Print Page

Truancy, Attendance, and Student Engagement

Contact Information:

Kelly McNair BeaverStudent Intervention Specialist, (828) 696-6008

Please contact Kelly Beaver with any issues related to absenteeism, school refusal, truancy or student engagement.  Closely linked to school administrators, school social workers, school counselors, and other staff, she also works closely with our community partners, such as Juvenile Justice, The Mediation Center, and The Department of Social Services.  These agencies and other community support partners serve as resources when students and families need to return to school and remain engaged.  While there are many strategies designed to improve attendance, HCPS often makes referrals for student truancy to the Department of Social Services and The Department of Juvenile Justice.  North Carolina compulsory attendance law requires that court referrals occur only with the express permission and approval of the school principal or designee.

The North Carolina Compulsory Attendance Law

North Carolina Compulsory Attendance Law (click here to see G.S. 115C-378: NC Compulsory Attendance) requires all children between the ages of seven and sixteen to attend school.  Truancy, or excessive unexcused absences from school, can result in criminal action involving parents/caregivers or referrals to the juvenile justice system for students.    Kelly Beaver works with students and families to develop attendance success plans which address academic and behavioral engagement.  Strategies for improving attendance are developed between the family and student support team.

The HCPS Attendance Policy

Henderson County Public Schools has also adopted a policy (click here to see Policy Manual HCPA; Attendance) which outlines and defines attendance requirements for students.

Chronic Absenteeism

Chronic absenteeism occurs when students miss 10 percent or more of school days for any reason-excused or unexcused.  In a typical school year, students who miss 18 or more school days throughout the year or 2 or more school days per month may also be at risk of chronic absenteeism.

Chronic absence creates a reading and math gap for students by third grade, impacts academic achievement in middle school and can influence graduation success in high school.  Student engagement through active participation in class work and consistent school attendance have been shown to improve academic success rates.