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A Message from Principal Cadotte
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:05 AM

Dear Families,
 
Winter, as usual, is a busy time at Burroughs. Please note some important upcoming events.
 
Read-a-Thon and Spirit Wear Day: Our Opening Ceremony for this year’s Read-a-thon will be Friday, February 1 at 9:30 am. It will also be Spirit Wear Day. Let’s fill the gym with students and staff sporting Burroughs Spirit Wear or our school colors, navy & gold. The Spirit Wear Booth is open on Fridays before and after school.
 
MAP Testing: Winter MAP testing will begin on January 23 and end on February 5. Students will always know what day they will be tested. You can help by having your child get a good night’s sleep and encouraging them to eat breakfast.
 
Incoming Kindergartener? You must fill out a School Choice Card for kindergarten next year. Request cards are due by February 19. Cards are available in the Burroughs office, or you can fill out an online request form at the Minneapolis Public Schools website.
 
Dress for the Weather: Please make sure you are sending your child to school with a hat, mittens or gloves, a winter coat that closes, and BOOTS. Scarves and snow pants are optional but always a good idea. Our Lost & Found bins are overflowing with items that look very similar, so please label your child’s belongings.
 
Important Information about the Minneapolis Public Schools Attendance Policy: Ninety-five percent (95%) attendance is set as the District’s minimum standard for each student. In order for a student to have 95% attendance, the student must not miss more than eight days of school for an entire year, excused or unexcused.
 
Minneapolis Public Schools recognizes that daily attendance is critical to academic achievement. It is our goal to work with students, families, and communities to support regular school attendance and improve academic achievement.
 
It's the Law! Minnesota law states that all students are required to attend school from age seven, or when they enter kindergarten (whichever comes first) until they are 18 years old. A student's failure to attend school may lead to legal action for the parents/guardians and the student.
 
What are Excused Absences?
·    Doctor/Dentist Appointments: Whenever possible, please schedule doctor and dentist appointments before and after school. If you must schedule an appointment during school, the appointment will be excused only upon receiving a written note from the doctor or dentist.
·    Illness: Students are allowed up to eight total absences a year, or three days in a row, due to illness. A doctor's note must be provided if your child is gone from school more than eight total days over the school year or more than three days in a row due to illness. Because your child's health is important to us, school staff can help your child if you do not have health insurance or cannot afford to see a doctor. Please contact the health office at (612) 668-3288.
·    School Bus Problems: If your child misses school because the bus was late or did not show up at the bus stop, you must report this to the school that morning.
·    Religious Holidays/Cultural Observances: If your child will be gone due to a religious holiday or cultural observance, you must notify the school in advance.
·    Funeral: Students may be gone up to four days a year because of a funeral. If your child will be gone more than four days, you must get written approval for additional excused time from the principal, assistant principal, or the social worker.
·    Family Emergency: Students may be gone up to three days a year because of a family emergency. If your child will be gone more than three days, you must get written approval for additional excused time from the principal, assistant principal, or the social worker.
·    Family Activity: A student may be gone up to five days from school for a pre-approved family activity, such as a vacation. To get pre-approval from the school, you must do the following:
o   At least 10 days before leaving, request permission from the school for your child to be gone by submitting a Family Activity Attendance Form, which requires signatures from parents, teachers, and administrators.
o  Before leaving, get your child's homework and agree that your child will finish the homework.
o  Make sure that your child will not be gone for important tests like the MCA, MAP, or MBST.
o  Agree in writing that your child will miss no more than five days of school.
 
All days of vacation after five days will be considered unexcused. Once a student has reached five days of vacation, additional days of vacation will be considered unexcused absences and a letter from the principal is sent home. At six days of unexcused absences, a Parent Group Meeting (PGM) referral is made to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. This office will send a letter to the child’s parent. At nine days of unexcused absences, an Educational Neglect Report is sent to Hennepin County.
 
Tardiness: It is vital that students arrive to school on time. The first 20 minutes of class is a time of essential community building and is when some of the most important daily information is discussed. By 9:30 am, instruction in core curriculum begins. Students need to be present every day for this valuable time.
 
For every absence you MUST call the Attendance Line at (612) 668-3288 no later than 9:15 the day of the absence, even if you have talked to or emailed the teacher. If your child is absent, and you have not called the attendance line prior to 9:15, you will receive a robo-call from the school at 10 am.
 
Thanks, and have a great week,
 

Mr. Cadotte