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Attendance Information

ATTENDANCE

The primary objective of Catoosa County Public Schools is to help prepare students for life and to teach them how to get along with others in society. One career objective for all students is good attendance and prompt arrival to school and/or class.

All parents want their children to get the most from their school experience. As a parent, you know that what your child learns in school will help determine what they become or what they will do when they become adult members of the community.

In order to learn as much as possible your child needs your help. It is essential to attend school regularly to profit from what is offered. You can help by making sure that your child is in school when he/she should be and that he/she is not tardy and remains in school for the entire day.

The school realizes that occasionally it may be necessary to schedule dental or doctor appointments during the school day. This should be kept to a minimum and you should make every effort to schedule these appointments outside the regular school day. When students are tardy to school because of dental or doctor appointments they must bring a note from the dentist or doctor's office indicating the time of their visit. Students will only be excused for the time of the office visit unless otherwise stating that they are physically unable to be in school. 

Students will not be allowed to check out for personal non-emergency reasons by phone. Students who check out for personal non-emergency reasons violate the school board policy and the State of Georgia attendance laws. Parents or legal guardians may come to the school to pick up their child(ren). Only those listed on the enrollment form will be permitted to pick students up at school. Students checking out for non-emergency reasons will only be permitted to leave between classes. Students with verified, state-approved excuses may check out. State approved excuses for checking out are the same as those listed for excused absences.

To encourage and reward good attendance Catoosa County Public Schools offer several rewards and incentive programs to individuals and groups within the schools.

GEORGIA COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE LAW states that:

"Every parent, guardian, or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child or children between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays shall enroll and will send such child or children to a public school, a private school, or a home-study program that meets the requirements for a public school, a private school, or a home-study program; and such child shall be responsible for enrolling in and attending a public school, private school, or home-study program that meets the requirements for a public school, private school, or home-study program under such penalty for noncompliance with this subsection as is provided in Chapter II of Title 15, unless the child's failure to enroll and attend is caused by the child's parent, guardian, or other person, in which case the parent, guardian, or other person alone shall be responsible; provided, however, that tests and physical exams for military service and the National Guard and such other approved absences shall be excused absences." O.C.G.A. §20-2-690.1 31

Students may be temporarily excused from school when:

1. Personally ill and when attendance in school would endanger their health or the health of others.

2. A serious illness or death in their immediate family necessitates absence from school (immediate family of student is defined as parents, guardian(s), grandparents, siblings, and other adults living in the home).

3. Mandated by order of governmental agencies, including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces, or by a court order.

4. Celebrating religious holidays.

5. Conditions render attendance impossible or hazardous to their health and safety.

6. Registering to vote or voting for a period not to exceed one day.

If your child is absent because of any of the above reasons, call the school to report why your child is absent and when the child will return to school. All students must present a written excuse from a parent or doctor upon return to school. (Written notes/doctors' notes will not

If your child is absent because of any of the above reasons, call the school to report why your child is absent and when the child will return to school. All students must present a written excuse from a parent or doctor upon return to school. (Written notes/doctors' notes will not be accepted for excuses after 3 days of the student's return). Students who are absent from school will not be permitted to participate in extracurricular activities on the day absent. For an absence longer than three days, and when a doctor has been called, ask the doctor for a short statement for your child to take to school that state that, "the student was physically unable to attend."

The elementary and middle schools may require doctors' notes for excessive absences. The school, and or counselor or social worker may investigate excessive absences if they believe the situations warrant such an investigation to promote the education, health and safety of the student.

Dental excuses will only be accepted for the time of the appointment. Dental appointments requiring more than a reasonable amount of time will necessitate a dentist's note stating what was required. When your child does return to school, please send a note, signed by one of the parents, explaining the cause of the absence.

When a parent finds it necessary for a student to be out of school for a 'justified' reason based upon circumstances, a prior written request may be submitted to the school administration for consideration. While the absences may be unexcused, the administrator may grant permission for work to be made up that would affect a course/subject grade for passing.

NOTE: FOR STUDENTS LEGALLY ABSENT THE NUMBER OF DAYS ALLOWED TO MAKE-UP WORK WILL BE EQUAL TO THE NUMBER OF DAYS ABSENT. EXAMPLE: TWO DAYS ABSENT = TWO DAYS TO Complete MAKE-UP WORK. 

This handbook provides for students and parents and/or guardians the requirements for school attendance. If a student accumulates five unexcused absences, the school will notify the parent and /or guardian. After this notification, any unexcused absence violates this law and any parent and/or guardian may be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction shall be subject to a fine not less than $25.00 and not greater than $100.00, imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, community service or any combination of such penalties at the discretion of the court. O.C.G.A. § 20-2-690.1

Catoosa County elementary and middle schools will use the following guidelines in addressing attendance, tardies and early dismissals:

A possible referral to The Catoosa County Attendance Review Team will occur when a student has five unexcused absences, ten absences that are either unexcused or the note is written by a parent, or a combination of ten unexcused tardies and/or early dismissals.

The Catoosa County Attendance Review Team will accept referrals from schools on students who have excessive absences, tardiness, or truancy issues. The community team investigates barriers that may prevent good school attendance. This community collaborative is comprised of social agencies that routinely provide services for families and children within our County. Catoosa County Schools appreciates this service provided to our schools, students, and families. Notifications will be delivered by USPS Mail and letters delivered by the Sheriff's Office.

If extended absences are necessary, hospital/homebound instruction is available for students that meet the criteria. Please contact an administrator or school nurse to receive the information on Homebound Services. These forms must be submitted to the Director of Student Services for approval. This program is not set up as a replacement for an education.

"Students in foster care shall be counted present when they attend court proceedings relating to their foster care."

If you have any questions or concerns about school attendance, please talk with your school's principal or call the Catoosa County School Office at 965-2297.