Provisions for Georgia's "Compulsory Student Attendance Law"
Georgia law requires children between the ages of 6 and 16 to be enrolled in and attend school. However, if a child is under the age of 6 and has attended more than 20 days in a public school, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance law (O.C.G.A. 20-2-150 (C)).
A student is considered truant if he/she misses more than five unexcused absences during the school year. Pursuant to O.C.G.A 20-2-690.1, a parent/guardian shall be held responsible for the child's failure to report to school. Potential consequences for parents and/or students include a referral to the District Attorney's office, misdemeanor charges with a fine of not less than $25.00 and not greater than $100.00 for each offense, imprisonment for up to 30 days, community service, or any combination of such penalties, at the discretion of the court having jurisdiction may be imposed. Each day's unexcused absence from school, after the initial five unexcused days, shall constitute a separate offense.
Absences and Tardies
Upon return to school after an absence for any reason, the student must bring a written excuse from a parent/guardian or other acceptable documentation such as a doctor's excuse or court subpoena. Failure to bring this documentation will result in the absence being unexcused.
Students may be temporarily excused from school if:
1. Personal illness which would endanger their health or the health of others
2. Death within immediate family
3. Special or Religious holidays of their faith
4. Absences resulting participation in school related field trips
5. Absences resulting from attendance at school approved programs, such as statewide testing , class meetings or other activities approved by the administration of the school
6. Absences due to parent(s) on military leave
**Extended absences due to serious illness must be reported to the school. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to contact the guidance department to collect assignments missed while the student was away.
**If your child has been excessively absent or tardy due to personal illness, the school must have a written statement from his/her physician stating that he/she has a condition that requires extra attention and modifications.
Students who are tardy to school should report to the front office with an adult to be signed in. Documentation is required for excused tardies.
Incidents resulting in poor time management such as oversleeping, heavy traffic, or similar excuses deemed preventable by administration.
A tardy resulting from events beyond a student or parent's control such as an accident, road closure, power outage or other excuses deemed as such by administration.
Each school has consequences for students who do not adhere to the attendance policy set by the state of Georgia and Thomasville City Schools. Please refer to your school's handbook for the penalties a student may incur if guidelines are not followed.