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Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program

The Alabama Compulsory School Attendance Law (Sec. 16-28-3) requires children between the ages of 6-17 to enroll and attend school.  Additionally, Section 16-28-12 of the Code of Alabama requires that any parent/guardian be responsible for the child's regular attendance and proper conduct.  Parents/guardians must provide to the child's teacher an explanation of each absence within two days after the child returns to school.  If the parent/guardian fails to provide information, the absence will be recorded as truant. 

Documentation of Absences

Elementary school students may be excused up to a total of twenty (20) days per school year; middle and high school students may be excused up to a total of ten (10) days per semester.  If a student (middle/high school)  is absent over ten (10) days in a semester, he/she will not receive  a passing grade/credit for that semester unless all absences after the tenth are legally excused.  The principal will meet with the parent/guardian and student to review presented evidence in determining whether or not the student will receive credit for the course/class. Absences beyond five (5) consecutive days must be substantiated by a physician's statement.  In known extenuating circumstances, the principal may excuse the absences.  In case of no physician documentation, the absence may be appealed to the Principal and the grievance policy of the Board of Education will be in effect.  Absences beyond the prescribed days for elementary and middle/high school students must be accompanied by additional documentation as follows:

  • Death in immediate family---approved by principal
  • Legal quarantine---quarantine notice
  • All other absences are to be submitted to the principal in written form for consideration.  The principal may request appropriate additional documentation as necessary.

ABSENCES

1.   Excused.  An absence may be excused by the principal for the following reasons:

   a. Student is too ill to attend school

    b.Inclement weather which would be dangerous to the life or health of the student if attending   school

   c. Legal quarantine

   d. Death in the immediate family

   e. Emergency condition as determined by the superintendent or principal

   f. All make-up work must be completed within five (5) days of returning to school

   g. For attendance at non-school related special events, the principal might excuse students (such absences  must be based on written parental request and approved in advance)

2.    Unexcused.  An absence not approved by the provisions of Item #1 is considered unexcused (i.e. work, truancy, suspension or parental neglect).

Students may not make up work if the absence is unexcused.

3.   Excessive absences may result in any one (1) or all of the following:

  • Referral to Saturday School
  • Referral to the Attendance Officer
  • Filing of a petition of fact with Juvenile Services
  • Notification of Human Resources of suspected neglect
  • Filing of a complaint with Juvenile Services
  • Requirement to attend Early Warning Court

The following procedures shall be followed to address attendance:

FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD TRUANCY:  (unexcused absence)

Teacher shall caution student about truancy and remind student that a written explanation must be submitted by the parent/guardian.

FOURTH TRUANCY:  (unexcused absence)

Parents shall be notified by the school attendance clerk and/or school principal that said student was truant and provide the dates of truancies.  Students, who have consecutive unexcused absences which make their total unexcused absences four or more, will receive a letter from the principal.

 FIFTH TRUANCY:  (unexcused absence)

1.  The parent/guardian or person having control of said student shall be sent a NOTICE TO APPEAR at the Covington County Juvenile Court for Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program.

2.  Failure to appear at the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program meeting shall result in the filing of a complaint/petition against the student and/or parent/guardian.

TENTH ABSENCE CODED EXCUSED BUT NOT SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED:

Students who accumulate ten "questionable" excused absences which have not been satisfactorily explained may also be required to att1end Early Warning Court.  This action will require the approval of the school principal.

SEVENTH TRUANCY OR ELEVEN (11) OR MORE "QUESTIONABLE" EXCUSED ABSENCES NOT SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED:

After the seventh unexcused absence and within ten days of that seventh absence, the school will file a complaint/petition against the student or parent/guardian. (student and parent/guardian will be required to attend Covington County Juvenile Court).

UNEXCUSED TARDIES:

Students who accumulate four (4) unexcused tardies may also be required to attend Saturday School, TRR, or after school detention.  This action will require the approval of the school principal.

TARDINESS (per semester)

A student is considered tardy when he/she is not in the assigned seat when the tardy bell rings.  Unexcused tardies result in the loss of perfect attendance for exemption privileges in that class.  Excused tardies shall not count against perfect attendance but will apply for consideration of exemption from semester exams.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION FOR UNEXCUSED TARDIES

1. First, Second and Third Tardies:  Class I Offense

2. Fourth Tardy:  Class II Offense or Saturday School

CHECK-INS

The approved procedure for entering school after the tardy bell signaling the beginning of school is as follows:

1. The student reports to the principal's office for an admission slip to enter the classroom.

2. A student must bring a written statement from his/her parent/guardian indicating the reason for the student's tardiness to receive an excused tardy.  Tardies are excused only for the same reasons as absences.

3. A student who is absent four (4) periods or more will be recorded as absent that day and cannot participate in any school activity scheduled for that day without prior approval or extenuating circumstances.

4.   A student who is enrolled in the co-op program at the high school level and attends school a full period or more shall be permitted to report to work that day after reporting to the coordinator.

 CHECK-OUTS

The approved procedure for leaving school after the tardy bell signaling the beginning of the school day is as follows:

1. A student may be allowed to check out at the high school level with advanced written consent, a telephone call or personal contact made by the parent or guardian.

2. Under no circumstances may a student leave campus without the approval of the principal/designee.

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