SCASD Implementation PDE Compulsory Attendance LawsSCASD’s Commitment:
Our district has active Instructional Support Teams from kindergarten through fifth grades, active Student Assistance Teams from sixth through twelfth grades, a Home School Visitor, and a Family Outreach specialist in addition to school counselors and school psychologists assigned to every building. With these services, in addition to classroom teachers, specialists, support staff and your support, we all share a common goal to ensure that your child reaches their full potential.
Regular attendance at school is an important part of every student’s success and is necessary in order to gain the greatest benefit from the educational experience. Students who are frequently absent from school will miss valuable instruction and regular contact with their teachers. When absences accumulate, it may ultimately result in academic difficulty for students.
The State College Area School District considers the following conditions to constitute reasonable cause for absence from school:
Recovery from accident
Required court attendance
Death in family
Family educational trips
Educational tours and trips
Note: Religious exemption: Upon written request by a parent/guardian, an absence occasioned by observance of a student's religion on a day approved by the Principal or Principal Designee as a religious holiday shall be excused. A penalty shall not be attached to an absence for a religious holiday.
Our District has an obligation to you and to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to support your child’s regular attendance at school. SCASD Policy 204 in accordance with the PDE Compulsory Attendance law, requires the following processes be followed for all school age students from the time the child enters school until the age of seventeen years:
All student absences are counted as unexcused/unlawful until your child’s school receives a written excuse explaining the reason for the absence.
If a written (parental or medical) excuse is not received at your child’s school within three days, the absence will permanently be added to the student’s file as unexcused/unlawful.
If your child accumulates three days, or the equivalent, of unlawful absences, SCASD will notify you by mail of a 1st offense along with the legal consequences of continual unexcused/unlawful absences.
If you child has four days, or the equivalent, of unexcused/unlawful absences, you will be notified of a school attendance improvement plan meeting.
- If your have received a 1st offense letter and a school attendance improvement plan meeting has occurred, a 2nd offense will be filed with the magisterial district judge for any additional absences.
PA House Bill 1907 defines “habitually truant” as 6 unexcused/unlawful days or their equivalent, if your child accumulates 6 days of unexcused/unlawful absences or the equivalent, the district must do the following:
Notify Children and Youth services and
Notify the magisterial district judge on a weekly basis.
- In addition, any absences of ten cumulative days, or the equivalent, will require a written excuse that indicates that your child was seen by a doctor or medical practitioner.
We appreciate your attention to these procedures and that extenuating circumstances may require special considerations. Please do not hesitate to call your building principals, your child's school counselor or the District's Home and School Visitor at 814-272-8225 so that we may work together to ensure your child’s educational success.