ATTENDANCE AND CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM

All schools and divisions within the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES (Herkimer BOCES), will take daily attendance whether school opens in September in-person, hybrid, or remote. Our attendance policies and procedures will be communicated with families, prior to the start of the school year, in their native language and in a variety of ways including: letters/newsletters home to parents, robocalls, emails, social media, telephone calls, texts and the Herkimer BOCES website. The models will also be re-communicated should instruction change during the school year. Teachers will record daily attendance and tardiness on SchoolTool, our student data management system, whether we are in-person, virtual, or a hybrid model. Daily reports will be generated to identify students who are absent and/or chronically absent. Contact with the families will be made daily to determine reasons for absence and needs or barriers the student may have to participate in daily lessons.

CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM

Herkimer BOCES is committed to supporting our students and families during this pandemic. We will communicate with our families what our attendance policy is and our expectations of attendance. We will track attendance and analyze the data regularly in order to correct a situation prior to it becoming a chronic absence. Monitoring daily attendance allows us to communicate daily with families around absences. When a student is absent, a call home will be made to check on the student. If the absence continues without being able to contact the family, a letter will be sent to the family outlining the importance of consistent attendance. This letter will be copied to our districts so that they are aware of the issue as well. If the telephone calls and letter yield no result and the home district is not able to make contact while the absences continue, we will contact Herkimer County Department of Social Services for assistance.

Herkimer BOCES will provide professional development to our teachers in an effort to improve student engagement in all methods of instructional delivery. We will incorporate social-emotional learning into our daily instructional practices. We will add incentives for students to be engaged instructionally and to complete their work as there is a clear correlation between engagement and attendance.