November 7, 2022
Dear Weston Public Schools Parents and Guardians,
We are writing to inform you that the Weston Public Schools will be re-emphasizing our district-wide attendance guidelines. Chapter 76, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws states that all children ages 6-16 must attend school, that a school district may excuse up to seven days in any period of six months, and that the school district needs to develop an attendance plan for students with five or more unexcused absences.
From an educational standpoint, encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways we can help our children be successful, both in school and in life. Chronic absenteeism, on the other hand, significantly hinders student achievement. When students are absent 10% of the school year or longer (18 days or more), they tend to receive poorer grades, have fewer friendships, and feel more isolated from their school communities than those students who come to school regularly. Please consult DESE’s website on attendance for more information.
As a result of these findings, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has included chronic absenteeism as a measure for determining school and district accountability. We aim to work together with families to monitor absences, determine root causes, and arrive at solutions so that each child can attend school regularly.
Moving forward our process will change as follows starting Tuesday, November 8, 2022:
- When a student is absent from school, an automated message will be sent to parents/guardians alerting them an absence from school has occurred.
- As absences accumulate, the principal or designee may contact you to further discuss your child’s absenteeism.
- When a student is absent for three blocks in a single day, an automated message will be sent to parents/guardians alerting them that a total of three block absences have occurred.
- As with K-8, as absences accumulate, the principal or designee may contact you to further discuss your child’s absenteeism.
To ensure receipt of these messages, please check to confirm your email notification options are enabled in Infinite Campus.
Thank you for collaborating with us as we work to help each child succeed with a high-quality education. If you have any questions or concerns about these new guidelines, or would like to be exempted from absence notifications, please contact your child’s principal or the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Kimo Carter.
Midge Connolly, Superintendent
Kimo Carter, Asst. Superintendent for Teaching & Learning
Jamy Gaynor, Director of Health Services