A primary obligation of the school & parent is to encourage regular attendance. Regular attendance is a habit that directly applies to academic success. School opens for students at 8:15 AM and class begins at 8:45 AM. All teachers are expected to check attendance daily within the first 10 minutes of each class period. State policy prohibits allowing any student to take the roll. It is the sole responsibility of the advisor or classroom teacher.
Attendance is one major cause for poor work and failure in school. It is the position of the administration and faculty that every class meeting is important. Anything less than perfect attendance will have a detrimental impact on the grade and learning for the semester. Students that are absent from school for any reason must submit a written note from the parent or guardian explaining the dates and reasons for the absence(s) upon returning to school. Parents should call and notify the Attendance Office (404-802-5300) before 9:00 A.M. if their child will be absent for that day.
Each floor administration office maintains accurate and updated student records and working telephone numbers. We keep a folder on each student that contains personal data forms, excuses for absences, discipline notices, commendations, correspondence, student schedules, and etc. These folders are located in a secure location. Administrative personnel view the folders periodically.
The following guidelines have been established to minimize absenteeism. The Georgia Board of Education allows for documented absences due to:
- Personal illness
- Death or serious illness in the family
- Recognized religious holidays
- Absences caused by order of government
- Inclement weather or dangerous conditions as determined by the school district
- Compliance with a court order or an order issued by a governmental agency, including agency, including an order for a pre-induction physical examination for service in the armed forces, mandating absence from school
- Conditions rendering attendance impossible or hazardous to the student's health or safety
- Serving as a page in the Georgia General Assembly
- Absences not exceeding a cumulative total of six days per year for the following reasons, but only if the absence has been pre-approved by the principal or designee:
- Scholarship interviews/college visitations
- Travel opportunity with educational benefits
- Specialized educational experience
- OSS/ISS is an excused absence. Students are allowed to make up all work missed for excused absences.
Any absence not defined as excused is unexcused. A student is encouraged to make up any school work missed during an excused absence. All unexcused absences will result in the student receiving a “zero” for the unexcused day(s). Some examples of unexcused absences include (but are not limited to) the following: car trouble, oversleeping, missing the bus, shopping, beauty shop appointments, baby-sitting, truancy, and absences not listed as excused. Truancy is defined as a student deliberately not attending school (or specific classes) because of an unexcused reason.
Requesting Makeup Work after an Absence
Upon returning to school following an absence, it is a student’s responsibility to contact the teacher or teachers to request makeup work. The contact should be made on the day the student returns to school.
Tardy to School
Students tardy to school must report to the attendance office before going to first period. Students may not enter first period without a pass from an administrator or the Attendance Specialist. Tardies to school will follow the discipline cycle for tardies to class. Excessive tardies are considered by the administration to be failure to follow instructions to arrive at school/class on time.
Field Trips/School Activities/Athletic Checkouts
In order to participate in a field trip, school activity, or athletic event, students must have a record of regular school attendance. Students with excessive absences or tardies (i.e. 5 or more absences/5 or more tardies per semester) may forfeit the opportunity to participate.
Truancy violates the Compulsory Attendance Law. The Atlanta Board of Education established the Truancy Center to investigate the status of truant students and to recommend appropriate action. When a student is found away from the school building and it is determined that said student is truant, he/she will be transported to the Truancy Center required by O.C.G.A. § 20-2-736 and O.C.G.A § 20-2-690.1. Truancy, class cuts and leaving campus without permission are considered major violations.
- Parents/guardians should notify Therrell High School (404.802.5300) if their child will be absent from school. Parents may call at any time and leave a message on the voice mail.
- If the parent does not inform the school of their child’s absence, contact may be initiated by the school. Parents will be contacted via telephone at home or at work.
- If the school is unable to reach the parent by phone, parents will be notified by U.S. Mail or through correspondence delivered by the Community in Schools Coordinator or School Social Worker.
- The law does not set any timeline for notification in the event of student absence. School officials are advised that a “reasonable attempt” must be made in regards to parent/guardian notification.
- Upon returning to school following an absence, the student should immediately report to the Attendance office and submit written notification from the parent indicating the dates and reasons for the absences. At this time the absence will be coded as excused or unexcused.
- A student having been absent from school for more than two class periods but not more than four class periods will be credited with one-half day absence (excused or unexcused). A student having been absent from school for more than two class periods will be credited with one day of absence (excused or unexcused).
- A student may not miss more than two class periods (unless on a school-sponsored activity medical absence, or prearranged absence with the Principal) in order to participate in an extra-curricular activity, practice or contest that particular day or evening.
- All attendance records will be kept and maintained by the Attendance Specialist. All teachers will keep accurate daily attendance records for their assigned classes in their grade books.
Teachers Role in Attendance
Teachers must take attendance each period. The teacher’s attendance record is the official record for that class. Accurate records are important for report cards, appeals, and exam exemptions. Attendance will be monitored daily by the Attendance Specialist. Students suspected of skipping class should be referred to an administrator.
Unexcused absences should be monitored as follows:
1st absence: Teacher notifies advisor and parent via phone and holds conference with student.
2nd absence: Teacher notifies advisor and parent / submit referral to Attendance Specialist. Teachers should maintain documentation of these attendance calls. (Attendance Specialists submits referral to CIS)
3rd absence: Teacher notifies advisory and parent / submit referral to Attendance Specialist. (Attendance Specialists submits referral to CIS/School Counselor)
4th absence: Teacher notifies advisor and parent / submit referral to Attendance Specialist. (Attendance Specialists submits referral to CIS/School Counselor/Administrator for attendance contract)
5th absence: Teacher notifies advisor and parent / submit referral to Attendance Specialist. (Attendance Specialists submits referral Social Worker).
All students are expected to report to each class on time. Teachers should not delay a student after class, thus making the student tardy to his or her next class. All students are expected to sign the tardy log when entering the classroom after the late bell. Classroom teachers are expected to record all tardies in the roll book as either excused or unexcused.
Tardiness to class will be monitored and controlled by the respective teacher. A student is tardy if he/she is not in the classroom before the sounding of the tardy bell. Continuous tardiness will result in referral to the social worker and grade administrator. The conduct grade the student earns will also reflect the student’s promptness to class.
Doors should NOT BE LOCKED at any time as a means of keeping students in or out of the classroom. The teacher should take the following measures in dealing with a tardy student:
- Begin class with a bell ringer activity that may count as credit. The assignment is due at the end of the tardy bell.
- Monitor the hall and strongly encourage your students to enter into the classroom and begin working.
- Enforce the following system for tardiness:
ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT ROLE
Teacher Warning & document tardy
Teacher/student conference notify Advisor
Attendance office contacts parent (Morning tardies only)
Teacher conference with student / Teacher notify Parent / Teacher notify Advisor
Teacher Detention / Teacher notify parent
Attendance office contacts parent
Teacher referral to Administrator
Parent Conference / Attendance contract / Saturday School
7th – 9th Tardy
Teacher referral to Administrator
2 Days of In-School Suspension / Saturday School and Communities-In-School Address verification
Teacher referral to Administrator
Social Worker referral
All early dismissals and checkouts are encouraged to occur after 12:00 PM & prior to 3:00 PM.
Parent or guardian should:
- All requests to leave school must include the student’s name, date, and reason for leaving, departure time, return time, and parent/guardian contact information. Students will not be allowed to leave campus if the Attendance Specialist cannot verify the request.
- The student should submit all documents to the Attendance Specialist by 9:00 AM
- The request will be verified and the student will be issued a checkout pass
- At the time of dismissal the student will report to the Attendance Specialist
- In extreme conditions, the student may checkout without a note. In this case, the nurse, or administrator will call a parent or guardian and get permission for the student to leave school. Under no circumstances will a student ever be allowed to leave school without a parent or guardian being contacted.
Once the student has been approved to leave school, the student will sign-out in the attendance office and receive an early dismissal letter.