BRIDGES Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy Meadows Educational Center/BRIDGES Program

Students in Vermont between the ages of six (6) and sixteen (16) are required by law to attend school. Truancy is an unexcused absence from school or class without administrative permission. To ensure that students remain in compliance with Vermont statutes and regulatory requirements, students enrolled in the BRIDGES Program are required to have regular and punctual patterns of attendance. This policy seeks to improve students’ educational opportunities and personal development by supporting attendance and pro-social behaviors within the educational environment.


  1. All unplanned absences, with reason for absence, must be called in to the attendance line no later than 7:30AM.  ATTENDANCE LINE 802-258-3735
  2. Planned absences (doctor’s appointments, vacations, etc…) should be called in with at least 48-hour notice.  These absences may be phoned into the student’s individual Social Worker or the Attendance Line.

Attendance Guidelines and Information for Parents/Guardians:

  1. A student who fails to attend school during a scheduled school day is considered absent.
  2. Student absences will be EXCUSED for the following reasons:  Brief illness (requiring a parent/guardian note), extended illness (requiring a physician note), family emergency, death in the family, physician/dentist/counseling appointment, religious holiday, court appearance. The absence is considered excused if the school is given adequate advanced notice or if a written explanation is provided after the fact by a parent/guardian.
  3. Student absences will be UNEXCUSED when they are due to the following:  School refusal, sleeping late, undocumented and repeated illnesses, suspension from transportation service or school, family vacations.  Certain family vacations or extracurricular activities may be approved as excused given prior review and approval of the Attendance Review Committee.
  4. The Attendance Review Committee will include the Meadows School Principal and/or The BRIDGES Clinical Manager, the assigned BRIDGES Social Worker, a teacher, and a representative from the student’s sending school district.
  5. When a student has a pattern of unexcused absences during an academic semester, the student is at risk of receiving an “I” (incomplete) or “F” (failure due to attendance) for the semester. Following the third unexcused absence, the student’s parent/guardian and the sending school representative will receive written notification and a meeting with the Attendance Review Committee will be convened.
  6. When a student is absent for more than eight (8) (any combination of excused and unexcused) days during an academic semester, the student’s parent/guardian and the sending school representative will receive written notification and a meeting with the Attendance Review Committee will be convened.
  7. The Attendance Review Committee will review the student’s attendance record and will determine whether the student may receive credit for the semester.  Any requirements to recoup credits may be discussed.  The group may also discuss any supports that will be implemented to improve the student’s attendance in the future.
  8. Due to state laws regarding school attendance, the Attendance Review Committee may be required to contact local truant officers and/or child protection agencies if attendance becomes a significant barrier to the student’s education.
  9. For all students receiving Special Education services, this policy will be applied consistent with Vermont Special Education law regarding attendance.  For more information about the Vermont Department of Education laws and regulations which guided this policy, you may review Title 16, Chapter 25 and the 2009 Report on Act 44, Section 46 (Truancy) at the Vermont Agency of Education.

Thank you in advance for working with the BRIDGES Program toward the success of your student.

revised 8/20/14