Students are now allowed nine (9) parent notes per school year for excused absences, down from the previously allowed eighteen (18). This policy change was incorporated in 2018. As a reminder, all parent notes (which require a parent signature) and/or doctor notes must be turned in within three days of the student's return. Failure to do so would be evidence of the student being truant.
Absences are excused for the following reasons:
- death in the immediate family
- inclement weather
- legal quarantine
- emergency conditions as determined by the Principal/Designee or Superintendent/Designee
- permission of Principal and consent of parent
When a student returns, the parent must provide in writing within three (3) days of the student’s return to school an excuse which includes the following:
- a written statement from the parent or doctor stating the reason for the absence
- the date of the absence(s)
- the parent’s signature
Any absence that does not fall under the category of Excused Absence is recorded as an Unexcused Absence. Any student with 5 (five) unexcused absences during the school year may be referred to Early Warning Court in the court division of the student’s school zone.
Absences are unexcused for the following:
- the student and parent fail to provide the above EXCUSED ABSENCE written statement with required information to the school officials within 3 days (including the return date) of the student’s return to school;
- the student has been suspended
For unexcused absences, the student may only be permitted to receive credit for makeup work for major tests/assignments.
Suspension - School days missed as a result of suspension are considered unexcused; however, a suspended student will have the opportunity to make up and receive credit for major projects and tests (not daily assignments, homework, or quizzes). Grade level counselors will work with teachers to determine assignments that will be accepted and will communicate this to students. Students will have 3 days from the last day of the suspension to turn in assignments to their teachers at their base school. If a student is placed in Second Chance Alternative School (2C), the student is generally suspended 1-3 days prior to the placement. The student is responsible for completing the work missed during the time of suspension and getting the agreed upon work to the base school within the 3 day period.
If unexcused absences exceed five (5) days or more during the school year (not semester), the student may be referred to the District’s Office of Attendance. Hoover’s Student Services Representative and the Principal will proceed with the following:
- investigate the reasons for the excessive absences
- meet with parent(s) and student to resolve the attendance problem
- refer the parent and student to the Early Warning Court of the student’s school zone and follow all policies and laws concerning truancy
Once truancy has been filed, all further actions reside with the Judge of Juvenile Court. The Driver Improvement Unit of the Driver’s License Division in the Department of Public Safety will be notified of students who have more than ten (10) consecutive or fifteen (15) cumulative Hoover City Schools - 2017-2018 Code of Student Conduct Page 47 unexcused absences during a single semester and/or students who drop out of school under the age of nineteen (19). This notification is required by Alabama Code 16-28-40 (School Enrollment Law) and will result in suspending or denying the license or permit of the student.
Being tardy to school greatly affects student success and routine. Once fifteen (15) unexcused tardies have accumulated during the school year, referral will be made to District Office and the same Early Warning Court procedures may apply. The school may also impose disciplinary procedures for excessive tardies. Tardies are considered excused for the same reason(s) as excused student absences. Excessive absences and tardies may result in a home visit from the School Resource Officer – Hoover Police Department and/or the Student Services Representative.
While checkouts from school are discouraged by the Board, necessary checkouts must be processed by the parent through the school’s office. The Board encourages that appointments not of a critical nature be scheduled for times and days when school is not in session. Checkouts are considered excused for the same reasons as excused absences. An unexcused checkout will be treated as a tardy.
When severe weather conditions exist, parents are asked to comply with emergency school dismissal procedures established by building level administrators.
What to Expect for Excessive Absences and Tardies
- A warning letter will be sent from the student’s school.
- A School Administrative Meeting will be held.
- A home visit may be made by a School Resources Officer-Hoover Police Department and/or Student Services Representative.
- Continued excessive absences and/or tardies will require a parent/legal custodian to attend a district attendance intervention/meeting.
- Continued excessive absences and/or tardies will require a parent/legal custodian, along with the student if over 10 years old, to attend Early Warning Court in that school’s jurisdiction.
- After attending Early Warning Court, if excessive absences and/or tardies continue, a petition for Educational Neglect and/or Truancy will be issued to the courts.