School attendance is required by law (PA School Code Section 1325-1354, amended by Act 138 of 2016, Act 39 of 2018, and Act 16 of 2019) for children ages 6-18

School Districts must monitor and maintain accurate attendance records and are responsible for enforcing compulsory attendance laws.

Students are absent from school for many reasons, including illness, physical/emotional conditions, family concerns, and homelessness.  It is essential to talk to the school to explain each absence.  There are also many resources available to help with these problems!


How do I report my child as absent?

Each absence requires an entry into Skyward (preferred) or a hand written note.  A phone call is appreciated, but does not count as an excuse note.

When entering an absence in Skyward, you will see a drop box that indicates approved reasons for absences: illness, medical appointment, family emergency, etc.  These selections are the only accepted reasons for absence.

If providing a hand-written note, please send the note into school the day your child returns.  This helps ensure all absences are documented correctly.

All notes are due within three days of your child's absence.

It’s only kindergarten.  Missing school is no big deal, right?

Any student enrolled in Kindergarten is subject to compulsory attendance laws, regardless of age.

Compared to students who attend kindergarten regularly, those who are chronically absent (miss 10% of school days) in kindergarten:

  •  Scored 20% lower in reading and math in later grades.

  • Often do not read on grade level after grade 3

  •  Were twice as likely to repeat a grade

  •   Were twice as likely to be suspended by the end of grade 7

Missing some days is to be expected.  What’s the big deal, it’s only elementary school?

If your child receives any services in school (physical therapy, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, or other services) missing school causes the student to miss services.

Research shows a direct correlation between the number of days absent and a decrease in test cores.  The more days missed, the lower the test scores.

I can’t send my kids to school when they’re sick, so what am I supposed to do?

A student should be absent from school if they have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, or if they are deemed to be contagious by a medical professional.  If your child is not feeling well at school and is sent home by the nurse, the absence will be excused.

I can’t take my kid to the doctor every time they are sick.  Do they really need a medical excuse?

If your child has reached 10 absences with non-medical excuses, an excuse from a licensed health care provider is required for EACH subsequent absence.

Do you really need to send me to the District Judge?

By PA law, school districts must comply and cooperate with the truancy citation process.  School compliance with the law is monitored by the PA Future Ready Index.

Did you know?

Did you know?

A student who misses 20 days of school each year in 13 years of schooling will miss nearly 1 ½ years of school- that’s like graduating with a 10th grade education!

A student who misses one day per week (40 days per year) misses over 2 ½ years of school over 13 years- that’s like graduating with a 9th grade education!

A School Attendance Improvement Conference (SAIC) must be held when the following definitions are met:

Chronic Absentee- a student who misses 10% or more of school days at any time during the current school year.  All absences, including parent-excused absences, medical notes, approved vacations, and emergencies, count toward this total.

Truant- having three (3) or more unexcused absences during the current school year.

Habitually Truant- having six (6) or more unexcused absences during the current school year.

A School Attendance Improvement Plan (SAIP)  must be developed to address the absences and to help families prevent additional absences.  If absences continue, the school must refer the family to the Advancing School Attendance Program (ASAP) and generate a truancy citation.

I still don’t understand all of this.  Who can I talk to?

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Mrs. Sheila Sweigart

Building/Attendance Secretary

610-693-8542 x. 4900

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Mrs. Terrie Taylor

School Social Worker

610-693-8542 x. 4030

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Mr. Robert Gantz

Dean of Students

610-693-8542 x. 4020

Together, families and schools can help a student achieve their goals in school!

Updated September 22, 2023