Consistent attendance is a prerequisite for assuring the academic, social, and emotional growth of students. In addition, regular and punctual attendance is important to the development of responsible and effective work/study habits as well as a demonstration that students are assuming responsibility for their own learning. Per state law, families will be notified when a student has reached five (5) cumulative absences regardless of reason; letters are then sent at 10, 15 and 20 absences. At 10, 15 and 20 absences, meetings may take place with an administrator.
Excused Absences and Early Dismissals
A parent/guardian needs to call the House Office any time before 9:30 a.m. on the day of the absence. Early dismissal notiifaction should occur at least one (1) hour before the dismissal. Messages may be left on voicemail if the call is made before 7:30 a.m. House numbers are listed below:
Chittenden House: Cyndi Labelle – 482-7130
Fairbanks House: Heather Walpole – 482-7140
Nichols House: Pam Gover – 482-7160
Snelling House: Julie Bevins – 482-7150
Excused Absences – Technical Centers When a full-time Tech Center student is absent, a parent/guardian is responsible for calling the technical center and notifying them. Parent/guardian of ½ day tech center students need to call the House Office at CVU and the technical center.
Late Arrivals - Students who arrive after classes started need to check into their House Office and get a pass into class. Students need a note or a telephone call from their parent/guardian to the House Office on the day of the late arrival or it may be considered an unexcused absence.
Leaving School Before the End of Classes - Students may leave campus after their last class. If a student chooses to leave after his/her last class, he/she may not return to the school during the school day, including to ride the school bus. However, students may return for extracurricular activities. It is expected that each student will remain on school property until he/she completes his/her school day. Students must check out through their House Office and provide parent/guardian permission to leave school before their classes end.
If students are unable to complete the school day because of illness or an emergency, they must check into either the House Office or the Nurses’ Office to make arrangements for parent/guardian to be called. Students should never leave the school without permission and will face disciplinary action. In addition, students who violate this procedure risk loss of Senior Privileges during their senior year.
Senior Privileges - During their last year at CVU, seniors may earn “senior privileges.” The class may submit a proposal for Senior Privileges to the School Board. The process for determining which privileges are earned/granted involves discussion and negotiation between the class and the administration. Final approval for senior privileges rests with the School Board.
Illness - A registered nurse is on duty to provide help in the event of illness during the school day. If a student needs to go home, a parent/guardian or the emergency contact name will be notified. In the event that the nurse is not available and no one is available by phone, the House Director can give the student permission to leave school. All students must receive authorization from either the nurse or an administrator before leaving school grounds. In cases of emergency, St. Michael’s Ambulance and Hinesburg Rescue provide care and transportation. The school is not financially responsible for costs associated with accidents occurring in school.
Unexcused Absences from Class - Students who are reported absent from class without a prior excuse will be notified in Advisory and must report to the House Administrative Assistant to clarify the reason for the absence. Upon determination that a student was absent without an acceptable excuse, a student meets with a House Director to review and then may go through the appeal process.
If the student decides to appeal, s/he is required to carry out the following steps:
- Develop a letter which includes:
- Why the student cut class
- Why the student wants to continue in the class
- The plan for continued attendance and participation
- In a similar situation what would the student do differently
- The student must take the letter to the House Administrative Assistant and teacher(s) involved.
- The House Administrative Assistant will schedule a meeting with the Director, Teacher(s), Parent/Guardian, and Student.
It is important to note that students unexcused from any class after they have had an unexcused absence are not guaranteed a second appeal.
If the student’s appeal is approved, s/he is reinstated. If rejected, the student is withdrawn. A grade of “W” will be placed on the student’s transcript. The student may further appeal the decision in accordance with the school’s due process provisions.
Students dropped from more than one course because of poor attendance may have their schedules changed and be required to leave school immediately after their last class. Transportation in such cases is the responsibility of the student.
Attendance on Special Activity Days - From time to time, special activity days or half-days are scheduled. These events are considered to be an important part of the educational experience available to students at CVU. Attendance on these days is required, and the attendance policies regarding excused absences are applicable to these special activities days. If at any time you have questions concerning a special event, please call your House Office.
Notification to parent/guardian of Attendance Problems - If a student is marked absent during Advisory at 9:45 a.m. and the parent/guardian has not called the House Office to report that absence, the House Administrative Assistant will make every effort to contact the parent/guardian with this information. Also, the school will notify the parent/guardian by letter if the student has missed 5, 10, 15 or 20 or more days of school; these letters are sent per Vermont’s truancy statute and are sent by all schools in the CSSU district. Additionally, counselors, teachers and administrators may request a parent/guardian conference if they feel a student’s attendance in school is affecting academic performance.
Requests for Extended Absence from School - Parents/guardians need to notify their son/daughter’s House Office in advance of any planned absences which will extend into school days. Students need to pick up and fill out an Extended Absence form from their House Office. To complete the form, students must obtain parent/guardian, teacher, and House Director signatures indicating an understanding of extended leave arrangements. Students should return the completed forms to their House Offices. Due to the impact of extended absences on student learning, we strongly encourage vacations align with scheduled school vacations. Students assume full responsibility for meeting with teachers before leaving and upon returning to school from an absence to make arrangements for the completion of their assignments. Unfortunately, many class activities cannot be duplicated, such as class discussions, lectures, presentations, labs, speakers, films, trips, or demonstrations. Students are expected and accountable to make up any work/assessments that is possible to be made in the class.
School Work Requests - Parents/guardians may call the House Office to request school work when they know that their child will be out of school for several days. Teachers may need some lead time to comply with these requests, so parents/guardians are encouraged to call as early as possible. Many teachers post assignments on Moodle.
18-Year-Old Students - Students who are 18 years of age may choose to assume full responsibility for their schooling by completing the appropriate forms and returning them to their House Office. In these cases, students assume the responsibility for their attendance and follow the school’s guidelines for absences from school. In the case of a conflict over an absence, the school reserves the right to make final decisions regarding excused and unexcused absences.
Students who request “18-year-old papers” from their House Office Administrative Assistant receive the following letter of explanation: According to the laws of the State of Vermont, you have requested to assume total responsibility for all of your actions at CVU and receive all communications from the school. As per school policy, you are permitted to sign your own permission slips for participation in field trips or other school activities, may call in your own absence and sign late notes, but parent/guardian will be notified of absences and tardy incidents for their 18-year-old children on the same basis as other students, unless communications from the school are limited to the student only in accord with school policy.
Students who are 18 years old or older may request in a manner designated by the superintendent that communications to their parent/guardian be provided to them as well. In addition, students who are 18 years old may request in a manner designated by the superintendent that all communications from the school be made to them and not to their parent/guardian . These requests will be granted by the superintendent or his or her designee only when the student’s responsible parent/guardian agree in writing or when the students shows that he or she is not a dependent student as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
In keeping this in mind, CVU reminds students of the following things:
- Attendance is now your responsibility. ALL absences MUST be called in on the day of the absence, according to CVU’s attendance policy (between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.).
- Any early dismissal must also be given to your House Office between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
- The school rules require that you be removed from a course WITHOUT CREDIT in the event of an unexcused absence. This could mean you might not graduate.