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Attendance
 
Attendance in school and participation in class are integral parts of academic achievement and the
teaching-learning process. Through regular attendance, students develop patterns of behavior
essential to professional and personal success in life. Regular attendance by every student is
mandatory. The State of North Carolina requires that every child in the State between the ages of
7 (or younger if enrolled) and 16 attend school. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for
ensuring that students attend and remain at school daily.
 
ATTENDANCE RECORDS

School officials shall keep accurate records of attendance, including accurate attendance
records in each class. Attendance records will be used to enforce the Compulsory
Attendance Law of North Carolina.

EXCUSED ABSENCES

When a student must miss school, a written excuse signed by a parent or guardian must be
presented to the student’s teacher on the day the student returns after an absence. Absences
due to extended illnesses may also require a statement from a physician. An absence may
be excused for any of the following reasons:
 
  1. personal illness or injury that makes the student physically unable to attend school;
  2. isolation ordered by the State Board of Health;
  3. death in the immediate family;
  4. medical or dental appointment;
  5. participation under subpoena as a witness in a court proceeding;
  6. a minimum of two days each academic year for observance of an event required or
    suggested by the religion of the student or the student’s parent(s);
  7. participation in a valid educational opportunity, such as travel or service as a
    legislative or Governor’s page, with prior approval from the principal;
  8. pregnancy and related conditions or parenting, when medically necessary; or
  9. visitation with the student’s parent or legal guardian, at the discretion of the
    Superintendent or designee, if the parent or legal guardian (a) is an active duty
    member of the uniformed services as defined by policy 4050, Children of Military
    Families, and (b) has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately
    returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting
Principals may excuse temporary or occasional absences for other reasons in accordance
with Board policies, provided that the student has been in attendance for at least one-half
of a school day during the current school year.

In the case of excused absences and short-term out-of-school suspensions, the student will
be permitted to make up his or her work. (See also policy 4351, Short-Term Suspension.)
The teacher will determine when work is to be made up. The student is responsible for
finding out what assignments are due and completing them within the specified time
period.
 
SCHOOL-RELATED ACTIVITIES

All classroom activities are important and difficult, if not impossible, to replace if missed.
Principals shall ensure that classes missed by students due to school-related activities are
kept to an absolute minimum. The following school-related activities will not be counted
as absences from either class or school:
  1. field trips sponsored by the school;
  2. job shadows and other work-based learning opportunities, as described in G.S.
    115C-47(34a);
  3. school-initiated and -scheduled activities;
  4. athletic events that require early dismissal from school;
  5. Career and Technical Education student organization activities approved in
    advance by the principal; and
  6. in-school suspensions.
Assignments missed for these reasons are eligible for makeup by the student. The teacher
will determine when work is to be made up. The student is responsible for finding out
what assignments are due and completing them within the specified time period.
 
EXCESSIVE ABSENCES

Class attendance and participation are critical elements of the educational process and may
be taken into account in assessing academic achievement. Students are expected to be at
school on time and to be present at the scheduled starting time for each class. Students
who are excessively tardy to school or class may be suspended for up to two days for such
offenses.

The principal shall notify parents and take all other steps required by G.S. 115C-378 for
excessive absences. Students may be suspended for up to two days for truancy.
 
If a student is absent from school for five or more days in a semester, the principal or a
committee established by the principal shall consider whether the student’s grades should
be reduced because of the absences. The principal or committee shall review other
measures of academic achievement, the circumstances of the absences, the number of
absences, and the extent to which the student completed missed work. A committee may
recommend to the principal and the principal may make any of the following
determinations:
  1. the student will not receive a passing grade for the semester;
  2. the student’s grade will be reduced;
  3. the student will receive the grade otherwise earned; or
  4. the student will be given additional time to complete the missed work before a
    determination of the appropriate grade is made.
Students with excused absences due to documented chronic health problems are exempt
from this policy. In addition, for students experiencing homelessness (see Board policy
4125, Homeless Students), school officials must consider issues related to the student’s
homelessness, such as a change of caregivers or nighttime residence, before taking
disciplinary action or imposing other barriers to school attendance based on excessive
absences or tardies.
 
HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ELIGIBILITY
  1. A player must have been in attendance for at least 88 percent (10 days) of the
    previous semester at his or her assigned high school. Any student must be in
    membership to be able to make up days missed while in membership. (Days missed
    while not in membership may not be made up for athletic eligibility.)
    For a regular 90-day semester, a student may not miss more than 10 days and
    be in compliance with the 88 percent rule (10 days). This will be effective
    beginning January 2015, using the Fall 2014 semester’s attendance as a
    method to determine athletic eligibility.
  2. A student must, at the time of any game in which he or she participates, be a
    regularly enrolled member of the school’s student body, according to local policy.
    If there is no local policy, “regularly enrolled” is defined as enrolled for at least one
    half of the “minimum load.” It is recommended the student be in school the day of
    the contest.
  3. The student must be enrolled within the first 15 days and in regular attendance for
    the present semester to be eligible for athletics. A student whose family has moved
    into a school district shall immediately assume the same status in the new district
    as that from which he or she moved. Summer school attendance shall not be counted in determining percentage of attendance for athletic eligibility, but approved homebound programs do fulfill the attendance.
  4. At the end of each semester, any participant who has failed to attend school 88 percent(10 days) of that semester is immediately ineligible.
Excessive absences may impact eligibility for participation in interscholastic athletics. See
policy 3620, Extracurricular Activities and Student Organizations.