It is extremely important that all students report to school and class on time.  A student will be considered tardy when not in homeroom/first period by 7:20 AM.  Unauthorized absence from a class (cutting a class), unauthorized departure from school property (cutting school), and tardiness to school are serious offenses that have serious disciplinary consequences under the Student Code of Conduct.


The Pennsylvania School Code 1732 requires students to be in regular attendance.  Good attendance and punctuality are necessary for successful academic performance.  These habits also are exceedingly important for success at post-secondary institutions as well as in future work experiences.  The South Eastern School District requires written documentation to be turned in within five school days after the absence.  Upon receipt of satisfactory signed written evidence explaining the reason for an absence, a principal may excuse an absence.    Failure to turn in a valid written excuse within five school days results in the absence being unlawful.  Parents may mail or fax written excuses within the five days if they choose to do so.  The responsibility for submission of excuse cards rests with the parent/guardian.



                When a parent sends a written explanation to school about an absence of a student, the absence is not automatically excused.  It becomes an excused absence when the Administration has classified it as such in accordance with the attendance policies of the South Eastern School District.

Excused absences, as permitted by the State Department of Education, are granted for illness, death in the family or near relative, court summons, medical or dental appointments, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, approved school activities, approved school field trips, religious holidays, impassable roads and quarantine.

                Unlawful absences may include truancy, cutting a class, out of town, missed the bus, car trouble, not checking in or out of the office, unexcused tardy, driver license exam and absence through parent neglect.  Unlawful absences are temporary and may become excused upon the presentation, within five school days, of a written note from a parent or guardian that provides reasons compatible with the definition of an excused absence.  As determined by the building principal a student may be permitted to make up work for unlawful absences.

                 Parents may call the School Office voice-mail to report a student absence.  However, the parent must still send a written explanation to meet the requirements of the school attendance policy.  Students, regardless of age, may not sign a parent’s name on an excuse card.


Anticipated Absences:

                Students who wish to be excused for anticipated absences which may include, but are not limited to, family vacations, religious functions or showing at the Pennsylvania Farm Show should file a request five (5) school days in advance of the first date of the scheduled absences.  Parents should fill out the Pre-Approved Trip Form for each child, which may be secured by the student in the office.  Students are allocated five pre-approved trip days per year, with additional days beyond five deemed unlawful.  These pre-approved absences will be counted towards the 10-day absence requirement.  The South Eastern School District supports college visits for fact-finding and/or admissions appointments with college officials.  Documentation to support the date and time of the visit, signed by a college official, is required. “Take Your Child to Work Day” opportunities require the submission of a pre-approved trip form.


Excessive Absences:

                The parents/guardians of students under 17 years of age accumulating three unlawful absences shall be sent an offense notification letter notifying them of this violation. These parents are liable for prosecution for subsequent unlawful absences according to the compulsory school attendance laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Subsequent notices will be filed with the local District Magistrate for prosecution.  Truancy Elimination Plans will be developed in accordance with district procedures.


                Any student who misses excessive days of school without prior approval and/or arrangements (homebound instruction) from South Eastern School District may be recommended to the South Eastern School Board for expulsion by the Administration.  Upon 10 cumulative days of absences (excused or unlawful), a letter shall be sent to parents requiring a doctor’s excuse for all future absences.  Failure to present a doctor’s excuse will result in an unlawful absence.  Please note pre-approved absences will be counted towards the 10 day absence requirement.


Consecutive Absences:  Pursuant to the State Board of Education Regulations 22Pa Code 11.24.
                Children whose names are on the active membership roll, who are at anytime in the school term absent from school for 10 consecutive school days, shall thereafter be removed from the active membership roll unless one of the following occurs:

1)    The District has been provided with evidence that the absence may be legally excused.

2)    Compulsory attendance prosecution has been or is being pursued.


                A student over 17 years of age regardless of grade or academic standing who has been absent for 10 school days (excused or unlawful) will be informed by the Administration that all future absences must be excused.  Any absences beyond the 10 school days must be accompanied by a doctor’s excuse.  If the student accumulates three (3) unlawful absences after the 10 days, the student may be subject to disciplinary action including recommendation for expulsion.


Excuse Cards:

                Students who are absent must, on their return to school, bring to the office a note signed by parent/guardian stating the date(s) absent and the reason for the absence.  The school provides an excuse card for this purpose, but a hand-written note is acceptable.  The student has five (5) school days to bring in a valid written excuse or the absence will be declared UNLAWFUL.  Additionally, students who are tardy must submit an excuse from a medical practitioner or it will be declared unlawful.  Students who are required to submit a doctor’s excuse must follow the same procedure and time line.  A doctor’s excuse must be signed by a medical practitioner verifying the student’s absence.  It is recommended that students ask at the doctor or dentist for an official excuse before leaving the appointment.


Student Release during the School Day:

                The South Eastern School District will release a student during the school day under the following circumstances:  Students will be released from school only to their parents or emergency contacts designated by their parents on the student emergency card.  Parents or authorized agents of parents must sign the early dismissal log indicating the date, time and reason why the student was released from school.

                If a student is ill, the office or the nurse will call the parent/guardian to pick up the student at school.  A parent/guardian may indicate to school officials who may pick up their student through written authorization such as a fax or e-mail.  An excuse card is required upon the student’s return to school for additional days.

                If a student presents a parent note for early dismissal prior to the beginning of the day, arrangements for the dismissal of that student will be made at the requested time.  If the student is to leave without a parent to appear at school, the office shall call the parent to verify the early dismissal.  A telephone number where a parent or guardian can be reached on that specific day must be provided for all early dismissals. Teachers do not have the authority to release students early from school.

                If the parent or guardian of a student cannot be reached, the student will not be given permission to leave early.  Students and parents should use this procedure to avoid unnecessary class interruptions and having to wait for a student.  Students who are 18 years old or older must follow the procedures as outlined above.