New Attendance Policy

New Attendance Policy
AttendanceIn accordance with new federal guidelines and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), we have been forced to bring our attendance policy into line with federal accountability standards. The result of this is our new attendance policy which only allows seven absences per semester.

              Students are not permitted to be absent from school without a valid excuse.  
              Absences will be designated   as excused or unexcused absences.  Excused 
              absences  will be permitted for the following reasons:
  • Personal illness
  • Hospitalization
  • Emergency conditions as determined by the principal
  • Death in immediate family
  • Court subpoena
  • Legal quarantine
  • Absences approved by the principal prior (including military leave of parent or guardian) 
Documentation supporting an excused absence must be submitted within three (3) days after the student returns to school or the absence will be deemed to be unexcused.  Excessive unexcused absences may result in a loss of academic credit or referral of the matter to juvenile or other appropriate legal authorites for investigation. 
Only seven (7) days or partial days can be excused by parent/doctor notes each semester as a valid excused absence. 

Any absence over seven in a semester will be marked unexcused in the attendance register.  If a student has a significant medical diagnosis, parents can submit a Medical Condition Release Form and a physician's letter to the school documenting the medical condition and the necessity of additional absence days.  Letters and release forms must be resubmitted each school year. 

Homebound services may be provided for qualified students as determined by the Board of Education.

Excessive unexcused absences may result in a loss of acadmic credit or referral of the matter to juvenile or other approrpriate legal authorities for investigation. 

Please review the Policy 5.4 in its entirety in our Student Handbook on pages 7-11 for the complete changes. Based on years of education research exploring the connection between poor attendance and poor student outcomes, we know that attendance matters. If a student just misses one day each month throughout his or her educational career, a total of one full academic year will be missed, which significantly reduces learning and achievement. For more on this connection, explore the links below. 
State Department Attendance Resources

Thank you so much for your attention to this policy change, and please help us do our best to give your student every chance possible to succeed in order to be fully prepared for college and/or career and life upon leaving Blount County Schools.

Stoney M. Beavers, PH.D.
Assistant Superintendent
Blount County Schools

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