Policies and Administrative Procedures

Descriptor Code: JDB-P
Date Issued: November 29, 2011
Date Revised: February 23, 2012

The initial three (3) lawful absences are handled between student and teacher(s). Students are expected to make up work assigned during the lawful absence(s) within three school days of the student's return to school. The ultimate responsibility for make-up work lies with the student. Students who have excessive excused absences from a class during the following time periods will be recorded as incomplete status until make–up time has been met:

  • Four (4) absences during a marking period from a 180-day class.
  • Four (4) absences during a marking period from a 90-day block class.
  • Four (4) absences during a marking period from a 90-day A Day/B Day class.

(See Suspensions for information regarding absences resulting from suspension from school.)

Unlawful (unexcused) absences: the student's willful absences from school without the knowledge of the parents/guardians, or the student's absences from school without justifiable causes with the knowledge of parents/guardians.

Students who have excessive unlawful absences from a class during the following time periods will be placed on INCOMPLETE STATUS (INC) until attendance obligations have been met and must apply for a “Request for Permission” to complete attendance obligations:

  • Four (4) absences during a marking period from a 180-day class.
  • Four (4) absences during a marking period from a 90-day block class.
  • Four (4) absences during a marking period from a 90-day A Day/B Day class.

Parents will be notified by the school of the INCOMPLETE STATUS (INC). The INCOMPLETE STATUS (INC). will be recorded on the report card in lieu of a letter grade for all courses each marking period, regardless of that student's present grade average. Students can meet course attendance obligations, thereby eliminating INCOMPLETE STATUS (INC). Programs may include opportunities for making up time and assignments before school, after school, on weekends, or teacher workdays. Each excessive absence (unlawful and lawful) is made up by:

  • Block – 1 absence = 45 minutes make-up time
  • Traditional – 1 absence = 30 minutes make-up time

When an absence qualifies for make-up time, it should be made up three (3) days following that absence. If the absence occurs at the end of a grading period, the absence must be made up within ten (10) days. In the last grading period of the year, all absences must be made up within that grading period.

A student who has completed the make-up time to earn credit will receive his/her earned grade. If a student does not complete the make-up time, their INCOMPLETE STATUS will convert to an F (69) as their final grade for that marking period.

In addition to make-up time policy, students with unlawful absences may face disciplinary consequences (as described in Code of Conduct).

Students and parents may appeal to the principal for permission (e.g., medical and /or unusual circumstances) to remove INCOMPLETE STATUS (INC) or to extend make-up time. This request must be made in writing to the principal within ten (10) school days of notification of INCOMPLETE STATUS (INC). Additionally, a request for permission to amend the INCOMPLETE STATUS (INC) due to a chronic medical condition needs to be made in writing to the principal and include appropriate medical documentation.

The following schedule will be used to notify parents/guardians of student absences:

  • After 3 absences
  • After 6 absences
  • After 8 absences

Methods of notification vary from school to school but can include personal telephone messages, computer-generated telephone messages, letters, and home visits. Parents should monitor their student's attendance closely; notifications sent by the school can follow the actual absence by a number of days due to time needed for processing, mailing, etc. Schools may also communicate attendance information to parents through Parent Assist.

Students under the age of 16 years will receive notification under North Carolina General Statute (G.S. 115C-378). The law states that "Unlawful absences will result in conferences with parents/guardians. Unlawful absences and/or truancy may lead to disciplinary action to include court proceedings involving parents and/or students if a student is under sixteen years of age. North Carolina General Statute (G.S. 115C-378) requires attendance until age sixteen."

Attendance notes: A note from a parent or guardian is required when students are absent. All notes are due within three school days after a student's return. Failure to present a note will result in that absence being categorized as unlawful.

Tardies: Each school will design its own program for discouraging students from being late to school or class.

Field trips: Students are considered "present" in school when on field trips and other school-sponsored activities. Ask your attendance staff or school administrator when clarification is needed; refer to each individual school's procedure.

Time required in class: Attendance in class for at least one-half of the class period is required for the student to be counted "present".

Suspensions: By state statute, out-of-school suspensions are counted as lawful absences. Therefore, absences incurred from Out of School Suspension (OSS) do NOT have make-up time.
Athletic participation: The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) has its own attendance requirements for student participation. All Guilford County high schools are members of NCHSAA and their players/participants must meet those requirements. Students are responsible for having knowledge of and meeting those requirements; coaches and school athletic directors can provide complete information regarding NCHSAA regulations. All absences whether they have been made up or not, count towards North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA )attendance eligibility.