4000 - Students

4400 Attendance

4400 Attendance

Attendance in school and participation in class are integral parts of academic achievement and the teaching-learning process. Through regular attendance, students develop patterns of behavior essential to professional and personal success in life. Regular attendance by every student is mandatory. The State of North Carolina requires that every child in the State between the ages of 7 (or younger if enrolled) and 16 attend school. Parents, legal guardians, or custodians have the responsibility for ensuring that students attend and remain at school daily.

A. ATTENDANCE RECORDS

School officials shall keep accurate records of attendance, including accurate attendance records in each class. Attendance records will be used to enforce the Compulsory Attendance Law of North Carolina.

B. TARDINESS

Students shall be at their assigned station for work at the time appointed for the school day or class to begin or shall be recorded as tardy for that day or class. When a student is excessively tardy to school, the student or parent, guardian or custodian must present the principal with a written excuse signed by a parent, guardian or custodian citing the reason for the tardiness. Tardiness shall be recorded as unexcused until the note is presented. The note should be presented within three days of the tardiness. The principal may require additional documentation deemed necessary to verify the reason for the tardiness. Students who are excessively tardy to school or class may be subject to further disciplinary action.

C. EXCUSED ABSENCES

The principal, superintendent or a designee of the principal or superintendent is authorized to excuse a student temporarily from attendance due to sickness or another unavoidable reason that does not constitute unlawful absence as defined by the State Board of Education. An absence may be excused for the following reasons:

1. personal illness or injury that makes the student physically unable to attend school;

2. isolation ordered by the local health officer or the State Board of Health;

3. death in the immediate family (for the purpose of this policy, immediate family includes, but is not necessarily limited to, grandparents, parents and siblings);

4. student medical or dental appointment;

5. student participation under subpoena as a witness in a court proceeding;

6. a minimum of two days each academic year for observance of an event required or suggested by the religion of the student or the student’s parent(s) (not to exceed five days);

7. participation in a valid educational opportunity, such as educationally valid travel or service as a legislative or Governor’s page, with prior approval from the principal (see specific procedures outlined below), 

8. absence due to student pregnancy and related conditions or parenting, when medically necessary; or

9. visitation with the student’s parent or legal guardian, at the discretion of the superintendent or designee, if the parent or legal guardian (a) is an active duty member of the uniformed services as defined by policy 4050, Children of Military Families, and (b) has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting.

In the case of excused absences, short-term out-of-school suspensions,and absences under G.S. 130A-440 (for failure to submit a school health assessment form within 30 days of entering school) the student will be permitted to make up his or her work.(See also policies 4110, Immunization and Health Requirements for School Admission, and 4351, Short-Term Suspension.) The teacher will determine when work is to be made up. The student is responsible for completing missed assignments within the time period specified by school faculty

When a student misses school, the student or parent, guardian or custodian must present the principal with a written excuse signed by a parent, guardian or custodian citing the reason for the absence. Absences shall be recorded as unexcused until the note is presented. The note should be presented within three days of the student’s return to school. The principal may require additional documentation deemed necessary to verify the reason for the absence.  This does not apply to documenting educational leave; see below.

Students anticipating an absence due to participation in a valid educational opportunity must submit the Pender County School Educational Leave Form to the principal 10 school days prior to the absence in order for staff to develop and provide the appropriate materials for completing missed work. The following information applies to the educational leave approval process:

  • Activities such as hunting, fishing, visiting relatives, going to the beach, shopping, skiing, attending athletic events, amusement parks, cruises, and taking subsequent trips to a destination already visited are not considered valid educational opportunities for the purpose of this policy.
  • The parent/guardian of a student participating in a valid educational opportunity must present the application for educational leave at least 10 days in advance by presenting a signed educational leave request form to the school principal.
  • Educational leave cannot exceed 5 total school days in a single school year.
  • No requests for educational leave will be granted after an absence is complete or for school days during state mandated testing.
  • All regular classwork (graded and ungraded) will be made up while on educational leave and turned in the appropriate school officials within a week after the approved educational leave ends and/or the student returns to school.
  • If the student requesting educational leave has been referred to MTSS for absenteeism in the current school year, educational leave may be denied.

Absences for three or more consecutive days due to an illness may require a statement from a physician to be presented to the principal. Absences due to medical or dental appointments require that a note from the doctor or dentist is presented to the principal. Student absences due to participation in court proceedings require that a note from a court official or a copy of the subpoena is presented to the principal.


In the case of excused absences and short-term out-of-school suspensions, the student will be permitted to make up his or her work (see also policy 4351, Short-Term Suspension).

D. SCHOOL-RELATED ACTIVITIES

All classroom activities are important and difficult, if not impossible, to replace if missed. Principals shall ensure that classes missed by students due to school-related activities are kept to an absolute minimum. The following school-related activities will not be counted as absences from either class or school:

1. field trips sponsored by the school;

2. job shadowing and other work-based learning opportunities, as described in G.S. 115C-47(34a);

3. school-initiated and -scheduled activities;

4. athletic events requiring early dismissal from school;

5. Career and Technical Education student organization activities approved in advance by the principal; and

6. in-school suspensions.

Assignments missed for these reasons are eligible for makeup by the student. The student is responsible for finding out what assignments are due and completing them.

E. EXCESSIVE ABSENCES

Class attendance and participation are critical elements of the educational process and may be taken into account in assessing academic achievement. In addition, excessive unexcused absences may result in denial of an in-county transfer between schools and may result in the denial of approved educational leave, which will be unexcused absences.

The principal or the designee shall notify parents and take all other steps required by G.S. 115C-378 for excessive absences. Students may be suspended for up to two days for truancy. In addition, the following standards apply in regard to excessive absences.

1. Elementary and Middle School Requirements

The principal or designee may request a conference with a parent or guardian at any time to discuss an attendance problem.

Elementary and middle school students who are absent more than 20 days in a school year may be retained.  Elementary and middle school students who are chronically absent (excused or unexcused) for more than 10% of the school year will be referred for academic and/or attendance interventions within a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS). Continued absenteeism may result in the school system notifying the Department of Social Services, juvenile court or the district attorney that the parent or guardian is not cooperating with the school system in addressing the attendance problem.

Students arriving late or requesting early dismissal should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Excessive tardiness or early dismissals shall be monitored at the school level and the student impacted may be referred for academic and/or attendance interventions within the MTSS.

2. High School Requirements

High school students who are chronically absent (excused or unexcused) for more than 10% of the school year will be referred for academic and/or attendance interventions within a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS).

Students who miss more than a total of eight days (excused or unexcused) per course during a semester will not receive credit toward graduation unless one of the following conditions is met:

a. The student makes up the absences. The high school shall provide opportunities for students to make up time missed from classes.  These opportunities may include after school, Saturday school, teacher workdays, summer school, etc.  Students shall be required to make up time missed from classes within the established school make-up schedule and have the make-up time completed within four weeks after the semester in which the absences occurred.

b. The principal grants a waiver. Students whose academic standing is adversely affected by this standard have the right to appeal for a waiver. The appeal must be submitted to the principal in writing along with any appropriate and/or required documentation. Waivers of absences may be granted by the principal only when extenuating circumstances exist.

Students with excused absences due to documented chronic health problems are exempt from this policy.In addition, for students experiencing homelessness (see board policy 4125, Homeless Students), school officials must consider issues related to the student’s homelessness, such as a change of caregivers or nighttime residence, before taking disciplinary action or imposing other barriers to school attendance based on excessive absences or tardies.

 


 

 

Legal References:
G.S. 115C-47, -84.2, -288(a), -375.5, -378 through -383, -390.2(d), -390.5, -407.5; 16 N.C.A.C. 6E .0102, -.0103; State Board of Education Policies TCS-L-000 through -003; McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 11431, et seq.; G.S. 115C-47, -84.2, -288(a), -375.5, -378 to -383, -390.2(d), -390.2(l), -390.5, -407.5; 130A-440; 16 N.C.A.C. 6E .0102, .0103; State Board of Education Policies ATND-000, -003, NCAC-6E.0104
Cross References:
Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students (policy 4023), Children of Military Families (policy 4050), Short-Term Suspension (policy 4351), Students At-Risk of Academic Failure (policy 3405) [AC1]; Extracurricular Activities and Student Organizations (policy 3620), Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students (policy 4023), Children of Military Families (policy 4050), Immunization and Health Requirements for School Admission (policy 4110), Homeless Students (policy 4125), Short-Term Suspension (policy 4351)
Adopted:
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Last Updated:
Tuesday, 09 April 2019