AttendanceAttend school daily and be in class on time...
Students are required to attend school daily and be in class on time so that optimum benefits of education can be achieved. Unexcused absences and tardies prevent maximum teaching and learning from taking place. The school requests the cooperation of parents and guardians in getting children to school by 7:45 a.m. before the warning bell rings. Students with perfect attendance are recognized. We hope that your child can be applauded for this achievement!
HRS 302A-1132, Hawaii's Compulsory School Attendance Law (Required)
In Hawai‘i, school attendance by youth ages 6-18 is required by law. HRS 302A-1132, Hawaii's Compulsory School Attendance Law, states: Unless excluded from school or excepted from attendance, all children who will have arrived at the age of at least six years, and who will not have arrived at the age eighteen years, by January 1st of any school year, shall attend either a public or private school for, and during, the school year, and any parent, guardian, or other person having the responsibility for, or care of, a child whose attendance at school is obligatory shall send the child to either public or private school. [Source: Hawai‘i State Legislature, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes] To read more about Truancy in Hawai‘i, it's impact, ideas and tips, click here.
Hawai‘i State Law — Penalty
HRS 302A-1135 states that if any child of school age persists in being absent from school, the parent(s), guardian or other person having charge of the child, can be summoned to appear before the family court judge and could be found guilty of a petty misdemeanor.
Pū‘ōhala Elementary School staff will schedule a meeting with parent(s) or guardian to attempt to resolve the matter before petitioning the court. Excessive absence or tardies, even with documentation, may lead to such a meeting to discuss the matter further.
An official attendance letter will be sent home whenever a child is absent five or more times.
School Guidelines on Absences - Written Documentation Required
Written documentation is required for each and every absence to be submitted to the school office within three (3) days of the student's return. A phone call to inform the school of an absence is an appreciated courtesy but written documentation is still required. A note written by a parent or guardian should include the following information:
1. Date note is written
2. Student's legal first and last name (name on school records)
3. Date(s) of absence
4. Reason for absence
5. Phone number(s) where parent/guardian can be contacted
6. Parent/Guardian signature
If student is ill or injured during the school day, it is recommended that s/he be seen by a doctor. If a parent chooses to have the student remain at home without being seen by a doctor, a parent note should be submitted.
A doctor's note is required for 3 or more consecutive absences with the specific medical reason for absence stated.
Unexcused absences include the following:
- Babysitting or child care
- Caring for the elderly
- Entertaining visitors
- Cleaning for home inspections
- Family vacations (on/off island) trips ***
- Parent request without explanation
- Personal business
- Youth Camp***
- Sports competition***
***Parents must notify the school in writing at least 2 weeks in advance of any extended absences due to family vacations, youth camps, and/or sports competitions. Administration has the discretion to determine if the absence will be unexcused if student academics is adversely affected and/or if attendance is a concern. Teachers are not required to provide make-up work for unexcused absences.
Requesting Homework for Absences
If a child is absent from school for three (3) or more consecutive days, the parent/guardian may request homework by calling the school office at 233-5660. Requests for homework must be made by 9 a.m. You may pick up the homework at the front office after 2:30 p.m. Homework requested after 9 a.m. may not be available until the next day. You may call the front office to confirm that there are assignments for your child before coming to the school. Teachers are not required to provide make-up work for unexcused absences.
Frequent or chronic absences and/or tardiness may result in the filing of an educational neglect petition and referral to the Family Court as required by law.
School Guidelines on Tardiness
Pū‘ōhala requests the cooperation of parents and guardians in getting children to school by 7:45 a.m. when the warning bell rings. A child who comes to school after 7:50 a.m. is tardy. Instruct your child to report to the office to obtain a Tardy Admit Slip after the 7:50 a.m. bell has rung. Students are required to turn in the Tardy Slip to his/her teacher in order to be admitted to the classroom.
Excessive tardies may result in an attendance letter.
The school will only excuse tardies when written documentation is submitted and tardies are for one of the following reasons:
- Medical or dental appointments with note from the doctor (along with your note). Parents are asked to schedule appointments during non-school hours.
- Student detained by teacher/school official with note from the person detaining the student
- Delayed school bus
- Unusual weather circumstances (approved by the Administrator)
- All excused absence reasons apply
All other reasons must be reviewed by an administrator before a tardy is excused.
Unexcused Tardies include but is not limited to: overslept, late start, car trouble, missed the bus, child or elder care, personal business, etc.
Unexcused tardies affect the student's academic performance and are subject to the following consequences:
- School level consequences
- Parent Conferences
- A petition submitted to Family Court for Educational Neglect/Truancy
No more than seven (7) tardies with a parent note will be excused. Absences above and beyond this amount without a doctor's note or court documentation will be considered "unexcused." Tardiness due to any of the "unexcused tardies" reasons noted above are not excusable.
Parents are asked to schedule appointments or other non-school events during non-school hours. For special events or emergencies, we request that a signed note be sent to the office when requesting for an early release. Please state the reason, destination and time of release. When picking up your child, report to the office to sign him/her out. The office will then send for your child. If you are sending someone in place of yourself to pick up your child, please advise them to bring some type of proper picture I.D. and a note with their name on it. Please be advised that the school office reserves the right to verify releases by calling the parent or legal guardian.
Enrollment, Registration and Transfer
Age of Entrance, Entrance Requirements and Kindergarten Enrollment
DOE Policy 4110 states: In schools on regular schedule, children who have attained or will attain the age of 5 years on or before December 31 may be enrolled in Kindergarten, and children who have attained or will attain the age of 6 on or before December 31 may be enrolled in the first grade. Registration forms are available at the school office.
All children enrolling in public schools for the first time must have:
1. A birth certificate or equivalent (baptismal certificate, passport, or hospital certificate) to verify birth date.
2. A health card (Form 14) completed by a physician. The form is available at the doctor’s office. TB clearance is specifically required. See health requirements section for more info.
Transcripts of records from schools previously attended, if any, are desirable but not required.
Click here to access How to Enroll- Hawai‘i Department of Education webpage.
Click here to access Kindergarten Enrollment webpage.
Under conditions provided by the Department of Education regulations, geographic exceptions may be granted to students, allowing them to attend school in a district other than the one in which they reside. The process of obtaining geographic exception status begins with submitting a completed Form DLTSS-064, which is available at any school.
Nondiscrimination Rights of Students and Civil Rights Complaint Procedures
No public school student shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits or be subjected to discrimination on account of the student’s race, color, national origin, sex, religion or handicapping condition under any program or activity of the Department of Education.
If you feel you have been discriminated against in an educational program or activity, you are encouraged to bring the matter to the attention of the principal for discussion and resolution. If it cannot be resolved at this level, you are encouraged to use the Civil Rights Complaint Procedures for Students and file a written complaint with the district superintendent. The complaint form is available at the school office. You may request a copy of the Civil Rights Complaint Procedures for Students from the principal.
Transfer of Student from a School Outside of Hawai‘i
Students transferring from a school outside of Hawai‘i should submit:
1. A birth certificate or other legal proof of birth date.
2. Proof of Residency (Picture ID with current address, utility bill, rental agreement, etc.)
3. A certificate of release and report card from the last school attended.
4. Medical records presenting evidence of compliance with regulation 4240.1 - “Medical Examination and Immunization Requirements”.
Parents shall provide a signed authorization for the transferring school to release the students’ records to Pū‘ōhala School. If the required records are not immediately available at the time the child enters school, he/she may be temporarily enrolled, pending receipt of records within a reasonable time; except as otherwise required by law.
Transfer of Student from Another Hawai‘i School
Students transferring into Pū‘ōhala School from another Hawai'i public school will need a Transfer Card (Form 211) from the outgoing school. It would be desirable for the incoming student to submit his/her report card at the time of entry to assist in selecting an appropriate classroom placement.
Transfer from a Private School
Private school students wishing to enter Pū‘ōhala shall submit a record of work completed at the time of registration. Transfer procedures shall be the same as those from another public school.
When requesting a transfer to another school, parents are to sign a release form which is issued at the office at least 3 days in advance. This will enable the teacher, librarian and clerk to clear the student of all obligations and prepare the necessary records that need to be forwarded.
Acceleration and retention of students will be considered throughout the school year. Parents of the children involved will be asked to meet and discuss the recommendation by the school and reasons for acceleration or retention. Parents will participate actively toward reaching a decision regarding their child.
Is there another place to find this information?
Yes, it is located in the front of your child's planner. Every student is given a spiral-bound Pū‘ōhala Planner at the beginning of the school year, thanks to the fundraising efforts of our fabulous PTA. Please consider joining this parent organization. Hui Mākua and SCC are other ways to give input/assistance on how to help our keiki thrive. Mahalo for asking.