Student Conduct: Truancy
Truancy is the habitual and unlawful absence from school. In accordance with the Code of Alabama, the parent/guardian is responsible for requiring any student under his/her control or charge and under 17 years-of-age to attend school (Policy 5.43).
Student Conduct: EWP Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program
The Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program (Early Warning) requires that a weekly report be submitted to the Student Services department for all students between the ages of 6 and 17 having unexcused absences. The student and his or her parents/guardian may be invited to attend this meeting. The team will discuss strategies/develop a plan of action for addressing the student's truancy issues. Once the plan is implemented, if the student continues to have unexcused absences, the student is referred for Early Warning. Upon the occurrence of a fifth unexcused absence, the parent/guardian and student are required to attend an Early Warning conference. At the conference, the parent/legal guardian and student are informed of the State's compulsory attendance laws, court procedures, and consequences of further unexcused absences (Policy 5.43).
Student Conduct: ATTEND (Avoiding Truancy Through Engagement With Families And New Decisions)
ATTEND is a recently developed attendance program designed to decrease chronic absences and avoid truancy, while increasing student and parent engagement in school. The intent is to foster a positive, nurturing environment for students and families of this school system and to educate them on the importance of regular school attendance. Presentations are made to the parents of students who have missed 10% of the previous school year. The program helps parent(s)/guardian(s) understand the definition of chronic absenteeism (a student who misses an average of two days of school per month throughout the school year). The presentation outlines the negative impact chronic absences can have on their student's academic performances, such as not reading proficiently by third grade and how chronic absenteeism in sixth grade is a leading indicator for a student's potential to drop out of high school. On the contrary, the program also emphasizes the positive aspects of regular school attendance which leads to higher academic scores and improved chances of graduating from high school.