Attendance for All Students K-8
Regular attendance by every student is mandatory. (Public School Laws of North Carolina: G.S. 115-C-378)
1. Attendance Records
Attendance records will be kept by the school for every student. Students in K-8 must be present at least one-half of the school day (11:30 am) to be recorded as present for that day.
2. School-Related Activities
The following school-related activities will NOT be counted as absences from school:
A) field trips sponsored by the school
C) athletic events requiring early dismissal from school
B) school-initiated and scheduled activities
D) in school suspension
(Students will complete assignments missed for these reasons and do so within a specified time period.)
3. Lawful Absences
When an absence occurs due to any of the following circumstances, the absence shall be coded as lawful when:
A) a student has an illness or injury that prevents him/her from being physically able to attend school
B) a student is quarantined by a health officer to isolate him/her from the general population
C) there is a death in the student’s immediate family
D) absence is due to a medical or dental appointment
E) a student is part of a court proceeding or under a subpoena as a witness
F) a student participates in a religious observance in accordance with local board policy and has prior approval of the principal
G) the student is involved in a valid educational opportunity which has prior approval from the principal
4. Procedure for Students Returning to School After an Absence
The student shall submit appropriate documentation as to the reason for the absence(s) within three days of returning to school. Failure to do so will result in the absence being coded as unlawful.
5. Make-Up Work for Lawful Absences
Students are permitted to make up all work missed during a lawful absence(s). All work must be made up within five days for elementary and three days for middle school students, unless extenuating circumstances exist and an extension is granted. Students who are suspended may complete for credit any tests missed during the suspension
6. Make-Up Work for Unlawful Absences
Elementary students who are absent for unlawful purposes may complete any classwork or take any tests missed during the absence within five days for credit. Middle School students who are absent for unlawful purposes may complete any classwork or take any tests missed during the absence within three days to gain knowledge, however, no credit will be given.
7. Parent Notification of Absence
After three (3) accumulated absences, a parent or guardian shall be notified. After six (6) accumulated absences, a parent or guardian shall be notified by mail that there may be a violation of the compulsory Attendance Law. After ten (10) accumulated absences, the principal/designee shall review the record for compliance with G.S. 115C-378 to determine if there is a prima facie case that the child’s parent/guardian is responsible for the absences.
8. Excessive Absences
Students exceeding ten (10) absences in one school term (180 days) shall not be promoted to the next grade until a placement determination is made by the school principal based upon information gathered by a School Based Attendance Committee. Students may be given an opportunity to make up absences (procedures determined by each school).
9. Appeals Process
A parent may appeal the decision of the school principal to the Superintendent of Swain County Schools.