Here are some keys to understanding student attendance in NYC schools:
Attendance is a required, legal record.
A student who is not in school for at least one class period must be marked absent, even if the absence is "excused."
• Families . . . check attendance on report cards, ask the school for attendance records, or follow attendance on your NYC Schools account .
• Schools . . . keep accurate attendance, with routines for collecting, checking and updating data.
An excused absence is still an absence in the student’s record.
Schools explain how and when an absence is excused (for example, illness, injury or religious reasons) and what families do when a student misses school. We ask schools not to count excused absences for school awards or to allow students to participate in school activities. The Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) has a 90 percent attendance requirement that does not count excused absences.
• Families . . . ask about school policies for absences, plan vacations and trips when school is not in session, and keep students on track with take-home and make-up work.
• Schools . . . publish school attendance policies, including rules for excused absences, late arrivals, leaving early, and vacations.
Every school must contact the family after every absent.
Parents must provide a reason for absences. Schools will reach out to learn more about why a student misses school and how to help. This outreach is required when a student misses ten days in a row, and when students in PK-grade 8 miss any 20 days. Schools must have up-to-date phone numbers and addresses so they can reach families.
• Families . . . ask schools how and when they notify you of absences and make sure your phone numbers on your NYC Schools account and on Blue Cards are correct. Follow school policies when your student has to miss school.
• Schools . . . tell families how and when they will be contacted about absences. Check and up-date family phone numbers and addresses.
There is no required attendance rate for promotion or graduation.
Students cannot fail a class or not be promoted because of their attendance, but attendance may affect grades. Students who meet class expectations must receive credit and are not required to make up the exact hours of missed class time.
• Families . . . ask schools about grading policies and requirements to make up class work if students miss school.
• Schools . . . make sure students and families know grading and promotion policies, and have plans for make-up classwork.
Attendance records cannot be changed after the end of the current school year.
Attendance records in the electronic system cannot be changed after the middle of July. Inaccurate attendance and lateness records may be amended, in the form of a letter to the student's file.
• Families . . . check student attendance on report cards or track attendance on your NYC Schools account and contact the school if you disagree.
• Schools . . . keep correct attendance, with routines for collecting, checking and updating data.
Schools must have policies and rules for students who come to school late or leave early.
Schools may keep students who are late or cut class out of school activities or communal lunchtime, but a late student cannot be kept out of class. A student who is in school for at least one class period cannot be marked absent. Daily attendance records may not reflect attendance for a full day. Records of coming late, leaving early and period/class attendance are vital to an effective school attendance plan.
• Families . . . ask about what to do when your student is late, leaves early, or cuts class and the consequences—even if the student’s attendance is good.
• Schools . . . know when students come late, leave early or cut class to develop strategies to improve schoolwide and student attendance.
A compulsory-aged student cannot be transferred or discharged because of absences.
Students who travel out of the country, are hospitalized or in treatment, or who are at home for family or medical reasons are all absent. Schools and families work together to keep up with class work and transition back to school. Students above compulsory school age who are not going to school may be discharged with the consent of their families through the Planning Interview process. In some limited circumstances, schools may initiate a transfer of a student (see Chancellor's Regulation A-101 , Section I.A.18).
• Families . . . prepare for planned absences with the school (or tutors at some treatment sites). Ask about program changes at the school. Learn about options and alternate schools and programs: .
• Schools . . . know when students are absent and prepare academic plans for all non-attending students.
Chancellor's Regulation A-210 regarding Standards for School Attendance Programs
Chancellor's Regulation A-501 regarding Promotion Standards
Schools, Superintendents and Field Support Centers
Visit the Principals' Portal Attendance Pages for additional tools and guides.