Dear Garnet Gull Families,
I hope this message finds your family off to a fantastic start this school year! This summer, I met with members of our school community to review our Code of Conduct. This meeting occurs annually and includes students, parents, staff and administrators. The group works together to review the Code of Conduct, recommend changes, and finalize any necessary updates. Mr. Wilson and I met with our students during the first day of school to discuss the updates for this school year. I am writing to communicate the same message to our families. The updates to the Code of Conduct for this year are in three areas: Attendance, Tardiness, and the Renaissance Scholar Program. You will find this information below. You can access our Code of Conduct by clicking here.
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. This information can be found on page 12 of the document, accessed by clicking here. 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:
1) Personal illness (documented by Doctor’s note within 5 days of absence) (Absent)
2) Death in immediate family (Absent)
3) Religious holidays (Excused Absent)
4) School sponsored activities (Student considered Present for field trips)
5) Necessary appearance in court (Absent)
6) College Visits (3 days per year, grades 11 & 12) (Excused Absent) (Absent for other College Visits)
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:
1) Homeroom Tardy
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.
2) 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.
Renaissance Scholar Program
The Renaissance Scholar Program rewards students with the opportunity for an additional exemption during final exams. The Renaissance Scholar Program is facilitated through the Guidance Office. The following criteria must be met to qualify:
1) 95% Average Per Marking Period Across All Courses
2) No More Than 5 Total Tardies (Tardy To Homeroom & Tardy To School)
3) No More Than 5 Unexcused Absences (Please Review Acceptable Absences In Attendance Policy)
4) No More Than 10 Unexcused Class Period Absences In Any Single Class (Same As Daily Attendance Policy)
5)No Disciplinary Infractions (Central Detention, Saturday Detention, Suspensions)
If you have any questions about the updates to the Code of Conduct please do not hesitate to ask for clarification. Thank you for all of your support in making this such a great school.
Nathan Grosshandler, Ed.D.