Student Attendance

Student Attendance

The Thomaston-Upson Board of Education emphasizes the values of regular attendance in enabling pupils to profit from the school program.  However, the administration is encouraged to view the question of each child’s attendance in the light of what is best for him/her educationally.

In responding to student attendance issues, Thomaston-Upson School District shall comply with all requirements of state law, applicable State Board of Education rules, and the attendance protocol developed by each school's Attendance Committee.

Punctual and regular attendance is important and expected.  Regular attendance in school is the joint responsibility of the student and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s).  The responsibility of our district and schools is to provide each student with quality instruction and inform parents if their child is absent from school.

Data indicate that missing more than five days of school each year, regardless of the cause, begins to impact student academic performance and starts shaping attitudes about school. Chronically truant students are not the only students negatively impacted by absences For students in the 6th grade through the 9th grade, student attendance is a better predictor of dropping out of school than test scores. This predictor is not limited to chronically truant students. Excused absences and unexcused absences have a similar impact on student academic performance (GADOE, 2021).

Excused Absences

The following are considered excused absences:  Illness, funeral, medical or dental appointment, and other absences for which permission has been granted in advance.

  1. Personal illness or attendance in school endangers a student’s health or the health of others.
  2. A serious illness or death in a student’s immediate family necessitating 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. Observing religious holidays, necessitating absence from school.
  5. Conditions rendering attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety.
  6. The Thomaston-Upson School District Board of Education may allow a period not to exceed one day for registering to vote or voting in a public election. 
  7. The Thomaston-Upson School District Board of Education permits a student, whose parent is in the military service and who has been called to duty for or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, to be granted up to 5 excused absences per school year to visit with a parent prior to deployment or during such leave.
  8. School days missed as a result of out-of-school suspension shall not be counted as unexcused for the purpose of determining student truancy, but shall be counted as unexcused for other purposes.

Policies and Procedures to Reduce Unexcused Absences:

Each school will provide the parent/guardian notification when the student has accumulated 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, the school system will send written notice via certified mail if accumulated absences are greater than or equal to 10 unexcused absences. 

At the beginning of the school year, each school shall provide parent(s)/guardian(s) with a copy of the school-specific Attendance Matrix and a TU Compulsory Attendance letter, explaining possible consequences and penalties for failing to comply with compulsory attendance.  The TU Compulsory Attendance letter should be returned to the school.