School attendance contributes to school success because it underscores the significance of learning and the importance of obtaining an education in our society. Good attendance also correlates strongly with improved grades. A minimum level of attendance is required for mastery of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS). The responsibility of school attendance is that of both students and parents, and should be monitored by classroom teachers and school counselors.
Reporting an absence
To report the reason for an absence, please do one of the following:
- Email the reason, date, and student name to your child's homeroom teacher.
- Send a note with your student when they return to school. The note should include the student's first and last name, reason, and date.
- Email the reason, date, and student name to SDMC.
State Attendance Rule 160-5-1-.10 states that students will be excused from school under the following circumstances:
- Personal illness or attendance at school endangers a student's health or the health of others. (Medical documentation may be required.)
- A serious illness or death in a student's immediate family necessitates absence from school. (Medical documentation may be required.)
- A court order or an order by a governmental agency, including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces, mandating absence from school.
- Observing religious holidays, necessitating absence from school.
- Conditions making attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety. (For Gwinnett County Public Schools, the closure of schools for hazardous conditions may only be made by the Superintendent for the purposes of excused absences.)
- A period not to exceed one day is allowed, at the discretion of the local unit of administration, for registering to vote or voting in a public election.
- Visiting with a parent or legal guardian prior to or during leave from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard (maximum of five school days per year).
- A student whose parent or legal guardian is currently serving or previously served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, in the Reserves of the armed forces of the United States on extended active duty, or in the National Guard on extended active duty may be granted excused absences, up to a maximum of five school days per school year, not to exceed two school years, for the day or days missed from school to attend military affairs sponsored events, provided the student provides documentation prior to absence.
Students are away from school, but are counted present under the following circumstances:
- Students will be counted present when they are serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly.
- Students who are in a foster home or otherwise in the foster care system under the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services will be counted present for any day, portion of a day, or days missed from school when attending court proceedings related to that student's foster care.
- Full-time high school students who participate in a Student Teen Election Participant (STEP) program shall be counted as present and given full credit for the school day during which he or she serves as a volunteer to work as a poll officer during any primary, special, or general election. Participating students may be counted present for up to two days within the school year.
For more information please refer to the GCPS Attendance Protocol.