IMPORTANCE OF ATTENDANCE
Attendance at school is an important part of student success and achievement. A pattern of absences may put a student at risk of not achieving the academic, knowledge and skills for their grade level and courses. Certain absences are considered to be excused according to state guidelines. Excused absences include:
- Personal illness or attendance in school endangering a student's health or the health of others.
- A serious illness or death in a student's immediate family requiring absence from school.
- A court order or an order by a governmental agency, including pre-induction physical examination for service in the armed forces, mandating absence from school.
- Observing religious holidays, necessitating absence from school.
- Conditions making attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety
- Serving as a page in the Georgia General Assembly.
Please remember that if your student is absent from school, you need to send a note within 2 school days to the school stating the reason for his/her absence. Should the reason be one noted above, your child's absence will be marked excused
Excuses must be turned into the Attendance Office ~ located in the Rotunda.
It is important for parents to be aware of attendance requirements. Please read Ware County High School Student Handbook, which outlines attendance expectations. In addition, our teachers and school leadership will communicate with you regularly on school attendance issues. Thank you for your support of your student's academic achievement. Your child's regular attendance at school makes a difference!
Every parent, guardian, or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child or children between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays shall enroll and send such child or children to a public school, a private school, or a home study program that meets the state’s requirements. A home study program must be registered with the Georgia Department of Education.
Any parent, guardian, or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child or children who shall violate this code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine not less than $25.00 and not greater than $100.00, imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, community service, or any combination of such penalties, at the discretion of the court having jurisdiction.
A truant student is one who, while subject to compulsory school attendance, has more than five (5) days of unexcused absences during the school calendar year. The superintendent shall establish rules to enforce the State of Georgia Compulsory School Attendance Law on any child absent from school in violation of the compulsory attendance law. O.C.G.A. 20-2-0698, 20-2-0701. School days missed as a result of an out of school suspension shall not count as unexcused days for the purpose of determining student truancy. A new state truancy law (O.C.G.A. Section 20-2-690.2) defines truant as “any child subject to compulsory school attendance who during the school calendar year has more than 5 days of unexcused absences.” This same state law also ties attendance to a student's driving privileges.
CONSEQUENCES OF TRUANCY
- At each absence (excused or unexcused) the school will make phone contact with the parent/guardian.
- At 3 absences (excused or unexcused) the school will mail a letter to the parent/guardian.
- At 5 absences (excused or unexcused) the principal may choose to send the school attendance/social worker to the child’s home for a home visit and the school will mail a letter.
- At 7 absences (excused or unexcused) the school will mail another letter to the parent/guardian. At this time, depending upon circumstances in each particular case, the parent/guardian may be asked to meet with the Attendance Support Team to sign an agreement. The parent/guardian will also be notified regarding the loss of driver’s license with 3 more unexcused absences.
- At 10 unexcused absences, the parents of students age 14 and younger will be referred to the juvenile court judge. At 10 unexcused absences, students age 12 and older will be referred to Ware County Juvenile Court. The parent/guardian of students age 14 and older will be notified that when students reach ten (10) unexcused absences they will be reported to the State Department of Transportation, and their parents will be notified of the action.
Students with more than 5 unexcused absences are subject to lose of extra-curricular privileges such as homecoming dance, prom, senior picnic, etc.
Non-Instructional Activity – ( NI )
All NIs are subject to administrative approval. A student may have no more than 10 NIs per year without approval from the Ware County Board of Education.
A student qualifies for perfect attendance awards when he/she has not been absent and has not accumulated seven (7) unexcused tardies and/or seven (7) unexcused early checkouts.
REWARDS FOR GOOD ATTENDANCE
Students may qualify for rewards with perfect attendance during a specific time period. These time periods will be determined by the administration. Students who qualify will be eligible for prizes that will be given at the end of the determined time period.
EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES
To differentiate between excused and unexcused absences, the State Board of Education has determined absences due to the following reasons must be excused. These are:
- Personal illness or attendance in school endangering a student’s health or the health of others.
- A serious illness or death in a student’s immediate family necessitating absence from school.
- A court order or an order by a governmental agency, including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces, mandating absence from school.
- Celebrating religious holidays observed by the student's faith, necessitating absence from school.
- Conditions rendering attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety.
- A period not to exceed one day is allowed, at the discretion of the local unit of administration, for registering to vote or voting in a public election.
- A student whose parent or legal guardian is in military service in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard and such parent has been called to duty for or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting will be granted up to five (5) days of excused absences per school year to visit with his or her parent prior to the parent’s deployment or during the parent’s leave.
- Students who serve as Pages of the Georgia General Assembly shall be counted present by the school where they are enrolled for days missed from school for this purpose.
If a student misses over half of the class period, then the student will be counted absent for that class. When the student returns to school after an absence, the student must bring a written excuse from a physician, parent or guardian, stating the day(s) missed and the reason for the absence to the Rotunda before the bell for 1st block sounds. The student will be given an admittance slip by the attendance secretary that should be shown to the student’s teachers. If this note is NOT presented by the end of the third school day the student returns, the absence will be considered unexcused. (After the three day window, students should still bring in a note explaining their absence in case of a attendance appeal)
Only five (5) written parent notes will be accepted per semester. After five written parent notes, parents will be required to present appropriate medical, governmental or court documentation for the purpose of validating the absence.
Individual students who have situations necessitating their absence from school for a portion of the school day must be present for one half of the instructional day to be counted present for the day. However, the student will be counted absent from those classes that are missed due to the late arrival or early dismissal. When a student is to be excused for a portion of the school day, the student shall be released only to a legal parent or guardian, to a person properly identified to school authorities, or upon written request or verified telephone call from the parents. Any student, who has five (5) or more unexcused absences in a semester and drives to school, will lose his/her parking permit. The parking permit must be turned over to the student’s administrator immediately following the fifth unexcused absence. Loss of parking permit is limited to the semester in which five or more unexcused absences are accumulated.
Absences- A student has two days to make up work for each day missed. Students are responsible for making arrangements to receive missed assignments upon returning back to school. If a student is absent on test day and has missed no instruction, he/she should be prepared to make up the test on the day he/she returns.
If a previously assigned project due date is missed due to absence, the student should turn in the project or activity immediately upon their return to school. This includes OSS, excused and unexcused absences.
School Activities- If a student is out of class to participate in a school function, he/she is not counted absent. The student should check with the teacher ahead of time for the assignment and have the assignments ready upon returning to school unless directed otherwise by the teacher.