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Related Board Policy and R&P

Board Policy 6000: Attendance

WCPSS: Board Policy - 6000 R&P Attendance

6000 R&P Attendance

School attendance is important to school success. The Wake school board policy and the attached regulations and procedures are designed to insure that all students meet the requirements of North Carolina's compulsory attendance law, G.S. 115C-378, as well as those of the school system. In addition to these policies and procedures, all schools are encouraged to develop incentives for students to have good attendance records. The Office of Counseling and Student Services will offer consultation and support for schools that need assistance in any of these areas.
  1. Detailed laws, regulations, and policies concerning compulsory school attendance are found in SchoolAttendance and Student Accounting, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Division of School Business Services. Specific procedures related to the compulsory attendance law are available through the Office of Counseling and Student Services.
  2. Official school activities include field trips sponsored by the school, school-initiated and scheduled activities, athletic events that require early dismissal with prior approval of the principal, governor or legislative pages, and in-school suspension.
  3. An absence is excused if the following conditions exist:
    1. A student is unable to attend school when the student or his/her child is ill, injured, has a medical appointment, or is isolated by order of the State Board of Health or the Wake County Health Department. The principal shall require written documentation from the parent, guardian, emancipated student, or doctor, of the reason the student was absent. At the principal's discretion, other family illness may be accepted as an excused absence. Emancipated students are those that are eighteen (18), married, or emancipated by court order. A principal may allow students under eighteen (18) who do not live at home, to write their own absence notes if the parent gives written consent.
    2. Death in the family.
    3. A student who is called to court under subpoena or court order is to receive an excused absence. If the student is called to court because they are being charged with an offense, they should receive an excused absence for the time in court.
    4. Religious observance, as suggested by the religion of the student or the student's parents.
    5. An absence may be excused in advance for educational reasons. The parent must complete the form #1710 "Request for Excused Absence for Educational Reasons." By signing the document, the parent assures the school that the absence meets the requirements of the law for excused absences. The law provides principals with the latitude to determine when the cumulative effects of such absencesare of such duration as to interfere with the education of the student.
    6. A student is unable to attend school due to a catastrophic event or natural disaster.
  4. Absences not classified as excused in section C are unexcused. Parents shall be notified when their child has accumulated three unexcused absences. Parents shall be notified in writing when their child has accumulated six unexcused absences (Form 1700).
  5. Schools shall establish and communicate to students and parents their procedures for making up work following an unexcused absence. Make-up work shall be graded at a standard consistent with the original work. Credit equivalent to not less than 70% of the original value of the work shall be awarded for make-up work completed within the school' established procedures. In makingfinal determinations about credit, the procedures should take into account the following:
    1. The past performance of the student,
    2. Circumstances that may have made the unexcused absence unavoidable,
    3. Unusual family circumstances,
    4. Nature of the specific learning activity,
    5. Other issues that the teacher determines to be relevant to the situation.

    Absences resulting from out-of-school suspensions are considered unexcused, and the same policy for make-up work applies. Full credit must be given for quarter, semester or grading period examinations in the case of short-term suspensions.

  6. School work will be made up for excused absences under the following conditions:
    1. If the absence is approved in advance and/or if the work is assigned by the teacher in advance, all make-up work, including tests assigned for the day of return, is due upon the student's return to school. Teachers should use discretion and may make exceptions in the case of students whose excused absences were not planned in advance, were beyond the student' control, and the nature of which would not support make-up work the day of return (e.g., death in the immediate family, serious illness).
    2. If the make-up work has not been assigned in advance, for absences of one (1) to three (3) days, the student will have one day for each day absent. For absences exceeding three (3) days, the student may have two (2) days for each day absent to make up work. Special consideration should be given in the case of extended absences due to injury or chronic illness.
    3. The student is responsible for securing make-up work at the secondary level. At the elementary level, the teacher is responsible for assigning make-up work.
  7. When an elementary student exceeds the thirty (30) absence limit, an attendance committee will determine if the student should be retained because of absences. The committee may substitute summer school experiences for retention if they determine summer experiences are of greater educational value than retention. The decision to retain or to substitute other experiences will be based on the child's educational needs.
  8. At the secondary level, teachers shall notify the principal's designee when absences from an individual class reach at least three (3) in a block course (seven (7) in a semester course or at least fifteen (15) in a full-year year course). In elementary schools the teacher shall inform the principal when the child accumulates at least twenty-five (25) absences. The principal shall, in turn, notify parents or guardians, in writing, that the total number of absences is approaching the maximum allowed under this policy.
  9. At the secondary level, teachers shall notify the principal when absences from an individual class reach at least five (5) in a block course (ten (10) in a full-year course). The principal shall in turn initiate interventions, based upon the school-developed attendance plan, to help improve the attendance of the student. Interventions will be expectations-based and involve parents. Teachers shall notify the principal when absences reach ten (10) in a block course (twenty (20) in a full-year course). At this point, the school plan for dealing with accumulated absences will be initiated for each student.

    In accordance with the high school attendance plans, seniors will be exempt from non-State exams under the following parameters.

    Year Long Courses:

    • 6 or fewer excused absences with an A average
    • 4 or fewer excused absences with a B average
    • 2 or fewer excused absences with a C average

    Block Courses:

    • 3 or fewer excused absences with an A average
    • 2 or fewer excused absences with a B average
    • 1 or fewer excused absences with a C average

    As part of the individual school plan, based upon the needs at a particular school, the School Improvement Team may propose additional expectations for seniors that impact their ability to be exempt. Seniors and parents will receive notification by the school principal prior to the senior year of such school-specific expectations.

    The principal (consistent with GS 115C-288) is responsible for the final determination of exam exemption eligibility.

  10. Appeals of the school decisions, with regard to attendance, will follow normal procedures outlined in the student grievance process.
  11. The principal may waive the school-based decisions that result from a student's violation of the attendance policy after decisions have been made.
  12. A student with a chronic health problem will not be held accountable to the attendance policy if absences are excused. Documentation of chronic health problems must be provided in writing

Legal References: G.S. 115C-378, G.S. 115C-379, GS 115C-288

Adopted: March 1991

Revised: May 20, 1991

Revised: August 21, 1995

Revised: December 19, 2002

Revised: March 10, 2005

Revised: August 23, 2007

Revised: April 5, 2011