Waldorf Education is built on a foundation of active learning; therefore, attendance in all classes is essential to the growth and healthy development of the child. It is our desire that all teachers in the grade school emphasize the importance of every child being present for the full day of school.
The Charlottesville Waldorf School attendance policy is as follows:
Every class teacher will take attendance and post it on his or her classroom door no later than 8:15 a.m. An administrative staff member will come at that time to pick it up.
After 5 unexcused absences or instances of lateness, the administrative chair will submit a letter to the parents reminding them of our attendance policy and the consequences of failure to comply with it.
After 10 unexcused absences or instances of lateness, parents will be required to meet with the college chair, Suzanne Ryan, before the student can return to school.
This means that at the tenth absence or lateness, parents should expect to schedule a meeting either the day of the absence or the following morning at 7:30 a.m. so that their child can return to class. In addition, the College may choose to review the student contract.
Absences must be reported to the Main Office by the parent via email, phone, or letter.
If no communication has been received by the parent or guardian by 9:00 a.m., the Main Office will call the parents to verify the whereabouts of the absentee.
Tardy slips will be distributed by the Main Office, and any student arriving late and unaccompanied by a parent, must bring a letter from the parent explaining the reason for the lateness. If a student reports to the office without a letter, the Main Office will call the student’s parents to verify the student’s whereabouts before arriving at school.
It is the responsibility of parents to contact teachers in the event of absences lasting longer than 3 days and to provide any necessary tutoring and make-up work in consultation with the class teacher and specialty subject teachers.
While all schools expect families to avoid excessive absences, at Waldorf schools something essential is lost when the child misses any part of the school day. Each Waldorf teacher—from nursery through eighth grade—strives to create the day’s lesson as one would create a work of art: bringing balance, harmony, and beauty into his or her presentation of material to the children. In addition, Waldorf school subjects are taught in blocks, which build upon what has come before; what is not experienced directly is not easily made up, and make-up work is not equivalent to what is missed. Make-up work also creates additional work for the teacher. How to address the needs of individual children will be left to the teachers’ discretion. In the grade school, it is the responsibility of the parents to contact teachers in the event of absence and to provide any necessary tutoring and make-up work in consultation with the class teacher and the specialty subject teachers.
In light of this, we strongly urge parents to plan family trips and vacations during scheduled school breaks; to strive for a regular, rhythmic home life so that the child’s health is supported; and to help children learn punctuality and reliability through dependable attendance. While it is important for children who are sick to stay home, please consider carefully the consequences of absences for other reasons.
The Charlottesville Waldorf School will record instances of lateness and absence as excused or unexcused. Notification, including an explanation of any instance of lateness or absence, must be received within three days of the student’s return to school or the instance will be considered unexcused. Notification can be made in the form of a written note, phone call, or email to the Main Office. Medically documented or administratively pre-approved absences will be counted as excused.
More than ten unexcused instances of lateness and or absence is considered excessive for rising first graders through eighth graders. On the day a child has reached ten instances of lateness and or absence, the Main Office will call home to arrange a meeting with the parent and college chair before the student will be allowed to return to school.
Excused Absence: This includes illness, family emergencies, religious holidays, high school visits, and doctor’s appointments.
Unexcused Absence: This includes family trips, rest and recreation days, and any absence beyond ten days that is not documented in a medical note.
If your child is sick and will not be in school, please inform the Main Office by 9:00a.m.
If your child is ill with a communicable disease, you must let us know within 24 hours or the next business day.
All grade school students who arrive after the morning bell has rung at 8:10 a.m. must report to the Main Office with a note explaining the lateness or accompanied by a parent. Students in grades 1-4 will wait in the Main Office until a faculty member is available to accompany them to their classrooms so as to minimize the disruption to their classes. Students in grades 5-8 may report directly to their classrooms once they have received a late slip from the Main Office and are expected to enter their classrooms as respectfully as possible.