Truancy is defined as the willful act of staying away from/not coming to school for no legitimate reason. A truancy day is considered an unexcused absence from school.
In the event that your child is marked absent, the school’s One Call system will place a call to the parent/guardian’s primary contact number to inform them of/confirm the student’s absence.
Full and Partial Absences
A student is counted present for a full day if they are in attendance for four hours or more. A student is counted present for a half day if they are in attendance for at least two hours, but less than four hours. A student will be recorded absent if they are in attendance for less than two hours.
Returning After an Absence
Upon returning to school, the student must present a written excuse to their teacher or the attendance office. A student absent for one day or two consecutive days must bring an excuse from home signed by a parent or guardian stating the reason for absence. An official excuse is also permitted for these absences (see official excuses on page 7).
An absence of three or more consecutive days will require a doctor’s excuse.
A student is allowed three days from the date of return to school to furnish an excuse. If after three days and no excuse has been filed, the absence will be considered unexcused/illegal.
More than Ten Absences
Students who are absent more than ten days during the school year will be required to submit an official excuse for the absence to be considered legal or lawful. A note from a parent or guardian will not be accepted for the absence.
- Medical excuses issued by a health care provider for each absence stating appointment/absence date and time (written note from a doctor).
- Death in the immediate family.
- Court appearances (documentation from the courthouse confirming appearance).
- School related absences (i.e. field trips, academic competitions, etc.).
- Religious Holidays (must be pre-approved by administration).
- Other exceptionally urgent reasons that are authorized by the Principal.
Many times official excuses are faxed to the school. It is the parent or guardians responsibility to check that the fax was received by the school within three days of the student returning to school.
Any trips that are scheduled when school is in session must be approved by the building principal. This approval will be contingent upon student attendance and can be denied if the principal deems the number of absences prior to the trip as excessive. These forms must be completed and submitted to the principal at least three days prior to the trip. Forms are available on the school’s website and in the school office. Students are responsible for the work that is missed during the time that they are off. These days will be added to the student’s cumulative attendance.
The school attendance policy identifies two types of absences, lawful (excused) and unlawful/illegal (unexcused). Students who accumulate three or more unexcused/illegal absences are truant. Students who accumulate six or more unexcused/illegal absences are considered habitually truant and will be referred to the county children and youth agency for services. Additionally, the school may file a citation against the parent in the magisterial district court.
Parents will receive written notification from the school when a child accumulates his/her first, third, and sixth illegal absences. In addition, the school will work collaboratively with the parents to develop an attendance plan following the third illegal absence to ensure that the child does not accumulate additional illegal absences.
If a student does not furnish the proper written excuse for their absence within three school days of returning, the absence will be considered illegal.
The school day for students begins at 8:45 a.m. Students are expected to be in their classroom by the 8:45 late bell. Students entering the building after 8:45 are considered tardy and must be accompanied to the office by a parent/guardian to be signed in to school. A tardy will only be considered excused if an official excuse (see page 7) is presented at the time of arrival. Parent notes will not be accepted as a form of an official excuse.
Unexcused Tardy Consequences
If the student’s late arrival is not excused it will be considered an unexcused tardy. For every 3 unexcused tardies, students will be assessed a ½ day illegal absence which will also be added to the students’ cumulative attendance total.
Students who need to leave school early are required to bring a note from a parent or guardian. All notes must be handed in to the school office by the morning of the day requested. Administration reserves the right to deny any early dismissal requests based on the nature of the request. A parent or guardian must report to the school office to sign-out the student. All students will be required to furnish an official excuse within three days of return from the appointment, or it will be considered unexcused.
The following must be indicated on each request:
- Student name, grade, and homeroom
- Date of requested dismissal
- Time of requested dismissal
- Parent/guardian signature and phone number
- Reason for request
Early dismissals are excused for the following reasons:
- Physician’s appointments (verification from physician required)
- Court appearances (verification required)
- Death in the immediate family
- Religious observances
- School related activities (e.g., field trips, academic competitions, athletics, etc.)
- Other exceptionally urgent reasons that are authorized by the principal
Unexcused Early Dismissal/Appointment Consequences
For every 3 unexcused early dismissals or appointments, students will be assessed a ½ day illegal absence which will also be added to the students’ cumulative attendance total.