Attendance Policy

Need to report an absence?

Call the Attendance Hotline:

(973) 833-8210

Mountain Lakes High School



Maximum learning occurs for most students through regular attendance in classes, while excessive absence can contribute to poor performance. Therefore, a student may not be absent from a full year course more than 20 days. Consideration may be given for bereavement, religious observance and legal obligations

While an administrator may raise the course absence limit if extenuating circumstances are involved (long-term illness,hospital stay, etc.), a note from a doctor indicating illness as the reason for absence does not deem the absence exempt from being counted against the maximum. Of note, college visits are not exempt from being counted either. Therefore, students are encouraged to schedule visits when MLHS is not in session. Reporting to class more than twenty minutes after the class has begun will constitute an absence. School-sponsored or sanctioned activities will not be included in the count of absences.

Upon a student's 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. A conference scheduled and documented by the Dean of Students will be held after the 15th absence (8th absence for a semester course and 4th absence for a quarter year course) and attended by the Dean of Students, student's guidance counselor, teacher(s), student and student's parents 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 courses lasting a semester or marking quarter 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 for credit. A student who remains in the course and fails may take it 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.

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.


When a student arrives more than 20 minutes late to school, he or she is tardy and written or verbal advisement must be received from the student's parent or guardian. Students arriving tardy to school must first report to the main office to turn in their note and to obtain an admit pass. Students who come to school tardy and do not first report to the main office will be assigned to study hall. Chronic tardiness may require a parent conference.

Lateness to Class

Students who are late to class cause considerable disruption to the instruction and learning that is taking place. Period 1 begins at 8:00a.m. Any student who is not in the appropriate classroom at this time is late to class. Similarly, ample passing time is provided between periods so that all students may arrive to class before the late bell rings. If a student reports late to class without a note from another educator in the building, he or she may be detained after school the following day by that teacher. Students failing to appear for a teacher-assigned detention will serve two Central Detentions. Students who are chronically late to class may be assigned a Central Detention. 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 three times per marking period will be assigned to central detention and/or study hall.

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