Barnstable School Committee Adopts New Attendence Policy

HYANNIS – The Barnstable School Committee approved a new student attendance policy earlier this month.

School Attorney Dylan Pauly said an attendance subcommittee working on revisions to the student handbook focused on clear definitions for attendance terms, including excused absences, chronic absenteeism and withdrawal procedures.

“It is a mix of [Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary Education], what other districts are doing that seem to really make sense and create transparency and ease of understanding for parents, and then our statutory requirements,” Pauly said.

School Committee Chair Chris Joyce said the committee has been assured that the policy is as clean and simple that as can be made within the law and the statute.

“I just want to make sure that we are not creating anything that is overtaxing or over challenging for the students and or the parents who have to help administer this,” Joyce said.

Pauly says big-picture practices will remain the same, but that the new policy defines interventions and strategies for improving student attendance.

The new policy takes effect July 1.

Pauly said that it did not make sense to start the new policy for the end of the current school year.

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