School Policies

Attendance Requirements and Procedures

Pennsylvania State Law requires every child to attend school regularly. The Allentown School District’s rules and regulations on attendance encourage every student to attend school on a regular basis. It is the purpose of this policy to set forth the general condition for attendance in the Allentown School District so that each student gains the most from the school program. Regular school attendance is, by law, a parental responsibility. Students and their parent(s) or guardian(s) are responsible for the maintenance of a good attendance record.
It is our belief that good attendance fosters an educational program that is beneficial to all. Good classroom attendance is not only appropriate for the individual but also affects the learning process/atmosphere of the entire class and, therefore, the school community. It is the student’s responsibility to make up all work missed for an excused/legal absence. It is not the student’s responsibility to provide daycare or eldercare during school hours.
Success in school is directly related to being in the classroom, joining in class discussion, and doing assigned work on a regular basis. There is no way to duplicate the classroom experience after the student has been absent. Course credit will be awarded to students only if they meet an attendance requirement in addition to earning a passing grade. 
Attendance Instructions
  •  It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to call the attendance office (484-765-5506) to report student absences. In the case of extended absence, parents are required to report circumstances to the Attendance Office. It may also be necessary to report the circumstances to the Nurse’s Office or student’s counselor.
  •  Upon return to school from an absence, it is the student’s responsibility to provide an excuse OR to complete an excuse blank (which are available from homeroom teachers). A written excuse note should include student’s name, homeroom, date of absence, reason for absence, ID number, and signature of the parent/guardian. If submitting an excuse blank, completely fill in the information that is required. These notes/excuse blanks must be submitted to the homeroom teacher within 3 days of return to school. Failure to submit an excuse note/excuse blank within the required time frame will result in the absence being marked illegal.
  • The student’s attendance record, disciplinary record, and all parent contacts will be recorded and used in court proceedings if necessary. The court may assign fines or community service as a result.
Early Dismissal
It is important to note that early dismissals should only be used in situations where a student must go to a necessary appointment that cannot be scheduled after school hours. If a student needs to leave school early for an appointment, parents/guardians must do one of the following:
The first option is that the parent/guardian may come to the school. The parent/guardian must report to the Main Office and inform the secretary of their student’s name and the reason why the student needs to leave. The student may then leave the building, but the student is required to bring a note from their appointment back to school when they return so that the absence can be marked excused. Failure to adhere to this will result in the absence being marked illegal.
The second option is as follows: Parent(s)/guardian(s) may request a Blue Slip so that their child may leave school early. A parent/guardian must contact the school to verify if a student needs to leave early for an appointment. If a student has a written note from a parent/guardian, verification with the parent/guardian by phone is still necessary in order for the student to be released from school. Students must bring a note in verifying their appointment, and this note must be submitted when the student returns so that the early dismissal is marked excused.
Keep in mind that it is the student’s responsibility to check with each of their teachers about any missed work when having to leave school early.
For students to leave school early because of illness or any other reason, an excuse MUST be obtained from the school nurse or an administrator and the parent/guardian. Under any other circumstances, such absences will be considered unexcused/illegal. A ZERO will be given for class work missed.
Extended Absences/Vacations
As required by the District, in order to have a student out of school for more than 3 days, a parent/guardian must complete an “Application for Temporary Absence Permit,” which may be obtained in the Main Office. These must be completed at least 5 days in advance, and students may not be out for more than 5 days without being disenrolled. Extended absence will not be approved during exam time.
Students will use the east parking lot (Jerome Street). Teachers, guests, and the buses will use the west parking area (Irving Street) and the north parking area (Cedar Street). Any car in violation will be towed at the owner’s expense. All drivers are urged to park within the white guidelines.
The privilege of parking on school property will be withdrawn if a student is found guilty of reckless driving or any other action detrimental to the best interest of the school.
Routine police patrols throughout the day will identify drivers who double park and/or race around the building. Do not park in the street areas posted by the city for cleaning.
Cell Phones and Electronic Devices
As per ASD’s Code of Conduct, all cell phones and electronic devices must be:
  •  Turned off upon entering any school building and remain off until students leave the school building.
  • Stored during school hours within students' assigned lockers or other areas designated by school administrators.
  • Any student refusing to turn in an electronic device will face disciplinary consequences for insubordination.
  • All electronic devices must remain off during a school evacuation or drill.
Those in violation of this policy may have their electronic device confiscated by the building administration. Parents/guardians will be notified of any violation as well.
Any electronic device/phone suspected of being stolen will be turned over to the police.Electronic devices/phones stolen during the school day are not a priority for administrators.
Defacing School Property
State law requires that students responsible for the defacing of school property pay the cost of any equipment damaged, lost, or destroyed as well as labor costs. Where applicable, students will be prosecuted according to the graffiti ordinance of the City of Allentown.
Diplomas will not be granted and all other high school records will be withheld for those who do not make complete settlement. This rule applies to all school items including choir gown, uniforms, athletic equipment, textbooks, class dues, etc.
Entering the Building
Doors will not be opened until 7:20 A.M. unless students choose to attend breakfast. (Students must make special arrangements with teachers in order to be admitted before 7:20 A.M.) Please adjust your arrival time accordingly. Students are not to congregate in the front parking lot or near the main entrance.
Between 7:20 – 7:30 A.M., all freshmen students will enter the Michael P. Meilinger Wing entrances; upperclassmen through the Athletic Office or Room F5 entrances. After 7:30 A.M., all students must enter the building through the Main Office Lobby.
Field Trips
Each student going on a field trip is required to obtain a permission form from the teacher sponsoring the trip. A parent/ guardian must sign the permission form. Medical cards must also be signed and carried with the student for out of town trips.
No student will be allowed to resort to fighting or hitting for any reason on the way to school, while at school, on the way home from school, or at any school event. Any student who decides to settle a problem by hitting or fighting will immediately face disciplinary consequences. The no fighting or hitting rule covers ALL situations. A student who hits others will face disciplinary consequences, even if another student hit him or her first. Our no fighting or hitting policies are a crucial part of our effort to maintain a nonviolent school climate.
Fire Drills
Fire drills at regular intervals are required by law and are an important safety precaution. It is essential that when the first signal is given, everyone obeys orders promptly and clears the building by the prescribed route as quickly as possible. The teacher in each classroom will give the students instructions.
Hall Pass Procedure
Hall passes are in response to a safety concern—yours! Hall passes, or passports, are printed on the last pages of this student planner. Students must present their planner containing their hall passes when requesting permission to leave the classroom. Students who lose their planner will be issued a replacement for $5 in the Guidance Office. The consequences for transferring or duplicating a hall pass may be detention and/or a suspension at the discretion of an administrator.
ID Policy
All students entering DHS must be wearing their current, school issued ID. Students will not be permitted to enter the building without their ID.
IDs must be visibly worn, at all times, on a lanyard around your neck. The ID must be on the front of the upper part of the body. Homeroom and all classroom teachers will check the IDs on a daily basis. It is every staff member’s responsibility to make sure that IDs are worn and that they are current. IDs must be relinquished to any staff member upon request. In addition, please keep the following in mind:
  •  Students caught without their IDs on during the school day will be sent to their appropriate administrator.
  •  Do not wear another student’s ID. You can be charged with fraud.
  • Defaced IDs are not acceptable. You will be financially responsible for replacing your ID if you deface it.
  • If attending a field trip, you must bring your DHS ID with you.
  • Cost for replacement of lost ID is $2, non-refundable. Cost for replacement of lost lanyards (chains) is $1, non-refundable. Cost for re-laminating your ID is $2. 
  •  Keep your ID during the summer. IDs will be used into the next school year until new ones are issued.
  • IDs will be used for homeroom, library, LANTA buses, and other school functions. They also can be used for banking, movie discounts, etc. The school-issued lanyard (chain) is yours for the time you are at Dieruff. You can purchase or use your own lanyard in lieu of the school provided chains.
It is unlawful for any student to possess, use, sell, or dispense drugs; including Tylenol, Advil, and etc. Any student involved while on school grounds will be suspended for a period of three to ten days of out-of-school. School district guidelines require that the school administrator report some of these instances to the police or to juvenile authorities.
Students who desire information about a drug related problem could receive the necessary help by discussing their concerns with a teacher, counselor, school nurse, or administrator.
Late to School/Class
Students must be in their assigned homerooms by 7:30 A.M. Students who are late (or who are not in their assigned homerooms at 7:30 AM) must report to the Meilinger Wing Lobby to sign-in. Astudent who reports directly to class will be charged with a full day of unexcused/illegal absence.
Students entering the building after 8:00 A.M. must be escorted by a parent/guardian or have an excuse from their parent/guardian indicating a reason for the late.
It is important that your child attends school on time each and every day. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary consequences, including detentions and suspensions as determined by administration. Accumulated time of unexcused tardiness will be added to illegal/unexcused absences. 
Likewise, students are expected to be on time for their classes. Starting with the third late to class in one semester, students will serve detention the day they are late to class. Failure to report for detention will result in in-school suspension. Continued class lateness also warrants detention and/or suspension.
*NOTE: All school policies are subject to change at any time as determined by theAllentown School District’s Board of Education. 
Student Searches
As noted in the ASD Code of Conduct, students are subject to searches of their personal belongings, lockers, and vehicles, based on reasonable suspicion. Such searches may be conducted by school administrators or designees as warranted. Note that lockers are school district property and may be searched with or without the student’s permission, and whether or not the student is on school property at the time. Personal belongings include, but are not limited to purses, gym bags, backpacks, jackets, coats, and packages. Please refer to the Code of Conduct for additional information.
Tobacco Possession
Act 145 of 1996 amends the PA Crimes Code and prohibits students from possessing or using tobacco in a school building, on a school bus, or on school property. Any student between the ages of 6 and 21 years who is in possession of a lighted or unlighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, or other lighted smoking product and smokeless tobacco in any form may be cited. Upon conviction, the student will be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $50 and to pay court costs. In addition, the student will be suspended from school for a period of one to three days per offense.