Attendance Policy

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Call the Attendance Hotline: (973) 833-8210


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Mountain Lakes High School



Maximum learning occurs for most students through regular attendance in classes, while excessive absence can result in poor performance.  Therefore, a student may not be absent from any full-year class for more than 20 days. MLHS may have a day in session that would not be counted as an unexcused absence for a particular student for the following reasons (New Jersey School Register, Ch. 3):

  • Religious observance (N.J.A.C. 6A:32-8.3(h));
  • A college visit (up to 3 days per school year, only for students in grades 11 and 12);
  • “Take Our Children to Work Day” or other rule issued by the Commissioner;
  • Participation in observance of Veterans Day (N.J.S.A 18A:36-13.2) or district board of election membership activities (N.J.S.A. 18A:36-33);
  • The closure of a busing district that prevents a student from having transportation to the receiving school.

A note from a doctor indicating illness as the reason for absence does not deem the absence exempt from being counted among the 20 days. An administrator may extend this limit if extenuating circumstances are involved (long-term illness, hospital stay, etc.) School-sponsored or sanctioned activities will not be included in the count of absences. Reporting to class more than twenty minutes after the class has begun will constitute an absence. Although students in grades 11 and 12 may have up to 3 excused absences for college visits, students are still encouraged to schedule visits when MLHS is not in session.

Upon a student’s 5th, 10th and 15th absence from any year-long course, a form letter will be sent home to the parents which indicates a potential loss of credit if the 21st absence occurs. After the 15th absence (8th absence for a semester course and 4th absence for a quarter year course) an attendance conference must be held including the Assistant Principal, the student’s school counselor, teacher(s), and the student to discuss the student’s absences.  The attendance conference may be held over the phone if both the school and parents agree to do so.

In the courses that last 1/2 or 1/4 year, the limit of absence will be 10 and 5 days, respectively. Courses meeting only three days per week will operate with maximums of 6 days for the semester and 12 for the full year.  Students who exceed these thresholds and withdraw from the class will need to repeat it in the subsequent year. A student who remains in the class and fails may take the course in summer school at the student’s expense.  Alternatively, for the student who passes the course, credit may be withheld until he or she is able to fulfill his or her “seat time” requirement.

When a student exceeds the allowable number of absences, an attendance committee meeting will be convened to determine whether to award course credit, withhold credit until additional work and seat-time requirements are met, or to deny credit.

A student must be present in school a minimum of four (4) hours of instructional time to be given credit for a day of attendance.

Students who are absent from school, sign out early, or who do not meet the minimum four (4) hour instructional time requirement, are not eligible to participate in any practice, game, meet, special program, evening activity event, or program scheduled for that day without the prior approval of the school Administration.  Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, family emergency, funerals, religious obligations or observations, a driver’s test, etc.

Parents, not students, should notify the school of the reason for any absence by 8:45am. Calls to home and/or to a parent's workplace will be made for any absent student whose parent has not contacted the school by this time. Students absent from school may not take part in any after-school activity. In addition, students must be in school by 10:00 AM to be eligible forafter-school activities. Likewise, a student who is dismissed during the day due to illness is not eligible for activities on thatday. Finally, students who are absent should not come to the building during the school day. If a student requires books or materials he or she must report to the main office before going to a locker, to see a teacher, etc.

Tardiness and Lateness

Period 1 begins at 8:00 a.m. Any student who is not in the appropriate classroom at this time should report to the main lobby to sign in with the attendance secretary. At the time of arrival such students must submit a note from a parent/guardian to receive an entry pass to class. Similarly, students who arrive to school after homeroom must report to the main office to advise the school of their arrival, present a note from home, and secure a pass to class. Any student that arrives late to school without a note from a parent/guardian will receive an unexcused tardy for that day. The attendance secretary will provide these students with a pass to class and notify them of their total number of unexcused tardies for that marking period. Students will receive a central detention for each unexcused tardy after their 5th. Students who arrive more than 20 minutes after a class has begun are considered absent from that class.

Students who are “free” for period 1 must report at 8:00 a.m. to the cafeteria where they must sign themselves in.  Those students who come late to school during this “free” period may be assigned to central detention, to study hall or will lose privileges after the 5th unexcused tardy.

During the school day we provide ample passing time between periods so that all students may get to their classes before the late bell rings. Students who are late to class contribute disruption to the instruction and learning that is taking place. Should a student arrive late to any class five times in a marking period he or she may be assigned to Central Detention or detained by that teacher after school the following day. Students failing to appear for any teacher-assigned detention may serve up to two Central Detentions. In the same way, students are expected to be in homeroom and in their seats by the time the warning bell rings.  Those who arrive late to homeroom five times per marking period will be assigned to central detention and/or study hall.

To be eligible for participation in any extra-curricular or inter-scholastic activity students must be in school by 10:00 a.m. that day.  Likewise, a student who is dismissed during the day due to illness is considered to be ineligible for activities on that day.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the MLHS attendance policy, please contact Ms. Debbie Kovar at [email protected] or 973-334-8400 ext. 5280.

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