Attendance Policy

(See Board Policy 6006)

Regular and punctual attendance is required by state law, is an integral component of student success, and is a matter of self-discipline, which will prove important later in life. As such, students are expected to be in school, on time, every day.

  • The school day begins promptly at 7:25 a.m. with the first class period of the day. Therefore, students should arrive at school no later than 7:20 a.m.
  • A student’s absence should be reported by a parent or guardian by calling their Grade Level Secretary at 860-489-2294 no later than 9:00 a.m.
  • A student’s absence from school shall be considered excused when they meet on of the following criteria:
    • Student illness (a medical note is required after 5 consecutive days of absence);
    • Student’s observance of a religious holiday;
    • Death in the student’s family or other emergency beyond the control of the student’s family;
    • Mandated court appearances;
    • Lack of transportation that is normally provided by a district other than the one the student attends;
    • Extraordinary educational opportunities pre-approved by the district administrators and in accordance with Connecticut State Department of Education guidance;
    • College visits;
    • Participation in a school sponsored activity.
  • Student’s absences will be considered “unexcused” until documentation is received.
    • Documentation should include a signed note from the student’s parent/guardian, a signed note from a school official that spoke in person with the parent/guardian regarding the absence, or a note confirming the absence by the school nurse or by a licensed medical professional, as appropriate. 
  • Students should monitor their attendance records on attendance. Any student who believes there is an error in reporting should notify their teacher within 24 hours.
  • Students are expected to make up course work missed due to absences. It is the student’s responsibility to see individual teachers to arrange a make-up schedule. Make-up schedules will be based on the nature of the course requirement and will be defined by each teacher at the beginning of the course.

EMERGENCY CLOSING:
Closing of school due to severe weather will be announced over radio station WZBG FM97.3 (Litchfield) and WTIC FM 96.5 (Hartford) and television channels 3, 8, 30, and the school district website. www.torrington.org and via Power Announcement (animated message system). 

*** After 9:00 AM a Power Announcement is generated for all students reported absent.  

The State Board of Education definitions establish two levels of criteria for an absence to be considered an excused absence (see table below).

Click here for the State Board of Education Guidelines for excused and unexcused absences.

 

Level

Total # of Days Absent*

Acceptable Reasons for a

Student Absence to Be Considered Excused

Documentation Required within 10 Days

1

One through nine

Any reason that the student’s parent or guardian approves.

Parent or guardian note only.

 2

 

 10 and above

 

  • Student illness (Note: to be deemed excused, an appropriately licensed medical professional must verify all student illness absences, regardless of the absence’s length).
  • Student’s observance of a religious holiday.
  • Death in the student’s family or other emergency beyond the control of the student’s family.
  • Mandated court appearances (additional documentation required).
  • The lack of transportation that is normally provided by a district other than the one the student attends (parental documentation is not required for this reason).
  • Extraordinary educational opportunities pre- approved by district administrators. (Opportunities must meet certain criteria. See below for details).

Parent or guardian note and in some cases additional documentation (see details of specific reason).

Note: The total number of days absent includes both excused and unexcused absences.

 Sec. 10-198a. Policies and procedures concerning truants. (a) For purposes of this section, "truant" means a child age five to eighteen, inclusive, who is enrolled in a public or private school and has four unexcused absences from school in any one month or ten unexcused absences from school in any school year.

      (b) Each local and regional board of education shall adopt and implement policies and procedures concerning truants who are enrolled in schools under the jurisdiction of such board of education. Such policies and procedures shall include, but need not be limited to, the following: (1) The holding of a meeting with the parent of each child who is a truant, or other person having control of such child, and appropriate school personnel to review and evaluate the reasons for the child being a truant, provided such meeting shall be held not later than ten school days after the child's fourth unexcused absence in a month or tenth unexcused absence in a school year, (2) coordinating services with and referrals of children to community agencies providing child and family services, (3) annually at the beginning of the school year and upon any enrollment during the school year, notifying the parent or other person having control of each child enrolled in a grade from kindergarten to eight, inclusive, in the public schools in writing of the obligations of the parent or such other person pursuant to section 10-184, (4) annually at the beginning of the school year and upon any enrollment during the school year, obtaining from the parent or other person having control of each child in a grade from kindergarten to eight, inclusive, a telephone number or other means of contacting such parent or such other person during the school day and (5) a system of monitoring individual unexcused absences of children in grades kindergarten to eight, inclusive, which shall provide that whenever a child enrolled in school in any such grade fails to report to school on a regularly scheduled school day and no indication has been received by school personnel that the child's parent or other person having control of the child is aware of the pupil's absence, a reasonable effort to notify, by telephone, the parent or such other person shall be made by school personnel or volunteers under the direction of school personnel. Any person who, in good faith, gives or fails to give notice pursuant to subdivision (5) of this subsection shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed and shall have the same immunity with respect to any judicial proceeding which results from such notice or failure to give such notice.

      (c) If the parent or other person having control of a child who is a truant fails to attend the meeting held pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section or if such parent or other person otherwise fails to cooperate with the school in attempting to solve the truancy problem, such policies and procedures shall require the superintendent of schools to file for each such truant enrolled in the schools under his jurisdiction a written complaint with the Superior Court pursuant to section 46b-149 alleging the belief that the acts or omissions of the child are such that his family is a family with service needs.

      (d) Nothing in subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of this section shall preclude a local or regional board of education from adopting policies and procedures pursuant to this section which exceed the requirements of said subsections.

      (e) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any child receiving equivalent instruction pursuant to section 10-184.