Unexcused Student Absences


Students are required to provide written excuses for absences in accordance with Board Policy JBD. The principal of each school will designate a person or persons who are to maintain a record of students’ excused and unexcused absences. Written notes explaining the reason for the student's absence are to be retained until the end of the school term.

Teachers must maintain timely and accurate attendance records that reflect absences as excused or unexcused. For an absence to be excused, a dated and signed note from the physician or parent/guardian or an e-mail from a verified parent/guardian account must be sent to the student’s homeroom teacher explaining the reason for the absence within three (3) school days of returning to school.

The school system will notify the parent, guardian, or other person who has control or charge of the student when such student has five unexcused absences. The notice will outline the penalty and consequences of such absences and that each subsequent absence will constitute a separate offense.

Prior to commencing judicial proceedings to impose a penalty for violating compulsory school attendance law, the school system shall send a notice by certified mail return receipt requested.

By September 1st or within 30 school days of a student’s enrollment, the parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of the student must sign a statement indicating receipt of the written statement of possible consequences and penalties. After two reasonable attempts by the school to secure such signatures, the school shall be considered in compliance with this requirement.

In addition, students age ten or older by September 1st must sign a statement indicating receipt of a written statement of possible consequences for non-compliance to the local system’s policy.

After a student has five or more unexcused absences, the school designee or SRO may refer a parent to the Magistrate Court for a warrant and to the Solicitor General for prosecution under the Georgia Compulsory School Attendance statute if it is suspected that the parent or guardian is the cause of the student’s absence. At the State Court’s discretion, parents may receive a fine of not more than $100, up to 30 days confinement in jail, community service, or any combination for each offense.

Additional actions may include but are not limited to: Referral to the Truancy Intervention Program, Juvenile court CHINS complaint, or DFCS referral. If the parent or guardian has previously attended TIP, a second referral to the program may be forfeited and criminal prosecution may be initiated.