Student Support Services

Commissioner’s Regulations Section 109.2

Current through March 31, 2010. Disclaimer

§ 109.2 Absence from school for religious observance and education.

  1. Absence of a pupil from school during school hours for religious observance and education to be had outside the school building and grounds will be excused upon the request in writing signed by the parent or guardian of the pupil.   
  2. The courses in religious observance and education must be maintained and operated by or under the control of duly constituted religious bodies.
  3. Pupils must be registered for the courses and a copy of the registration filed with the local public school authorities.
  4. Reports of attendance of pupils upon such courses shall be filed with the principal at the end of each semester.
  5. Such absence for a released time program, grades K-12 shall be for not more than one hour each week at the close of either the morning or afternoon session, or both, at a time to be fixed by the local school authorities; provided that the time designated for each separate unit, the primary grades (10-12), shall be the same for all pupils in that unit in each separate school.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, a board of education, in its discretion, may permit pupils in the various units which are departmentalized to be released for not more than one hour a week in groups that may include less than whole units at such times and upon such conditions as such board of education may deem proper; in no event may any pupil be released for more than one hour a week.  In the event that more than one school for religious observance and education is maintained in any district, the hours for absence in each particular public elementary or secondary school unit in such district shall be the same for all such religious schools.
  6. A board of education may establish an optional program for high school students in grades 9-12 to permit a student with written approval of parent or guarding to enroll in a course in religion in a registered nonpublic high school.  Enrollment in a course of this nature shall be subject to the prior approval by the public high school principal with respect to course schedule, pupil attendance and reporting of pupil achievement.  Absence to attend such a course may be excused for the number of periods per week that the course is scheduled in the nonpublic school, provided that the excused absences are at the beginning or close of a public school session and are mutually agreed upon by the school officials.