When a student is absent from school, parents/guardians are responsible for notifying the school on the day of the absence by calling the school office or absence reporting line and providing the following information:
Return phone number
Reason for the absence
Contact information can be found on each school webpage.
FRPS recognizes that students will, at times, have legitimate reasons to be absent. These reasons are referred to as excused absences and include the following:
Student illness or injury with a valid doctor’s note specifying the dates to be excused Note: Well visits should be scheduled after school hours, or at the beginning or end of a school day so students can still be in school for as much of the school day as is possible.
Death in the immediate family (parental note required)
Religious holidays as determined by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) (parental note required)
Court summons (student’s name must appear on the summons)
Truancy is a term that generally refers to unexcused absences. When students miss school without an excuse, skip school, and violate mandatory attendance requirements, that is truancy. One of the keys to academic achievement is good attendance. Regular participation in school and school-based activities is important for making a successful transition from youth to adulthood. Often, truancy is an indicator that a student may be experiencing stress or other difficulties in their life. The Supervisor of Attendance is required to investigate truant students.
Chronic absenteeism is a measure of how much school a student misses for any reason, excused, unexcused and suspensions. It is a broader measure than truancy, which only tracks unexcused absences. Starting in the early grades, chronic absences can reach remarkably high levels.
Chronic absenteeism has been shown to have a negative impact on a student's’ academic, social and emotional outcomes. In addition, it not only has a damaging effect on those students missing excessive school days, but also has the potential to reduce outcomes for other classmates.
Each school has an attendance team comprised of attendance officers, administrators, counselors, social workers and nurses who meet regularly to review attendance data. Interventions consist of a phone call, email, letter, conference or home visit with the parent/guardian. In more serious cases, the matter may be referred to the Supervisor of Attendance. The Supervisor of Attendance is required by law to investigate all cases where a child in the district fails to attend school and has the power to apprehend and take to school any child who is truant.
FRPS is committed to track attendance daily and communicate with you to understand why, and to identify barriers. Staff can provide support to overcome challenges you may face in helping your student attend school daily and on time. Please contact your school's office staff and they will direct you to the appropriate person to help support you.