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Attendance Policy
Posted On:
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Attendance Policy 

Responsibility of Parents - Grades Pre K-8

Students are required to be on time for school. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to make sure that their children arrive on time each day.

Any time that a student is absent, the parent or guardian must send a written note to school satisfactorily explaining the absence. A satisfactory note from parent or guardian meets the following State guidelines: Illness; death in the immediate family; inclement weather (as determined by the principal) which would be dangerous to the life and health of the child; legal quarantine; emergency conditions as determined by the principal; and prior permission of the principal and consent of the parent or guardian. The note or doctor's excuse must be sent to school within three (3) days of the student's return to school to be counted as an excused absence.

On the fifth unexcused absence, a student is referred to the Early Warning Truancy Program. Attendance at the Early Warning Truancy Program shall be mandatory except where prior arrangements have been made or an emergency exists.

A written note from parents or guardians, as described above, will excuse absences for up to but not exceeding ten (10) absences.

Parents or guardians of a student who is absent eleven (11) or more times must present a clinical or doctor's excuse to the school in order for the absence to be excused.

Parents or guardians of any student having a chronic ailment that may cause the child to miss school during the year are required to provide the school with a clinical or doctor's statement verifying the child's condition at the beginning of the school year. The statement shall reflect the nature of the child's illness, and state that the child may have to miss school from time to time due to this illness. Failure of parent/guardian to provide the school with a chronic ailment statement can result in unexcused absence accumulation, and referral to Juvenile Court.

Excused absences for family vacations are strongly discouraged and will be permitted only if there are unusual circumstances that, within the principal's discretion, merit an excused absence. Further, an excused absence will not be granted unless the parent obtains prior permission from the principal.

Students must be in attendance one-half of the instructional day to be counted present. Tardies and early dismissals are strongly discouraged.

Parents or guardians of any students having housing instability that may cause the child to miss school during the year are requested to communicate with the school's registrar and/or administrator regarding their living situation.

Headlice: Students should return to school as soon as possible cleared of lice and nits. Only three days are excused for each occurrence of headlice.

Students Under Age Seven (7): Students under age seven (7) who accumulate more than ten (10) consecutive or fifteen (15) days total unexcused absences during a single semester may be withdrawn from school. Parents will be notified of pending withdrawal and given one (1) week to appear before the principal or the Attendance Officer to show cause as to why the student should not be withdrawn.

Compulsory School Attendance Laws

Code of Alabama, Section 16-28-12

Each parent, guardian, or other person having control or custody of any child required to attend school or receive regular instruction by a private tutor who fails to have the child enrolled in school or who fails to send the child to school, or have him or her instructed by a private tutor during the time the child is required to attend a public school, private school, church school, denominational school, or parochial school, or be instructed by a private tutor, or fails to require the child to regularly attend the school or tutor, or fails to compel the child to properly conduct himself or herself as a pupil in any public school in accordance with the written policy on school behavior adopted by the local board of education pursuant to this section and documented by the appropriate school official which conduct may result in suspension of the pupil, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100) and may also be sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than 90 days. The absence of a child without the consent of the principal teacher of the public school he or she attends or should attend, or of the tutor who instructs or should instruct the child, shall be prima facie evidence of the violation of this section.

Code of Alabama, Amendment 16-28-16

An amendment of 16-28-16 of the Code of Alabama, specifies that each child who enrolls in a public school, regardless of age, is subject to the School Attendance and Truancy Laws of the state.

Definition of Truancy

Alabama Department of Education

Prevention and Support Services - (May 2004)

A parent, guardian, or other person having charge of any child officially enrolled in Alabama public schools (K-12) shall explain in writing the cause of any and every absence of the child no later than three (3) days following return to school. A failure to furnish such explanation shall be evidence of the child being truant each day he is absent. The child shall also be deemed truant for any absence determined by the principal to be unexcused based upon the State Department of Education's current School Attendance Manual. Three (3) unexcused absences within a school year constitute a student being truant for the purpose of filing a petition with the Court.

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