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Descriptor Code: JBE-R(1)
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Mandatory Attendance Ages

Pursuant to Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1a) students between the ages of six (6) and sixteen (16) are required to regularly attend school.  Any student age 16 or older who misses more than ten (10) unexcused absences per semester may be withdrawn from school.

Students below the age of six (6) shall be bound by the same provisions of the mandatory school attendance rules and laws should they elect to enroll in preschool programs provided by the Putnam County Charter School System.

Excused Absences

Student absences may be excused when absences are the consequence of:

  • Personal illness with a doctor’s excuse or parent written notification of illness which would endanger the student's health or the health of others;
  • Death of a close family member requiring the student to miss school;
  • Religious holiday;
  • Registering to vote, for a period not to exceed one day;
  • When absence is mandated by order of governmental agencies, e.g. preinduction physical examination for service in armed forces or court order;
  • Conditions render attendance impossible or hazardous to their health or safety;
  • Circumstances approved by the principal;
  • Students in foster care shall be counted present when they attend court proceedings relating to their foster care.

Students shall be counted present for truancy determination when:

  • They are in attendance at least one half of the instructional day;
  • Serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly;
  • Engaged in joint enrollment with another institution;
  • Engaged in some form of work-study program that requires them to be off-campus for periods of time;
  • Engaged in some off-campus school-related activity that adheres to the guidelines for such activities, (e.g. music festivals, literary meets, athletic events, approved field trips);

Upon returning to school after an absence, students must present a written excuse within three (3) school days.  This action is required whether the absence is excused or unexcused.  The following information must be specified on each excuse:

The date(s) of the excuse(s),

The date(s) and day(s) of absence(s),

The reason for the absence(s),

The signature of the parent or guardian,

A parent may submit a note for no more than four (4) days of student illness per year.  In grades 9 - 12 that is 2 per semester.  All other absences due to illness must be documented with physician's statement. 

Referral Process for Unexcused Absences:

The school system shall provide to each parent/guardian a written summary of possible consequences and penalties for failing to comply with compulsory attendance under (O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1).  The parent/guardian shall sign a statement indicating receipt of these possible consequences and penalties.  Students age 10 years or older by September 1 shall also sign a statement indicating receipt of possible consequences and penalties (Exhibit 1).  After two reasonable attempts by the school to secure such signature or signatures, the school system shall be considered to be in legal compliance.  The school system shall retain signed copies of statements through the end of the school year.

  • When a student is absent:
    • The teacher will attempt to secure a parent excuse.
    • The teacher will give all excuses to the Attendance Clerk each morning by 9:00 a.m.
    • Teacher(s) will assign makeup work and set a reasonable timeline for return of work.
  • After three unexcused absences:
    • Principal or designee will contact the parent/guardian of said student. The absences will be discussed and a resolution to the problem will be attempted.
    • The parent/guardian will also be informed that another unexcused absence from school will result in a meeting with the Attendance Support Team.
  • After four unexcused absences:
    • Principal or designee will set up a meeting with the parent/guardian and the Attendance Support Team.
    • At the meeting, the parent/guardian will be informed of the Georgia Compulsory School Attendance Law and the Putnam County Charter School System Attendance regulations as well as being provided a copy of each.
    • The parent/guardian will be asked to sign a Truancy Contract (Exhibit 2), indicating knowledge of their child's absences and consequences of future absences.
  • After five unexcused absences:
    • Principal or designee will make a referral to the School Social Worker.
    • The School Social Worker via certified mail, receipt requested, send a letter detailing the student's absences and consequences of continued unexcused absences.
  • After six unexcused absences:
    • A referral will be made to the School Social Worker.
    • The School Social Worker will contact the parent/guardian by phone and advise that another unexcused absence will result in a warrant filed with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department.
  • After seven unexcused absences:
    • Principal or designee will make a referral to the School Social Worker.
    • The School Social Worker will file a truancy application with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department and seek a warrant directing the parent to appear in court.
    • Each unexcused absence over seven (7) constitutes a separate offense for the parent/guardian involved.  The principal or designee will make a referral to the School System Social Worker for each unexcused absence over seven.

Denial of Driver’s Permit or License:

  • Once  a student age fourteen (14) or older accumulates seven (7) unexcused absences, the school will send a letter via first class mail notifying the student that he/she has only three (3) absences remaining before violating the state’s attendance requirements pursuant to O.C.G.A 40-5-2 regarding the denial of driver’s permits and licenses.  Once the student reaches ten (10) unexcused absences, his/her name will be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and his/her driver’s permit may be denied.

Attendance for Extra-Curricular and Co-Curricular Participation (Middle and High School):

  • A student must be in attendance for at least half day in order to participate in an extra-curricular or co-curricular activity, except for extenuating circumstances.
  • A student may not participate in an extra-curricular or co-curricular activity on a day that he/she has served out-of-school suspension (OSS) or in-school suspension (ISS).

Putnam County Charter School System
Date Issued:  4/23/2012
Last Revised:  7/21/2014
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