On August 10th the School Board reviewed our District’s Policy on Attendance to ensure that it was worded in such a way as to comply with the state mandated attendance policy. Most students and parents will not experience any change in regard to what they have always experienced with attendance throughout their time in MB Schools. However, as there was a change, we would like to make the policy available for all to view and to familiarize themselves with any changes that may impact them or their students. The most important thing to understand about the State’s Truancy Policy is that it is primarily concerned with unexcused absences and absences for which no note is turned in within three days of the student’s return to school (as they automatically become unexcused at that point). For your convenience, a link to an attendance form has been provided on the MBJH home webpage titled MBJH Attendance Form. The state recognizes the following five items as excused:
2. Death in the immediate family
3. Weather preventing attendance
4. Legal/Court requirements
5. Religious holidays
The state also gives local schools the ability to provide “Principal’s Permission” for absences which may offer a degree of educational or personal enrichment to the student. Please see our student handbook or web page for more details on how to obtain “Principal’s Permission”.
Below you will find the revised guidance on Unexcused Absences and Excused Absences in excess of ten (10) days.
Truancy: Any student who does not provide a written excuse within 3 days of an absence is deemed truant. An unexcused absence will also be awarded if the written excuse does not meet the states guidelines in order for the absence to be excused (see the five items above and the option of “Principal’s Permission”).
First Offense (First absence which is documented as unexcused)
By Alabama law, a letter must be sent to the parent/guardian including a copy of Alabama compulsory school attendance law, including penalties if truancy continues. Local school administration may impose other penalties.
Third Offense in the school year
Recommended conference with parent/guardian/student at the school with a school administrator.
Fifth Offense in the school year
By board policy, mandatory parent/guardian/student conference with school administrator. Letter must be presented to parent/guardian including a copy of Alabama compulsory school attendance law, including penalties if truancy continues. Signature that parent/guardian has received the letter must be collected.
Notify District Attendance Officer that fifth offense and conference has occurred.
Seventh Offense in the school year
The case is turned over to the District Attendance/Truancy Officer. By law and board policy, the system may consider referring the case to juvenile court.
Tenth Offense in the school year
By law and board policy, system will refer the case to juvenile court when appropriate.
Absences for Medical Reasons
Missing more than ten (10) days of school per semester is considered excessive absence. If a student misses more than 10 days for medical per semester, the parent/guardian may be required to provide written medical verification for the subsequent absence from a licensed physician stating that the absence was a medical necessity. If written medical verification is not received, the absence will be unexcused unless the absence is due to an excused reason other than illness.