Attendance Policy

The administration and faculty of Mohawk Area Junior-Senior High School, after observing the high rate of student absence from school, has developed and approved the following attendance policy. It is the belief of the professional staff that improved attendance will significantly increase learning for the students, in addition to promoting desirable habits that will benefit the student in future schoolwork-related activities.


A. The Following Reasons for Absence are Valid:

  • 1. Illness (Be specific).
  • 2. Quarantine.
  • 3. Serious illness or death in the immediate family with a note or phone verification.
  • 4. Emergency medical or dental attention or appointment with verification provided to the office.
  • 5. Educational trips and vacations, approved by the Principal's office.
  • 6. Absence approved in advance with the principal. No trip will be approved during the first two weeks or last two weeks of school or during PSSA testing.
  • · District will permit up to 5 days for an education trip, or
  • · District will permit up to 5 days to work on the family farm. (Major portion of the family income must be derived from the farm). Farm must consist of 20 or more acres.
    • 7. Authorized religious holidays.
    • 8. School sponsored trips.


B. The following Reasons are Illegal and Unexcused in Accordance with the Pennsylvania State Attendance Laws:

1. Truancy.

Truancy: Unexcused absence from compulsory school attendance. Truancy includes non-attendance of part or all of homeroom, core academic classes, study hall or other school assignments without permission.

Habitually Truant: Unexcused absence for more than three (3) school days or the equivalent, following the first notice of an unexcused absence given by school staff. The fourth unexcused absence would be considered habitual. All absences should be treated as unlawful until the school district receives a written excuse explaining the reason(s) for an absence.

Parents/guardians and students should submit the written explanation within three calendar days of the absence. An unexcused absence is defined by school policy and occurs when no written notification by a parent/guardian is provided to the school.

  • 1. A student that is found to be truant from school will receive a three day In/Out-School Suspension for each day truant. Subsequent truancy will result in suspensions of five and ten days accordingly.
  • 2. A student who is determined to be truant will receive a grade of zero on any work required on that particular day, and will not be permitted to make up the work.
  • 2. Missing the bus -Students are to be at the bus stop five minutes prior to scheduled pickup time.
  • 3. Trips not approved in advance.
  • 4. Farm work not approved in advance.
  • 5. Shopping.
  • 6. Hunting, fishing, attending ball games or sporting events.
  • 7. Birthdays or other celebrations.
  • 8. Gainful employment.
  • 9. Any other reason not listed in the legal excuse grouping.


C. Class attendance and participation is a vital part of a student's education. You cannot learn if you are not here and involved in the class. Excessive absenteeism may result in a lower or failing grade as determined by the classroom teacher.


D. Students who exhibit excessive absenteeism without just cause as determined by the Home and School Visitor or Administration may be placed on a ""Doctor's Only" restriction. If placed on "Doctor's Only," the student will be required to provide a medical excuse with all subsequent absences until such time they are removed from the restriction.


For all absences, the parent or guardian must provide a written excuse the day after the student's return to school. If an excuse is not provided for the day(s) in question, it will be determined that the absence(s) was unlawful and unexcused. Excuses indicated as "personal" will not be accepted. Finally, students are not permitted to write their own excuses regardless of age.


      • E. When a student accumulates three unlawful absences, a first offense notice may be sent to the parent/guardian. Commencing with the fourth unlawful absence, charges of Violating the Compulsory Attendance Law, may be filed against the parents/guardians and/or the student with the Local Magistrate's office. Once a '"first notice" is sent in regard to a student, this will carry over to subsequent school years.



A student shall not be considered absent from class when an absence is due to school-approved meetings (ex.: clubs, field trips, sports events) or disciplinary suspensions.


Students who are moving mid-year and expect semester credit are required to fulfill semester course requirements.


Field Trips

Attendance will be part of the evaluation of permission to attend field trips! Approvals for field trips need to have prior approval (3 days in advance).



Part of a student's educational program is to develop habits and skills that will help the student during his life. Tardiness is considered a very bad habit by most employers, colleges, Vo Tech, etc.

  • 1. Valid or excused tardies:
    • · Medical/doctor appointment (with verification) Funeral of a family member/relative.
    • · Church related with prior approval.
    • · Weather factors as determined by the administration.
    • · The validity of any other excuse will be determined by the administration.
    • · All other tardies will be unexcused.
  • 2. All tardies require a written excuse. A tardy will be considered to be unlawful if an excuse is not brought in.
  • 3. Students arriving between 7:50 and 10:21 am are considered tardy to school.
  • 4. If a student arrives after 10:21 am or 3rd period he/she is absent 1/2 day.
  • 5. If student arrives after 1:00 PM he/she is absent a full day.
  • 6. Students arriving between 10:21 and 1:00 p.m. will be required to produce an official school excuse for 1/2 day absence.
  • 7. Missing the bus, car problems, oversleeping and unexcused personal reasons will not be accepted as legitimate reasons for being tardy
  • 8. In order to be eligible to participate in extra curricular activities, including all athletics; students must be in school and in class no later than 9:00 a.m. This includes both practices and games. Any deviation from the police must have prior approval from the administration.
9. A reason given as "personal" is not acceptable and will be unexcused.
Note: An accumulation of unlawful tardies may result in fines through the district magistrate.



A student is late to class when they are not in their assigned classroom or lunch when the bell rings. All lates to class, including lunch will be reported to the office on a daily basis.

After the third late, (cumulative of all classes and lunch) the student will be given a warning by the Principal. The fourth, fifth and sixth late will result in Saturday detention. If a student continues to be tardy, further disciplinary action will be taken.



  • 1. In order for a student to be dismissed early they must present a written request from home stating the time and purpose for the early dismissal. A phone number must accompany the note for verification by the administration.
  • 2. The parent/guardian must come into the office and sign the student out unless the student drove to school.
  • 3. Leaving school for any reason other than an emergency, becoming ill while in school, a medical appointment, or a funeral will be considered unlawful.
  • 4. Those students excused for a medical appointment must bring/present to the office verification of their appointment.
  • 5. Forging or attempting to use any excuse determined to be illegal will result in disciplinary action.
  • 6. The only legitimate reasons for leaving school early are medical/doctor appointments, a funeral, ill as documented by the school nurse, or church related. Any other reason is unexcused and you will receive a zero for classes missed.
7. A student leaving school early due to illness is not permitted to return and participate in any activity whatsoever. This includes all athletic participation.
If you are placed on the restricted list, the following guidelines will be enforced:

1. You must be on time for HR/classes

2. You are not permitted to leave supervision, this includes:

  • a. No hall passes, other than from the office
  • b. No restroom privileges
  • c. No nurse passes

3. You are not permitted to attend activity periods.

4. Students may receive prior approval from administration.

Violation of any of the above will result in disciplinary action as deemed appropriate by the Principal.