DCPS & Cluster Tardy Policy and Procedures
At The Cluster we strive for excellence in all areas. Being on time and prepared for the day is one of the key elements needed for children to succeed in their studies. A child cannot succeed if they are not in class. Attendance is vital for both In Bounds and Out of Bounds children however; DCPS has invoked the new ruling for Out of Boundary children. Please note: 10 unexcused absences and 20 unexcused tardies can result in the student being sent back to their neighborhood school at the end of the school year. Excused absences and tardies are outlined in the D.C. Municipal Regulations, Chapter 21 to include illness with doctor note, medical/dental appointments, death in the family, court proceedings, contagious disease, religious holiday, DCPS transportation issues or facility closings. Extended travel is not an unexcused absence.
School starts at 8:45 am, and the cafeteria doors open at 8:00 am for scholars to receive breakfast. The staff on duty send scholars to class starting at 8:40 am. After the bell rings at 8:45 am scholars are tardy. When your child arrives after 8:45 am, scholars are marked tardy and must get a pass to enter class. We are concerned about tardies and absences as we know that being present in class is imperative in order for all scholars to succeed.
Please see the CHCS Staff Handbook for primary student and staff attendance policies and expectations.
Student Attendance Protocols
Students are required to be seated in their Advisory class by 8:45 AM. Students are expected to attend school every day unless there is a legitimate absence documented with a parent note. Each student must present a written verification form from their parent/guardian and provide to Ms. Parker regarding the cause of an absence upon returning to school.
Students are required to provide Ms. Parker with an absence note upon a student’s return to class. Students should not provide teachers with a note from the parent. Any communication regarding a student’s absence should be sent directly to Ms. Parker in the Main Office. DCPS policy provides the following reasons for a student’s excused absence:
• Illness of the student
• Student medical appointment
• Death in the student’s immediate family
• Necessity for a student to attend a judicial proceeding as a plaintiff, defender, witness, or juror
• Observance of religious holiday
• Lawful suspension or expulsion from school by school authorities
• Temporary closing of facilities due to severe weather, official activities, holidays, etc.
Chronic absences, truancy or tardiness are serious problems and undermine a student’s ability to meet SHMS expectations and standards. Students with chronic unexcused attendance should expect the school to take disciplinary action.