Attendance Policy for High School Academics
Attendance Policy for High School Academics
Academic class attendance is a student obligation. UNCSA expects all students to regularly and punctually attend all classes in which they are enrolled. Each academic teacher submits a daily report of attendance, and the official attendance record for each student is kept in the High School Academic Program office.
There are two types of absences:
- Excused absence: Unplanned and planned
- Unexcused absence
If a student has an excused absence from a class, the teacher will permit the student to make up the work missed. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for make-up work in consultation with the teacher within two days of the student’s return to school if the excused absence was unplanned (e.g., for illness). Make-up work for planned absences that are excused ahead of the event (e.g., for off-campus auditions) should be arranged with teachers at least 24 hours before the student leaves campus.
While teachers are available to assist with make-up work for excused absences, they are not expected to do so when an absence is unexcused, except to provide information about the work missed. It is the student’s responsibility to know whether an absence is excused; if in doubt, the student should check with the High School Academic Program office. Notices of unexcused absences are sent by email to students’ campus email addresses and copied to their parents. However, a student’s failure to receive a notice does not relieve the student of personal responsibility regarding all absences.
A student who misses nine or more classes in a course during a single semester, regardless of whether the absences are excused or unexcused, will incur a “one-step” grade reduction penalty per absence (for instance, an A on a student’s transcript, regardless of percentage, would be lowered to an A- on the 9th absence from the course). Second semester seniors may miss up to 12 classes in a course during that semester before incurring this penalty. Such grade deductions will be tracked by the Academic Office, with notifications being sent to the parents, student, and teacher at regular intervals as absences accumulate. On the 9th absence (13th for second semester seniors), the student, parents, and teacher will be notified that:
- The student has crossed the absence threshold and will incur a one-step grade deduction penalty to be assessed by the teacher at the end of the semester;
- for each subsequent absence, the student will incur an additional one-step grade penalty; and
- the student may submit a written appeal (email is acceptable) contesting the application of the grade penalty to the Dean of the High School Academic Program with supporting documentation.
A student who misses 15 or more class meetings in a course during a single semester, regardless of whether the absences are excused or unexcused, will not receive credit for the course that semester. The Associate Dean of the High School Academic Program will notify a student and the student’s parents of a violation of this rule. A student has the right to appeal the loss of credit to the Dean of the High School Academic Program. Appeals should be submitted to the Dean in writing with any relevant documentation. Email is acceptable.
Note: While excused tardies and early dismissals do not affect a student’s absence total, a student who misses more than 15 minutes of a class period will be considered absent from that class for attendance purposes.
If a teacher is absent, each student in the class is responsible for following the procedures established by the teacher for that day, whether or not a substitute instructor is present.
Class cancellations or delays as a result of inclement weather will be announced by the Office of the Chancellor for the UNCSA campus as a whole and broadcast on local media outlets.
A parent/guardian who picks up a student from UNCSA during the school day must notify the High School Academic Program office by calling 336-770-3245 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Residential students must also sign out and back in from the High School Residence Life office located in the residence hall Connector Building.
Excused Absences - Unplanned illnesses and emergencies
Procedures for Residential Students:
When residential students are too ill to attend class, they must report to the Wellness Center in the Hanes Student Commons Building prior to the beginning of the class for which they need to be excused. Students who are too ill to walk to the Wellness Center should immediately notify a residence hall staff member. Parents or guardians of residential students may not call or write to excuse a student from classes because of illness unless their son or daughter is at home with them at the time the illness occurs (e.g., during a weekend visit home). A visit to the Wellness Center, however, does not automatically excuse a student from class. Only those students who are reported by the Wellness Center staff as “Confined” to their residence hall room because of illness will be excused from classes. Confined students who “break” confinement by leaving their dorm room without permission will have their class absences for that day changed from excused to unexcused. Refer to the unexcused absences section.
Procedures for Commuter Students:
Parents or guardians of commuter students who become ill at home, or who are out of school for any other reason that was not prearranged, must call 336-770-3245 or email email@example.com prior to their daughter’s or son’s first academic class each day that the student is out.
Commuter students who are reported by their parent/guardian as ill in the morning may not attend arts or academic classes for the rest of the day. Students who come to campus later in the day after being reported ill by a parent/guardian will have their earlier absences recorded as unexcused.
Excused Absence - Planned
Procedures for reporting planned absences:
The parents/guardians of students who will miss classes for scheduled commitments (e.g., off-campus medical appointments, auditions, or family events) must notify the High School Academic Program office in writing at least one week before the anticipated absence. The notice must include the reason for the absence(s) and the dates and times of the student’s departure and return. The notice may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The High School Academic Program office will let parents and students know if there are any concerns regarding the requested absence(s), or if further information is necessary. Although scheduled absences are typically excused when families follow the above procedure, the parent/guardian and the student will be notified if the planned absence(s) will not be excused.
The student’s responsibility in preparing for planned absences:
While it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to notify the Academic Program office of a student’s upcoming absence, it is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the student’s academic teachers at least 24 hours prior the student’s departure from campus in order to schedule any make-up work and to collect any assignments the student must complete while away. To help ensure that these conversations take place, a student must submit a completed Planned Absence Form with signatures from each of the student’s academic teachers to the Academic Office by noon on the school day prior to the absence. Planned Absence Forms also are available in the High School Academic Office. The failure of a student to communicate with the student’s teachers in this way prior to departure will result in the reclassification of the absences as unexcused. Refer to the unexcused absences section.
If a student misses a class in which there is an assessment scheduled or an assignment due, but attends other classes on the same day, the student is expected to submit the assignment or take the test that day unless the teacher and student work out a different mutually agreed upon time. If such arrangements are not made, the student will incur a 10% grade reduction late penalty per school day until the assignment is submitted or the test taken.
Students are expected to schedule non-emergency medical treatment, including appointments with the counselors or athletic trainers in the UNCSA Wellness Center, at a time when they do not have a scheduled class. If a class absence is unavoidable, the following procedure must be followed:
- Medical appointments provided by the UNCSA Wellness Center will be documented on a daily report to the High School Academic Program office, but the student is still responsible for notifying the High School Academic Program office before the day of the appointment if the student finds that a class absence is unavoidable in making a Wellness Center appointment. Students who do not clear their conflicting Wellness Center appointments with the High School Academic Program office will not be excused from class.
- Parents/guardians are responsible for letting the High School Academic Program office know about personally-arranged off-campus medical appointments at least one week in advance if possible. Students must also present a doctor’s note upon their return to campus to document all off-campus medical appointments that result in class absences.
Absences for personal reasons, such as religious holidays or family events, will be considered on an individual basis upon the presentation of a written request from a parent or guardian. The written request should be submitted to the High School Academic Program office at least one week prior to the proposed departure date.
Note: UNC policy allows each student a maximum of two excused absences each academic year for religious observances.
Arts-related absences, including those for activities sponsored by UNCSA, are not automatically excused.
- UNCSA–sponsored activities: The student’s art school will notify the High School Academic
Program office in writing at least one week in advance if a student is to be absent
from class for UNCSA-sponsored activities. Students are not automatically excused
from academic classes for UNCSA rehearsals, costume fittings, on-campus auditions,
private lessons, juries, or other arts activities.
Note: All art school notifications must come from the arts school dean or the dean’s designee.
- Personally-arranged arts activities: If a student chooses to be absent from class to attend a non-UNCSA-sponsored arts activity such as a concert, competition, or summer program audition, the student must follow the planned excused absence procedures above. Failure to properly notify the High School Academic Program office may result in unexcused absences.
College visits and off-campus auditions
High School seniors who wish to be excused from class to visit colleges or participate in off-campus auditions or interviews should complete the planned excused absence process described above. A written request from a parent/guardian identifying the college or audition location, with the dates and the times of the scheduled departure and return, must be sent to the High School Academic Program office at least one (1) week prior to the student’s departure. Seniors are expected to schedule college visits and auditions to avoid being out of academic classes for more than two consecutive class days. Seniors are allowed a maximum of six (6) total absences in one academic year for college visits or auditions. Students in grades 9-11 are allowed a maximum of two (2) total excused absences in one academic year for off-campus auditions (e.g., for summer programs). Should a senior request more than six absences, the student’s teachers, the Guidance Counselor, and the Associate Dean of the High School Academic Program will evaluate the request in light of student’s performance in class, the number of days already missed, and other considerations, to determine if the absences will be recorded as excused or unexcused. Again, please remember that a student who misses 15 or more class meetings in a course during a single semester, for any reason, may not receive credit for the course that semester.
Requests for early departures at holiday breaks and other school breaks
Students who find it necessary to leave campus before the official end of classes prior to a holiday break or other school break (such as fall or spring break) must have a parent/guardian notify the High School Academic Program office at least one week in advance of the absence. However, vacation or general travel plans are NOT acceptable reasons for early departures, and absences for these reasons will be recorded as unexcused. Please pay attention to the academic calendar and plan your travel itineraries accordingly.
Requests for early departures at the end of the spring semester
Students who find it necessary to leave campus before the official end of spring semester must follow special clearance procedures (below). Early departure requests must be approved, as missing the last days of the spring semester will mean that a student misses final academic exams. Teachers are not always able to reschedule final exams for individual students, nor are they expected to. Vacation or general travel plans are NOT acceptable reasons for early departures, and absences for these reasons will be recorded as unexcused. Please pay attention to the academic calendar and plan your travel itineraries accordingly.
- The parent or guardian must notify the High School Academic Program office in writing at least two weeks before the first day of final exams, stating the date and reason for the early departure.
- If the request is approved, the Academic Program office will process the Early Departure form, which will document the student’s rescheduled exam times. Students who leave campus without full clearance will receive unexcused absences and potentially receive failing grades on their final exams.
When a student acquires, during a single semester, a first unexcused absence in a course, the High School Academic Program office will notify the student, the parents, the teacher, the arts school dean, and the High School Residence Life staff via email.
After the first unexcused absence, each subsequent unexcused absence will count twice (in effect, as two absences) toward the total absence threshold of eight for the semester (the threshold for second semester seniors is 12). Once a student crosses this threshold, the student will incur the one-step grade deduction penalty for each additional class missed. It is up to the teacher’s discretion whether to allow a student to make up work missed from such an absence or to impose a grade penalty on the assignment. Individual teacher guidelines for make-up work will be published in course syllabi.
An accumulation of three instances of unexcused tardiness to class will result in the recording of one unexcused absence on the next class date following the third unexcused tardiness. Unexcused tardiness to class in excess of 15 minutes counts automatically as one full unexcused absence in that class for that day.