Reminder About Absences

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  • Published July 25, 2023

    The 2023-24 school year is about to begin, and the district knows families are already planning their vacations for the year.

    The Calendar page on the district website lists all breaks and holidays for students and teachers. It's important that students are in the classroom as much as possible, so families are asked to plan any vacations around existing holidays on the school calendar.

    In WCS, a student’s first eight absences may be excused with a parent’s note. A doctor’s note is required each time a student misses school after eight absences. 

    Per Board Policy 6.200, if a student accrues five unexcused absences, they will be reported to the Superintendent of Schools, who will write to the parents/guardians of the student. If no documentation is submitted and no attendance hearing is requested, Tier Two of the truancy intervention plan will be implemented. If absences continue to accumulate, Tier Three will go into effect.

    Tier One (applies to all enrolled students)

    This tier includes district-wide prevention-oriented supports. These supports include but are not limited to letters sent home to families when a student accrues three unexcused absences and every fifth absence, notification of attendance policies and call-outs when a student misses school.

    Tier Two (five unexcused absences)

    A conference will be held with the parent/guardian, student and designated school staff to identify barriers to attendance through an individualized assessment, develop a contract based on the barriers identified, outline expectations moving forward and make referrals for services, if needed, aimed at addressing the student’s attendance concerns.

    Tier Three (continued accumulation of unexcused absences and/or non-compliance with Tier Two mandates)

    A referral will be made to the district truancy intervention specialist if Tier Two of the truancy intervention plan is unsuccessful or if there is non-compliance with Tier Two. A truancy petition may be filed with Williamson County Juvenile Court.

    Truancy vs. Chronic Absenteeism

    This truancy intervention plan should not be confused with the State’s chronic absenteeism accountability measure, which places a larger emphasis on attendance when the district and schools are given performance scores.

    Students who miss 10 percent of school days or more per year will be considered “chronically absent” according to the Tennessee Department of Education, and schools’ student absence records will be reflected in the district’s state report card.