Absences and Excuses
Alabama School Code 16-28-12
Board Policy File JBD
The Morgan County Board of Education believes good student attendance enhances learning. When a student is not in school, he/she misses valuable instruction time. For this reason, the Board equates attendance with academic achievement and establishes policies and procedures designed to encourage and require students to be in school.
Any child may be excused for temporary absence resulting from personal illness, death in the family, quarantine, weather or road conditions making travel dangerous, religious holidays, or any unusual cause acceptable to the principal of the school in which the child is enrolled or the superintendent. Any extended absences should be discussed with the principal in advance, if possible. Parents should send a written excuse to the school upon the student's return. A written note of excuse will be considered only if it is given to the school within three school days after the student returns. More time could be given in unusual circumstances. School officials are empowered to investigate any request for excused absences.
It is not easy to define "excused" or "unexcused" absences in such a way that it will fit all situations. A student who is ill or has been to the doctor is unquestionably excused. One who is truant is unquestionably unexcused. The principal must use good judgment and should be guided by "to what degree was the choice factored?" Pupils who are out of class to participate in school activities (athletics, drama, music, etc...) are considered in attendance on official records. Pupils will be responsible for any class work they may have missed.
* Once the student has been absent 10 days per year for any illness, additional absences for illness will require a doctor's excuse.
A parent guardian or other person having charge of any child officially enrolled in Alabama public schoo1s (K-12) shall explain in writing the cause of any and every absence of the child no later than three (3) school days following return to school. A failure to furnish such explanation shall be evidence of the child being truant each day he is absent. The child shall also be deemed truant for any absence determined by the principal to be unexcused.
1. FIRST TRUANCY/UNEXCUSED ABSENCE (WARNING)
a. Parent/guardian shall be notified by the school principal or his/her designee that the student was truant and the date of the truancy.
2. FIFTH UNEXCUSED ABSENCE
a. The parent guardian or person having control of the child shall (1) attend a conference with the attendance officer and principal or his/her designee and/or (2) participate in the early warning program provided by the juvenile court.
b. Attendance at one of these conferences shall be mandatory except where prior arrangements have been made or an emergency exists.
c. Failure to appear at the school conference and/or to appear at the early warning program shall result in the filing of a complaint/petition against the parent under (code of Alabama 1975), s 16-28-12 (c) (failure to cooperate), or 12-15-13 (contributing to truancy) or a truancy against the child, whichever is appropriate.
3. SEVENTH UNEXCUSED ABSENCE
a. File complaint/petition against the child and/or parent/guardian.