School attendance is important because it underscores the significance of learning and the importance of obtaining an education in our society. It teaches students responsibility and develops a work ethic.
Regular attendance in school helps develop good habits that will carry over in life. Good attendance correlates very strongly with improved grades in school. School attendance is the responsibility of both parents and students.
A minimum level of attendance is required for attainment of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum.
Points of Reference:
The State Board of Education’s Student Attendance Rule defines “Truant” as “any child subject to compulsory attendance who during the school calendar year has more than five days of unexcused absences”. Compulsory attendance is required for children from their sixth to their sixteenth birthdays.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) attendance requirements for meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) include both excused and unexcused absences.
State Attendance Rule 160-5-1-.10 states that students will be excused from school under the following circumstances, as a minimum.
- 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.
- Observing religious holidays, necessitating absence from school.
- Conditions rending 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.
- Visiting with a parent or legal guardian prior to or during leave from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard (maximum of five school days per year).
Students will be counted present when they are serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly.
The Gwinnett County Juvenile Court will only hear petitions dealing with “Truant” students – those having unexcused absences in their records.
- It is imperative that local schools keep accurate data to reflect student’s excused and unexcused absences.
- Local schools can employ proven “best practices” to improve student attendance in both categories.
- Parental involvement in the process is vital to improving student attendance since “parents, guardians, or other persons who have charge of a child” are ultimately responsible for that child’s attendance in school.
- It is important for credibility within the community that all local schools operate under the same, consistent student attendance expectations and protocols.
- School Principals play a pivotal, primary role in improving student attendance by frequently communicating the expectations to students, parents, and staff.
- Clearly defined and consistently followed responsibilities for all school staff are essential for improving student attendance.