Goethe
International Charter School

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Attendance

Please report an absence here.

While attendance is important, keeping sick children home is more so. Student body and staff need to remain healthy. See below for relevant excerpts from our school family handbook.

ATTENDANCE POLICIES

Academic progress is dependent on regular attendance that is expected of all GICS students. GICS is required to maintain and report daily attendance for all students. These reports, or the school’s Average Daily Attendance (ADA) then form the basis for the majority of the school’s public funding. Each absence affects the school’s bottom line financially.

California Education Code Sections 46010, 46014 and 48205 identify the acceptable reasons for excused absences as:
- Illness

- Medical or dental appointments
- Funerals in the family (1 day if in California, 3 days if outside California)
- Religious holidays
- The quarantine of the family by health officials
- Necessary court appearances

All other absences are considered 'unexcused' as a matter of state law. As an international school that welcomes families from all over the world, we understand that many of our families travel out of the country from time to time. In order to meet our obligations for providing the required number of instructional minutes to students each year, we expect that families will plan their travel and other scheduled absences for school holidays and vacations. 
 
If your child has been diagnosed with a contagious disease or infestation (e.g., strep throat, head lice or chicken pox), please notify the office. If your child is not well prior to the beginning of the school day, you are requested to keep the child at home. You are responsible for assisting your child in making up schoolwork that was missed. Independent Studies can be utilized when a child will be out for sickness, even for one day.
 
Please email attendance@goethecharterschool.org or call the school office by 8:30 a.m. to report an absence, and send a note explaining an absence when your child returns to school. In cases of a student’s irregular attendance, the office may require a doctor’s note to verify illness resulting in absences of three or more consecutive days. There are 10 days to clear an absence or tardy; otherwise, after the 10 days, even with a valid excuse, the tardy or absence will stay marked as unexcused.
 
Consequences of Unexcused Absences and Tardiness
By signing the School/Home Agreement with your student’s enrollment, you agree to comply with GICS attendance policies to include unexcused absences and tardiness. Failure to comply with the school’s attendance policies will result in a meeting with the Executive Director. Further action may be necessary if attendance, to include excessive tardiness, does not improve.

Tardiness
Students are expected to arrive between 7:50 a.m. and 8:10 a.m. each day. Classes begin promptly at 8:15 a.m. Tardiness is disruptive to the class and places a burden on the student and on his/her peers and teacher, and creates an administrative burden for staff. As a public charter school, GICS is required by law to provide a certain number of instructional minutes each year which are carefully calculated and do not include lunch or recess. 
 
If a child arrives after the morning valet drop-off gate has locked at 8:15 a.m., an adult must park their car and walk the child to the GICS office and obtain a tardy slip from the office administrator. This is important for the accurate recording of attendance. Children may not enter the campus themselves when tardy. Even if a student walks onto campus before 8:15, they still may be considered tardy, if they are not in their class by 8:15. If a student arrives at 8:15 or later, they will be sent back to the attendance office to receive a tardy pass.
 
Notification of Tardiness
  7    days - Letter home
14    days - Letter home/ referral to Assistant Principal for parent meeting by phone or in person
21    days - Letter home/ referral to Assistant Principal for in-person meeting with parent and child
25+ days - Letter home/ In-person meeting of parent with Executive Director and Assistant Principal/
Enrollment review

Truancy
Truancy negatively impacts our students, families, schools, and communities. Poor attendance at all grade levels, including kindergarten, directly impedes academic performance. Additionally, poor attendance is one of the strongest early predictors of student dropout. California Education Code (E.C.) section 48200 states that each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years shall attend school for the full length of the school day.
 
E.C. section 48260 defines truancy as Absence from school without a valid excuse; three full days in one school year, or tardy for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof.
 
E.C. section 48260 also mandates that school districts notify a pupil’s parent/guardian upon a pupil’s initial classification as a truant. Uncleared absences and absences for which a valid excuse was not provided will be counted toward truancy classification. School policy requires that any tardy and absence be cleared within ten school days.
 
Notification of Truancy
1st Notification
A student/parent must be notified when they have accrued three (3) truancy events.
- Letter #1 sent to parents by regular mail
 
2nd Notification
A student/parent must be notified a second time once they have accrued at least six (6) truancy events.
- Letter #2 sent to parents by regular mail
- Parent conference with Assistant Principal to develop plan to resolve attendance issues
- GICS Parent Student Handbook given to parent on Attendance Policy
 
3rd Notification
A student/parent must be notified a third time once they have accrued a nine (9) truancy events.
- Letter #3 sent to parents by regular mail
- Student is identified as Habitual Truant
- Conference with parent(s), Assistant Principal, Executive Director and possibly student, and/or teacher to discuss further resolution and/or other appropriate action
- Enrollment review
 
Extended Absences

A physician must verify all extended absences for illness. It is important to note that our unique curriculum and dual language model make regular and consistent attendance at school imperative for students to progress.

If there is not a legitimate excuse for extended absences of five days in a row, or the school office is unable to contact you to confirm the reason for these absences, your child may lose his/her space at GICS and be withdrawn from school. Once your child is withdrawn, there is no guarantee that your child will be re-enrolled. An appropriate explanation of the child’s absence is necessary in order for the child to be considered for re-enrollment.

Independent Study
The Goethe International Charter School (“School”) Board of Trustees authorizes independent study as an optional alternative instructional strategy for students who will be absent from school for one or more days. Independent study entails a commitment by both the parent/guardian and the student. Requests for Independent Study are made in advance. The Executive Director or designee determines that the prospective independent study student understands and is prepared to meet the School’s requirements for independent study. The Executive Director or designee shall ensure that a written independent study agreement exists for each participating student. The students and the student’s parent/guardian shall sign each written agreement, prior to the commencement of independent study.

The independent study by each student shall be coordinated and evaluated by a credentialed employee of the School. The duration of the independent study agreement shall include the beginning and ending dates for the student’s participation in independent study. No independent study agreement shall be valid for a period longer than one semester.

When any student fails to complete an independent study assignment, the Executive Director or designee shall conduct an evaluation to determine whether it is in the student’s best interest to receive any additional independent study agreements for the remainder of the school year.