Parents: Attendance Policy

This information is from the 2005-2006 Boston Public Schools Policy Handbook.

In addition to the requirements for courses, products, and tests, students must meet state school attendance laws and these BPS requirements:

  1. A student must attend school for at least a half-day to be marked "present." Check with the principal or headmaster to find out what a half-day is. In most schools, it is:
    • 3 hours in elementary school
    • 3 hours and 5 minutes in middle school
    • 3 hours and 10 minutes in high school
  2. Any student with more than three unexcused absences in a marking term (or four unexcused absences in schools with three marking terms), or more than twelve unexcused absences for the year, will receive a grade of "NC" (no credit) if the student otherwise earned a passing grade. If the student has not earned a passing grade, he or she will receive an "F."
  3. If a student receives an "NC" for one or more marking terms, but does not exceed twelve unexcused absences for the year, the "NC" will be converted at the end of the school year to the grade the student would have otherwise received.
  4. A student may change an "NC" for the year to a letter grade, and earn credit for the course, by passing the final exam at the end of the year or during summer school.

Excused and Unexcused Absences
Students must bring in a note after each day they are absent. The note must include the date absent, the reason for the absence, a phone number where a parent or guardian can be reached, and the parent or guardian's signature.

Students will be given the opportunity to make up work for excused absences. Excused absences may include:

  • a doctor, school nurse, or parent-verified illness or injury that prevents the student from attending school
  • court appearances
  • a death in the immediate family or other significant personal or family crisis court appearances
  • religious holy days
  • medical or psychological tests during the school day. The parent must show evidence (such as a note from the health center) that the tests could not be scheduled after school.
  • visits to special education schools in some cases for students with disabilities
  • other extraordinary situations approved by the School Site Council.

For more information, please visit the BPS web site.