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Absences from School

Regular attendance is essential for good scholastic progress. Pennsylvania State’s Attendance Law, Act 138, states that illness of the child, death in the family, and exceptional instances that affect the child are the only legitimate reason for absence from school. Absences should be communicated to the school by 9:00 am by phone or email. should be used to communicate all student schedule changes, including absences for sickness, doctor appointments, unforeseen events such as a family emergency, as well as late arrival and early dismissal. The school office will call for verification of absence if a parent/guardian neglects to report an absence. Upon returning to school the child must bring a valid, hand-written excuse (as required by PA School Code 1327 no later than 3 days after illness), signed by the parent/guardian. This note must state the date and the reason for the absence. When we don’t receive a note from you, your child will be marked as unexcused. Under the law, if your child has 5 unexcused absences, you will receive a letter from the school. At ten unexcused absences, we are required by PA State Law to report those absences to Child and Youth protective services as this is considered neglectful. A physician’s certificate is required before readmission when a child has a communicable disease or when a student has been absent three or more consecutive days due to illness. Failure to submit such an excuse within 5 days will result in the absence being coded as unlawful.

The child is expected to make up any class work, or tests given during his/her absence. They have one day to make up work for every day they are out. For absences of more than one day, parents/legal guardians may call the school office and request that the child's books and assignments be made available for home use. The Principal will notify the child’s parents/legal guardians when a PATTERN of multiple absences occurs. More than 10 days absent per year is considered excessive and the public school truancy officer may be contacted. A parent/teacher/principal meeting can be arranged to discuss ways to improve attendance. If there are excessive absences, promotion to the next grade level may be withheld.

Medical/Dental Appointments

Parents are expected to make every effort to schedule doctor and dentist appointments outside of school hours. However, when this is not possible, students will be excused for these special appointments with a written request from parents via stating the time of the appointment, the time the student will be picked up and by whom, the length of time of the appointment, and the approximate time of return. THE STUDENT SHOULD PRESENT A SLIP FROM THE DOCTOR STATING THAT HE/SHE HAD BEEN TO THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE AND HAS PERMISSION TO RETURN TO SCHOOL. Minutes missed will accrue in days absent and added to a student's attendance record.

Family Vacations

Parents are discouraged from taking children out of school for extended family vacations because the child’s academic progress is often interrupted and affected. However, the final decision is the responsibility of the parents. Make-up work is the responsibility of the child upon his or her return to school. A vacation form must be filled out by the parent at least 5 days prior to departure from school and submitted to the principal for approval. Only one extended vacation per year will be approved.

Cancellation of School

If it is necessary to cancel or delay school due to inclement weather, we will contact you directly through the Student Management System. For accuracy in contacting you, you must provide the school with the current phone number where you can be reached. It is also necessary for you to inform us as to your wishes in the event of an early dismissal – whether you wish your child/children to remain at school until you arrive, or if they will take the bus as usual. Weather related changes to the schedule will also be announced on WGAL News 8.

Please Note: We will follow the cancellation schedule of Southern School District most times. If Southern Schools close early due to inclement weather, we will close early also. For students outside of Southern, we will dismiss those students according to their home schools.

Preschool - Please Note: If the school has a two hour delay, we will follow a “modified schedule” for the Preschool classes. All classes will begin at 11:00 AM & dismiss at 1:00 for PK3 and 2:00 PM for PK4. (Please pack a bag lunch on these days!)


Doors open at 8:25 AM. Any elementary student who is late (arrives after 8:40 AM) must report to the School Office with their parent/guardian in order to sign in. Exceptions are made when tardiness has been caused by school buses, extreme weather or traffic conditions. Minutes are accumulated and tallied into days absent.

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