What does Massachusetts State law say about attending school?
- Massachusetts General Law Chapter 76 requires that all children between the ages of six and sixteen attend school daily.
- A public school district may excuse up to 7-day sessions or 14-half day sessions in any period of six months.
- The law requires that schools annually provide parent/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.
- 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.
- Each school may have its own attendance policy with which parents/guardians should be familiar.
- Each school district must employ a Supervisor of Attendance. A Supervisor of Attendance has the power to apprehend and take to school any child who is truant and is required to investigate all cases where a child in the district fails to attend school.
Framingham Policy JH
The Framingham Public Schools pursuant to M.G.L. c. 76, § 1B, will notify the parent/ guardian of a student who has for at least 5 days, missed 2 or more periods unexcused in a school year or who has missed 5 or more school days unexcused in a school year. The building principal/designee will make a reasonable effort to meet with the parent/guardian of a student who has 5 or more unexcused absences to develop action steps to support the student's regular daily attendance. The action steps shall be developed jointly and agreed upon by the building principal/a designee, the student and the student's parent/guardian and with input from other relevant school personnel and officials from relevant public safety, health and human service, housing and nonprofit agencies. Upon any further absences, the school may schedule a parent conference to discuss and/or investigate the issue further.