Attendance Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does PFMS have a "Safe Arrival" program similar to the elementary schools?
Yes. If your child is sick, you may call 272-8553 . Your call will link to our answering machine. Please leave a message similar to this: My daughter, Suzi Smith will be home sick today (insert date). She is in 8th grade and on the Black Bears team.
2. My child needs to leave early for a dental appointment. How can I notify the school?
Please send a note, with a parent/guardian signature, to school with your child (or directly to the Attendance Secretary via Email). The note should contain your child's first and last names, grade team, and the time that you would like to pick them up at the school. Notes should be brought/sent to the Main Office before classes begin. The office staff will keep the note and give your child a yellow "Early Dismissal Pass" that they can show to the classroom teacher when it is time to leave. Your child will then be waiting in the main office for you.
**The Attendance Secretary will be accepting emails from approved parent accounts as written excuse notes for the duration of the COVID-19 Protocol period.
3. Today, my child will be arriving late to school because of a doctor's appointment. Do I need to come into the office to sign my child into school?
Many medical offices generate a note saying that your child attended an appointment. Please ask for one. If your child has a doctor's note, or a written excuse note from a parent/guardian, you do not need to come into the office to sign your child in.
**The Attendance Secretary will be accepting emails from approved parent accounts as written excuse notes for the duration of the COVID-19 Protocol period. Medical staff may continue to fax us if they prefer.
4. My child was absent yesterday. I called "Safe Arrival" and reported her absent. Do I need to send in an excuse note?
Yes. The state requires a written excuse note, signed by a parent/guardian, for each time that your child is absent. These must be turned in within 72 hours in order to be considered Excused.
**The Attendance Secretary will be accepting emails from approved parent accounts a written excuse notes for the duration of the COVID-19 Protocol period. The three day window for excuse notes has also been expanded to five days during this time.
5. What is considered an Excused Absence?
The following are considered Excused Absences:
Death in Family
Illness (specify reason)
Medical or Dental Appointment (doctor's note should be provided)
Family Emergency (at discretion of administrators)
Other Urgent Reasons (at discretion of administrators)
**Isolation Conditions (due to positive test results, confirmed exposure, or doctor's order - a doctor's note or similar should be provided)6. What is considered an Unexcused Absence?The following are considered Unexcused Absences:Attendance at non-school sponsored sporting eventsPersonal ReasonsHair AppointmentsFishing, Hunting, Shopping, Etc.Missing the School BusTrips Not Approved in AdvanceTransportation Issues (if the student has a bus assignment)**Quarantine Conditions (due to recent travel or pending test results - students are expected to attend remotely instead, and a parent note should be provided)7. Our family will be traveling out of state to visit relatives. How do I request an Educational Trip form for my child?Please fill out an Educational Trip Form, and submit it to the office. Please allow two weeks for the trip to be approved.The form should list the days that you are requesting to be considered as an educational trip, as well as an explanation of the trip. The form should also include your child's first and last name as well as grade and team name. If the absence is approved, and will be longer than 2 days, the office staff will provide an assignment form to your child - who will be responsible for collecting any work from their teachers before departing.**Students returning from locations under COVID-19 Travel Advisories may need to quarantine and attend remotely as recommended by the CDC/State Dept. of Health
8. My child is scheduled to be physically in school today, but is not feeling well. What are my options?
The first and often best option is to keep your child home and have them attend remotely for the day. You or your student should email all of the teachers they will have that day (including study hall teachers!), and let them know to look for your child remotely instead of in their seat. Attendance will be recorded each period as if it were a normal remote day for them.
The second option is to keep your child home for the day, and email a doctor's or parent/guardian's note to the Attendance Secretary. If you are excusing your child from school, they will NOT be expected to attend remotely, and that day will count toward the 10-day limit of parent excuses per year.
The third option is to keep your child home for the time being, and drop them off at the school later in the day. This will be the same proceedure as usual (see question 3 above), and will require a note to excuse the student from any school time that they miss. PLEASE DO NOT send your child into school if they are sick. They may attend remotely, and you may send in an excuse note for any classes they miss.
9. My student is supposed to be learning remotely, but we are having technical issues. Do I need to send in a note?
For any technical issues on the school's part, all students will be automatically excused. If, for instance, the school's internet drops or a teacher cannot properly boot up their classroom, all affected students would be excused.
For technical issues on the student side, absences will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If, for instance, a student forgets to charge their Chromebook overnight or struggles to activate a classroom link, you should send in an excuse note in the following days explaining the problems the student encountered and which classes they missed.In either case, the IT Helpdesk (814-231-7743) should be able to help you in identifying the problem and getting back into the classroom. We're well aware of how prevalent technical issues can be, and our main focus is on resolving them in order to return students to their classes.
For any other questions, please feel free to call the main office number: 237-5301.