GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS ATTENDANCE POLICY
Gwinnett County Public Schools encourages and promotes good student attendance. School attendance is important because it underscores the significance of learning and the importance of obtaining an education in our society, in addition to helping students develop good work habits that will carry over in life. Good attendance also correlates strongly with improved grades. A minimum level of attendance is required for attainment of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. The responsibility of school attendance is that of both parents and students.
Official Code of Georgia (20-2-690.2): Every parent, guardian, or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child or children between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays shall enroll and send such child or children to a public school, a private school, or a home study program that meets the requirements for a public school, private school, or a home study program; and such child shall be responsible for enrolling in and attending a public school, a private school, or a home study program that meets the requirements for a public school, a private school, or a home study program.
Absence Excuse Note
Students must be present at least one half of the school day. They are considered AWOL from class if they miss one half of the class. The first day a student returns to school after an absence, he/she should bring a hand written note, signed by his/her parent or guardian or a note from his/her physician. Include date, parent phone number, home room teacher, student number and specific reason for the absence(s). Absence(s) will remain unexcused if notes are not presented within two days of the students return to school. The note is to be presented to the attendance clerk for verification. Students attending Maxwell High School or Grayson High School for a portion of the day must follow these procedures with a copy of their documentation provided to both schools. The absence will be unexcused unless it qualifies to be excused under one of the following areas defined by State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1.
- Students who are personally ill and whose attendance in school would endanger their health or the health of others.
- Students in whose immediate family there is a serious illness or death that would reasonably necessitate absence from school.
- Students who observe special and recognized religious holidays observed by their faith.
- Students who are mandated by order of governmental agencies (pre-induction physical examination for service in armed forces or court order.)
- Students who are expelled from school for short-term suspension.
- Students who are at least 12 years of age and are serving as pages in the General Assembly.
- Students may be excused from school attendance when prevented from such attendance due to conditions rendering school attendance impossible or hazardous to their health and safety.
- A student whose parent or legal guardian is in the military service of the United States or the National Guard, and such parent/legal guardian has been called to duty, or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, shall be granted a maximum of 5 excused absences per year to visit with his or her parent/legal guardian.
Students must be present at least half the school day in order to participate in or attend any extra-curricular activity that afternoon or evening. This includes practices and/or rehearsals. If a student misses one half of any class, they will be considered absent from that class.
Absences Beyond 10 Days
School sponsored field trips and suspension days will NOT count in the 10 day limit. Any student who has exceeded 10 absences in any class and feels that there are extenuating circumstances, such as long-term illness, may have the parent appeal, in writing, to the Attendance Administrator. Students missing 10 or more days will be reported for non-compliance of the Georgia Driving License Law.
A student will be considered AWOL based on the guidelines in the Student Code of Conduct and the following: Student leaves campus without following proper check out procedures (even if the school day has not yet begun), student leaves school during lunch, STUDENT IS OUT OF PLACE DURING LUNCH, student is more than five minutes late to class, student is absent from school without prior knowledge of a parent or guardian, student is absent from class without school permission, student arrives after the tardy bell and fails to check in with the Attendance Office.
Check In & Check Out Procedures
Checking In: All students arriving after 7:20am must report directly to the attendance office for check in. Students should have their school ID for check-in. Notes for tardiness should be presented at the time of check-in.
Checking Out: Parent(s)/ guardians should be prepared to present ID in order to check a student out of school. Any student finding it necessary to leave campus during the day must check out through the attendance office. If a parent is picking up their student, the parent must physically sign the student out at the Attendance Desk. Students may not check out after 1:40 pm. Contact with a parent will be required before a student is released. Phoned in messages which are not supported by a parental note will not be accepted. Only person(s) who are listed on the clinic card will be allowed to check a student out of school. Once a student comes to school, he/she may not leave without following the check out procedure. Students who check out are required to leave campus immediately. Students who do not follow these procedures will be subject to disciplinary actions. Attendance personnel will not allow students to check out without speaking with a parent or guardian.
Check Outs During Exam Blocks: Check outs are not permitted during an exam block. If a student must check out on an exam day, in order to protect the integrity of the tests, they will only be allowed to leave between testing blocks.
Pre-planned Check Outs: If a student has a note from a parent requesting permission to leave for an appointment, the student should present the note to the attendance office prior to the beginning of first period for confirmation. Notes should include the first and last name of the student, their student number, date, phone number of a parent, and the name of their home room teacher. The student will be sent a check out slip or called to the attendance office at the appropriate time in order to sign out. If the parent intends to pick up the student, the parent must physically sign the student out at the attendance desk.
Emergency Check Outs: Students who leave school during the day due to illness or an emergency must follow routine check out procedures. Only parents or guardians may give permission for a student’s release from school. No student may be released prior to contact with a parent either in person or by telephone. Repeated Checking Out: A student who checks out of school repeatedly will be subject to disciplinary consequences including having his/her parking privileges revoked at any time. A student/parent/administrator conference will be held for students excessively checking in or out. Absences due to checking in and out of school count toward the 10 day limit in each class.
Chronic Illness / Homebound
It is the responsibility of the parent to notify teachers and the attendance office in writing each semester if the student has an illness or other condition which might interfere with school performance or learning. If a student is expected to miss more than 10 consecutive days due to illness, please contact the Attendance Administrator and/or the homebound coordinator.
Days Prior To Special Events/Holidays
On these dates parents/guardians may be required to personally check out their students.
If a parent/guardian wishes for a student to check out to attend a funeral, he/she should write a note stating such. Funerals of immediate family members will be excused (parent of student, brother, sister or grandparent). Notes should include student name, student number, homeroom teacher, grade and a phone number to reach a parent and be presented to the attendance office prior to first period, as contact with parent/guardian is still necessary.
Make Up Work
Students returning from an absence are responsible for making arrangements to make up his/her work. Every effort should be made to make up work as soon as possible. Students are allowed 5 days to turn in the assignments, or to make arrangements with the teacher to make them up. If documentation and verification for absences is not received by the attendance office within the 2 day period, the absence will be entered as and shall remain unexcused.
THE FIVE-DAY PERIOD ALLOWED TO MAKE UP WORK DOES NOT APPLY TO LONG STANDING DUE DATES ON ASSIGNMENTS SUCH AS PROJECTS, TESTS OR TERM PAPERS. IN THESE CASES, THE STUDENTS WOULD BE EXPECTED TO TURN IN THE ASSIGNMENT OR TAKE THE TEST UPON THEIR FIRST DAY BACK TO SCHOOL.
Students who are serving out-of-school suspension may make up all work assigned by their teachers while on suspension. Work must be turned in upon return to school. It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the Dacula High School Registrar immediately when there is a change in the student’s address and/or phone number. Please remember, these numbers are used to contact the parent(s) in case of emergency.
Our School Attendance Responsibilities
One of the characteristics of an effective school is good attendance. A strong correlation exists between attendance and academic success in school. In order to ensure success for all students at Dacula High School, we must accept the following responsibilities...
- We will monitor attendance and keep absence notes on file.
- We will use a computer call system to call the student’s home between 5:00 and 9:00 pm on any day the student is absent from school.
- We will mail notification upon the 5th and 7th and 10th absence.
- We will work in conjunction with counselors and school social workers when warranted in an effort to improve attendance at Dacula High School.
If parents find it necessary for students to miss school due to an out of town trip, absences must be approved by the Attendance Administrator (Dr. Welch). If the absence is approved, it may still be classified as unexcused, but students will be allowed to make up work. The required pre-arranged absence form should be obtained from the attendance office, or download one of the files from below. This form should be completed and signed by a parent and the Attendance Administrator. It should be initialed by all teachers and turned in to the attendance office at least 3 days prior to the planned absence. This procedure should be followed for college visits as well. All pre-arranged absences, if unexcused, will count toward the 10 days absent per semester. All pre-arranged absences are limited to five days during the course of the year.
Notes for tardies will be verified and are only accepted upon arrival to school. Notes will not be accepted for a tardy to school on the following day.
Any child subject to compulsory attendance who during the school calendar year has more than 5 days of unexcused absences is truant.