Attendance Policy

II. ATTENDANCE (Hamilton County Board Policy 6.200) A.  Attendance Guidelines 

Regular attendance is essential for academic achievement.  Recognizing that, the following procedures govern attendance in each high school:

* A revision to the state attendance rule now requires that when a student is absent five (5) days without adequate excuse, the principal/designee shall initiate meaningful communications with the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) in order to determine the underlying cause(s) of the unexcused absences.  The principal/designee shall then develop an attendance plan and coordinate additional services designed to improve the student's attendance. - Rule 0520-01-02.17     Upon notification that a student has been absent ten (10) days without adequate excuse, the principal/designee shall attempt to meet in person with the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) to determine the appropriate services needed to improve the student attendance.  The principal/designee shall document all communication attempts and refine the attendance plan. 

* Excessive absences are governed by Tennessee State law, which requires that school officials report to the court and parent, guardian, or other person in a parental relationship with a child who continues to be unlawfully absent from school. After five days absence without adequate excuse, a student is referred to the social worker.  The social worker will notify the parents by written notice that their child must attend school on a regular basis.  If after three days, the child continues to miss school or there is no response from the parents, a legal notice will be delivered.  The legal notice will notify the parents that a petition is being filed in court charging a child with truancy or neglect against the parents.  If the student continues to miss school after court consent, the petition will be sent directly to the Juvenile Court Judge.  TCA 49-6-3007 

*The new regulation also requires the LEA to develop, via policy, an attendance appeals process whereby students who have excessive unexcused absences will be afforded due process.


* Absences are recorded daily by period. 

* Written excuses stating the reason for absences must be signed and dated by the parent or guardian and filed with the school the first day the student returns. 

* Absences may be excused for the following reasons: 

1.  Personal illness – Students are excused who are sick and whose attendance would be detrimental to their health and the health of other students.  A physician’s statement may be required. 

2. Death in Immediate Family – Students may be excused for three days in the event of a death in their immediate families including mother, father, step-parent, brother, sister, or grandparent.  Extenuating circumstances may require a longer period of excused absence. 

3. Family Illness – Students having an illness in the family which requires them to give temporary help will be excused from attendance after receipt of a physician’s statement concerning the necessity of the student’s assistance. 

4. Religious Holiday – Students shall be excused on special or recognized religious holidays regularly observed by that particular faith.  Prior approval is required should these days occur while school is in session.

5. Personal – Students who are absent for a good cause (such as a doctor or dental appointment which cannot be scheduled at times other than school hours, court appearances, etc.) may be excused upon proof of appointment.  Prior approval by parent or guardian and the principal or his designee is required. 

6. Approved School Sponsored Activities – Students shall be marked present when participating in a school-sponsored activity away from the school building. 

*Tardiness will not be tolerated as it consistently distracts from the time spent on task.  Each interruption takes away from the class concentration.  

*Students who arrive at school after the beginning of the student school day shall be marked tardy, as shall students who arrive late to individual classes during the school day. 

* Teachers should communicate student tardiness to the parents. 

*Each campus may implement an absence appeals process. The process is to be provided in writing to students and parents/guardians to ensure procedural due process.  

B.  Make-up Work  Each high school will accept make up work incurred for assignments missed during absences according to the following: 

1. Make-up work for excused absences is required and shall receive full credit.

2. Make-up work for unexcused absences is required and may result in reduced credit.  (Reduction may not exceed 10%).

3. Make-up work resulting from any absence is the responsibility of the student and shall be arranged at the teacher’s convenience.

 4. Make-up work must be completed within five school days of the absence.  Teachers may provide additional time if extenuating circumstances warrant. 

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