Attendance Letters

Modified on Thu, Feb 29 at 2:07 PM

Genesis has a robust Attendance Letter facility that allows you to create as many Attendance Letters, as required to implement your Attendance policies.  

Letters can be either Daily Attendance Letters or Class Attendance Letters.

  • Daily Attendance Codes – Codes applied when Daily Attendance is taken.  These are defined  on the Attendance>Codes>Attendance Codes screen.  
  • Class Attendance Codes – Codes applied when Class Attendance is taken.  These are defined  on the Class Attendance>Attendance Codes>Attendance Codes screen.


How do the Daily and Class Attendance Codes Affect Letters?  

A student receives one Daily Attendance code for every day of the school year.

When an Attendance Letter is run, the “Attendance Value” of each code that a student has received  is summed into various different totals.  

The totals include the following ‘buckets’: 

  • Total Absences
  • Total Excused Absences
  • Total Unexcused Absences
  • Total Tardies
  • Total Excused Tardies 
  • Total Unexcused Tardies
  • Current Consecutive Day Absence count (resets for every day ‘present’)

A student’s totals in each ‘bucket’ are then compared to the letter’s “trigger” counts.  

The first time a student’s totals qualifies them for the letter, they receive the letter. 

Required Setup in Genesis Setup includes:  

Letter Cycles, Attendance Codes, and the Letter Definitions themselves. 

Run Letters

Prior to beginning to create Attendance Letters, you must verify that the following are correctly set up in Setup>Schools>Modify School:

  • Letter Cycles
  • Attendance Cycles

All Attendance Letters are linked to a “Letter Cycle”.  

A Letter Cycle is a named period of time.  E.g.  “Marking Period 1”, “Full Year”, “Semester 1”, “January”.  

Letter Cycles are defined as School Parameters on the Setup>Schools>Modify School>Letter Cycles screen – but are usually copied from the Setup>Schools>Modify School>Attendance Cycles screen.  

Letter Cycles have a very simple structure

  • Code – Genesis uses the code internally to identify the Letter Cycle 
  • Description – A description which makes sense to users.  E.g. Marking Period 4. 
  • Start Date – First day of the cycle 
  • End Date – Last day of the cycle 

Generate Letters

You select the "Letter Date," "Letter Template" and "List of Students" on the Attendance>Letters>Run Letters>Generate Letters.

When you click "Create Letters," it will generate letters based on those selections.

You can print the generated letters via Attendance>Letters>Run Letters>Print Letters.

List of Letters

The list of Attendance Letters defined for your school is displayed on the Attendance>Letters>List of Letters screen.

This screen is used primarily to access the letter definitions so that they can be modified, simply viewed or deleted.

Running the letters is not done via this screen. It is done via the Attendance>Letters>Run Letters screen.

To remove an Attendance Letter definition simply click the delete icon corresponding to it.

To edit an Attendance Letter definition, click the edit icon corresponding it.  A modify procedure is described below.  

Add or Modify Letter

To create a new Attendance letter, go to the Attendance>Letters screen. Click on the “Add/Modify Letter” tab.

This will bring you to the Attendance>Letters>Add Letter screen.

Steps to creating a letter

  1. Choose a “letter code”. This is any short, unique set of letters and numbers that identifies the letter. For example, for a “4 day letter” you might choose the code “4DAY”. For a 4 day letter that only tracks absences in the first semester, you might choose “4S1”. The keys to picking a useful code are:
    a. It clearly identifies the letter
     b. It is short and contains only letters and numbers. 
  2. Provide a description of the letter. 
  3. Choose the letter cycle to which to link this letter. Every letter must be linked to one Attendance Cycle. An “Attendance Cycle” might be “Full Year”, or “Semester 1” or “Semester 2”, “Q1”, etc.
  4. Choose the “attendance criteria” that will trigger sending this letter. 
  5. Flag whether the Attendance “events” (absences or tardies) are to be counted only consecutively. 
  6. Choose a sequence number for this letter. Sequence numbers do not affect the letter itself at all; the sequence number only controls the letter’s placement in the “list of letters” on the Attendance>Letters>List Letters screen. Lower numbers sort to the top of the list; higher numbers sort to the bottom. 
  7. Enter the text of the letter. This is a large text field which allows you to place the letter’s text, including “macros” that will be substituted for data.

Specifying Attendance Criteria

Each letter can specify up to two types of criteria:

  1. Absences, either unexcused, excused or both, and
  2. Tardies, either unexcused, excused or both. 

You must specify a value for each. For example, if the letter you are creating is the “4 day” Attendance letter, you will want to set the letter up as follows:

  1. 4 Absences, “Unexcused” checked but “Excused” not checked. 
  2. 0 Tardies

Letter Text 

The “Letter Text” field is where you enter the text of the letter. This is not a “Microsoft Word” type of text. This is plain, ordinary, text. You cannot choose a letter font or letter size here. What you can do is use “Letter Macros” to insert data into your letters.

The “Letter Text” is a template for how to create the letter. Where you want the student’s information inserted into the letter, you must use a Letter Macro to insert the information.

Letter Macros

These are the “macros” that insert a student’s information into the letter. Macros have the form “${“, followed by the name of the macro, followed by a “}”. It is the “${…}” that tells Genesis to figure out what data to insert into the letter.

Save and Create the Letter

Once you have completed the definition of the letter, specified the “trigger” criteria and entered the letter text, it is time to actually save (and Add) the letter.  

To save and add the letter, click the “Add” button at the bottom of the screen.

To continue and add the letter, click the “OK” button.  To stop and cancel the add, click the “Cancel” button.

Procedure to Modify an Attendance Letter 

  1. Go to the Attendance>Letters>List of Letters screen.
  2. Locate the letter you wish to modify and click on the corresponding edit icon. This brings up the Attendance>Letters>Modify Letter screen.
  3. Update the ‘Letter Description’ – an explanation of what the letter does or is for.  NOTE that you cannot modify a letter’s code: once created during the Add Letter process, it cannot be altered.  
  4. Update the Letter Cycle to be used to determine when a student has “earned” this letter.  You can do this but doing if after a letter has been used for a while is not wise.  
  5. Update Letter type.  While you can do this, it is also not wise to alter the type of a letter after it has been used.     
  6. Update the Absence & Tardy criteria for this letter   
    1. Both Absence and Tardies count fields must have numbers.
    2. The value for one of these must be zero (0).  That is, you can base the letter on  either Absences, or Tardies but not both – but you must enter a numeric value in  each of the two fields.
    3. Absences can include either or both Excused and Unexcused absences.  You must select at least one checkbox.   i. You may also include for class attendance.  Check the Use Credit Loss  Absences (Class Only) checkbox. 
    4. Tardies can include either or both Excused and Unexcused tardies. You must select at least one checkbox. 
  7. Update “Consecutive Days” if desired.  
  8. If you convert a certain number of Tardies to 1 absence (e.g. 4 tardies equal 1 absence) and  you want the “converted tardies” to count (i.e. be added to the total number of absences  for this letter), click the Include Converted Tardies as Absences as set in Auto Credit Loss  Rules. (Daily Only) field.  
  9. If this is a Class Attendance letter, it may be being triggered by more than a single course  section.  If you only want 1 letter printed for the student, regardless of how many course  sections trigger the letter, make sure the "when mass printing class attendance letters, only print one letter per student regardless of how many classes student qualifies for" checkbox is checked.  
  10. For Class Attendance you also may wish to alter the courses considered to only those which  are graded.  If this is so, check the "Only include Grade Courses (Class Only)" checkbox.  
  11. Update the “Seq #” for this letter.  This will change the letters position in the list of letters  on the List of Letters screen.  It has no other function. 
  12. Update the Font size for the generated letters.  This defaults to 8.  Many users update this  to 10 or 12.  
  13. Update the Letter Text - This is described above.  
  14. Click "Modify" to update the letter definition.  
  15. The letter is updated and the confirmation dialog is then displayed

Running Letters

Once you have created your Attendance Letters, you can “run” them to determine which students should receive them, via Attendance>Letters>Run Letters>Generate Letters.


Letter Parameters



Letter Code

This is a short code that uniquely identifies the letter.  This cannot be altered later.  It is used internally as the ‘unique identifier’ for the letter.  It cannot be the same as any other Attendance letter code.  


An explanation of what the letter does or is for

Letter Cycle

Determines when a student has “earned” this letter

Attendance Type

Daily or Class


Total Absences or Total Tardies

Include Truancy (Daily Only)

Students truancy total will be compared to the value in Total Absences field to see if student qualifies for the letter.

Include Excused Absences / Include Unexcused Absences

Use Credit Loss Absences (Class Only)

Credit loss option will use both excused and unexcused absences as long as long as they have a positive credit loss value.

Include Excused Tardies / Include Unexcused Tardies

Consecutive Days?

Include Converted Tardies as Absences as set in Auto Credit Loss Rules. (Daily And Class)

When mass printing and displaying letters on screen, only print/show one letter per student regardless of how many classes student qualifies for. (Class Only)

The screens that honor this flag are the students letters screen and the letters screen within the parents module.

Only include Graded Courses (Class Only)

Course must have at least X credits to qualify for letter (Class Only)


Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select at least one of the reasons
CAPTCHA verification is required.

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article