The Board of Education believes there is no substitute for the uninterrupted personal contact between students and teachers in the classroom environment where learning experiences are carefully planned by teachers. Classroom attendance and participation is an integral part of the school experience. Even when work is made up, students may never be able to replace the educational, cultural, and social contacts they would have experienced through face-to-face instruction and class participation. Accordingly, good attendance is expected from all students.
To be considered in attendance, a student must be present in the school for at least one-half of the school day or at a place other than the school with the approval of the principal to attend an authorized school activity (school-related absence).
K-8 Student Tardies
Students in grades K-8 are considered tardy for each instance that they are late for school or check out early. Three unexcused tardies constitutes one unexcused absence.
High School Class/Period Tardies
Classroom teachers are responsible for monitoring classroom arrival and attendance. School discipline procedures will be followed when students are present at school but tardy to class.
Definition of Excused Absences
The Wilkes County Board of Education shall excuse the temporary absence of a student upon providing satisfactory proof of one of the following:
- Illness or injury prevents the student from being physically able to attend school, or the local health officer or the State Board of Health orders the isolation of the student;
- The student is absent due to the death of a member of the immediate family of the child;
- The student has a medical or dental appointment or such an appointment which has been approved in advance by the principal;
- The student is a party to or is under subpoena as a witness in the proceedings of a court or administrative tribunal;
- The student has obtained prior approval by the principal to be absent due to the observance of an event required or suggested by the religion of the student or the student’s parents;
- The student obtains prior approval (by the principal) to take advantage of a valid educational opportunity, such as travel. Educational Travel is unexcused until class assignments are made up to the satisfaction of the teacher. (Note for K-8 students: Educational travel absences will be included in the maximum number of allowed absences per year.)
K-8 Excused Absence Policy
A note is required for each excused absence within three days of returning to school. When a child accumulates 10 or more absences, the principal will determine if the parent(s) or guardian(s) will be required to attend a school-based attendance meeting to develop a plan to improve attendance. A doctor’s note may be required for future absences to be considered excused.
High School Excused Absence Policy
While attendance is required, there shall be no penalty for six excused absences per course per semester, provided that all class work is made up to the satisfaction of the teacher of each class missed.
Unexcused Absence Policy
For every unexcused absence, the student shall immediately meet with each teacher of every class missed and shall make up all work to the satisfaction of the teacher of the class missed. For K-8 students, a note is required for every absence within three (3) days of returning to school.
Attendance issues can interfere with a student's opportunity to be promoted to the next grade level or earn course credit.
The principal will have the option to require a doctor's excuse when a student has had excessive absences. Doctor notes will be accepted at the Principal’s discretion.
Additional Information for High School Students
- High school principals may develop a school incentive program for those students having no more than one absence per semester.
- A student's attendance can affect his/her driver eligibility.
Links to Complete Attendance Policies and Special Procedures