Student attendance is essential to the attainment of high academic expectations and has a tremendous impact on student success. In keeping with the mission to graduate fully functioning adults, punctuality and attendance are critical life skills. School attendance is the responsibility of both parents and students. Make school attendance a priority in your family!
The Jefferson City School System requires all students to attend school in accordance with the requirements of the Georgia Compulsory Attendance Law. Based on this law, it is the duty of every parent, guardian, or other person having control of any child between ages six and sixteen to assure that the child attends a public school, private school or home study program. Failure to comply constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by up to $100 fine, 30 days imprisonment, or both. Each day’s absence constitutes a separate offense (O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1).
In addition, state law requires each local school district to work collaboratively with city/county officials from various community and social service agencies as well as representatives from the court system to develop and implement a Student Attendance Protocol designed to address and reduce truancy and the number of unexcused absences from school (O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.2). The Student Attendance Protocol is a process used in identifying, reporting, investigating, and prosecuting cases of alleged violations of the State’s Compulsory Attendance Law.
In accordance with O.C.G.A. 40-5-22, a student between the ages of 14 and 17 who has more than 10 school days of unexcused absences in any semester or combination of two consecutive quarters will be subject to denial or suspension of his/her instruction permit or driver’s license.
School attendance clerks will keep records of excused and unexcused absences, tardies, early checkouts, and suspensions, as required by state law. A student counted absent for the day will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities, including practice, competition, or team meetings.
To be counted present for the day, a student must be at school for at least half of the day.
- JA - Students who leave school before 11:10 a.m. or arrive after 11:10 a.m. will be considered absent.
Our school calendar allows many opportunities for long weekend outings and extended vacations throughout the school year. Please review the school calendar that will be provided during Open House and plan accordingly, in support of regular attendance.
Local & State Excused Absences
- Any state-approved reason
- Personal illness or attendance in school endangers a student’s health or the health of others;
- A serious illness or death in a student’s immediate family necessitating absence from school;
- 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 rendering attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety;
- A period not to exceed one day (at the discretion of the local unit of administration) for registering to vote or for voting in a public election;
- Serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly;
- A student whose parent or legal guardian is in military service in the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard, and such parent or legal guardian has been called to duty for or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, shall be granted excused absences, up to a maximum of five school days per school year, for the day or days missed from school to visit with his or her parent or legal guardian prior to such parent’s or legal guardian’s deployment or during such parent’s or legal guardian’s leave.
- Participation in school-sponsored trips
Any student participating in a 4-H sponsored activity or program is not to be counted absent from school.
All students in foster care who attend court proceedings relating to the student’s foster care will be counted present.
School days missed as a result of out of school suspension shall not be counted as unexcused for the purpose of determining student truancy, but shall be counted as unexcused for all other purposes.
Parent Excused Absences
Each student is allowed 5 parent excused absences per semester. These absences are to be supported by a written note from the parent/guardian, and must be received within 3 days of the student’s return to school in order to be accepted and follow the approved reasons for an excused absence. A parent phone call will not be accepted to excuse absences.
All absences, other than those listed in the Excused Absence section above, will be considered unexcused. Students with excessive unexcused absences may be referred to the school social worker for intervention. Failure to comply with the Georgia Compulsory Attendance Law is punishable in court.
The following progression of steps will be followed in response to student unexcused absences:
- After every absence, the parent/guardian will be notified via Infinite Campus messenger.
- After five (5) unexcused absences, school personnel will notify the parent/guardian by phone to discuss penalties and consequences of such absences. A certified letter will be sent to parents after two reasonable attempts to notify by phone.
- After seven (7) unexcused absences, the parent/guardian will be required to attend a conference with the School Attendance Committee, including teachers, counselors, administrators, social worker, and/or other school system personnel to discuss penalties and consequences of such absences and determine a plan of action for addressing excessive absenteeism. If the parent/guardian does not attend an in-person conference, the school system reserves the right to conduct home visits.
- After ten (10) unexcused absences, parent/guardian may be referred to the Jackson County Attendance Review Board.
Punctuality is a life skill established at a young age. Plan accordingly to enable students to be in the classroom ready to learn prior to the start day each day (JES - 7:35 a.m., JA - 7:25 a.m.). When your child is late, he/she misses important instruction and morning work. Tardies will be tracked throughout the school year. Excessive tardies may result in disciplinary action, and specific measures will be used to address this issue, including, but not limited to, parent conferences, home visits, attendance committee meetings, etc. All tardies are considered unexcused unless a medical or dental excuse is provided.
Please avoid checkouts except when absolutely necessary. Students leaving before the end of the day miss valuable instructional delivery. We respectfully request that early checkouts be reserved for emergencies or medical/dental appointments that cannot be scheduled after school hours. Whenever a student is called from the classroom for early pick-up, instruction is interrupted for all students. Some studies indicate that it takes seven (7) minutes for students to regain their instructional focus after such a disruption. Further, early checkouts, as well as calls related to changes in transportation, can create an unmanageable situation for office staff. Please help us provide your child with every advantage for success in school by supporting our efforts.
To avoid a disruption in the dismissal process, check-outs will not be allowed after 2:00 p.m. In the event, you must check your child out, plan to arrive before this time. Procedures are in place to monitor and address excessive check-outs, including, but not limited to, parent conferences, home visits, attendance committee meetings, etc.
NOTE: When it is absolutely necessary that a student leave before dismissal, the parent/guardian must complete the sign-out process in the front office, a picture ID will be required and the person must be listed on the approved student pick-up list, which is designated by the parent/guardian during the online registration process.
Upon returning to school following an absence, parents/guardians must send a note on a full sheet of paper, which includes the following information: student name; homeroom teacher name; date of absence; specific reason for absence; and parent/guardian, doctor, or governmental agency signature. When a student's absence or early checkout is due to a medical or dental appointment, an excuse from the medical or dental office must be provided for it to be excused.