• Students should be in school every scheduled day from:
• Elementary: 7:55am – 3:00pm
• Middle School/High School: 8:00am – 3:00pm
• To be eligible to participate in any extracurricular activity offered by the school, students must be in school the entire school day on the day of the activity.
• Students are expected to attend every class meeting; for the MS/HS, attendance records are maintained on a course-by-course basis. Elementary attendance records are maintained on a morning and afternoon basis.
• The parent/guardian must leave a return telephone number, and a reason for the absence. Only the student’s parent/guardian may excuse an absence.
• All absences due to school-sponsored trips are considered excused.
• When a student arrives to class without a pass and is tardy more than (10 min HS-MS / 20 min EL), he/she is considered absent unexcused. The student should still go to class to receive credit for the work done in the portion of class he/she attended.
• It is each student’s responsibility to be aware of his/her attendance status in class and to make responsible decisions about attending classes on a regular basis.
• The student should monitor his/her own attendance and speak with his/her teachers if he/she has any questions about attendance records.
• The student must obtain and make-up class work missed due to absences. It is the student’s responsibility to see his/her teachers to obtain missed work.
Parent/Guardian Information and Responsibilities
• The parent/guardian should monitor his/her son’s/daughter’s attendance in each of his/her classes.
• We encourage parents to discuss the importance of good attendance with their children.
• To excuse a student’s absence, the parent/guardian must call the K-12 office the night before, or the day of the student’s absence at (989)268-5343) or (989) 268-5284 prior to 2:00 p.m. Messages left after 2:00 p.m. will not be considered, and the student will be marked unexcused for the day. Special circumstances will be reviewed by the Dean of Students.
• Parents/guardians can excuse a student from school a maximum of six (6) times per school year. Additional absences will be counted as unexcused without a doctor’s note or other relevant documentation.
Attendance Policy Guidelines and Protocols
• Students are expected to attend every class meeting unless excused according to the procedures described here. Three (3) unexcused absences will begin the truancy process.
Documented Excused Absences
• The following absences are considered documented excused absences, and do not count towards truancy, however documentation must be provided and missed work must be made up:
Reasons Required Documentation
Religious holidays Parent Note
Mandatory court visits Court documents
Testing (Special education, etc.) Evaluator note
Field Trips/School-sponsored-events None required
Extended illness (4 or more consecutive) Doctor/PA/NP note
Family funeral/emergencies Parent Note
Health professional visits Doctor/PA/NP note
College visits (3 maximum) Parent or College note
Routine health professional appointments should be scheduled after school. If this is unavoidable, parents/guardians must notify the K-12 office or submit a note in advance of the appointment. The appropriate note should be turned in to the office when the student returns to school.
• A doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner’s note will excuse absences for an ongoing, chronic, or long-term illness (long-term illness is defined as (4) or more consecutive days of absence) provided that the note is written on the doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner’s stationary, showing the name of the student and stating that the student was under his/her care for a particular time interval. If the illness impacts the semester grade, administration, in consultation with the guidance counselor, will review his/her situation and determine if the student will receive an Incomplete (I) for a grade.
• There are NO sanctioned “skip days” at VCS. Student organized “skip days” undermine the educational process. The school will not accept parental excuses to participate in “skip days”. Students involved in a “skip day” will be considered absent unexcused.
• Once the school day has commenced and a student is in attendance, he/she may be dismissed via a parent/guardian phone call or written note prior to the dismissal. Notification after the fact will not be excused and will be recorded as an unexcused absence. When a student is dismissed, he/she is expected to leave school grounds or wait for his/her ride in the K-12 office. In the event of illness while the student is in school, dismissal will be arranged by office staff. A dismissal request without good cause will be denied.
Montcalm Area ISD Truancy Program Highlights for Vestaburg Community Schools
School begins at 7:55am. Any student more than 20 minutes late (after 8:15am) will be marked
(AU) absent unexcused for the morning count. Similarly, the afternoon session begins at
11:30am. Any student more than 20 minutes late (after 11:50) will be marked absent (AU) from
school for the afternoon count.
School begins at 8:00am. Students are expected to attend each class. Any student more than 10
minutes late for a class will be marked (AU) absent unexcused. Any student that is marked
absent four (4) or more classes in one school day, will be counted absent for the entire day.
This is the process that the Montcalm county agencies have implemented to help deal with poor
school attendance (truancy). Here is what you can expect to happen:
• Once your child has accumulated three (3) unexcused absences, the school truancy referral
process will be started. You will receive a letter, phone call, home visit, or possibly all three, to
alert you that your child is missing too much school.
• Five (5) accumulated unexcused absences, the school refers the case to the MAISD Truancy
Officer for follow up. It is likely, but not certain, that you will be contacted by a school official
• Eight (8) accumulated unexcused absences, the school and MAISD Truancy Officer refers the
student/parent truancy case to the Prosecuting Attorney for judicial review/action.
Excused Late Arrivals
• If a student has a professional health appointment or other obligation that requires him/her to arrive late to school, the parent/guardian must call the main office prior to the student’s arrival to school to excuse the late arrival. A student who arrives late must immediately report to the main office for an office pass, prior to going to class.
Tardy to Class
MS/HS Tardy Policy
• If a student arrives to class without a pass after class commenced, he/she is considered tardy. Students should still go to class even if they do not have a pass.
• Students who are more than ten (10) minutes late shall be counted absent for that class period.
• Students that demonstrate excessive tardiness may be assigned consequences by an individual teacher or administrator such as, but not limited to, afterschool detentions, lunch detentions, loss of passing time, etc.
On 3rd Unexcused Tardy in a class, the student will serve a lunch detention with the teacher. The teacher will contact a parent and record the incident.
On 4th Unexcused Tardy in a class, the student will serve a 2nd lunch detention with the teacher. The teacher will contact the parent and record the incident.
On 5th or more Unexcused Tardy in a class, the student will be referred to the office with a discipline referral. The teacher will contact a parent.
Extracurricular Activity Participation
• To be eligible for participation in any extracurricular activity offered by the school, the student must be in school the entire day. Students who are absent from any part of the school day may not participate in that day’s practice or competition unless authorized by the building administrator or designee. Exceptions include pre-arranged appointments, which cannot be scheduled at other times, school-sponsored or related trips, and other applicable situations, which arise.
• Students are encouraged to schedule college visits during non-school hours. However, a student will be excused from school for college visits or interviews that cannot reasonably be scheduled outside of school time. Students can schedule no more than three (3) college visits or interviews during the school year (during the school day). Any visits or interviews beyond the allocated three (3) days will be recorded as unexcused absences.
Vacations During the School Year
• Parents and students are reminded that Michigan’s law requires attendance for students. We strongly discourage family vacations while school is in session. Family vacations/personal trips interrupt the educational process. Completion of make-up work does not compensate for the impact of lost instructional time and classroom experience, regardless of the course or course level. Make up work will be expected according to the make-up policy below.
Making Up Tests and Other School Work
• Students who are absent from school shall be given the opportunity to make up work that has been missed. Students are responsible for obtaining their assignments missed immediately upon their return. Teachers will make available their daily assignments to facilitate this. Tests and quizzes may have to be made up before or after school.
• School sponsored or sanctioned activities are not recorded as absences. Assignments should be completed before an absence from class due to school-related activities, unless other arrangements have been made with the teacher in advance.
• Students will be allowed to make up work at the discretion of the classroom teacher. Students will be provided these expectations at the beginning of the course. Exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances due to situations such as hospitalization and being on homebound status.
• Assignments given prior to an absence are due on the original due date. Long-term assignments given on the day of an absence are due on the original due date. It is possible that in-class discussions, projects, labs, and group participation points missed may not be made up through alternate assignments and may affect the grade.