• One of the most important things a parent or guardian can do for their child is ensure they are in school on time every day. It is key to their learning, success in school, and ultimately success in life. Saraland City School System maintains an attendance and truancy policy, which were written in accordance with Alabama State Board of Education Administrative Code, and §16-28-1 et seq., Code of Alabama (1975).

     

    • Students between the ages of six (6) and seventeen (17) shall be required to attend a public school, private school, church school or to be instructed by a competent private tutor for the entire length of the school year.

    • A school day is defined as the starting and ending time of the entire day.

    • Students must be in attendance one-half of the instructional day to be counted present. The parent or guardian must send a written note if the student is checked out prior to completing one-half of the instructional day. In grades 6-12, attendance is recorded each period/block. In grades 9-12, excessive absences in a block may result in loss of credit.

    • Checkouts should be conducted through the main office no later than 2:15pm for middle / high school students or 2:30pm for early ed / elementary school students.

    • Students are required to be on time for school.

    • Late arrivals should report to the main office to check in.

    • Any missed school will be categorized as an excused absence, excused tardy, unexcused absence, or

      unexcused tardy.

    • Excessive absences will subject a student, parent or guardian to truancy policies and procedures.

      TARDINESS

      Being late to school or checking out of school is excused or unexcused for the same reasons as absences. A student is considered tardy if he/she is not in class when the tardy bell rings. Any student who arrives after school has begun must report to the office to check in. Habitual tardiness greatly affects a child’s progress in school. Per semester, tardiness to school or class for resident students in grades 6-12 shall be addressed as follows:

      4th tardy    One (1) hour after school detention, parent notification

      5th tardy    One (1) hour after school detention assignment or Saturday School, parent notification

      6th tardy    One (1) day ISS assignment, parent notification

      7th tardy    Two (2) day ISS assignment and notification letter from attendance officer

      8th tardy    One (1) day out of school suspension, parent notification

      9th+ tardy  One (1) day out of school suspension, referral to the Early Warning Truancy/Discipline Program, revoke driving privileges (if                       applicable)
         

      If a student in grades checks in or out five (5) times unexcused, it will be converted to an unexcused absence per period/block for the purpose of loss of credit.

      ABSENCES

      Absences are excused for the following reasons:

      • Illness

      • Death in immediate family

      • Inclement weather which would be dangerous to the life and health of the child as determined by the

        principal

      • Legal quarantine

      • Emergency conditions as determined by the principal

      • Administrative Approval – requires prior permission of the principal upon request of the parent or

        guardian

      • A chronic ailment that may cause the student to miss school. A doctor’s statement is required to verify

        the student’s condition. At the beginning of each school year, a new chronic ailment statement from the

        doctor must be provided. A parent or guardian note is still required for any chronic ailment absence.

      • Head lice – students should return to school as soon as possible once cleared of lice and nits. A maximum

        of three (3) days are excused for each occurrence of head lice.

        High school students are allowed five (5) excused absences per term.

       

      Absences that do not fall under one of the “excused absence” categories are deemed unexcused. The following are also deemed unexcused:

        • Failure to send a note within three (3) days of the absence upon returning to school.

        • Failure to secure prior approval from the principal for administrative approved absences.

        • Failure to secure prior permission from the principal for out-of-town trips.

        • Failure to provide a medical/clinical excuse after a student has accumulated ten (10) parent notes for the

          year.

          EXCESSIVE ABSENCES

          High school students who are absent five (5) or more days per semester will not receive credit for the course, unless otherwise approved by the principal. Five (5) unexcused tardies to the same class shall constitute one (1) unexcused absence for said class. In cases where there are extenuating circumstances, the principal may extend the maximum number of absences a student may accumulate before credit is withheld. Driving privileges may also be revoked - up to 45 days - for students who accumulate excessive absences or tardies.

          TRUANCY

          Truancy is the habitual and unlawful absence from school. Section 16-28-16 of the Code of Alabama governs truancy. If a child is truant, the parent or guardian can be charged with criminal action in Juvenile Court. Truancy is determined by unexcused absences. Unexcused absences shall be addressed as follows:

        • One (1) unexcused absence: Parent or guardian notification

        • Five (5) unexcused absences (including suspension days): Mandatory attendance at the school’s Early

          Warning Truancy/Discipline Program

        • Seven (7) or more unexcused absences: a petition may be filed against the parent or guardian in the Mobile County Juvenile Court.

          ATTENDANCE AWARDS

          A perfect attendance award shall be awarded to students who have attended school every day based on documentation of the attendance record. Students who are tardy or have checked in/out one (1) or more times may not be eligible for the Perfect Attendance Award.

      COLLEGE VISITS

      Senior students will be allowed two (2) college visit days per school year. Juniors may receive one (1) official college visit with proper documentation presented to school administration.

      MAKE-UP WORK FOR EXCUSED ABSENCES

      If a student is absent for any excused reason as previously defined, the student will be allowed to make up work through the following guidelines:

      • The principal/teacher(s) will consider the type of illness, the length of the time absent, and the amount of make-up work due.

      • The parent/student will be responsible for contacting the teacher(s), counselor, or front office staff to arrange make-up work.

      • For extenuating circumstances, special consideration may be given at the discretion of the principal.

        MAKE-UP WORK FOR UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

        If a student is absent for any unexcused reason as defined above, the student will be allowed to make up work at the discretion of the principal.

        SCHOOL PARTICIPATION ABSENCES

        Students who are away from school because of participation in official school-sponsored activities shall be marked present and allowed to make-up missed work. Students who are absent from school must have permission from the principal to participate in any school extracurricular or co-curricular activities (i.e., athletic contest, cheerleading, scholars’ bowl, etc.).

        EARLY DISMISSAL FROM SCHOOL

        To comply with school early dismissal procedures, parent/guardians of students must present photo identification to school office personnel before a student will be permitted an early dismissal from school. Such persons are not to go directly to classrooms for this purpose. All students must sign out through the front office before leaving campus.