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Chatham Board of Education revises attendance policy

Posted Friday, March 25, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - At the February 21 Chatham County Board of Education meeting, the Board of Education voted to revise Policy 4400, Attendance, to include time limits on when parents can submit notes for their child’s absence.

George Greger-Holt, Director of Student Services, presented the policy revision. The revised policy requires that parents submit a note “upon the student’s return to school and no later than within three schools days of the students return to school.” A note from a medical provider is also “due upon the student’s return to school but will be accepted at any tome prior to the end of school for elementary or middle school students or the end of the semester for high school students.”

“School social workers work closely with students and parents who miss school. If a student brings in a note from a parent or medical professional, the absence is considered excused.” said Greger-Holt.

If the parent does not provide a note, that absence is considered unexcused, and the parent receives a note from the school advising him/her of the unexcused absence. Several unexcused absences puts the child and parent in danger of violating the Compulsory Attendance Law.

“We want to make sure that we don’t send attendance letters to parents whose children have legitimate reasons for being out of school. This change in the policy will help assure that,” said Greger-Holt.

For those students who have difficulty with attendance, it will alert the school social workers to potential problems. Consistent attendance in school is one of the best predictors of school success and eventual graduation.

“We want all students to attend school when they are able, and offer our help when there are challenges to families or students,” said Doug Carr, one of the district’s five school social workers.

Questions about the revised policy can be directed to the school principal or school social worker.

 
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