shortcut to content
South Colonie masthead logo
South Colonie Central School District masthead logo
Our Schools navigation headingclick to visit Colonie Central High School home pageclick to visit Lisha Kill Middle School home pageclick to visit Sand Creek Middle School home pageclick to visit Forest Park Elementary home pageclick to visit Roessleville Elementary home pageclick to visit Saddlewood Elementary home pageclick to visit Shaker Road Elementary home pageclick to visit Veeder Elementary home page
Is Your Student Avoiding School: Good Attendance Counts

Is Your Teenager Avoiding School?

If your teen is avoiding school and has anxiety about returning:

Talk to your teenager about why he doesn't want to go to school. Contact the principal, guidance counselor and school nurse, and make them aware of the situation.  After you've taken steps to rectify the upsetting circumstances, insist that your teen return to school immediately. Severe phobias may require a gradual reentry to school. After five days of anxiety-related absences from school, it's time to visit your pediatrician.

Good attendance counts

Understanding the importance of going to school

Like Woody Allen says: "Seventy percent of success in life is showing up." That same philosophy applies to doing well in school and passing important exams. In most cases, the ticket to success for many high school students is simply coming to school on a daily basis.

One recent study showed that students who attend school 93 percent of the time or better scored 85-100 on their exams. Students with a 91 percent attendance rate scored 65-84 on their exams, and students with attendance of 85 percent or less scored 0-54.

There are many reasons why a student might skip school or cut a class — even when penalties are attached. It might be personal, such as a failed relationship with another student or fear of being bullied. Or it might be academic, such as a conflict with a teacher or fear of failing a test.

Whatever it is, parents are encouraged to ask the principal or guidance counselor for help. The one thing parents can be sure of is that middle school teachers and administrators share the desire to make sure students are in school.

In some cases, parents themselves will sanction an illegal absence — e.g., to take a family vacation or to care for a sibling. There are also times when parents allow their children to "take a day off" in the belief that an absence here and there won't hurt.

Not true. Even the occasional absence increases the risk of missing that one critical class that will make a difference in a student's grades. And once a student starts to fall behind, it becomes easier to miss more classes, producing a pattern that's detrimental to success.

Educators stress that good attendance brings better test scores and leads to better learning every day!

Know your Code of Conduct policy

The South Colonie student Code of Conduct clearly spells out the consequences facing students who are truant or tardy from school or who cut class. Parents should make it a point to review these consequences with their student on an annual basis.

Infraction — Truancy: Defined as an illegal absence from school without knowledge of a parent or guardian.

  • May result in internal suspension for up to 3 days

  • Notify parents and discuss petition to family court

  • Counseling if it is deemed necessary

  • Repeated offense will result in principal's conference and/or superintendent's hearing

Infraction - Tardiness: Defined as failure of a student to report on time to homeroom/classroom or to attendance office with a valid excuse.

  • Three tardies will result in administration action which may include the development of a behavioral contract to assignment to time out

  • Chronic tardiness will result in increased administrative action which includes parental contact and discussion of petition to family court

  • Counseling if deemed necessary

  • Repeated offenses may result in principal's conference or superintendent's hearing

Infraction - Cutting Classes: When a student cuts a regularly scheduled class, his safety cannot be assured. That student risks the probability of lower grades or failure as a result of missing valuable class work. Therefore, when a student misses a class and has no legal excuse, one or more of these consequences may occur.

  • First offense: Time out. Development of a behavioral contract. Parent conferences. Student expected to make up work missed.

  • Second offense: Possible RPS (release to parental supervision). Parent conference. Student expected to make up work missed.

  • Third offense: Immediate suspension, parent conference and counseling referral. Student expected to make up work missed.

  • Fourth offense: Immediate suspension and parent conference. File PINS with family court. Student expected to make up work missed.