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Aspen High School is extremely proud of its academic reputation. Our graduation rate, number of students going on to college and rigorous academic program place us in the top echelon of high schools across the nation. It is important for us to maintain our reputation and this is best accomplished by having our students in school and in classes as much as possible.
In order to accomplish this we have established as a goal:
“to maintain an average daily attendance (ADA) of between 94% - 95% for our student population”.
We strongly encourage parents to have their children in school and on time every school day of the year. Naturally, extenuating circumstances exist which may require students to occasionally miss a class or day of school for health or family issues. We have attempted to implement an attendance system that will allow for these occasions with minimal inconvenience to parents and students while allowing us to maintain accurate records for district and state reporting requirements.
The following information is intended to clarify for parents the procedures for handling attendance issues for their students.
Table of Contents
Page 1.....Entering or Leaving Classes in Session
Page 2….Excused versus Unexcused Absences and Course Credit Issues
Page 3….Pre-arranged Absences
Page 4….School Sponsored Activities
Entering or Leaving Classes in Session
Students who need to leave classes early are required to bring a note to the front office from their parent or guardian. The note should state the reason for dismissal and the time the student needs to be dismissed. This note will be kept in the office as an official record and the student will be issued a school dismissal note to be given to the appropriate teacher. In lieu of a note, parents may call the attendance assistant with the information. However, students must still report to the office to pick up a dismissal note to give to the classroom teacher.
Students who will be entering a class after it has begun are required to bring a note to the front office from their parent or guardian. The note should state the reason for their being tardy. This note will be kept in the office as an official record and the student will be issued a school admittance note stating the reason, whether the admittance is excused or unexcused and the time the student checked in at the main office. In lieu of a note, parents may call the attendance assistant with the information. However, students must still report to the office to pick up a class admittance note.
Excused versus Unexcused Absences and Course Credit Issues
An unexcused absence (a class missed without being excused by a parent, teacher or school administrator) results in an after-school detention for a student of 90 minutes. Students who do not serve their assigned detention are subject to further school discipline up to and including suspension from school.
In the past there has been some confusion about absences and loss of course credit.
Students are required to be present in each of their courses each semester for 85% of the time in order to receive credit for the course.
If a student misses more than 7 classes in a given course during the semester he/she may lose credit for that course.
Even though a parent may excuse a student from a class it still counts toward a loss of credit for the class.
The ONLY absences which do not count toward loss of credit are:
1) an absence verified by an official note from a doctor
2) an absence for a death in the family verified by a parent/guardian
3) an absence for a school sponsored activity
4) a pre-arranged absence (see the section on pre-arranged absences)
The pre-arranged absence is designed to give students the opportunity to take advantage of unique extended educational/athletic experiences or deal with family crises/issues that cannot be handled outside of scheduled school days. It is not intended to be used for extended vacation time.
The pre-arranged absence requires students to obtain an official school pre-arranged form from the attendance assistant in the front office. It is the responsibility of the student to fill in their portion of the form and then see each teacher whose classes will be missed during the absence. Each teacher will note any assignments that are required to be completed during the student’s absence, any additional reading that needs to be done, and any tests/quizzes that may be missed. Teachers may ask students to do assignments prior to their absence. Once teacher information has been noted, students must obtain the signature of the assistant principal and leave a copy of the completed form in the main office.
Pre-arranged absence requests MUST be done at least 5 school days in advance of the actual absence. This gives teachers an opportunity to prepare any packets of study or additional information for the student. It also gives teachers an opportunity to ask students to take tests or quizzes ahead of time
Any work noted by teachers is required to be made up by the student within a timeframe equal to that of their absence. Students (NOT TEACHERS) are accountable for the made up work. If work is not made up in the appropriate timeframe teachers are not required to extend the time or give credit for the missing work.
In order to obtain a pre-arranged absence form a parent or guardian needs to send a note to the attendance assistant requesting the pre-arranged absence and stating the days of anticipated absence. This note will be kept in the front office as an official request for the pre-arranged absence. In lieu of a note, the parent may call the attendance assistant with the information.
*NOTE: Once obtained the pre-arranged form must be completely filled out and authorized and a copy returned to the main office to be valid. If it is not, the absences will count toward potential loss of credit.
School Sponsored Activities
Parents do not need to notify the attendance assistant of their child’s absence due to school sponsored activities. The school’s athletic director or teacher leading the activity will provide the attendance office with a list of students who will be missing classes. These will be entered in the attendance system appropriately. Students do not need to get a pre-arranged absence form for these activities BUT are still responsible for class work and homework assigned during the activity absence.
Illness During the Day
If your child becomes ill during the school day they must report to the office and receive an official school slip to go to the nurses’ office. The nurses will assess the situation and if necessary will contact parents to have their student dismissed/picked up. The nurses will notify the main office if a student is dismissed. If a student is cleared to return to class, they need to stop back at the main office to receive al school admit slip to return to class.
We recognize that during the course of the school year students may become ill from time to time. We encourage students to practice good health habits (i.e. plenty of sleep, good nutrition, wash hands frequently, not share water bottles or utensils, etc.). However, if your child has an extended absence (more than 2 days) due to illness we encourage you to see a doctor and have the doctor provide you with a note documenting your child’s absence. When we receive a copy of this note all related absences are noted as “doctor verified” absences. These absences do not count toward potential loss of credit for your child. Again, students are responsible for making up missed work in a timeframe equal to that of their absence.
Enrollment in Aspen High School
Every student at Aspen High school must enroll each year they plan to attend.
All enrollments for returning and new students begin in the main office.
The primary enrollment period at Aspen High School occurs in early August each year. Students are assigned enrollment days by class level typically in the week before classes are to begin (see the schedule for enrollment dates in the summer enrollment packet or online at www.aspenk12.net>Schools>Aspen High School). An enrollment packet is mailed out in July to all returning students and students moving up from middle schools in Aspen.
New students or students who do not receive their summer packet can find all of the enrollment forms online at www.aspenk12.net>schools>Aspen High School. If the internet is not available, copies of enrollment forms can be picked up in the high school office between the hours of 8:00 and 2:00 starting August 3rd.
Once students are officially enrolled they will receive their class schedules and be placed on class rolls for attendance.
Withdrawal from Aspen High School
Any student who decides to stop attending Aspen High School must go through the formal withdrawal process of the school.
All withdrawals for currently enrolled students begin in the main office.
Students who wish to withdraw from school, begin home schooling, spend a semester away, etc.; must pick up a formal withdrawal form in the main office. This form requires students to go through a progressive series of steps to see teachers, see administrators, return books, clean out lockers, pay outstanding fees and talk with counselors. Once this process is complete the form is left with the counseling office and it will trigger the preparation and transfer of official transcripts to new schools and formal un-enrollment from Aspen High School.
Students who do not go through this formal process may find that official transcripts and grades are withheld until the process is complete.
Daily Attendance Procedures
Aspen School District tracks daily attendance on its Power School computer system. Teachers can see their class rolls in an electronic format and mark the attendance for students at the beginning of each class.
At Aspen High School the attendance assistant in the main office will periodically run attendance reports throughout the day and call parents to inform them of their child’s unexcused absences.
It is important that parents call in to excuse absences for their child as early as possible in the school day to avoid having students charged with an unexcused class absence.
Each Tuesday and Thursday students who still have unexcused absences recorded in Power School, for the period between detention days, are assigned from 3:30 until 5:00 pm. Detentions are taken very seriously at school and take precedence over all other school activities. Students who fail to attend detention are assigned a double detention and if these are not served may be suspended from school at the discretion of the assistant principal.
NOTE: Detention may also be assigned for other reasons at the discretion of teachers and administrators.