Attendance Information

Attendance Excuses

The State of Alabama defines truancy as any absence without an excuse. Each time your child is absent from school, you are responsible for providing the school with an excuse. In accordance with Huntsville City Schools policy, absences will be excused for the following reasons:

  1. Personal illness without a doctor’s excuse with parent/ guardian excuse (a maximum of 7 are days allowed per school year)
  2. Personal illness with an official printed doctor’s excuse
  3. Death in the immediate family (requires documentation to be excused)
  4. Weather preventing attendance (would endanger student’s health)
  5. Legal requirements, such as subpoena or other required court appearance (requires documentation to be excused)
  6. Legal quarantine (requires documentation to be excused)
  7. Disciplinary action
  8. Participation in school-related activities

Except for (7) and (8) above, parent(s)/guardian(s) must provide a written explanation of the reason(s) for each absence within two school days after each absence (or consecutive absences). Parent excuses may be emailed to or dropped off at the attendance office. If a written explanation is not provided within the two-day period, the absence(s) will remain unexcused. A student may have a total of 7 parent excused absences for illness without a doctor’s statement. After an accumulation of 7 parent excused absences for illness without a doctor’s statement, the student will receive unexcused absences for illness unless absences are documented with a doctor’s statement. Any exception to this policy will require a doctor’s documentation of a chronic illness that causes absences which may not comply with the attendance policy. A student must be in attendance at least 1/2 day to be counted present!

Attendance Policy

Lee High School and Huntsville City Schools will vigorously enforce the Alabama Code regarding mandatory school attendance.

  1. After the 1st & 2nd Unexcused Absences, teachers will contact the parent/guardian by telephone or email.
  2. After the 3rd Unexcused Absence, the school will mail a First Notification Letter including a copy of the Alabama Compulsory Attendance Law and schedule a conference with the parent(s)/guardian(s).
  3. After the 7th Unexcused Absence, the school will mail a Second Notification Letter to the parent(s)/guardian(s) which requires their attendance at a mandatory Early Warning Conference. The assigned truancy personnel will work with the student and family during the conference and provide assistance if needed.
  4. If truancy interventions are not adhered to by the parent/guardian or student, truancy charges will be filed and a hearing date will be given to appear before a Juvenile Court Judge.

Attendance Tips

Keep Your Child On Track: Pay Attention To Attendance! Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students access learning opportunities and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and on the job.

Did you know?

  • Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year (one day per month) to stay engaged, successful, and on track for graduation.
  • Frequent absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, or facing some other difficulty.
  • Missing 10% of the school year (2 days a month) can drastically affect a student’s academic success and chances of graduating on time.
  • Students who miss more than 10 days of school flunk, on average, at least two classes—no matter whether they arrive at high school with top test scores or below-average scores. In fact, students who arrive with high test scores but miss two weeks of school are more likely to fail a course than students with low test scores who just miss a week.

What you can do:

1) Make School Attendance A Priority

  • Talk with your child about the importance of showing up to school every day.
  • Help your child maintain routines, such as finishing homework and getting enough sleep.
  • Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.
  • Schedule family trips and vacations when school is not in session.
  • If your children must stay home because they are sick or in quarantine, make sure they have asked teachers for resources and materials they need to make up for the missed learning time.

2) Help Your Teen Stay Engaged

  • Monitor you child’s academic progress on PowerSchool and seek help from teachers when necessary.
  • Make sure teachers know how to contact you and that your contact information is correct in PowerSchool.
  • Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Encourage your child to join meaningful after-school activities, including sports and clubs.
  • Notice and support your children if they are showing signs of anxiety or depression.

3) Communicate With The School

  • Know the school’s attendance policy and ensure you turn in absence excuses on time.
  • Check on your child’s attendance to be sure their absences are not adding up.
  • Seek help from school staff, other parents, or community agencies if you need support.
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