A priority at Briarcrest Christian School is to use instructional time productively. Regular and punctual attendance is critical if the results of the teaching and learning tasks are to be maximized. It is essential that each student recognizes the sequential nature of instruction and that any unnecessary and/or excessive absence severely impedes the educational process. Therefore, BCS attendance regulations have been established with the best interest of Briarcrest Christian School and the students/parents in mind.
When a student is absent, the parent must call the attendance office by 9:30 a.m. on the day of the absence. (751-6403 - High School and 765-4628 - Middle School) This procedure must be followed each and every day a student is absent.
A student must be present for 4 periods during the school day in order to participate in after-school activities unless otherwise approved by BCS administration.
PLEASE NOTE: Since BCS is vitally interested in all of our students and parents, we would consider it a privilege to uplift our families in prayer in times of need. Therefore, we encourage you to communicate with us even in times of family emergencies.
In all such emergency cases, a written explanation describing the nature of the absenteeism is required in the attendance office the day the student returns to school.
A. Excused Absences (EA)
There are, of course, legitimate reasons for being absent from school. The following list, although not totally inclusive, details valid reasons for student absences. A parental note should be sent to the first period teacher upon the student's return to school, in order for the absence to be excused.
1. Personal Illness Of Student – Student absenteeism for personal illness is considered excused. The illness, of course, must be valid. The administration reserves the right to make a final determination in any questionable cases.
2. Professional Appointments — Professional appointments (i.e., appointments with doctors, dentists, etc.) provide reasons for legitimate student absenteeism. Student absences for purposes of doctor visits require documentation from the doctor’s office verifying the visit prior to readmission to school. Whenever possible, professional appointments should be made after school hours.
3. Death Within Family – A death within a student’s immediate or extended family will be considered an excused absence. The length of such absence may vary from case to case. Therefore, the administration reserves the right to make individual judgments regarding total days excused.
4. Family Emergencies – This category refers to cases of family illness, hardships, and unexpected circumstances. Because of the nature of these cases, the administration reserves the right to make individual judgments concerning the validity of the requests and the actual number of days excused.
5. Family Vacations - Requires prior approval, with 4 school day written advance notice (If your 4 school day deadline falls on a school holiday, an administrative decision will be made.)
Since the school calendar allows ample time for vacations in and around holiday seasons, parents should make every effort to arrange their vacations to coincide with school vacations. However, whenever parents believe additional family vacation days are needed, such days (not to exceed five (5) total days per year) may be taken without penalty. Family Vacation Days are not to be taken during examination weeks (i.e., the five day period prior to the end of first semester and the last five days of the school year). School administration highly discourages taking additional days just prior to and immediately following a school holiday or after April 15.
6. College Days – (High School Only) Requires prior approval, with 4 school day written advance notice (If your 4 school day deadline falls on a school holiday, an administrative decision will be made.) College visits must be documented by signature/date verification by college/university officials. These verifications may be by admissions officials or personnel from the various departments that are visited. Failure to provide acceptable documentation will result in an unexcused absence being assessed for the day(s).
Each high school junior and senior is allotted up to a maximum of five (5) days per year for college visitation. The request to miss school to visit any college campus must be valid. Any abuse of this privilege will result in its revocation.
College days should not be taken later than April 15, unless required for scholarship considerations (determined by Administration).
Any violation of these Family Vacations and/or College Days provisions will result in the absence(s) declared as unexcused and all appropriate penalties invoked.
7. In-School Suspension– Any day(s) spent in the in-school (in-house) suspension room will be considered excused. All appropriate policies relative to excused absences will be invoked
8. Approved School Activities – Students missing classes for field trips, athletic contests, music programs, etc. will be considered excused if such activity is sanctioned by the administration as “school business.” These absences will not be recorded on the student’s attendance record.
9. Homebound Instruction – Certain situations may occur (e.g., surgery) that require a student to miss school for an extended length of time. The administration requires appropriate written verification of such absenteeism. Please carefully note the “Excessive Absences” section for pertinent information.
10. Miscellaneous – It is possible that occasions may arise other than those listed in this section, necessitating that a student miss school. The administration shall make the sole determination if such an absence is excused or unexcused.
B. Make-Up Work – Excused Absences (EA)
1. When prior notice is required (See Section III) – Any student absent for family vacations, college days, most professional appointments, certain school activities, and some miscellaneous reasons is required to turn-in all missed work the day the student returns to school. On the day of the student’s return, the student should also be prepared to take all pre-announced missed tests and quizzes, as well as those scheduled for the day he/she actually returns. Also, if a student attends any part of the day after a pre-announced absence, all work due on that day must be turned-in.
2. When prior notice is not required (See Section III) – The student will have one (1) calendar day for every school day missed (to a maximum of ten (10) days) to complete make-up work, provided the student has turned in a parental note. For example, if a student is absent Friday and Monday, all work is due Thursday (two days after returning).
C. Unexcused Absences (UA)
All student absences not declared as Excused Absences (EA) will be recorded as Unexcused Absences (UA). Examples of Unexcused Absences include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Not following proper absence declaration procedures. (See “Office Notification of Absenteeism.”)
2. Missing class without proper authorization.
3. Leaving the BCS campus without signing out with proper school personnel.
4. Not providing proper prior notice of absence when prior notice is required.
5. Out of School Suspension
6. Absenteeism (whole day or partial) not deemed acceptable by the appropriate BCS principal.
NOTE: Being absent for some of the reasons just listed may result in a student being declared truant. Truancy is defined as being absent from school without the parent’s permission and the school’s permission.
Please remember – declaring a student to be unexcused absent or truant is an administrative right of appropriate school personnel, not a student/parent prerogative. Therefore, just because a parent calls BCS or sends a note to report a student’s absence, that does not make the absence excused. For example, the following reasons do not qualify as excused absences:
—“He didn’t want to go to school.”
—“She stayed up late last night working on her research paper.”
—“I missed my ride.”
—“Our family went to the ball game.”
—“He was doing chores assigned by his father.”
D. Make-Up Work – Unexcused Absences (UA)
Classwork and regular assignments due on the day or days of unexcused absences will receive a one-letter grade reduction for each day of class missed. Each missed test, quiz, or assignment will result in an automatic “0.” Special assignments (e.g., term paper) due during the unexcused absence must be turned-in the day the student returns to school. There will be a one-letter grade reduction for each day of unexcused absence for special assignments due during the unexcused absence. Furthermore, if the special assignment is not turned-in on the day the student returns, there will be an additional one-letter grade reduction for each additional day the assignment is late.
In the case of truancy, the student will receive a zero (0) for each missed test, quiz or assignment. Furthermore, all assignments, regular or special, must be made-up without credit.
E. Excessive Absences
Any student missing more than twelve (12) days of school per semester (High School) and ten (10) days of school per semester (Middle School) will receive an “F” for the semester’s course work. For purposes of this provision of the attendance policy, any student placed on homebound instruction for more than five (5) consecutive days will have all remaining days of that extended absence waived. For example, if a student misses school six (6) successive weeks due to back surgery, only five (5) days will be counted as absences. Please remember — exceeding the twelve (12) day (High School) or (10) day (Middle School absence limit per semester will affect the accumulation of academic credits. High school students exceeding the twelve (12) day absence limit will receive an “F” for each and every class where the limit has been exceeded.
A. Excused Tardiness (ET)
1. Arriving at School – Unforeseen problems may occur prohibiting students from arriving at school on time (e.g., inclement weather or an acceptable validated medical problem). Any student who cannot be in the teacher-designated location when the bell rings to begin school is considered tardy. Each such student should obtain a Tardy Pass from the Attendance Office. Any student reporting to school after 8:30 a.m. on Wednesdays or after 7:55 a.m. any other day must have a parental note to check-in and parent will be notified before student is allowed to go to class.
Those students who are tardy for such emergency-related reasons will be assigned an excused tardy if an acceptable verbal or written explanation for such tardiness is provided by the parent or guardian. In the case of high school students driving to school, they will need proper clearance from the high school principal.
2. Classroom Tardiness – A student who arrives at any class after the bell or teacher-designated time is considered tardy. If a Tardy Pass is presented from an authorized faculty or staff member, and such faculty or staff member declares that the reason for tardiness is acceptable, the tardiness will be declared as Excused Tardiness (ET).
B. Unexcused Tardiness (UT)
1. Excessive Tardiness - Arriving at School
Sometimes, students begin the day in an unacceptable fashion. They are tardy to class for reasons other than unusual weather, traffic problems, or other emergencies. When such lateness occurs, they will be given an Unexcused Tardy (UT). Each student is allowed 5 (five) unexcused tardies per semester. With the sixth tardy, disciplinary action will be taken.
2. Excessive Tardiness - Classroom Tardiness
A student who is tardy to individual classes/subjects and cannot/does not secure the proper Tardy Pass will be issued an Unexcused Tardy (UT). Please Note: Unexcused tardiness for an unusually long period of time may be considered a case of truancy. If so, all policies applicable to truancy will come into play. Each student is allowed 3 (three) unexcused tardies per semester. With the fourth tardy, disciplinary action will be taken. Any tardy to class equal to or greater than 1/2 (one half) the class period will be recorded as an absence.
III. Office Notification of Absenteeism
It is important that the proper BCS office personnel always know the location of each student. Therefore, specific procedures have been established detailing how a student absence should be reported. Some absences require prior notification (defined as notifying the appropriate school office in writing of the future absence FOUR school days prior to such absence). As stated in Section I B, absences requiring prior notification must result in all work for all classes due immediately upon return to school. Family trips, college days, most professional appointments, approved school activities, homebound instruction, and some miscellaneous reasons fall into the prior notice category.
Other absences are more spontaneous in nature and, therefore, do not require prior notification. Personal illness of the student, a death within the family, family emergencies, some professional appointments, and some miscellaneous reasons fall into this category.
IV. Appeal Process
Any exception to any provision of the Student Attendance Policy may be granted by appeal to the BCS President.