Hilldale follows state law mandates regarding attendance. Excused absences include illness, medical or dental appointments, a funeral of an immediate family member, quarantine, exclusion from school (5 days for lack of immunizations or as needed for contagious health problems), or personal reasons (family emergency, court appearance, religious holiday, etc.). Students are expected to attend a portion of the school day whenever possible and half days will be recorded. Unexcused absences include those in which the school has received no notification of illness or no prior arrangements for personal reasons. All absences, excused and unexcused, are recorded as absent on the child's report card.
If a student must be absent from class due to illness or another last-minute problem, parents are asked to call the office each morning prior to 8:30 a.m. to inform the school of the reason. If no one answers, you may leave a message on the office manager’s phone line, option 2. For convenience, parents may also email the office manager. This safety procedure provides the school with the whereabouts of all students. Upon return from an absence (longer than two days) due to sickness, parents should provide a doctor's note to the office on the first day of return.
Students leaving during school hours for illness or medical appointments must have the parent come to the office and sign out. If the student will be returning that same day, he or she must report back into the office upon returning and sign back in.
We will make every attempt to help students who are absent for legitimate reasons. When a student is absent, it is the responsibility of the child and parents to obtain missed class work and homework, to make up tests, etc., and all work must be made up within a reasonable time period. This should be closely coordinated with the individual teachers. Students are expected to complete make-up work within the same number of days as he or she was absent. Books and assignments can be picked up after school (3:45 p.m.) in the office, so that the student can complete at least part of the work at home if he/she feels up to it. Parents must call to request assignments no later than 1:00 p.m.
Parents are asked to refrain from planning trips and vacations during school days, and permission must be received from the principal prior to the absence. Due to the strain it puts on the teacher, student, and classmates, written work may not be provided to the student ahead of time. Tests that are missed during a vacation absence will receive a zero. Students who are on academic probation will not be allowed to take extended time off during the academic year for any reason.
Please understand that the school cannot show special consideration for situations in which the parent has not planned ahead to consider the teacher’s schedule or has not made an attempt to plan vacations during vacation days. It should be expected that the student may fall behind, and grades may suffer. The parent is, therefore, responsible for providing a tutor if needed.
If a student is to be excused from P.E. for health reasons, a written note must be sent to the office that day. Students are expected to observe class when they are not participating, even though they may be excused. Students who are too ill to observe should not be in school that day. Doctor’s notes are required for extended excused activity (more than 2 consecutive classes).
Tardiness is a disruptive behavior to the teacher and other students, and it prevents the child from receiving academic instruction during that time. All doors will be locked at 8:30 a.m. for student safety. Please do not knock as it is disruptive to students and teachers and teaches the students to disregard safety protocol by answering the door. Tardy students (those who arrive after 8:30 a.m.) must go to the office accompanied by their parent to retrieve the Tardy Key. Parents must accompany their children to the classroom and then return the Tardy Key to the office. Parents can sign up for and receive notification of tardies on the JupiterEd system. After three tardies in a term, students in Grades 5-8 will serve a detention. Lower school parents will receive notification. The detention for upper school students consists of repetitive writing by hand in his or her best cursive handwriting, writing a reflection on how to make more effective choices, or community service. Each detention is 20 minutes in length. Each tardy is also noted on the report card, which is a factor that high schools do consider and ask about in the application process. If there is a note from a doctor, dentist, or other such professional, or the parent indicates to the office in writing about an emergency situation, the tardy will be excused and will not show up on a report card. However, parents are asked to make all dental and medical appointments outside of school hours if at all possible.