PHILOSOPHY OF ATTENDANCE POLICY
Consistent student attendance for all classes is critical for student achievement and success. The primary responsibility for school attendance rests with the parents and students themselves. The school will assist parents and students in meeting this responsibility.
Students at Hilo High School, regardless of age, will be expected to regularly attend each of their classes. Lectures, class discussions, guided practice, student participation, and teacher follow-up are essential. There is no substitute for the student being in their classroom. Students are responsible and therefore will be held accountable for their absences. If their absences exceed the allowable amount per semester, opportunity will be provided for students to make-up academic class time missed by attending Attendance Cultivates Excellence (ACE) Sessions.
ACE is an academic study opportunity for students to make up lost seat time for each of their respective classes. A policy such as this must be consistent for all students enrolled at Hilo High School. This policy is intended to impress upon all students that school attendance should not be taken lightly, and their diligence in attending classes on time daily will help them achieve more academically. This policy is intended to enhance the attitude that it is difficult for students to be successful if they are not attending their classes regularly.
ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES & PROCEDURES
At the beginning of each of the two (2) semesters of the school year, all students will start with ZERO absences. Each student is allowed five (5) Unexcused Absences, per class, per semester. Absences in excess of the five allowed should be made up, prior to the end of the semester, by attending ACE Sessions.
Upon their 6th and any subsequent absences, students will be encouraged to attend ACE, until the absences that are in excess of 5 are made up or qualifying excuse documentation is received. As a part of our Positive Behavior Support (PBS) system, students with ZERO Unexcused Absences will qualify for a Viking Pride Certificate and be entered in a prize give away. For a student to qualify for a positive award, students must have zero unexcused absences per quarter.
Students will be allowed to make up absences on a one-to-one system, meaning that for EACH class period missed, they can make up that specific period by attending one session of ACE. This means that students have the option to attend ACE to make up each one of their absences, even for the first five (5) absences.
SCHOOL-ATTENDANCE CULTIVATES EXCELLENCE (ACE) CLASSES
ACE Sessions are 60-minutes long and must be completed in its entirety in order for credit for attendance to be given.
- ACE sessions are offered on various Wednesdays (2 sessions) from 1:30-2:30pm and 2:45-3:45pm
- To be admitted to and obtain credit for ACE, students must:
- bring school-related work to do for the entire duration of the session
- show a photo ID (Preferably their HHS Student ID)
- remain silent (no talking)
- Follow all directions given by the ACE Monitor
ACE sessions are held in the Viking cafeteria, unless otherwise stated. Any student arriving tardy will not be allowed admittance. Transportation to and from ACE is the responsibility of the student. While in attendance, all students will sit quietly and complete their respective assignments, or engage in independent reading and/or writing. Generally, talking is not allowed, except during specified times during each session as permitted by the ACE Monitor. Any student who does not follow the established ACE rules while in attendance will be asked to leave, and consequently will not receive credit for attending ACE classes for that day.
Students are strongly encouraged to do two things: (1) Make-up absences as soon as possible; and (2) consider (as a positive option) attending ACE to make-up all absences, thus enabling the student to “zero” out all absences in the event of an untimely illness or absences close to the end of the semester.
A student is not marked absent when he/she is involved in extra-curricular or other school-related activities such as field trips, athletics, etc., provided teachers have been properly notified prior to a scheduled activity. Any absences caused by activities NOT sanctioned and approved by the Department of Education will be considered unexcused absences.
Upon each student absence, an Automated Telephone System will notify parents of the absence on the evening of the absence. Absences in excess of the 5 allowed may be made up by attending ACE. Please make sure that the school registrar’s office, 313-5515, has accurate and updated information regarding home and work phone numbers, as well as addresses.
Please remember that school attendance is the primary responsibility of the student and their parents. We encourage parents to contact the child’s counselor to check on his/her academic progress, as well as attendance status. Any questions or concerns regarding attendance may be addressed to the attendance coordinator.
NATURE OF ABSENCES
The five allowable absences per semester are designed for legitimate situations, which may cause occasional, unpredictable, or untimely absence. These allowable absences are definitely not used for purposely cutting class or being truant in any manner.
Legitimate situations would include, yet, not be restricted to the following examples: a) late transportation; b) normal illness; c) medical, vision, or dental appointments; d) family outings or gatherings, and e) personal or family situations which may prohibit attendance in school for some reason.
The examples just stated would not require any notes from parents as they are valid reasons for an absence but this does not excuse them. Absences will still need to be made up at ACE. As stated above, students will have the opportunity to “zero” out their absences by attending ACE.
All requests to excuse absences must be turned in by the END OF THE QUARTER in which they occur.
There may be situations where a student is under a doctor’s care due to a long-term or chronic illness, sudden serious injury, or other medical conditions, which may cause absences from school. Submit doctor’s notes to our Attendance Coordinator upon return to school.
If a student has a situation where there are extenuating circumstances or reasons affecting regular classroom attendance, this student’s case may be presented before the Attendance Administrator, in written form, to determine whether ACE attendance would be waived or reduced. Case reviews would only take place if the student’s attendance situation is deemed unique and extenuating.