Students report for first day of class on Monday

Posted August 2, 2017 at 9:03 am

What must seem to have been a short summer vacation to many Clinton County youngsters will come to an end this weekend, as students in the Clinton County school district will report to class to begin the 2017-18 year next Monday, August 7.

There will be some subtle changes at some of the schools, including a new principal at Clinton County Middle School and new assistant principal at Albany Elementary School, among others, as several long-time employees, including teachers, announced retirement after the 2016-17 school term.

As far as the school calendar for student attendance, however, it is basically a mirror of past years, with the usual breaks, built in snow days and instructional hours.

The calendar shows 15 built-in makeup days, four each professional days, work days, and holiday periods, along with the mandated 172 instructional class days.

The first of four work days is scheduled for next Friday, August 11 and the first day students will have off for a holiday is Monday, September 4 for Labor Day.

Fall break will once again be extended, thanks to one of the professional days built in, and again will coincide with the Foothills Festival weekend. The break will run from Monday, October 16 through October 20, but students will not return to class until Tuesday, October 24 due to a work day on the previous Monday.

Thanksgiving will also be a three day break, with students and staff being off Wednesday through Friday, November 22, 23 (Thanksgiving Day) and 24.

Christmas/New Year’s break will be again, over two weeks long. Students will be off beginning Monday, December 18 through Friday, December 29 for Christmas, and Monday, January 1 for New Year’s. But with a work day scheduled for January 2, students will not return to class until Wednesday, January 3, 2018.

Spring break is scheduled for the week of April 2-6, but three days-only if necessary – April 2, 3, and 4, could be used as make-up days. If considering a perfect storm, with no missed days for any reason, the close of school would be May 16.

For the 2017-18 school year, students are required by law to attend school 170 days and 1,062 instructional hours as a minimum. That formula requires students to attend an average of 375 instruction minutes per day for 170 days in order to meet the minimum requirement.

A graph at the end of this article shows an instructional breakdown, including start and end times per day, for each of the four schools in the district:

Director of Pupil Personnel Dr. Julie York has also drafted a document for parents, students and the public entitled “Every Day Counts!” In stressing not only the importance of regular school attendance, but some consequences for unexcused absences, with information from that newsletter as follows:

Each day of school attendance is a unique opportunity to learn new skills and excel at acquired ones. Every day that children attend school, they obtain academic and social skills needed to succeed in life. Research supports the fact that attendance is crucial to improving student achievement.

The purpose of the Clinton County School District Attendance Procedures is to encourage parents and students to work closely with the attendance staff to make sure every student is successful in school. Therefore, regular and punctual patterns of attendance will be expected of each student enrolled in the Clinton County School District.

Please understand that we know it is important for parents to keep their children from school when they are sick. However, there are things families can do to improve attendance, such as:

* Planning vacations during the summer months or school holidays.

* Requesting an Educational Enforcement Opportunity Request Form from your child’s school at least five (5) days in advance of anticipated absence if you plan to take your child out of school for an educational purpose to ensure that the absence is excused it if is approved by the school principal.

* Ensuring that your children arrive at school on time every day.

* Scheduling routine medical and dental appointments before or after school or on early release days.

* Bringing your child back to school after an appointment with an excuse from the appointment site, if you must make medical or dental appointments during the school day.

A Kentucky Revised Statute (159.010) states that any parent, guardian or other person having custody or control of a child between the ages of six (6) and eighteen (18) shall send the child to a regular public school for the full term that the public school of the district in which the child resides is in session.

A parent, guardian or custodian of a child or children who do not regularly attend school will be reported to the Department of Social Services, Children’s Division, or to the County Attorney’s Office.

Kentucky Truancy Law: KRS 159.150. “Any child who has been absent from school without a valid excuse for three (3) or more days, or tardy without a valid excuse for three (3) or more days, is a truant. Any child who has been reported as a truant two (2) or more times is a habitual truant.”

Consequences for unexcused:

* Three (3) unexcused absences/tardies–letter sent from the school.

* Four (4) unexcused absences/tardies–referrals to Director of Pupil Personnel and/or contact by FRYSC.

* Unexcused absences/tardies–possible meeting with child protective services, court designated worker, school administration, and/or Director of Pupil Personnel.

* Unexcused absences/tardies–final notice sent to parents, guardians.

* Seven (7) unexcused absences/tardies–affidavit to court.

The school district also has a continuation for using cyber (or non-traditional) school days when necessary, as make up days due to inclement weather. More details on the cyber school day program will be published in a separate article in next week’s Clinton County News.