Posting Date: July, 2004 Attendance, Absence, Truancy, and Withdrawal
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Shelby County Schools

2004-2005 Student-Parent Handbook

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ATTENDANCE, ABSENCE, TRUANCY, AND WITHDRAWAL

Attendance
Absences (Policy 6108)
Student Attendance Accounting
Truancy (Policy 6110)
Tardiness
Withdrawal From Enrollment


Attendance
The Tennessee State Compulsory Attendance Law (T.C.A.49-6-3001) requires that pupils of legal age attend school (ages of six and seventeen years, both inclusive) unless special circumstances arise which temporarily or permanently excuse the student from attendance. By state law, the student's school year shall consist of a minimum of 180 teaching days exclusive of all vacations, as approved by the Board of Education. (T.C.A.49-6-3004) The annual calendar is divided into two semesters. A copy of this calendar is included at the front of this handbook.

Absences (Policy 6108)
Excused absences as defined by state regulations are:

  1. Illness of student;
  2. Death or serious illness within the student's immediate family;
  3. Official representative of school in school-sponsored activity;
  4. Special recognized religious holidays regularly observed by persons of their faith;
  5. Legal court summons not the result of the student's misconduct; or
  6. Extenuating circumstances created by emergencies over which the student has no control, as approved by the principal.

Absences other than those outlined above shall be considered unexcused. Any student who has passed the compulsory attendance age may be dropped from the rolls after three (3) consecutive unexcused absences or five (5) total unexcused absences from school.

A written statement from the parent or guardian is required within two (2) school days of the student's return to school explaining the reason for each absence, otherwise the absence will not be excused.

NOTE: Verification may be required to justify absences. Policy 6108: The principal has the right to require verification from an official or other source to verify the absences as excused.

Seniors absent from school because they are exempt from semester exams will be counted absent.

A list of students with five (5) or more unexcused absences will be forwarded to the Attorney General's Office. State law states that a fine of up to $50.00 may be assessed against a parent or guardian whose child has five (5) or more unexcused absences. Parents of students with (5) or more unexcused absences will be notified each 20 day period.

Student Attendance Accounting
A student must be in attendance the majority of the seven (7) hour school day in order to be counted present on attendance records for that day (not to be confused with Perfect Attendance.) Any student arriving after school has begun must report to the attendance office immediately to report in and receive an Admit Slip before going to class. Students leaving school during the school day must check out through the attendance office. Teachers, principals, and other school administrators exercise extreme caution in releasing students from school. Students will not be released until all excuses are carefully checked. A student shall not be permitted to leave school during the school day without written request from the parent/guardian and approval of the principal. (Policy 6402)

FAILURE TO CHECK THROUGH THE ATTENDANCE OFFICE MAY RESULT IN THE STUDENT BEING INCORRECTLY MARKED ABSENT OR TRUANT.

Truancy (Policy 6110)
Unauthorized or unexcused absence from school is considered truancy. This includes the student's absence from any scheduled class, study hall, or activity during the school day. Parents will be notified of each incident of truancy.

Disciplinary action will be taken for truancy and may include in-school suspension. A continuing problem of truancy will result in a referral to Juvenile Court for violation of the compulsory attendance law in Tennessee.

Tardiness Students are expected to be at school and in all classes on time. Students who are tardy are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with each individual school's rules concerning tardies. Students arriving on campus after school has started are required to check in at the attendance office. Further, students will be required to be accompanied by their parent or present a valid written notification stating the reason for the tardiness. Failure to follow these procedures can result in the student being marked absent for the entire day or the tardy being marked unexcused.

Withdrawal From Enrollment under the Tennessee Compulsory Attendance Law
A student may be permanently excused from attending public school for the following legitimate reasons:
  1. Graduation from high school;
  2. Change of residence from the state of Tennessee;
  3. Withdrawal from public school and enrollment in a non-public school;
  4. Withdrawal for health reasons, certified by a licensed practicing physician; or
  5. Expulsion by the Board of Education.