SECONDARY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE POLICY, GRADES 10-12 The instructional program is primarily the responsibility of the school. Attendance is primarily a responsibility of the student and his/her parents. Learning to accept responsibility is a goal of the Harrison Public Schools. Accepting responsibility for one’s own attendance is a means of achieving that goal. It is felt that participation in classroom activities is a learning procedure in Harrison Schools. It is essential that all students be present in classes to derive the fullest benefits of the educational program and these activities. If any student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan conflicts with this policy, the requirements of the student’s IEP or 504 Plan take precedence.
Education is more than the grades students receive in their courses. Important as that is, students’ regular attendance at school is essential to their social and cultural development and helps prepare them to accept responsibilities they will face as an adult. Interactions with other students and participation in the instruction within the classroom enrich the learning environment and promote a continuity of instruction which results in higher student achievement.
Excused Absences Excused absences are those where the student was on official school business or when the absence was due to one of the following reasons and the student brings a written statement to the principal or designee upon his/her return to school from the parent or legal guardian stating such reason. A written statement presented for an absence having occurred more than five (5) school days prior to its presentation will not be accepted. 1. The student’s illness or when attendance could jeopardize the health of other students. A maximum of six (6) such days are allowed per semester unless the condition(s) causing such absences is of a chronic or recurring nature, is medically documented, and approved by the principal. 2. Death or serious illness in their immediate family; 3. Observance of recognized holidays observed by the student's faith; 4. Attendance at an appointment with a government agency; 5. Attendance at a medical appointment; 6. Exceptional circumstances with prior approval of the principal; or 7. Participation in an FFA, FHA, or 4-H sanctioned activity; 8. Participation in the election poll workers program for high school students. 9. Absences granted to allow a student to visit his/her parent or legal guardian who is a member of the military and been called to active duty, is on leave from active duty, or has returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting. The number of additional excused absences shall be at the discretion of the superintendent or designee. 10. Absences granted, at the Superintendent's discretion, to seventeen (17) year-old students who join the Arkansas National Guard while in eleventh grade to complete basic combat training between grades eleven (11) and (12). Students who serve as pages for a member of the General Assembly shall be considered on instructional assignment and shall not be considered absent from school for the day the student is serving as a page. It is the Arkansas General Assembly’s intention that students having excessive absences be given assistance in obtaining credit for their courses. Excessive absences may, however, be the basis for the denial of course credit, promotion, or graduation.
Unexcused Absences Absences not defined above or not having an accompanying note from the parent or legal guardian, presented in the timeline required by this policy, shall be considered as unexcused absences. Students with 84unexcused absences in a course in a semester shall not receive credit for that course. At the discretion of the principal after consultation with persons having knowledge of the circumstances of the unexcused absences, the student may be denied promotion or graduation. Excessive absences shall not be a reason for expulsion or dismissal of a student.
When a student has 4 unexcused absences, his/her parents, guardians, or persons in loco parentis shall be notified5. Notification shall be by telephone by the end of the school day in which such absence occurred or by regular mail with a return address sent no later than the following school day.
Whenever a student exceeds 8 unexcused absences in a semester, the District shall notify the prosecuting authority and the parent, guardian, or persons in loco parentis shall be subject to a civil penalty as prescribed by law. At any time prior to when a student exceeds the number of unexcused absences permitted by this policy, the student, or his/her parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis may petition the school or district’s administration for special arrangements to address the student’s unexcused absences. If formal arrangements are granted, they shall be formalized into a written agreement which will include the conditions of the agreement and the consequences for failing to fulfill the agreement’s requirements. The agreement shall be signed by the student, the student’s parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis, and the school or district administrator or designee. Students who attend in-school suspension shall not be counted absent for those days. Days missed due to out-of-school suspension7 shall be excused absences. Days missed due to expulsion shall be unexcused absences.
The District shall notify the Department of Finance and Administration whenever a student fourteen (14) years of age or older is no longer in school. The Department of Finance and Administration is required to suspend the former student’s operator’s license unless he/she meets certain requirements specified in the statute. Applicants for an instruction permit or for a driver's license by persons less than eighteen (18) years old on October 1 of any year are required to provide proof of a high school diploma or enrollment and regular attendance in an adult education program or a public, private, or parochial school prior to receiving an instruction permit. To be issued a driver's license, a student enrolled in school shall present proof of a “C” average for the previous semester or similar equivalent grading period for which grades are reported as part of the student’s permanent record.
TESTING POLICY / EXEMPTIONS Students may be exempt from taking comprehensive semester exams at the end of each semester by meeting the following conditions: 1. A student may be exempt from a class if they have 90% or higher in the class and miss no more than two days in that class or 2. A student may be exempt from a class if they have between 80% - 89% in the class and miss no more than one day in that class. The Harrison School District recommends students take the semester examination as part of their college preparation. Semester examinations will be given at the end of the second and fourth nine (9) weeks grading periods thereby giving students experience taking comprehensive examinations. During the Semester Testing period students are required to attend school for testing only. Semester exams will be given at 8:30 and 12:30 during this period. Students remaining on campus for the duration of the school day will remain in the commons area under supervision of staff. Students who ride a bus shall not leave campus at any time. When semester tests are missed, a medical note is necessary to make up the test. This applies unless previous arrangements are made with administration prior to the test or in case of a family tragedy or emergency. This does not include family trips or vacations! You should check the school calendar (including inclement weather days) before scheduling a vacation or family trip.
CORRESPONDENCE COURSES Students who are taking correspondence or other courses that are not offered by Harrison High School must have work completed and passing grades submitted to HHS by April 1, to be considered eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies. Students who are taking a college course must have the passing grade verified by the counseling office one week before the graduation ceremony to be considered eligible to participate in the ceremony.
MAKE-UP WORK When one (1) day has been missed, the students will be expected to take any previously announced or pop test the day he/she returns; this includes previously announced major assignments like projects, notebooks, or research papers. When more than one (1) day is missed, one day will be allowed for each day missed to make up work for full credit.
USE OF CELL PHONES, PAGERS, DEVICES, IPADS, LAPTOPS, ETC. Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that respects the rights of others. Possession and use of any electronic device, whether district or student owned, that interferes with a positive, orderly classroom environment does not respect the rights of others and is expressly forbidden. To protect the security of state originated tests that are administered as part of the Arkansas Comprehensive, Testing, Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAAP), no electronic, device as defined in this policy shall be accessible by a student at any time during test administration unless specifically permitted by a student's IEP or individual health plan. This means that when a student is taking an ACTAAP assessment, the student shall not have his/her electronic device in his/her possession. Any student violating this provision shall be subject to this policy's disciplinary provisions. As used in this policy, “electronic devices” means anything that can be used to transmit or capture images, sound, or data. Misuse of electronic devices includes, but is not limited to: 1. Using electronic devices during class time in any manner other than specifically permitted by the classroom instructor; 2. Permitting any audible sound to come from the device when not being used for reason #1 above; 3. Engaging in academic dishonesty, including cheating, intentionally plagiarizing, wrongfully giving or receiving help during an academic examination, or wrongfully obtaining test copies or scores; 4. Using the device to take photographs in locker rooms or bathrooms; 5. Creating, sending, sharing, viewing, receiving, or possessing an indecent visual depiction of oneself or another person. 6. Recording, videoing, and/or distributing disruptions at school such as but not limited to fights. Use of an electronic device is permitted to the extent it is approved in a student’s individualized education program (IEP) or it is needed in an emergency that threatens the safety of students, staff, or other individuals. Before and after normal school hours, possession of cell phones, any paging device, beeper, or similar electronic communication devices, cameras, MP 3 players, Ipods, and other portable music devices is permitted on the school campus. The use of such devices at school sponsored functions outside the regular school day is permitted to the extent and within the limitations allowed by the event or activity the student is attending. The student and/or the student’s parents or guardians expressly assume any risk associated with students owning or possessing electronic devices. Students misusing cell phones or other portable electronic devices after the first bell and before the last bell other than for instructional purposes may have them confiscated. Confiscated cell phones and other electronic communication devices may be picked up at the school’s administration office by the student’s parents or guardians. Students have no right of privacy as to the content contained on any cell phones and other electronic communication devices that have been confiscated.