Attendance Guidelines

As stated in the Pittsfield Public School Student/Parent Handbook, regular school attendance is essential to the total education of the student.  Punctual arrival at school and at each classroom activity is essential to minimize disruptions, promote a positive class climate and maximize time on learning.  It is a joint responsibility of the staff of the Pittsfield Public Schools and parents/guardians to encourage students to take school attendance seriously.  In the interest of promoting school attendance, provisions shall be established for commending students for exemplary attendance.

We encourage parents to schedule dental, physical, and other appointments during non-school hours, whenever possible.  The scheduling of family vacations during times when school is in session is discouraged and will be marked as an unexcused absence.  Teachers are not required to prepare work for students who miss school because of a family vacation.

Reporting absences: If your child will be absent from school, we ask that you call the school (448-9660) to inform us of the absence. We will need the following information (which may be left on the school’s answering machine if the absence is called in before the office is open):

  • Your child’s name
  • Your child’s teacher
  • The reason for the absence

Excused Absences

Students must bring in a note after each day they are absent.  The note must include the date absent, the reason for the absence, a phone number where a parent or guardian can be reached, and the parent/guardian’s signature.  Students will be given the opportunity to make up work for excused absences. A note from a parent or guardian does not automatically excuse the absences.  Excused absences may include:

-  An illness or injury that prevents the student from attending school.  A health care provider, school nurse or parent must verify the illness or injury.

-  A death in the immediate family (parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin) or other significant personal family crisis

-  Required court appearances

-  Medical or psychological tests during the school day.  The parent must show evidence (such as a note from a health center) that the tests could not be scheduled after school.

-  Specified religious holidays

-  Other extraordinary situations approved by the school principals

Unexcused Absences

Here are a few examples of absences that are unexcused even if the parent sends in a note:

-  Repetitive and chronic absence due to illness or injury.  In these cases, the parent must submit a letter from a health care provider verifying that the student was too sick or injured to go to school.

-  Student needed to babysit

-  Cutting class

-  Family vacation

-  Extension of a religious or cultural holiday beyond the designated day or days

Whenever possible, parents should check with the principal before allowing a child to miss school if they are not sure the absence will be excused.  The school does not have to help a student make-up work due to unexcused absences.


A student is tardy if he/she arrives at school late (after the 8:55 a.m. bell rings), without an excused reason, and does not have sufficient time for the start of the instructional day or period.

In cases of patterns of regular or excessive tardiness, the child’s parent/guardian will be required to attend a meeting with school administration or designee.

Please refer to the Pittsfield Public Schools Policy Handbook (STU-6) for a more detailed list of excused and unexcused absences and for elaboration on all Pittsfield Public Schools attendance policies.

Dismissal (Early)

Every effort is made to minimize classroom instruction. Please help us with the following guidelines.

If your child needs to be dismissed before 2:40 p.m. a note must be sent into school in the morning. No child will be allowed to be dismissed after 2:50 p.m.  All dismissals must occur before 2:50 p.m. On half days the time for this will be 11:10 a.m. The end of the day is a hectic time for teachers and students.  Please plan accordingly.

Family Engagement Attendance Coordinator (FEAC)

The Pittsfield Public Schools’ FEAC will make house and school visits regarding excessive absences, excessive tardiness, and truancy and will investigate and make recommendations in all school cases in juvenile court and in all cases of school offenders and truants. Parents who need support with their child’s attendance can call Conte's FEAC Sean Timpane at 418-5090.
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