Dear Garnet Gull Families,
I hope this message finds your family wrapping up a fabulous summer and well prepared for the upcoming routines of the school year. Each summer, we review our procedures, policies, and practices to ensure our school continues to meet the needs of all of our families. The biggest update this year was our shift to a completely paperless Back To School mailing. Thank you for your participation in this process.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind our students and families of the information listed below pertaining to attendance, tardiness and school security.
School Security (Student Drop Off & Pickup)
Students should be dropped off at the Student Entrance on Trenton Avenue. Students should only enter and exit through the Student Entrance on Trenton Avenue with an exception for dismissal. During dismissal, students can exit the building through the Student Entrance on Trenton Avenue and the ramp door leading to Forman Avenue located along the parking area for the church. Please assist us in keeping our school as safe as possible by supporting these expectations for our students.
During lunch, students should not be driving or entering cars. If a parent would like to pick their child up for lunch, please follow typical sign out and sign in procedures. Student safety is important to us and we thank you for your ongoing support.
Attendance is taken for our students through two different methods: Daily Attendance and Period Attendance. Daily Attendance is taken in homeroom, and Period Attendance is taken every period by the teacher. Both, Daily Attendance and Period Attendance are available for your review through Genesis Parent Portal.
Daily Attendance for students who are not present in school will be marked Unexcused Absent, Absent, or Excused Absent. This update reflects language changes to make our coding consistent with the New Jersey Department of Education. Student absences not considered an “Excused Absence” by the State of New Jersey, but determined to be acceptable by our Board of Education, will be coded as “Absent.” Below is a list of circumstances that constitute acceptable absences and the Daily Attendance code to be used:
Personal illness (documented by Doctor’s note within 5 days of absence) (Absent)
Death in immediate family (Absent)
Religious holidays (Excused Absent)
School sponsored activities (Student considered Present for field trips)
Necessary appearance in court (Absent)
College Visits (3 days per year, grades 11 & 12) (Excused Absent)
Attendance is taken for every student, each period. Students will be subject to the loss of credit for course(s) in which they are deemed to have excessive absences. Excessive absences are defined as 10 in a one semester course, and 20 in a full year course. An appeal process has been established to allow students to document that the reasons for their absences are consistent with the list above. Absences with Daily Attendance codes of “Absent” will not be held against students during the appeal process. The Attendance Review Committee (ARC) will review outstanding cases of credit loss and make a final recommendation to the principal. A credit restoration session has been established to give students the opportunity to recoup lost credit during the summer.
We have increased the number of times a student can be marked as “Tardy” before disciplinary action is taken. We will no longer excuse any tardies. The increase in the number of tardies before disciplinary action reflects our understanding of legitimate causes for students to be late to school. Exceptional circumstances can be reviewed by the administration with supporting documentation. The updated information is below:
Students tardy to school during the homeroom period (8:00 – 8:05 a.m.) should report directly to homeroom. The following consequences are assessed for being late to homeroom.
6-10 – one central detention for each tardy.
11-15 – two central detentions for each tardy and contact home on or about the 15th tardy.
16 + tardies – a Saturday detention for each tardy and parental conference on the 16th tardy.
Restricted lunch may also be assigned at the discretion of the administration.
Lates to homeroom will not carryover to a new marking period. However, students who fail to serve their penalties for tardiness to homeroom during any given marking period will be subject to the consequences outlined in the Detention section of this handbook.
Tardy to school (arriving during period B)
Students arriving to school after homeroom are to report to the main office to sign in. The following outlines the consequences for being late to school:
10-15 tardies – one central detention for each tardy and contact home on or about the 12th tardy to school.
15-20 tardies – two central detentions for each tardy and contact home on or about the 20th tardy to school.
21 + tardies – a Saturday detention and parental conference on or about the 21st tardy to school. A pupil assistance committee referral may be necessary.
Submitted documentation can only be applied towards period attendance. Only significant causes for the accumulation of tardies can be reviewed and will require supporting documentation. The principal will review the submitted documentation and determine appropriate consequences when consequences are imposed.
If you have any continued questions about these procedures, please do not hesitate to contact our school. Thank you for all of your support in making this such a great school.
Nathan Grosshandler, Ed.D.