New York School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Chronic Absenteeism and Truancy

Discipline Compendium

New York School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Chronic Absenteeism and Truancy

Category: Discipline Addressing Specific Code of Conduct Violations
Subcategory: Chronic Absenteeism and Truancy
State: New York

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LAWS

3210. Amount and character of required attendance.

1. Regularity and conduct.

a. A minor required by the provisions of part one of this article to attend upon instruction shall attend regularly as prescribed where he resides or is employed, for the entire time the appropriate public schools or classes are in session and shall be subordinate and orderly while so attending.

b. (i) Absence for religious observance and education shall be permitted under rules that the commissioner shall establish.

(ii) In addition, the board of education or trustees shall determine whether school session should not be held at an individual public school, or district-wide, on a day where, if school were in session, absenteeism may result in the waste of educational resources because a considerable proportion of the student population is unlikely to attend because of a religious or cultural day of observance.

3213. Supervisors of attendance; attendance teachers; attendance officers; appointment, compensation, powers and duties.

2. Powers and duties.

a. Arrest of truants. A supervisor of attendance, attendance teacher or attendance officer, as the case may be, may arrest without warrant any minor who is unlawfully absent from attendance upon instruction. He shall forthwith place the minor so arrested in attendance upon required instruction and shall notify the parent or guardian of the minor, and he may then begin proceedings for his commitment as a school delinquent or arraign him before a court having jurisdiction. Where a minor resides in one school district and attends school in another school district, the supervisor of attendance, attendance teacher or attendance officer of the district where the minor resides and the supervisor of attendance, attendance teacher or attendance officer of the district where said minor attends school shall have concurrent jurisdiction with reference to said minor and to the person or persons in parental relation to him. [...]

c. Notification upon absence. It shall be the duty of every school district to inform persons in parental relation to elementary school pupils of such person's right to be notified when such pupil is deemed absent from attendance at his designated school. Persons in parental relation to elementary school pupils shall, if such notification is desired, forward a request in writing to the principal of the pupil's designated school. Such request shall contain the telephone number of person or persons in parental relation to the pupil or other information to facilitate communication with such persons by the most expedient means available. No civil or criminal liability shall arise or attach to any school district or employee thereof for any act or omission to act as a result of, or in connection with, the duties or activities authorized or directed by this paragraph.

d. Notification when deemed absent. A supervisor of attendance, attendance teacher, attendance officer, or other person authorized by the school district, as the case may be, shall, where a request for notification has been made pursuant to paragraph c of this subdivision, notify a person in parental relation to any elementary school pupil by the means designated in such request when such pupil is deemed absent from required attendance at his designated school without prior notification and consent to such absence by the person in parental relation. No civil or criminal liability shall arise or attach to any school district or employee thereof for any act or omission to act as a result of, or in connection with, the duties or activities authorized or directed by this paragraph.

3214. Student placement, suspensions and transfers.

1. School delinquent. A minor under seventeen years of age, required by any of the provisions of part one of this article to attend upon instruction, who is an habitual truant from such instruction or is irregular in such attendance or insubordinate or disorderly or disruptive or violent during such attendance, is a school delinquent.

4111. Arrest of truants.

Any attendance officer may arrest without warrant anywhere within the state any Indian child between six and sixteen years of age, found away from his home and who is then a truant from instruction upon which he is lawfully required to attend within the districts of which such attendance officer has jurisdiction. He shall forthwith deliver a child so arrested either to the person in parental relation to the child, or to the teacher of the school from which said child is then a truant, or in case of habitual or incorrigible truants, shall bring them before a magistrate for commitment to a school for delinquents, as provided in section forty-one hundred twelve.

4112. Commissioner of education to contract for keeping of truants.

The commissioner of education may contract with any city or district having a school for delinquents, for the confinement, maintenance and instruction therein of any child who shall be committed to such school as a truant by any magistrate before whom such child shall have been examined upon the charge of truancy. The costs and expenses attending the support and maintenance of any truant, as herein provided, shall be audited by the commissioner of education and paid in the same manner as the expenses of supporting and maintaining the schools on a reservation are paid.

REGULATIONS

100.2 (l)(1). Policy on school conduct and discipline.

(i) On or before January 1, 1986 each school district shall adopt and implement a written policy on school conduct and discipline designed to promote responsible behavior, which policy, and any amendments thereto, shall remain in effect until the adoption of a code of conduct pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subdivision, at which time it shall be deemed to be superseded by such code of conduct. The City School District of the City of New York shall adopt and implement a separate written policy for each community school district and for Central Board-administered programs. Such a policy shall be developed locally in consultation with teachers, administrators, other school service professionals, students and parents and shall include:

(f) disciplinary measures for violation of the school policies developed in accordance with subparagraphs (ii) and (iii) of this paragraph. Such measures shall be appropriate to the seriousness of the offense and where applicable to the previous disciplinary record of the student. Any suspension from attendance upon instruction may be imposed only in accordance with section 3214 of the Education Law.

104.1. Pupil attendance recordkeeping.

(i) Comprehensive Attendance Policy.

(1) Requirement. On or before June 30, 2002, each public school district, board of cooperative educational services (BOCES), charter school, county vocational education and extension board and nonpublic elementary, middle and secondary school shall adopt a comprehensive attendance policy that contains the elements described in paragraph (2) of this subdivision. The purpose of the policy shall be to ensure the maintenance of an adequate record verifying the attendance of all children at instruction in accordance with Education Law sections 3205 and 3210 and establish a mechanism by which the patterns of pupil absence can be examined to develop effective intervention strategies to improve school attendance. A public school district, BOCES, charter school or county vocational education and extension board shall adopt its comprehensive attendance policy only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested party.

(2) Content of the policy. The board of education, board of cooperative educational services, charter school board, county vocational education and extension board, and administrator of a nonpublic school shall incorporate the following elements into the comprehensive attendance policy:

(i) a statement of the overall objectives to be accomplished;

(ii) a description of the specific strategies to be employed to accomplish these objectives;

(iii) a determination of which pupil absences, tardiness and early departures will be excused and which will not be excused and an illustrative list of excused and unexcused pupil absences and tardiness;

(iv) a description of the coding system used to identify the reason for a pupil's absence, tardiness or early departure recorded in the register of attendance;

(v) a description of the school district, BOCES, charter school, county vocational education and extension board or nonpublic school policy regarding pupil attendance and a pupil's ability to receive course credit. Any board of education, board of cooperative educational services, charter school board or county vocational education and extension board that adopts a policy establishing a minimum standard of attendance in order for a pupil to be eligible for course credit shall have the authority to determine that a properly excused pupil absence, for which the pupil has performed any assigned make up work, shall not be counted as an absence for the purpose of determining the pupil's eligibility for course credit under such policy. In the event a board of education, board of cooperative educational services, charter school board or county vocational education and extension board adopts a minimum attendance standard as a component of its policy, such policy shall include a description of the notice to a pupil's parent(s) or person(s) in parental relation as well as the specific intervention strategies to be employed prior to the denial of course credit to the pupil for insufficient attendance;

(vi) a description of the incentives to be employed to encourage pupil attendance and any disciplinary sanctions to be used to discourage unexcused pupil absences, tardiness and early departures;

(vii) a description of the notice to be provided to the parent(s) of or person(s) in parental relation to pupils who are absent, tardy or depart early without proper excuse;

(viii) a description of the process to develop specific intervention strategies to be employed by teachers and other school employees to address identified patterns of unexcused pupil absence, tardiness or early departure;

(ix) identification of the person(s) designated in each school building who will be responsible for reviewing pupil attendance records and initiating appropriate action to address unexcused pupil absence, tardiness and early departure consistent with the comprehensive attendance policy.

(3) The board of education, board of cooperative educational services, charter school board, county vocational education and extension board and governing body of a nonpublic school shall annually review the building level pupil attendance records and if such records show a decline in pupil attendance the board or governing body shall revise the comprehensive pupil attendance policy and make any revisions to the plan deemed necessary to improve pupil attendance.

(4) Each board of education, board of cooperative educational services, charter school board, county vocational education and extension board, and nonpublic school shall promote necessary community awareness of its comprehensive attendance policy by:

(i) providing a plain language summary of the policy to the parents or persons in parental relation to students at the beginning of each school year and taking such other steps deemed necessary to promote the understanding of such policy by students and their parents or persons in parental relation;

(ii) providing each teacher with a copy of the policy and any amendments thereto as soon as practicable following initial adoption or amendment of the policy, and providing new teachers with a copy of the policy upon their employment; and

(iii) making copies of the policy available to any other member of the community upon request.

149-2.3. Attendance plan.

(a) A school district required to set aside funding pursuant to section 3602(12)(f) of the Education Law for attendance improvement and dropout prevention shall file a plan with the commissioner by July 15th of the current year detailing a program pursuant to improve attendance and student retention which shall indicate how the district will use the funds required to be set aside for such purposes; provided that for the 1993-94 school year such plan shall be submitted no later than September 1, 1993.

(b) Such plan shall:

(1) provide for the targeting of monies to school buildings with chronic truancy rates equal to or higher than the district median;

(2) detail how programs funded under this will be coordinated with the dropout prevention programs of local public and private community agencies and organizations;

(3) detail procedures for reviewing the attendance and academic records of all pupils in the district during the two-year period prior to entrance into high school for the purpose of identifying pupils with a high risk of truancy and academic failure, including but not limited to victims of child abuse or neglect, or pupils who are in foster care;

(4) detail how services will be provided to such students in conjunction with plans for schoolwide improvement where appropriate;

(5) provide for services to pregnant pupils, and parenting pupils and for coordination of such services with those services provided to such pupils by local social services districts;

(6) provide for services to pupils who are members of households receiving public assistance, and who reside in hotels, motels, shelters or other temporary living arrangements and for coordination of such services with those services provided by local social services districts;

(7) provide for the coordination of services under this Subpart with those provided from the setaside for compensatory education under Subpart 149-1 of this Part and from the educationally related support services apportionment under subdivision 32 of section 3602 of the Education Law, where appropriate;

(8) provide for the coordination of services under this section with those required under section 243-a of the Executive Law;

(9) provide for parental involvement; and

(10) provide, to the greatest extent practicable, an expansion of services to schools which currently receive no services and contain high concentrations of limited English proficient pupils.

(c) Such plan shall specify measurable performance goals and outcomes for the improvement of pupil performance, attendance and student retention and shall provide for an examination of existing district and targeted building practices to determine the effectiveness of such practices. National and state validated programs that have proven successful in increasing attendance, improving at-risk pupil performance and reducing dropout rates and recent research and evaluation studies of New York state attendance improvement dropout prevention programs shall be considered in the planning process.

(d) A city school district in a city having a population of more than one million inhabitants shall file a plan pursuant to this section containing only such programs as are selected by the Chancellor with the approval of the commissioner from replicable model attendance improvement/dropout prevention programs which have demonstrated effectiveness.

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