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Attendance Policy

Attendance Manual

Good attendance in school is crucial for a child to reach their full potential. We are aware that illness, injury or family emergencies sometimes occur that prohibit learners from attending school. Each learner’s attendance will be recorded daily. In order to communicate with families, a letter will be sent home after 5 and 10 days of absences have been reached. Once a learner reaches 10 days total of absences a doctor’s excuse will be required for each additional absence to be excused. Letters will also be sent home when your child is unlawfully absent from school and you may be invited to participate in a Student Attendance Improvement Conference (SAIC).  

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If you are picking your child up from school due to a medical appointment, they will be released from the office. The person picking up a child will need to sign the child out and present a photo ID. Please remember to send a note to the school office if you plan on having someone other than you pick your child up from school. Non-custodial parents also need a note and ID.


When a learner is absent for any period of time, they are responsible for submitting an excuse card or a hand-written note to the school office. This card/note is to be completed by the parent or guardian of the child and returned to school within three (3) days of the absence. Any learner failing to produce an excuse will be assigned with an unlawful absence.  A medical excuse may be provided for dental and doctor appointments.


  • Illness or injury - If absent more than five (5) or more consecutive days, a doctor’s excuse is needed.
  • Family emergencies.
  • Religious holidays.
  • Death of a family member.
  • Pre-approved education/travel days (up to 5 per school year); travel form to be submitted at least five (5) days prior to departure.


  • Non-Approved Travel Forms
  • Invalid/forged signature.
  • Failure to turn in a written excuse from a parent or guardian within three (3) days of the absence.
  • Missed bus/car problems.


The School District recognizes that, from time to time, learners may have the opportunity to participate in pre-planned trips and educational experiences during the regular school year. Upon receipt of a prior written request from the parents or guardians of the learners involved, learners may be excused from school attendance to participate in educational tours or trips. The determination of each request will be made on the following: prior attendance records, previous requests, and frequency of such requests, i.e. if a learner is on dr. excuses only- no travel days will be excused.

An educational travel form should be submitted at least five (5) days prior to the date of departure. Learners will be limited to five (5) days of educational travel per year, any days exceeding the 5 allotted days will be counted as unlawful absences. Please remember that a separate form should be signed for each child with the Eastern Lancaster County Schools.

This request form (Request for Pre-Approved Absence) must be completed and turned in 5 days prior to the travel date.


Tardy & Early Dismissal Changes effective the beginning of 2nd Quarter, Wednesday, November 3, 2021

It is important for children to develop good habits and to learn that school is important.  We need all parents to set a good example by having their children arrive at school on time, not taking their children out early, and not allowing their children to miss school unless they are ill or there is a family emergency.  Please try to arrange doctor’s visits or family errands after school hours.  We cannot teach your children unless they are here.  Every minute is important. The chart below provides clearer information on defining a tardy, parent pick-up, and/or half-day absence. 

 When a learner accumulates 5 unlawful tardies/parent picks-up it will convert to an unlawful ½ day absence. Once this conversion occurs you will be notified by letter. With the exception of late bus arrival, illness, family emergency, or medical appointments with documentation, lateness to school or early pick up from school will be documented as unlawful. Car problems, oversleeping, sporting events,  etc. are not acceptable reasons to be late to school or picked up early.  

 If you pick up your learner for an appointment and bring them back during the ½ absence (times outlined in the chart below) time they will not be marked as absent. 

Any learner who reports late to school must check in at the office before going to their classroom. This is to ensure they are removed from the absentee list.

Elementary Tardy & Absence Chart
Secondary 7-12 Attendance Chart


College visitations and testing will require a signed excuse from the institution to verify attendance at their program


All learner athletes must adhere to the Eastern Lancaster County School District attendance procedure AND the Garden Spot Athletic Department attendance procedure as stated below.

  • No learner may participate in a school-sponsored contest if they do not attend the required practice(s).
  • Learner athletes must be in school by 8:00 AM in order to be eligible to compete in a contest or practice that day. The only exceptions to this rule are:
    • The learner athlete brings in a written doctor or dentist excuse (must still be in attendance for at least one-half of the day)
    • Has a pre-approved travel form for a college visitation, educational leave, or drivers test
    • Death in the family
  • Unless legally excused, a learner must be in school attendance the entire day of a contest or practice in order to participate in that contest or practice.
  • Learners who have a nurse’s or doctor’s excuse from physical education activities may not participate in practices or contests for the duration of the excuse. 
  • Learners missing 20 or more days of school will be deemed ineligible
    • In order to regain eligibility, a learner must be in attendance for at least 45 school days following the 20th absence.
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In order to maintain communication between school and home. Feel free to contact the attendance staff by phone or email to share your child’s absence:

New Holland Elementary: 717-354-1520 ext. 4151

Blue Ball Elementary:  717-354-1525 ext. 8137

Brecknock Elementary: 717-445-8600 ext. 7142

Middle School: 717-354-1562

High School: 717-354-1115

Attendance Forms