4.1 COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE
a. Alabama law requires that each child between the ages of 6 and 17 attend school.
b. The higher standards set at the state level for graduation make daily attendance in every class in every grade very important.
c. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to enroll his/her child and see that they attend school and obey all the rules and guidelines adopted by the Board.
d. School is in session for 180 days.
e. Parents\guardians are required to ensure that students under their care or custody attend school regularly.
f. Students who do not meet the minimum number of days of attendance due to unexcused absences will receive an F/A (failure due to non-attendance).
g. Students failing because of attendance may appeal the decision in writing to an attendance review committee that will make the final decision on the appeal.
h. Students in grades K–8 are subject to being retained if they have accumulated 20 or more unexcused absences during the school year. Students in grades 9-12 may be denied credit if the number of unexcused absences in any given class exceeds 10.
i. State law requires that students under the compulsory age (4-5) or (17 & up) and are enrolled in the school system must abide by all attendance laws. Failure to do so can result in possible dismissal or criminal charges against parent.
j. Parents will be notified before charges are filed and may have an opportunity to withdraw the student.
k. Students 17 and over may be dismissed and lose driver’s license at any point above 10 consecutive unexcused absences or 15 cumulative days of unexcused absences. (AL Code 16-28-40) l. Married students under the age of seventeen (17) are still subject to the compulsory school attendance law. m. Pregnant Students:
○ Pregnant students may attend school as long as her physician allows.
○ Students in this category should notify a teacher, principal, or counselor to provide a doctor’s note 42 verifying the pregnancy.
○ Absence due to childbirth shall be treated the same way as any other absence due to illness.
○ With a written statement of approval from the physician, the student may return to school after the birth of the child
4.2 PARENT/GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITY (ENROLLMENT AND ATTENDANCE)
a. Parents and guardians are responsible for enrolling their children in school and for assuring that their children attend school and obey behavior rules and guidelines as set by school policy.
b. Parents/Guardians failing to enroll students and ensuring their attendance and proper behavior are subject to attending an Early Warning Program (through the Lauderdale County Judicial System), fines and/or imprisonment under state law.
c. State law also requires the Superintendent to report all truancy-related suspensions to the District Attorney. (Alabama 16-28-16, 16-28-3, 12-15-13, Act #94-782)
4.3 ABSENCES AND EXCUSES
a. Upon returning from an absence a student must bring a written note from his/her parent/guardian to the school explaining his/her absence within three days for school officials to determine if the absence is excused.
b. School officials will decide if the absence is excused by following state and local board guidelines.
c. A student shall be excused for absences from school for: (1) illness, (2) legal quarantine, (3) emergency conditions as determined by the principal, (4) inclement weather which would be dangerous as determined by the superintendent, (5) death in the immediate family, (6) Court subpoena, and (7) prior permission of the principal and consent of the parent or legal guardian.
d. An excused absence permits a student to make up missed work.
e. However, excused absences based on parent- written notes may not exceed a total of five (5) days per semester.
f. Students in grades K-6 who have unexcused absences will be allowed to make up missed assignments.
g. However, all other policies are in effect, limited to but not excluding, truancy charges and retention due to excessive unexcused absences.
h. Any additional absences must be doctor or court verified for school officials to determine if the absence(s) should be excused. Doctors’/Court Officials’ excuses must have original signatures from appropriate medical/legal personnel.
i. Stamped, scanned, Xeroxed, etc. signatures from doctors’ offices and/or court offices may not be accepted for the purpose of excusing an absence.
j. Notes from doctors’ offices and/or court officials may be verified at the Principal’s discretion if the number of these notes appears excessive or if the legitimacy of the note(s) is/are in question.
k. The student must actually be seen at the doctor’s office to be considered a “Doctors” excuse.
l. The Interagency Committee on Youth Truancy Task Force recommendations known as the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program timeline for reporting truancy shall define the truancy status of any student as follows:
● 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) school days following return to school if the absence is to be excused.
● 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.
● Seven unexcused absences within a school year constitute a student being truant for the purpose of filing a petition with the Court.
● The Interagency Committee on Youth Truancy Task Force recommendations known as the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program timeline for reporting truancy shall define the truancy status of any student as follows:
1. FIRST TRUANCY/UNEXCUSED ABSENCE (WARNING)
a. Parent/guardian shall be notified by the automated calling system or school officials that the student was truant and the date of the truancy.
b. Parent/guardian shall also be provided with a copy of Alabama’s compulsory school attendance laws and advised of the penalties that can be applied and the procedures that shall be followed in the event that other unexcused absences occur.
2. NO EARLIER THAN THE FIFTH UNEXCUSED ABSENCE (CONFERENCE)
a. The parent, guardian, or person having control of the child shall (1) attend a conference with the attendance officer and principal or his/her designee and/or (2) participate in the early warning program provided by the juvenile court.
b. Attendance at one of these conferences shall be mandatory except where prior arrangements have been made or an emergency exists. c. Failure to appear at the school conference and/or to appear at the early warning program shall result in the filing of a complaint/petition against the parent under Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28-12(c) (failure to cooperate), or a truancy against the child, whichever is appropriate.
3. NO EARLIER THAN SEVENTH UNEXCUSED ABSENCE, BUT WITHIN TEN (10) SCHOOL DAYS (COURT)
a. File complaint/petition against the child and/or parent/guardian, if appropriate.
4. CHILD UNDER PROBATION
a. The school attendance officer should be notified by the juvenile probation officer of all children in the school system under probation supervision by the juvenile court as consistent with state statute, Code of Alabama (1975), §12-15-100 and 105.
b. Where a child under probation is truant, the school attendance officer should immediately notify the juvenile probation officer.
a. Any student that is late to school or needs to leave school early must be checked “in” or “out” through the office.
b. The parent/guardian must notify the school office if he/she wishes to check his/her child in or out of school.
c. Permission requesting that the student leave early should be granted from the office before classes begin that day.
d. The nature of the check-in/check-out will determine whether the absence from class is excused.
e. Remember that you are considered absent from class if you miss a class because of a check-in or check-out.
f. The same reasons listed for absences are used to determine if the reason for leaving campus or arriving late is excused or unexcused.
g. Refer to your local school rules for detailed procedures.
h. Students cannot check-out during lunch period for the purpose of eating off campus.
i. It is preferred that parents/guardians come to the office to check their children out of school; however, a total of three parent notes and/or phone calls are permitted each semester, all of which are subject to administrative approval.
j. After the third notification by note and/or phone call, a parent/guardian MUST check his/her child out in person.
k. All check-ins/check-outs are subject to the approval of the principal/administrator. Note: The automated attendance system used in our schools will count a student absent that is not at school by 11:30 or checks out before this time (K-6). For students in grades 7-12, attendance is counted by class period.
4.5 SCHOOL PARTICIPATION ABSENCES
a. Students who are away from school due to participation in school-sponsored activities shall be marked PRESENT and permitted to make up school work missed. This means the student must be an active participant, not a spectator.
b. The same rule for making up work applies here as to those who have been absent (excused).
4.6 STUDENT TRAVEL RELEASE TIME
a. The Superintendent will consider a request from parent/guardian for release time for educational purposes.
b. The proper form must be completed and submitted ten days prior to the release for approval by the principal and 44 Superintendent.
c. This will be an excused absence.
d. The form may be picked up in the school office or online at www.lcschools.org under Parent/Student Resources.
e. Organizations or individuals not affiliated with the school that sponsors trips for students must obtain an student travel release time form.
f. Students are not permitted to participate in any fund-raising activities for non-school related trips during school hours.
4.7 MAKE-UP WORK
a. Excused absences will allow the student two (2) school days for each one (1) day missed to do make up work, up to a maximum of fifteen (15) school days.
b. If the work is not made up, zeros will be averaged into daily grades/test grades.
c. Prior knowledge of a test or project assigned before the absence will require the student to take the test or hand in the project the first day back in school .
d. Projects/tests assigned while a student is absent will be scheduled on a case-by-case basis.
e. If the absence is unexcused for grades 7-12, students are subject to receiving zeros for the missed work.
a. A student who is continually tardy to school is truant.
b. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that his/her child attends school at the proper time each day.
c. Students who accumulate 8 tardies per semester will be required to attend Early Warning.
d. Individual schools have their own discipline policy relating to tardies which may include the student being suspended out of school.
e. For students of driving age, excessive tardies will result in the suspension of driving privileges: On the 3 rd and each subsequent tardy the student’s driving privilege may be suspended up to 5 school days for each offense.
a. The parent or legal guardian is responsible for requiring his/her school-age child, enrolled in school, to attend school regularly.
b. The Lauderdale County Board of Education will not allow truancy or the habitual and unlawful absence from school.
c. When the student is a habitual truant, or because of irregular attendance or misconduct has become a menace to the best interest of the school which he is attending or should attend, and the parent, guardian or other person files a written statement in court stating that he is unable to control such child, the attendance officer must file a complaint in juvenile court against said student.
4.10 DRIVER’S LICENSE/ATTENDANCE
a. Students must have a student enrollment form to take the driver’s test.
b. The form must be picked up at school during the school day. During the 1994 Legislative session, the Alabama Legislature passed Act #94-820, which attaches school attendance standards with the right to retain, apply, renew, or reinstate a driver’s license or learner’s permit to operate a motor vehicle.
c. In order to qualify for and maintain an Alabama driver’s license or learner’s permit, a student between the ages of 17 to 19 must be either enrolled in a public school, enrolled in the G.E.D. program, enrolled in a job-training program approved by the Superintendent, or exempted for circumstances beyond the control of the student as defined by guidelines stated in Board policy.
d. Students who have ten (10) consecutive or fifteen (15) cumulative unexcused absences may also be required to forfeit license privileges.
4.11 EXIT INTERVIEW FOR POTENTIAL DROPOUTS 45
a. Section 16-28-3.1 of the Code of Alabama references the withdrawal from public school prior to graduation of a student if both of the following circumstances exist:
1. Written consent is granted by the child’s parent or legal guardian.
2. An exit interview is conducted with the student and the student’s parent or legal guardian.