A parent, legal guardian, or other person having charge of any child officially enrolled in Alabama public schools (K-12) shall explain in writing the cause of any and every absence of the child no later than three (3) school days following return to school. A failure to furnish such explanation shall be evidence of the child being truant. The child shall also be deemed truant for any absence determined by the principal to be unexcused based upon the State Department of Education’s current School Attendance Manual.
Every child between the ages 6 and 17 shall be required to enroll and attend for the entire length of the school year. All students except eligible seniors shall be enrolled for a full instructional day. The Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program timeline for reporting truancy shall define the truancy status of any student as follows:
ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL
A student must be in attendance at least one-half day (until 11:30 am) to be counted present. A checkout made prior to 11:30 am will be designated as a full day absence. Attendance records for students in credit-bearing courses will be taken for each period. All student absences shall be designated as either excused or unexcused. Excuses for absentees must be in written form, signed by a parent/legal guardian and submitted to the school office within three (3) days after the student returns to school. The following reasons shall be accepted in classifying excused absences:
EXCESSIVE EXCUSED ABSENCES
- Pupil too ill to attend school
- Inclement weather that would be dangerous to the life and health of the child (if the student attended school) as determined by the principal.
- Legal quarantine
- Death in the immediate family
- Emergency conditions as determined by the principal
- Absences from school with the permission of principal and consent of parent
A student in grades 9-12 who accumulates more than ten (10) absences in any class in any one semester may be denied credit for the course. ANY EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY MUST HAVE OFFICIAL VERIFICATION (DOCTOR’S STATEMENT, ETC.) AND IS SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE PRINCIPAL.
After eight (8) days of excused absences have been accumulated, the principal may require a doctor’s excuse for each additional absence for the school year. At the discretion of the principal, a student may be referred to the Attendance Officer for possible appearance in the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program.
The following procedure will be used for unexcused absences:
1st Truancy- The teacher shall caution the student about truancy and subsequent action to be taken by the school and courts should truancy continue. The school shall contact the parent to inform of the unexcused absence.
2nd Truancy- Parents shall receive written notification by the school attendance clerk and/or school principal that the student was truant and the days of the truancies.
3rd Truancy- (1) The parent/legal guardian or person having control of the child shall participate in a conference with the school administrator or the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program provided by the Juvenile Court.
(2) Attendance at this conference shall be mandatory except where prior arrangements have been made or an emergency exists.
(3) Failure to appear at the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program meeting shall result in the filing of a complaint/petition for truancy against the child and/or a warrant issued for the parent/guardian, if appropriate. Truancies after participation in the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program shall result in the filing of a truancy petition against the child, if appropriate. Furthermore, a warrant for contributing to the delinquency of a minor child may be filed against the parent, if appropriate.