University policy excuses the absences of students for illness, religious observances, participation in University activities at the request of university authorities and compelling circumstances beyond the student's control. Students who miss a single class for a medical reason are not required to provide medical documentation, but students who are absent more than once are responsible for providing various forms of documentation, depending on the nature of the absence. Course syllabi should specify the nature of the in-class participation expected and the effects of absences on students' grades. For more information, see University Policy V-1.00G on Medically Necessary Absence.
Students who miss a single class (lecture, recitation, or lab) for a medical reason must make a reasonable effort to contact their instructor in advance, and upon return to class, present the instructor with a self-signed note which acknowledges that the information provided is accurate. Faculty must accept this note; a student's failure to provide an accurate statement is a violation of the Honor Code.
Individual faculty should specify in the syllabus whether they will accept the student's self-excusal for subsequent absences, or whether they will require medical documentation. The syllabus should clearly state the number of medical absences after which additional documentation will be required. Students who have a prolonged absence due to illness (multiple consecutive absences) are required to provide written documentation from a health care provider.
In the event a student is absent for a Major Grading Event, he or she must provide documentation of illness from a health care professional, as well as notify the instructor in advance. It is up to the instructor to determine what constitutes a Major Grading Event: a test, paper or other assessment worth a significant percentage of the grade, etc. The syllabus should specify which assessments are considered "major."
The University's policy on religious observance and classroom assignments and tests states that students should not be penalized for participation in religious observances and that, whenever feasible, they should be allowed to make up academic assignments that are missed due to such absences. Faculty should describe this policy in the syllabus. Students are responsible for notifying the instructor of projected absences within the first two weeks of the semester. this is especially important for final examinations. Instructors should take the validity of these requests at face value.
The policy also requires that tests and major assignments not be scheduled on certain holiday dates. These are listed below. An extensive list of religious holidays can be found at http://www.interfaithcalendar.org.
Tests and the due dates of other significant assessment must not be scheduled during:
|Rosh Hashanah||Sundown, Wed., Sept. 28 - Nightfall, Fri., Sept. 30, 2011|
|Yom Kippur||Sundown, Fri., Oct. 7 - Nightfall, Sat., Oct. 8, 2011|
|Good Friday||Fri., Apr. 6, 2012|
|Passover||Sundown, Fri., Apt. 6 - Nightfall, Sun., Apr. 8, 2012|
Faculty should remind students in advance, preferably on the syllabus, that it is the student's responsibility to inform the instructor of any intended absences for religious observances in advance and that prior notification is especially important in connection with final examinations, since failure to reschedule a final examination before the conclusion of the final examination period may result in loss of credits during the semester. This problem is especially likely to arise when final exams are scheduled on Saturdays. Your failure to understand and adhere to this policy may result in a false perception that the campus is insensitive to the religious diversity on campus. Accordingly, please make every feasible effort to accommodate students' requests based on attendance of religious observances.
Official closures and delays are announced on the campus website at umd.edu and snow phone line (301-405-SNOW), as well as on local radio and TV stations. If inclement weather conditions force a faculty member to cancel a class even though the University is open, the faculty member must notify the department chair in advance. Students must also be notified through procedures outlined in the syllabus.
All faculty are expected to meet their classes and keep office hours. When unforeseen circumstances arise precluding meeting classes and the instructor cannot arrange a substitute, the instructor should notify the department chair as far in advance as possible and, where possible, notify affected students.
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