School attendance is a high priority in the Barrow County School System. Regular attendance is vital to each student’s academic progress and the development of positive habits for his/her adult life. Georgia Law O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1 mandates school attendance for students between the ages of 6 and 16. This law also applies to younger children once they enter school. According to O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1 parents are responsible for enrolling and sending their children to school and the school staff is responsible for enforcing this law. Any student who has more than five unexcused absences in a school year is truant. School days missed as a result of an out of school suspension shall not count for the purpose of determining student truancy.

Failure to comply with Georgia’s Compulsory Education Law (O.C.G.A 20-2-690.1) may result in consequences for both students and parent/guardians. Consequences for students include, but are not limited to, detention, Saturday school, and referral to juvenile justice for truancy. Consequences for parents/guardians include a fine of not less than $25.00 and not more than $100.00, imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, community service, or any combination of such penalties at the discretion of the court for each absence. Parents may also be charged with deprivation for failure to comply with this law.

Student absences may be excused for the following reasons:

  1. Personal illness and when attendance in school would endanger their health or the health of others.
  2. A serious illness or death in the immediate family necessitates absences from school.
  3. Absences mandated by other governmental agencies, including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces, or court ordered.
  4. Observing a religious holiday that necessitates an absence from school.
  5. Conditions that render attendance impossible or hazardous to their health or safety.
  6. Registering to vote or voting, for a period not to exceed one day.
  7. A maximum of five (5) school days per school year may be excused for students whose parent or legal guardian is in military service in the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard in order for the student to visit with his or her parent or legal guardian prior to such parent’s or legal guardian’s deployment overseas to a combat zone or combat support posting or during the parent’s or guardian’s leave from such a deployment. (Note: Students serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly and students participating in an activity or program sponsored by 4-H shall be counted present on the days missed for these purposes. A foster care student who attends court proceedings relating to the student's foster care shall be credited as present by the school and shall not be counted absent, either excused or unexcused, for any day, portion of a day, or days missed from school. In addition, students who are present for at least one-half of the instructional day or three full periods, whichever is greater, shall be counted present for perfect attendance purposes.)

Full-day school attendance is very important to student success. Students who arrive late or leave early miss important segments of classroom instruction.

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