in extracurricular activities (practice, game, or competition) if they are not in school by 11:00 am.  Exceptions may be made based upon previously scheduled arrangements or unique student situations.