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Regular attendance is essential to success in school. Students are directly accountable to their teachers for meeting the academic expectations of each course and for being present and on time to all classes. There is a positive correlation between regular attendance and academic achievement as students contribute to, as well as take from, the teaching-learning situations presented in school. Learning to participate actively in class is an important part of the educational process. Class participation may be a factor in the determination of a student's grade as determined by the individual teacher. Therefore, students are expected to attend all sessions of the classes in which they are enrolled. The Wilton High School attendance procedures outlined below are intended to ensure class attendance.
It is the responsibility of the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) to monitor on a regular basis the number of absences that have been accumulated in each course. Students and parents have 24-hour access to attendance information through the PowerSchool Parent Portal, a web-based system that provides a home-school communication tool allowing students and parents to access student information through an online interface. Students and parents can monitor daily attendance information through the online interface by entering the username and password that are provided at the beginning of the school year. Questions or concerns regarding login or passwords should be directed to Mrs. Debbie Chann (762-0381 Ext. 6309).
It is the responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian(s) to notify the Attendance Office of the reason for all absences. It is imperative that the parent(s)/guardian(s) call the Attendance Office Hotline (834-4805) by 10 a.m. on the day the student is absent to ensure accurate record keeping. Calls from students will not be accepted. The hotline is also available to record messages during and beyond normal school hours. Notes (and possible other documentation) are required for students with total absences (unexcused and excused) in excess of nine. The Attendance Office is located on the first floor near the main entrance to the school. Written explanations to report absences, late arrivals, or early dismissals are required and must include the student's name, the date(s), the specific reason, the signature of the parent/guardian, and a daytime phone number where a parent can be reached.
Teachers report class attendance via Powerschool to the Attendance Office on a daily basis. An automated telephone system is used to regularly inform parents if a student has had any unexcused absences in classes held that day. This system allows parents the opportunity to notify the Attendance Office if an absence has occurred that can be excused.
Parent telephone calls or notes to excuse any absence must be received by the Attendance Office immediately following the absence for the absence to be excused. There will be no negotiation of an unexcused absence after a 10 day grace period from the date of the absence.
The attendance policy at Wilton High School is not intended to deny credit to students who were unable to attend school or a class due to a sanctioned reason beyond the control of the student/parent(s)/guardian(s). However, excessive absence from a scheduled class will result in the loss of credit for that class. School-sponsored activities (field trips, suspensions, standardized testing, athletic events and special assemblies) which cause an absence from class are the only absences that do not count towards loss of credit. The number of absences (excused and/or unexcused) permitted in each course before full credit is lost is:
If a student accumulates the number of absences (excused or unexcused) or groups of three tardies (three tardies equals one unexcused absence) listed above, credit will be lost in the course.
Students not in a course for its entirety (for example, students new to the school) will have the above absences prorated according to the amount of time they are enrolled in the class. Students changing courses during the year (level changes, etc.) will continue their attendance record from the previous course into the new course.
The Connecticut State Board of Education definitions establish two levels of criteria for an absence to be considered an excused absence.
Number of Absences in current school year is 1-9
Acceptable Reasons for a Student Absence to Be Considered Excused - Any reason that the student's parent or guardian approves.
Documentation Required within 10 Days - Parent or guardian phone call or note is required.
Number of Absences in current school year is ten and above
Acceptable Reasons for a Student Absence to Be Considered Excused:
- 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 needed for this reason).
- Extraordinary educational opportunities pre-approved by district administrators (Opportunities must meet certain criteria established by the Connecticut State Board of Education).
- Parent or guardian note and in some cases additional documentation (see details of specific reason).
* Note: The total number of absences include both excused and unexcused absences, but do not include school related activities such as field trips, band pullouts, class meetings, athletics, or other approved curricular or extracurricular activities.
Any absence that does not meet any of the above criteria will be considered an unexcused absence.
Tardy to Class
Students are considered unexcused tardy to class if they are fewer than ten minutes late for a class without a valid pass. Arrival after that point will be treated as an unexcused absence.
Any student arriving late to school must report directly to the Attendance Office with a valid note. Students who fail to report their late arrival on the day of the occurrence will receive unexcused absences for all classes reporting the student absent on that day.
Parent telephone calls or written notes to request an early dismissal must be presented to the Attendance Office before 10 a.m. on the day the student is to be dismissed. If the student returns to school, the student must report to the Attendance Office. If a student leaves school without permission from the Attendance Office, all subsequent absences will be unexcused and the student will be held accountable for leaving campus without authorization.
Illness During the School Day
During the school day, in order to be excused from classes for illness, a student must report to the Health Office. Unless it is an emergency, the student should report to class before seeing the nurse in the Health Office. Students will be evaluated and the school nurse will contact parents in the event an early dismissal is necessary for health reasons. Any student sent home for medical illness/injury will not be eligible to participate in games, performances, or practices for all WHS clubs, activities, or athletics on that day. If a student leaves school due to illness without approval from the Health Office, all subsequent absences will be unexcused and the student will be held accountable for leaving campus without authorization.
When considering a planned absence, the student needs to take into account the current number of accumulated absences and the potential impact on loss of credit in that course. Any planned absence, including college visitations and family vacations, must be arranged in advance by completing a planned absence form obtained in the Attendance Office, signed by all teachers, and returned to the Attendance Office prior to the absence.
Discretion should be used in planning family vacations; travel should only be scheduled in accordance with school vacations. Extended student vacations have an impact on the student’s education and may negatively influence performance. Please note that teachers are under no obligation to provide missed lessons or give extra help to students who miss class due to extended vacations. When considering absences for the end of the school year, please keep in mind that snow days will result in days being added to the school calendar.
During each marking period, each student’s attendance profile will be monitored by the administration. Students with a pattern of attendance-related concerns may be subject to disciplinary consequences.
The State of Connecticut has adopted the guidelines found above for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of section 10-198a of the Connecticut General Statutes (Policies and procedures concerning truants), and for the purpose of reporting truancy, pursuant to subsection (c) of Section 10-220 of the Connecticut General Statutes. Wilton High School will report truancy in accordance with the provisions to subsection (c) of Section 10-220 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
In order to participate in co-curricular and athletic activities, a student must be in attendance in at least 4 of 7 periods on that same day.
Athletes and their families should be aware of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic eligibility criteria. NCAA eligibility requirements are based on actual credit earned in courses. For example, NCAA Division 1 requires that a student earn 4 credits in English courses in order to be eligible. A student can graduate having passed four years of English courses but the student may have lost credit in one or more of the English courses. Please understand that such credit loss may result in possible athletic ineligibility.
In the case of excused absences, it is the responsibility of the student to communicate promptly with all teachers regarding missed assignments, tests or quizzes, and classwork no later than the day the student returns to school. A grace period of at least one day for each day absent from class shall be given as make-up time for tests, quizzes, and to turn in assignments for each missed class. Students cannot be disadvantaged or penalized for work missed as a result of excused absences, unless the student chooses not to make up the missed work in a timely manner.
If a student knows of any absences in advance (field trips, athletic events, etc.), the student must make arrangements with each teacher to make up work prior to the absence.
In cases of unexcused absences, students may not make up missed assignments, tests, quizzes, or class participation components for credit. As stated previously, class participation will be a factor in the determination of a student's grade at the discretion of the individual teacher.
Cell Phone Use in Classrooms
In an effort to promote student learning and instruction we are enlisting student and parent support in the implementation of our new school wide classroom cell phone policy. We believe in promoting a classroom environment centered on student engagement and optimal learning. To reduce distractions and improve student concentration and engagement, all teachers will be fully restricting student cell phone use in classrooms. Cell phones in class are not merely a distraction to their owners, but also to peers and teachers. All teachers will have a system for students to put their cellphones in a designated area (phone pouches or other designated area) at the beginning of class.
Teachers will, of course, still have the discretion to have students use cell phones for instructional purposes only. Students will still be able to use cell phones outside of class to communicate with their families. Students are still expected to bring their own device in accordance with the BYOD policy.
We have a clear expectation that students and parents will support this policy. In the event that a student is not compliant with the policy we will implement the following interventions:
- Verbal warning
- Teacher confiscates phone until the end of the day and makes phone call home to parent
- Teacher confiscates phone and turns in to office
- Administrator calls home/Assigns four morning detentions/Powerschool entry
- Administrator calls home/Assigns detentions or ISS/Powerschool Entry/Parent needs to come pick phone up at school
Semester examinations are scheduled during the last week of the first semester and final examinations are scheduled during the last week of school. Final examinations must be taken when scheduled except in the case of illness. A grade of F will be recorded for any examination missed.
SENIOR FINAL EXAMINATIONS
As a privilege, seniors who meet the following criteria may be exempt from second semester final exams with teacher permission:
- Student must maintain a B average for the year in a year-long course or a B average for the semester in a semester course.
- Student must maintain a B average for the fourth quarter
- Student must have no credit loss in the course during the second semester
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY
All students are expected to (1) submit their own work for assessments and assignments without unauthorized assistance; (2) cite ideas and writing of others properly; (3) not provide unauthorized assistance to others; (4) represent their accomplishments accurately; and (5) present accurate documents and forms.
Cheating is a violation of the academic integrity policy and will not be tolerated.
Examples of cheating include but are not limited to:
- Copying or allowing someone to copy homework, paper, project, quiz, or test.
- Unauthorized use of electronics during assessments.
- Submitting the same project or paper in two different courses.
- Unauthorized use of notes.
- Collaborating without permission.
- Falsifying document to excuse an absence, a resume.
- Obtaining copies of tests, quizzes, or answer sheets without permission.
- Completing an assignment or writing a paper for someone else.
Plagiarism is the unauthorized use of the language or thoughts of another and the representation of them as one’s own.
Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:
- Word-for-word copying without proper citation.
- Copying and pasting text or information from the Internet or databases without proper citation.
- Knowingly taking others’ ideas and presenting them in your own words without proper citation.
- Falsely citing source information.
If a student is unsure whether his or her work constitutes plagiarism, he or she should consult the teacher.
Acts of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated at Wilton High School. Incidents will result in the following steps:
- Teacher will meet with student to discuss the incident.
- Teacher will notify administration and guidance counselor and contact parent to discuss the incident.
- A written referral to the administration will be made.
- A grade of zero will be assigned and further disciplinary action will be taken.
- If a student is a member of National Honor Society, or other honor societies, the advisor will be notified and further disciplinary action may be taken.