Attendance Standards

Attendance & Absences

For my in–class and hybrid courses, attendance will be taken by sign-in sheet each class period. Names are printed in advance and students must initial by their names. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure he or she signs the attendance sheet before class begins. The attendance sheet will be available to sign at the front of the room. Failure to sign the attendance sheet will result in a mandatory absence. No exceptions.

If you are absent, you need to do the following 2 things (these can be in the same email):

  • Email a written explanation of why you could not attend (due within 48 hours of absence).
  • Present official verification (e.g. doctor’s note) by the time you return to class.

Failure to notify the instructor and submit official verification will result in an unexcused absence. After one week’s worth of unexcused absences, 1% point will be deducted from your overall course grade for each additional unexcused absence.

  • Excused absences must be negotiated with the instructor. (See below for details.)
  • If you are part of a college–sponsored event, I will need official notice prior to your absence. 
  • Excuse notes may be scanned and emailed to me (keep email attachment below 5MB). I prefer this method for doctor’s notes.

Disruptions: Coming in Late / Leaving Early 

Arriving late to class twice (for any length of time) will count as one unexcused absence. Leaving the class early is not permitted without prior permission and will count as an unexcused absence. If you need to leave the class for an emergency, please do so with minimal distraction to others—this needs to be a rare and extraordinary occurrence. Permission will not be given to leave early or arrive late on a regular basis (e.g. because of work, other classes, etc.).


Parameters for Assignment Extensions

The due dates for assignments are firm. It is extremely rare to get an Assignment Extension. But if you have not completed an assignment, quiz, or exam, or if you failed to turn in an assignment on time, you may be granted an extension if all of the following three things are true.

  1. You have a valid reason for missing the assignment. (“Valid” is defined below.)
  2. Your excuse is validated by the signature of an appropriate authority (“Appropriate" is defined below.)
  3. The signatory of your written excuse has made it explicitly clear that your excuse covers the entire period of time in which the assignment was available to you. That is, if you had five days in which to complete an assignment, your signed excuse note must explicitly state that at no time during those five days were you able to do the assignment. Waiting until the last available day and then having an excusable occurrence happen, will not excuse you for not doing the assignment for the previous four days.

If all 3 of the above statements are true, then you’ll need to get an Excuse Request signed by a legitimate authority, for a valid reason, that covers the entire time you were (or will be) absent.

1. Valid Reasons for an Excused Absence or Assignment Extension

Family Medical Care | requires a note signed by a board cert. medical practitioner or a newspaper announcement
• unscheduled medical visit for you   • unscheduled medical visit for your dependent/partner   • birth of a child

Childcare Emergency | requires a note signed by your child’s school or daycare administrator

Lifecycle Events | requires a note signed by an ordained minister or a newspaper announcement
• baptism/christening   • bar/bat mitzvah   • religious holiday   • wedding   • funeral   • shiva

Catastrophic Tragedy | requires a report from the police, hospital, fire dept., or an insurance adjuster
• robbery/assault   • arson/fire   • car collision   • tornado   • flood   • earthquake   • alien invasion  

Court Date/Jury Duty | requires a note from the court clerk

Mandatory Military Service | requires a letter from your unit support staff
• recall to active duty   • drill for guardsmen/reservists   • annual tour for guardsmen/reservists

Official College Function | requires a note from the official program coordinator before the event—not after!

2. Examples of Invalid Reasons for an Excused Absence or Assignment Extension

  • An illness or injury for which you stayed home without a doctor’s care (Our campus has a clinic! Go!)
  • Non–emergent care (e.g. check–up, physical, annual, dental visit, therapy session)
  • A change of personal responsibilities at home/school/work (e.g. shift change, divorce, child care, etc.)
  • Transportation or technical problems. Make it to class on time and back–up your work!
  • Police action against you (e.g. getting pulled over, detained, arrested or serving time in a correctional facility).
    Arrests due to non–violent civil disobedience will be reviewed on a case–by–case basis.
  • Vacation, business trip, mission trip, etc. Don’t buy those plane tickets unless you can spare the time!

PLEASE NOTE: Your parents cannot write you an excuse note. Ever! I cannot stress this enough. In fact, FERPA law restricts me from speaking to anyone outside of the college about you at all. I can’t even acknowledge that you’re my student! As a result, when parents call, they are forwarded to my department chair who then explains FERPA law to them (again) and tells them that you should contact me directly once you are able to do so. So: no parents, spouses, friends, etc.

3. What should an Excuse Note include?

  • Your name, your professor’s name, and our course number.
  • A general reason for the excuse. You don’t need to go into specifics here. The doctor’s signature says it all.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: the specific dates for which you are requesting the excuse. Remember, the excuse note must precisely cover the ENTIRE TIME an assignment was available. NO EXCEPTIONS!

For example, let’s say the Midterm is available from 2-6 October. Despite your better judgment, you decide to wait until the 6th to take the exam. However, on your way to the Testing Center, you’re involved in an automobile collision. You write to me the next day asking for an extension on the Midterm. My answer, however, will be “no.” You would only be excused for 6 October, not 2-5 October. Simply put, you could have taken the exam earlier.