Attendance Policy

We believe that each student should be on time and attend school every day. Regular school attendance is critical to your child’s learning. We also believe that you and your child are responsible for ensuring regular attendance.

Because we believe so strongly in the importance of school attendance, our attendance policy goes beyond the North Carolina State Laws pertaining to student attendance by not excusing travel-related absences. Furthermore, the Board of Directors is committed to the implementing a student attendance policy that is nondiscriminatory, discourages dropouts, and encourages regular attendance.

In this section, we will explain our policy by answering these questions:

·         Which absences can be excused?

·         How can I get an absence marked as excused?

·         Which absences cannot be excused?

·         When can an early release or a tardy become an absence?

·         How many absences are “too many” absences?

·         What is summer school and its attendance policy?

Which absences can lawfully be excused?

If your child is absent for one of the reasons below, you can request that the absence be marked as excused. (These conditions are also true for any tardy or early release.)

a.     The student is ill and cannot physically attend school. (See our Health and Safety FAQ’s.)

b.     The student has a medical or dental appointment. (The student should return to school with a note from the medical or dental office.)

c.      The student is absent because of the death of an immediate family member.

d.     The student is absent due to the observance of an event required or suggested by the student’s religion.

e.     The local health officer or State Board of Health orders the isolation of the student.

f.       The student is required to attend a court hearing.

We consider your child present when your child is:

a.     participating in a school-sponsored field trips,

b.     involved in other activities initiated by and scheduled by the school,

c.      attending special school events which may require early dismissal from school, or

d.     attending an in-school suspension.

How can I get a lawful absence marked as excused?

Write a note explaining the absence with your signature. Send the note in with your child when he or she returns from the absence within two days.

As soon as a parent anticipates a student’s extended absence because of a severe, prolonged, or chronic illness under a physician’s care, the parent must notify the child’s teacher. 

Which absences cannot be excused?

In general, if the absence is not covered in the reasons for excused absences above, we cannot excuse the absence.

We cannot excuse any absences related to travel, however educational it may be.

When can an early release or a tardy become an absence?

We expect students to arrive on time and remain in school the full day. Tardies and early releases cause students to miss important information and are strongly discouraged. 

An early release will become an absence if the student was present for less than three hours of the school day.

Three unexcused tardies or early releases or any combinations of early releases and tardies will be equated to one day of absence. 

How many absences are “too many” absences?

We believe that students benefit from being in class every day.  If your child is out for 3 consecutive days because of illness, we may require you to provide a doctor’s letter verifying the illness.

Once your child has 10 absences (either excused or unexcused), the Directorate will require the family to attend a meeting to discuss an attendance improvement plan. The Directorate may file A Report of Unlawful Absences if the child accumulates unexcused absences. 

We will require your child to attend summer school if your child has 19 or more absences (excused or unexcused).

What is summer school and its attendance policy?

FDNSC’s summer school program operates a five-day session.  The daily schedule is 8:30am-11:30am, and the cost is $50.00 paid in advance.  If a student is unable to afford the summer school, the student’s parents may ask the Directorate for a fee reduction.  The Directorate will determine whether to reduce the $50.00 fee within 10 days.

During the summer school sessions, absence, tardiness, or disruptive behavior will result in dismissal from the summer school program.  This may result in a grade level retention.).