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JH-School Attendance

Policy JH

Adopted: December 16, 2010
Amended: September 15, 2022

The Hopkinton Public Schools believes in the importance of regular attendance by all students. The District believes it essential that students establish consistent attendance behaviors in the early years to ensure continuity of attendance throughout a child’s years in the Hopkinton Public Schools. Our objective is that every student attend school every day on time, for the full day. Massachusetts General Law (School Attendance, Chapter 76) requires that all children between the ages of six and sixteen attend school daily; however, the law is clear that such attendance shall not be required of a child whose physical or mental condition is such as to render attendance inexpedient or impracticable. 

Reported Absences

Consistent with Massachusetts General Law, the Hopkinton Public Schools will  allow up to seven day sessions or fourteen half day sessions of reported absences in any period of six months. The law requires that schools annually provide parents/guardians with instructions for calling a designated phone number at a designated time to inform the school of a student's absence and the reason for the absence.  In addition, parents/guardians must provide the school with a home, work, or other emergency telephone number so that they may be contacted during the school day to inquire about said absence. Parents should follow student handbook procedures for reporting the absence and reason.

Excused Absences or Tardiness 

In addition to the allowable absences defined above, students may be excused from attending school or being tardy for the following reasons: 

  • Chronic or Long-term Illness or quarantine

  • Bereavement 

  • Weather so inclement as to endanger the child’s health and safety 

  • Observance of religious holidays in accordance with the family’s religious beliefs 

  • Other exceptional reasons with previous approval of the school’s Principal. As written in each school’s handbook, parents shall provide an explanation for a child’s absence or tardiness, either in writing or via telephone to the school nurse.

Extended Unexcused Absence 

Students who will be out of school for extended periods of time (5 days or more) should contact their building principal to inform the school. The school district will not be responsible for curriculum, instruction, or assessments missed during this unexcused absence. 

Student Handbooks

For attendance procedures at each grade level, parents should reference the Student Handbooks.

Hopkinton High School Student Handbook

Hopkinton Middle School Student Handbook

Elementary Schools K-5 Student Handbook

Denial of School Attendance 

The following will be grounds for denying a student’s attendance in the Hopkinton Public Schools: 

  • Previous graduation from high school or equivalent secondary school curriculum 

  • Failure to meet age requirements for kindergarten entry (Policy JEB)

  • Residency outside of Hopkinton unless allowed under School Choice or in the case of international students, a proper visa

  • Failure to meet residency requirements of the Hopkinton Public Schools Admissions and Residency Policy (JF). 

Attendance Officer 

The school district employs an Attendance Officer consistent with the requirements of Ch. 76 §19. The Attendance Officer is required to investigate all cases brought to his/her/their attention by a Principal when a student fails to attend school regularly or is habitually tardy, or if a student’s attendance could be denied based on the conditions listed above. 

It is a crime for a responsible parent or guardian not to cause a child to attend school for any other reason than those listed above. If a child fails to attend school for seven full-day sessions or fourteen half-day sessions within any six-month period, the supervisor of attendance may file a complaint in court against the parent and/or guardian who is responsible for the student. 

The Attendance Officer will also determine if anyone has unlawfully induced a minor to be absent or truant from school and if so, bring this to the attention of the Superintendent who may bring charges under C. 76 §4. 


Legal References:

M.G.L. 76:1; 76:4; 76:12, 76:12A, 76:12B; 76:16; 76:19; 76:20; 71:37H

603 CMR 26.00

Cross References:

JF - School Admissions and Residency Requirements

JEB - Requirements for School Entrance

Student Handbooks

GBEB/JLCC Communicable Diseases

School Committee Policies