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Attendance

Classroom based educational programs can be very enriching for students. Here at Chrysalis teachers work hard to provide meaningful classes which tend to include frequent small group activities. Our teachers frequently use self-created curriculum or adapt existing curriculum to meet the needs of individual students and groups of students. Because Chrysalis is a science and nature school, a great deal of the classroom experience is based on what happens in these venues. This approach creates very dynamic classroom experiences that are difficult to reproduce for students who are not present. Additionally, when students return from absences or are frequently late, it takes teachers’ in-class time and energy to catch students up. This can impose on the integrity of classroom teaching and the learning of all students. Therefore, it is important for students who choose a classroom-based education to be present as often as possible.

 

Resources for Families

There's some fantastic attendance resources in the community that can help you get your child to school on time.

Reach Higher Shasta has compiled a fantastic set of parenting resources to answer questions such as: "How can I get parenting support?" "What are the common myths about attendance?" and "How sick is too sick for school?" 

2-1-1 Shasta connects people with community services in Shasta County. Everything from kids' programs for summer break to mental health resources to finding alternate transportation when the car is in the shop is in one convenient spot.

Attendance and Tardies

A condition of enrollment at Chrysalis is that a student maintains a 90% or higher attendance record -- unless there are extenuating circumstances as determined by either the teacher of record or the Chrysalis Board. Examples of extenuating circumstances would be a prolonged illness as documented by a letter from a doctor or a disruptive emergency within the family. This attendance expectation includes punctuality. Please notify the school in person or by phone, email or dated note about the reason within three days from the day your child was absent or on the same day if your child was tardy.

 

Definitions:

  • Excused absence - missing an entire day for a reason listed in Ca. Ed. Code. Section 48205 (e.g. illness, medical appointment, death in the family, etc.) OR for a family or student need that has educational validity to it (e.g. family travel or to take advantage of a special educational offering).

  • Unexcused absence - missing an entire day for any other reason.

  • Preventable Tardy - arriving to school after 8:30 am for any reason besides an accident or detour that causes unavoidable delays.

  • Timely completion of a short-term independent study packet clears an absence from the record. The child is counted as present for the day.

 

The school will use procedure described below to help support students and families with excessive absences or tardies.  

 

Short-term Independent Study

Chrysalis believes family involvement is very important to a child’s education. We will try to accommodate a family or student need that has educational validity to it (e.g. family travel or to take advantage of a special educational offering) by offering short-term independent study. Also, if we know early enough that your child is sick but capable of academic work at home, we can create an independent study packet to be done during the day of illness.

 

To earn credit, the packet must be returned with artifacts of work completed. Students may participate in five days of independent study for each school year. Contracts are typically issued for students that are absent due to illness or a family vacation for three or more days. Teachers may extend the number of independent study days or issue a packet for a period less than three days at their discretion.

 

The following procedures spell out the conditions within which we will support short-term independent study.

 

  1. Families may obtain short-term independent study contracts with sufficient advance notice to the school. The sooner we receive notice, the more student-centered we can make their independent study assignments.

  2. To be valid, these contracts must be correctly filled out and returned to the school with artifacts of completed work on the day the child returns to school.

  3. The lead teacher will review the submitted work and decide whether the packet reflects work worthy of attendance credit. If not, then credit will not be granted. The absence will be recorded as an absence.

 

Solving Attendance Problems

The research shows that school success goes hand in hand with good attendance. When there are problems, we want to work together with students and families to uncover the barriers to good attendance and timeliness and to solve them. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, we will use the steps outlined in the table below to help families change the pattern.

 

Stage

# unexcused absences

# excused absences

# preventable tardies

Intervention

1 Warning signs

3

6

5

The school will send a letter home documenting the concerns we have and reminding families of the bell schedule, school calendar, and attendance policy. Teachers may talk to families about attendance at a parent conference. Families are encouraged to schedule a meeting or phone call to start a conversation with the Administrator or their child’s teacher to clarify any questions or concerns.

2

Set a goal and Make a plan

6

12

10

The school will send a second letter home and will schedule a meeting with the Attendance Committee designee to make an Attendance Success Plan. The plan includes setting goals for the remainder of the school year and selecting specific strategies to help reach those goals.

3 Chronic absence

9

18

15

The school will send a third letter and schedule a meeting with the Nonprofit Executive Board to review the case. The Board will determine whether or not the student is in violation of the learning contract which requires 90% attendance unless there are extenuating circumstances. Possible outcomes include revision of the Attendance Success Plan, a probationary period, or dismissal (termination of the learning contract).