Although students enrolled in ACT Academy have no physical classrooms, they must still meet all regulatory requirements for attending public school in Pennsylvania. Parents/guardians and students are responsible for ensuring that students meet the attendance requirements and that a student’s attendance is properly documented. Although there is more flexibility in the ACT Academy program than in a traditional school regarding when instruction occurs, students are still expected to follow the school calendar.
School authorities are responsible for enforcing attendance laws, and students not attending school as mandated by law will be considered truant.
Types of Absences
Reasons for excused absences may include but are not limited to the following:
- Health problems: Students are unable to participate in school work due to physical or mental health problems. If a student misses more than three (3) consecutive school days, the Caretaker must send a written note or Webmail message to the student’s teacher(s) documenting the health issue. The school may also require a doctor’s note for absences of more than three consecutive days.
- Other excused absences: Examples of other reasons for excused absences include a family illness that requires the absence of the student; a death in the immediate family; religious holidays; family trips that can be taken only during the normal school calendar year; court appearances requiring the student’s attendance; attendance at special events of educational value that have been approved by a teacher, and other special circumstances that show good cause, have been approved in advance by the school’s leader, and for which the family provides appropriate documentation if required by the school.
Unexcused absences: Absences that are not approved by the school will be considered unexcused. In some states, students may be withdrawn from school for truancy if they have excessive unexcused absences. If a family is requesting an “excused absence” for any reason, the family may be required to submit a doctor’s note or other documentation supporting the request for an excused absence for the student.
Students who fail meet legal attendance requirements, including reported attendance, required contact with teachers, submission of assessments, and documentation of lesson completion may be considered truant, and the school may institute truancy proceedings, or otherwise report the student to the appropriate authorities, as is consistent with state law.