Attendance Policies


Excused Absence

An absent student must be called out for each day of absence from school. This helps to ensure the safety of your children. All absences require that a written excuse or email be submitted to the school within three (3) days of the student’s return to school. If a written excuse is not submitted to the office within that time period, the absence is recorded as unexcused and is deemed by the state to be an illegal absence.

A written excuse/email documenting an absence is required under the state’s compulsory attendance laws. A written excuse must contain the following information:

  1. Name of the student
  2. Student grade level
  3. The date(s) of the absence
  4. The reason for the absence.

The school district provides excuse forms but you may use any paper to write the excuse. We are able to accept excuse notes sent via email to your appropriate school. Please review the section on submitting electronic absent notes in the handbook.

*Please review section on submitting electronic notes.

In the case of an absence of three (3) or more consecutive days, the child must return to school accompanied with a note from a licensed health care provider within three (3) calendar days.

A doctor’s note will be required for admission to school at any time the school deems it necessary. Students who have been absent from school because of a communicable disease must present a doctor’s certificate before they may be readmitted to school.

Only 10 days will be excused with a parent note per year. After 10 days, a doctor, court, or educational visit note is required.

Unexcused/ Unlawful Absences

In cases where a student has accumulated ten (10) or more days of absence, parents/guardians will be notified that future absences will require an excuse signed by a health care professional treating the student. Only 10 days will be excused with a parent note per year. After 10 days, a doctor, court, or educational visit note is required.

Unlawful Absences –When a student accumulates a third unlawful absence, the state law requires that we send a document “Official Notice of Child’s Unlawful Absence” explaining that future unlawful absences could result in a petition to the local District Justice. Included in the Official Notice will be an invitation to a School Attendance Improvement Conference. A School Attendance Improvement Plan will be created during this conference.

Religious Holidays


§ 11.21. Religious holidays and religious instruction.

 (a)  Upon written parental request, and in accordance with the policies of the district’s board of school directors, students may be excused from school for religious holidays observed by bona fide religious groups.

 (b)  Upon written parental request, a student shall be excused from school to attend classes for religious instruction under section 1546 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §  15-1546). The excusal shall be limited to a total of not more than 36 hours per school year.

 (c)  A student’s absence from school for religious holidays or for religious instruction shall be recorded as an excused absence. A penalty may not be attached to an absence for religious holidays or instruction.


   The provisions of this §  11.21 amended under section 1317(a) of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  367(a) (Repealed)); and sections 1327, 1330, 1372, 1511 and 2603-B of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § §  13-1327, 13-1330, 13-1372, 15-1511 and 26-2603-B).


   The provisions of this §  11.21 amended December 19, 1986, effective December 20, 1986, 16 Pa.B. 4874; amended October 22, 2004, effective October 23, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 5798. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (244457) to (244458).


Students who are not in their classrooms at the time specified below are considered late.

  • Culbertson 9:00 AM
  • Loomis 9:00 AM
  • Russell 9:10 AM
  • Worrall 8:50 AM

Any child arriving at school after his/her school’s specified time must report to the school office with an excuse note before proceeding to class. Elementary students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The number of instructional minutes missed daily due to chronic unexcused lateness will be totaled and will result in unexcused 23 absence for a child. This is determined by converting the number of minutes late into a percentage or part of the school day missed.


1. Parents who wish to have students dismissed early or excused from school for a brief period of time must send a note or email to the school. As children arrive in the morning, they should give the note to their teacher, who will forward it to the main office.

2. Children must be picked up at the school office. A parent or guardian must sign the student out in the “Student Sign Out” book. Students should be informed of the pick-up time ahead of time so that classes need not be disturbed.

3. For anyone other than a parent or guardian to pick up a child, written authorization must be provided to the teacher/office by the parent or guardian.

4. It is most helpful to each child’s learning that classes be missed only when absolutely necessary. When possible, please try to plan appointments around school hours.


Pre-planned Educational Tour or Trip

The Marple Newtown School District strongly discourages student absence from school except when illness or other urgent reasons prevent the child from attending. School district officials are aware that it is not always possible to schedule family trips and vacations while school is not in session. In keeping with our guiding philosophy, but also recognizing the importance of the family unit, the school district will authorize educational tours or trips up to a maximum of five (5) school days per student per year. The following provisions must be met for approval of an educational tour/trip:

  • A “Parental Request for Student Excused Absence” form has been designed for pre-planned educational tours or trips. This form can be found on the district website or in the main office. A copy of this form can be found at the end of the district handbook.
  • A “Parental Request for Student Excused Absence” form must be submitted to the child’s building principal or designee for consideration at least one week prior to the date of the intended trip. The request must include a statement detailing the educational value of the trip and the name of the person responsible for supervision. The principal will respond to the request; questionable requests will be submitted to the Superintendent for final determination.
  • The building principal will evaluate the request in terms of its educational value, duration, and adequateness of the supervision. If authorized, the absence will be considered excused for up to 5 days; subject to the student’s satisfactory completion of the assignments missed. Anything above five (5) days will be unexcused. Prior to leaving on the trip, it is the responsibility of the student to seek assignments. It will be the responsibility of the student to make up all work missed during the absence within one week after the student returns to school.
  • The absence of a student taking a tour or trip which has not received prior approval from the building principal as being educational in nature will be considered unlawful (unexcused) and subject to the provisions of the Compulsory Attendance Laws (Section 1327 of the School Code).
  • Any trip scheduled during state standardized testing will not be excused and be marked as an unexcused absence.
  • When the family trip involves school-age siblings, the "Parental Request for Student Excused Absence” form must be completed for each school where the children attend.