North Carolina law states that a child five years old on or before August 31 is eligible for public school kindergarten, or first grade if the child will be six by the same date. It also states that children between the ages of 7 and 16 must attend a school. Student attendance requirements for credit and promotion: Elementary school – in attendance for a minimum of 164 days; Middle school – a minimum of 166 days; High school on block schedule (4×4) – students must be in attendance for a minimum of 85 days to obtain credit in each course; and High school on traditional schedule – a minimum of 170 days. Excessive absences can result in non-promotion in grades K-8 or course failure in high school.
Good attendance is essential to the academic success of students. To be considered in attendance for a class period, a student must be present for at least two-thirds of the class period or at a place other than the school with the approval of the appropriate school official to attend an authorized school activity.
These activities include:
1. Field trips sponsored by the school.
2. School-initiated and scheduled activities.
3. Athletic events requiring early dismissal from school.
4. Serving as a page for the governor or legislature.
5. In-school suspension.
The number of times that a student misses class for school-sponsored activities should be kept to an absolute minimum. The Principal shall closely scrutinize and monitor such absences. Any assignments missed by a student as a result of involvement in school-sponsored activities shall be completed by the student and are due on the day the student returns to class, unless additional time is granted by the classroom teacher.
No student will be dismissed from school prior to the end of the school day, with the exception of those students enrolled in an approved vocational cooperative education program, except with prior approval from the Principal or designee.
No student will be permitted to leave school prior to the end of the last scheduled class of the school day to participate in regular season athletic events without a written request from the Principal, approved by the Superintendent or his designee.
All principals will develop procedures for the accurate record keeping of attendance at their school.
Each school will decide if parent notes or phone verification, or a combination of these two methods, will be required for absences. If notes are not required, then the school shall contact by telephone, and speak personally with, the student’s parent to verify the absence, and will maintain documentation to support the telephone conversation.
View the HCPS Board Policy on Attendance.