Attendance Fax Number: (770) 888-1214
Attendance e-mail: OMSAttendance@forsyth.k12.ga.us
Forsyth County Board of Education considers regular school attendance essential to student achievement.
In responding to student attendance issues, the school system shall comply with all requirements of state law, State Board of Education rules, and the Student Attendance Protocol that has been developed by the system's Student Attendance and School Climate Protocol Committee.
All children who are between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays and reside in Forsyth County shall enter school on the opening date and attend regularly thereafter or be enrolled in private school or a home study program which meets the requirements of state law.
If the school system is made aware that a child between the ages of six and sixteen or any child who has enrolled for twenty school days or more in a public school prior to their sixth birthday is not enrolled in public school, private school, or a home study program, the Superintendent has the authority and responsibility to file proceedings in court to enforce the mandatory education law.
The school system provides virtual learning services through enrollment in Forsyth Virtual Academy for students in grades Kindergarten-12. Attendance for virtual learning is defined by the engagement of the student through an online platform demonstrating the intent to complete the course. Daily virtual attendance expectations for elementary, middle, and high school will be outlined in the information provided at the beginning of the course. Students are expected to engage in lessons, complete assignments, communicate in a timely manner with teachers, and participate in virtual learning sessions as outlined in the course. Students who are not successful in a virtual learning environment will be required to return to in-person learning at an appropriate transition point. Students who are not meeting attendance expectations will be considered absent in accordance with the specific attendance procedures by school level.
It is the policy of the Board to excuse students from school for the following reasons:
1. Personal illness or attendance in school that endangers a student’s health or the health of others.
2. A serious illness or death in a student’s immediate family necessitates an absence from school.
3. A court order or an order by a governmental agency, including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces, mandating absence from school.
4. The observance of religious holidays, necessitating absence from school.
5. Conditions render attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety.
6. A scheduled medical, dental or eye examination of the student.
7. Registering to vote or voting.
8. Visiting with a parent or legal guardian who is in the military service in the armed forces and has been called to duty for or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support post. The student may be excused for a maximum of 5 days per school year.
A student shall be counted present when they are serving as a page in the Georgia General Assembly. Students shall be counted present when they volunteer to work as poll officers during any primary, special or general election. Foster care students shall be counted present at school when attending court proceedings related to the student’s foster care. Students shall be counted present when they are participating in an activity or program sponsored by 4-H.
With proper medical verification, a student may be eligible for hospital / homebound instruction as outlined in State Board of Education rule 160-4-2-.31 hospital / homebound instruction. A student receiving hospital homebound services will be considered present.
The student's parent or guardian shall submit to the principal or principal's designee a written notice stating the specific date(s) and reason(s) for a student's absence from school. The notice must be signed by the parent or guardian and must be to the principal or principal's designee within five (5) school days after the student returns to school. An absence for which a written notice is not received from the student's parent or guardian, or is received after the five-day time limit, will be considered an unexcused absence.
The principal may require students to present appropriate medical or other documentation upon return to school for the purpose of validating that absences are excused.
A student’s absence from school or class for any reason other than those listed above will be considered an unexcused absence.
Late Check-in / Early Check-out
Late check-in is defined as arriving at an assigned place after the designated time.
Early check-out is defined as signing out of school prior to the designated time of official dismissal.
An unexcused late check-in or early check-out is defined as any time a student arrives late to school or leaves school for a reason other than those defined by this policy as an excused absence. Students who miss more than half of the time in any class will be considered absent for that class period, while students who miss more than half of the school day will be considered absent for the day.
Grades shall not be penalized because of absences.
The student has five (5) days upon returning to school to complete make-up work.
Notification Policies and Procedures to Reduce Unexcused Absences
1. The school system requires its schools to provide to the parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of each student enrolled in school a written summary of possible consequences and penalties for failing to comply with compulsory attendance. By September 1 of each school year or within 30 school days of a student’s enrollment in the school system, the parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of such student will be asked to sign a statement indicating receipt of such written statement of possible consequences and penalties. In addition, students age ten or older by September 1 must sign a statement indicating receipt of written statement of possible consequences for non-compliance to the local board policy. After two reasonable attempts to notify the parent, guardian or other person who has charge of the student, the school system shall send written notice via certified mail with return receipt requested or first-class mail; and
2. The school system requires its schools to notify the parent, guardian or other person who has control or charge of the student when such student has five unexcused absences. The notice will outline the penalty and consequences of such absences and that each subsequent absence will constitute a separate offense. After two reasonable attempts to notify the parent, guardian or other person who has charge of the student, the school system will send written notice via certified mail with return receipt requested or first-class mail.
3. Students shall be notified through the student codes of conduct of the definition of truancy and a summary of possible consequences and penalties for truancy.
4. If the parent/guardian fails to complete or declines to participate in intervention efforts to improve attendance, the Solicitor General may file formal charges or take other appropriate action.
Truancy and Excessive Excused Absences
Truant is defined as any student subject to compulsory attendance who during the school calendar has more than five days of unexcused absences. School days missed as a result of an out of school suspension shall not count as unexcused days for the purpose of determining student truancy.
Truancy and excessive excused absences will be handled with the protocol that was developed by the county-wide Student Attendance and School Climate Protocol Committee.
Student Attendance and School Climate Protocol Committee (SASCPC0)
1. The superintendent or his or her designee shall fully and actively assist in the planning, implementation and evaluation activities of the local school system SASCPC.
2. The superintendent, a certificated school employee, a local school board member and a certificated school social worker shall serve on the SASCPC .
3. The local board of education shall consider and publicly announce its decisions regarding the recommendations of the SASCPC .
4. The local board of education shall report annual student attendance rates to the SASCPC and the State Board of Education following each school year.
5. The superintendent, or his or her designee, shall be responsible for providing a copy of the written student attendance protocol and any revisions or amendments.