Discovery Attendance Policy and Procedures
How do I get my absence excused?
A student must provide a written note from the parent/guardian with an explanation for an absence. Students will have two days to provide a note. Notes must be turned into the Attendance Office. If the student forgets to bring a note, the absence is considered unexcused. A parent phone call will NOT excuse an absence. Work given/due on the date(s) of the absence(s) will be assigned a grade of 0 if the absence remains unexcused. After 10 parent excuse notes in a school year, the school may request additional documentation, including doctor's notes, to continue to excuse absences and tardies.
The written note from the parent/guardian must include:
- student name
- student ID# (written on the note)
- date of absence(s)
- parent signature
- parent daytime phone number
For any appointments/doctor's office visits please provide:
- doctor's note
- court order by a government agency
- date of absence(s)
- reason for the absence(s)
- student ID# (written on the note)
Excused absences are defined by state law and include ONLY the following areas:
- When a personal illness or attendance at school endangers a student's health or the health of others. Documentation may be required within five days of a student's return to school.
- A serious illness or death in a student's immediate family necessitates an absence from school. Documentation may be required within five days of a student's return to school.
- A court order by a government agency, including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the Armed Forces, mandating absence from school.
- Observing county-approved religious holidays which necessitate absence from school. In some instances, documentation may be requested.
- Conditions rendering attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety.
- An absence not to exceed one day for registering to vote.
- Local boards of education may allow a period not to exceed one day 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 or the National Guard(maximum of five school days per year).
Parent/guardian notes will be accepted for up to 10 absences (or partial absences) per school year. Thereafter, the only excused reasons for absences or check-ins must be verified through formal documentation (e.g., doctor or hospital note).
Excused documentation should be submitted to the attendance office within two days of returning to school. Failure to do so may result in the absence or being tardy considered unexcused.
Absences or check-ins/tardies are unexcused for all other reasons, including but not limited to:
- Missing the Bus
- DMV Appointments
- Power Outage
- Family Visits
- College Visits
- Running Errands and/or Skipping School
- "Senior Skip Days" are a violation of the Attendance Policy.
- Car Trouble/Car Accident/Traffic Congestion
- Unspecified Family Emergency
If the student has no note, he/she will be considered as having an unexcused absence or check-in. If the student fails to bring a note, the absence will be regarded as an unexcused absence. Classwork and/or testing may not be made up for unexcused absences.
*To excuse a College Visit (Maximum 3 Days Per Year)
Students are encouraged to visit colleges in the summer or on weekends. A College Visit absence will be marked unexcused until proper documentation is received verifying the visit. I.E. Official written invitation from college for a specified visit date, stamped signature on college letterhead with date of visit, etc.
If parents find it necessary for students to miss school due to an out-of-town trip including college visits (limit 5 days per year), the student’s absence must be approved by the Attendance Administrator. If a student has excessive absences, a prearranged absence may not be approved. If the prearranged absence is approved, the absence will be classified as unexcused but the student will be allowed to make up missed work. Pre-arranged absences should also be requested for social security immigration or DMV appointments, etc.
Prearranged absences are not granted on Exam days.
If a student has a prearranged absence approved by the attendance office, all make-up policies regarding excused absences apply.
Pre-arranged Absences Procedure
The required prearranged absence form should be obtained from the Attendance Office. The student must complete the form following each Step, 1-4 as shown below:
- Step 1 Parent/Guardian Signature
- Step 2 Teacher Approval/Signature
- Step 3 Administrator Approval / Signature
- Step 4 Return completed form to the Attendance Office
The completed form must be returned to the Attendance Office, 3 school days PRIOR to the first day absent to be valid.
Check Out Policy
NO CHECKOUT AFTER 1:40 PM
Any student needing to leave campus during the day for any reason must check out through Check-In/Out at the Attendance Office. Contact with a parent or guardian will be required before a student is released from school.
STUDENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CHECK OUT DURING A FINAL EXAM PERIOD.
After five excused checkouts (per semester), due to illness. Medical documentation is required to excuse subsequent checkouts.
Check-out for medical or court appointments will be classified as unexcused until proper documentation is received from the physician or office of the court.
Students are not allowed to check themselves in or out when they reach the age of 18 unless the student has an approved emancipated student document on file with the Counseling Office.
Check Out Procedure
- The student needs to take his/her check-out note to the Attendance Office before 7:10 a.m. The note must include the date, reason, parent signature, and parent’s telephone number.
- The Attendance Office staff will call to verify the note and prepare a pass for the student, to show the teacher.
- Students who do not bring a note prior to the beginning of school must report to the Clinic if they need to check out due to illness or injury.
- Students should not use their cell phones to call parents when they are ill. Instead, the student should get permission from their teacher to report to the clinic. Clinic staff will contact parents.
- Parents requesting that their students check out for reasons other than illness or injury should call the Attendance Office.
- For driving students, prior parent verification is required.
- For non-driving students: parents must sign their student out in the Attendance Office.
- Students may not check out and get a ride via Uber, Lyft, etc... to leave campus
Once a student arrives on campus, the student is considered to be at school and must obtain permission to leave campus for any reason by checking out in the Attendance Office, even if classes have not yet begun.
You are considered AWOL and subject to behavior consequences, including temporary or permanent revocation of campus parking privileges if you:
- Fail to check-in after 7:05 am
- Leave campus without checking out
- Are absent from school without parent permission
- Skip a portion of a class, a full class, or several classes
- Are out of class without a pass from your teacher
- Fail to go to the cafeteria area during your lunch period
- Go to your vehicle without permission
- Are in an unassigned area of the school without permission
Make Up Work Policy
The Gwinnett County Board of Education Policy concerning make-up work is:
“If a student has missed an assignment due to an excused absence, the grade of zero will be averaged in the place of that grade until the student makes up the work.”
All pre-assigned work and assessments are due in class on the day of a student’s return from an absence.
It is the student’s responsibility to request and complete make-up work. Failure to complete make-up work will result in the student receiving a grade of zero for each assignment. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain review information prior to the test/quiz.
Make-up work must be completed within five school days of the student’s return to school unless arrangements for extended time have been approved by the teacher. All incomplete work carried over into the new grading period should be completed no later than the tenth day of the following semester.
Excessive Absence Policy
Chronic absenteeism affects a student’s ability to learn and succeed in school.
School-approved field trips/activities, medically documented absences, and suspensions will NOT count toward excessive absences.
Students with chronic Illness – Students with a chronic medical condition must present medical documentation of the condition and at least one doctor note before parent notes will be accepted for absences.
If a student has a serious medical or legal problem, the student’s parent/guardian should notify the attendance administrator and the student’s counselor.
HOUSE BILL 1190
Section 10. Minimum Number of Unexcused Absences Notification
A school system must notify the parent or guardian of a child under 16 after five unexcused absent days. Public schools must provide the parent, guardian, or person having control or charge of each child enrolled in a public school a written summary of possible consequences and penalties for failing to comply with the compulsory attendance law. The parent, guardian, or person having control or charge of the child shall sign a statement indicating receipt of the possible consequences and penalties.
Additionally, parents and students should be aware that the passage of HB1190 places specific restrictions and requirements on individuals under the age of 18 who apply for or already possess an instructional permit or driver’s license. Please see the document. “Teens Must Stay In School To Keep Driver’s License” on the Georgia.gov website for more detailed information concerning the possible consequences for both students and parents who are in violation of HB 1190.
Returning to School After an Absence
The student must bring a parent/guardian or doctor’s note to the Attendance Office within 2 days of returning to school. The note should include the date, reason, parent/guardian signature, and phone number for verification.