IMPORTANT ATTENDANCE INFORMATION
20-2-690.1 Mandatory Education for Children Between Ages 6 and 16
Penalties and Consequences for Violation of State Compulsory Attendance Law
Any parent, guardian, or other person residing in this state who has control or charge of a child or children and who
shall violate this Code Section (20-2-690) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
subject to a fine not less than $25.00 and not greater than $100.00, imprisonment not to exceed 30 days,
community service, or any combination of such penalties at the discretion of the court having jurisdiction. Five
unexcused days of absence for a student shall constitute a separate offense of truancy.
Truancy Ordinance adopted July 1, 2011. A parent found in violation of the County Compulsory School
Attendance Ordinance will also receive a citation to appear in Magistrate Court. Upon conviction, parents shall be
punishable in accordance with Code of Ordinances. Each time a parent is found in violation of this ordinance, it is
considered a separate offense.
Persons who submit fraudulent documents to justify absences will be referred to law enforcement for criminal
EXCUSED ABSENCES AND TARDIES
Students shall attend class or other school activities every school day and will be excused only under the following
circumstances unless they have secured prior written permission from the principal or his/her designee:
1. A personal illness or attendance in school endangers a student’s health or the health of others.
2. A serious illness or death in a student’s immediate family necessitates absence from school.
3. A court order or an order by a governmental agency mandates absence from school.
4. Observing religious holidays necessitates absence from school.
5. Conditions render attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety.
6. A student whose parent or legal guardian is in the US Armed Forces/National Guard, has been called to duty
for, or is on leave from, overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat posting, will be granted up to five
(5) excused absences per school year for the day(s) missed from school to visit the parent or legal guardian
prior to such deployment or during such leave.
7. A foster care student who attends court proceedings relating to the student’s foster care shall be counted as
present by the school and shall not be counted as an absence, either excused or unexcused, for any day,
portion of a day, or days missed from school.
Students will be counted present only when they are actually present in an elementary school class for at least one-half
(1/2) of the instructional day. Students receiving Hospital Homebound services are counted present.
School policy requires that all excuses must be turned in to the school within five days of the student’s return to
school. Excuses should contain the student’s name, reason for absence, date(s) of the absence, and the
An early checkout is excused if it is due to a medical appointment for the student, illness of the student, or a sudden
serious illness or death of an immediate family member.
Students will not be allowed to receive credit for class work or assignments missed due to unexcused absences.
Notification and Monitoring
Student absences will be monitored daily by the principal or his/her designee. Parents will be notified of excessive or
unexcused absences and such notice will be documented by the school. Parents are required to notify the school any
time there is a change in where the child is living.
Upon the fifth (5th) unexcused absence, the school will notify the parent/guardian by mail. Parents/guardians of
children who are age 10 years or older by September 1 are required by law to sign a statement indicating that they
have received a written statement of the possible consequences and penalty for violation of the state’s compulsory
school attendance law. If the parent/guardian does not respond after two reasonable attempts of the school to
secure such signature(s), the school will send a copy of the statement to the parent/guardian via certified mail.
Following the seventh (7th) unexcused absence, another letter will be mailed to the parent/guardian. Upon the
tenth (10th) total absence (excused or unexcused), a letter will be mailed to the parent/guardian and a referral will
be made to the Attendance Officer or School Social Worker. If a student continues to be truant or excessively
absent, interventions such as requiring families to attend Attendance Support Team meetings and entering into a
written agreement designed to help improve attendance. An Attendance Support Team contract will carry over
from year to year. If the school determines that attendance continues to be unsatisfactory, the Attendance Officer
or School Social Worker is authorized to make a truancy referral to Truancy Court.
Letters will be mailed to parent/guardian on 3rd, 5th, 7th and 10th tardies or early checkouts.
The school may ask for a physician’s written explanation if one or more of the following conditions exists:
A. A persistent, systematic pattern of absences has been established (e.g. absent every Monday)
B. More than (12) twelve days of absences (excused or unexcused) were recorded the prior school year.
C. More than four (4) absences have been recorded in a grading period or semester.
D. Physician’s notes should state the number of days the illness is to be excused and when the student is expected
to return to school.
High School Attendance Requirements:
Students are required to be counted present a minimum of 85 out of 90 class periods per semester and must be in
attendance for at least 45 minutes of a class period. A student’s instructional permit or driver’s license will be
suspended for one year if a student has accumulated 10 unexcused absences, not necessarily consecutive in a
current academic year. (See www.dmvs.ga.gov)
For more information on school attendance please contact:
Shelley Cantrell, Attendance Officer
Pickens County School System
Office 706-253-1700 Fax 706-253-1712