The Tennessee Legislation passed new laws regarding attendance during the 2023 education sessions. In these new laws, all school districts in the state are required to have a Progressive Truancy Plan. The details of this plan will be distributed by way of the media, on our website, and by our Principals during the summer and at the beginning of the school year along with being documented below. Attendance Policy 6.200
We at Bradley Central High School realize that absences are unavoidable due to health problems or other circumstances that impact our students and families on a daily basis. However, we also know that when a student is absent from school, regardless of the reason, it can cause him or her to fall behind academically. Students are less likely to succeed academically if they miss 10% (18 school days) or more of instructional days over the course of the school year. This equates to missing approximately two days of school per month. Students must be present at least fifty percent (50%) of the scheduled school day or 3 hours and 48 minutes in order to be counted present. Absences shall be classified as either excused or unexcused as determined by the principal and the attendance office. According to the Bradley County Schools Attendance Policy, three (3) student absences per semester may be excused by a parent note if they meet the criteria set forth below (Excused Absences). The principal or his designee may require a doctor’s note for absences above three (3) in number. Failure to comply will result in the absence(s) being deemed “unexcused”.
Truancy is defined as any unexcused absence for any portion of the school day or any portion of a particular class without justifiable reason as determined by the administrator or designee. The Tier Intervention guidelines specify that physician notes must be turned into the school within the three (3) day period following any absence as outlined in school policy. According to Bradley County Schools Board policy, any unauthorized student absence from school will be considered truancy and will be treated as such.
PROGRESSIVE TRUANCY INTERVENTION PROGRAM
Tier 1: Prevention-Oriented Supports
- The progressive truancy plan will be published annually to parents and students prior to the start of the school year.
b. Each school will be responsible for contacting the parent/guardian of a student who accumulates 5 days of unexcused absences. If the student accumulates another unexcused absence after contact is made with the
parent/guardian, a referral to Tier 2 will be made and the Campus Court Mediation process will begin.
Tier 2: Campus Court Mediation
- School personnel will schedule a meeting with the student, parent/guardian, relevant school personnel, and Juvenile Court Staff mediator;
b. During the meeting, the student, parent/guardian, school personnel, and Juvenile Court Staff Mediator will draft and sign an agreement. A review date will be set for each agreement. The agreement will include, but will not be
- Attendance expectations;
ii. Penalties for additional absences;
iii. Any additional expectations determined necessary by meeting members;
iv. If necessary, referral of the child to counseling, community-based services,
or other in-school or out-of-school services aimed at addressing the
student's attendance problems.
- A report of the meeting will be drafted and maintained in the Campus Court system. The report will include the basis for the student’s absences provided by the parent, as well as a report from the school concerning the student’s
d. A review date will be set for each Tier 2 case.
Tier 3: Campus Court Review and Services
- If following the Tier 2 process, a student accumulates one or more unexcused absences, a review meeting will be scheduled with the student, parent/guardian, relevant school personnel, and the Juvenile Court Staff mediator.
b. The mediator may recommend any services deemed necessary by the mediator.
c. The student may be referred to the “Behavior Unit” for a service assessment.
d. Further absences or non-compliance will result in a Juvenile Court petition for truancy pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-6-3009 through Bradley County Juvenile Court.
If Tier 2 or Tier 3 is unsuccessful with a student and the school can document that the student's parent/guardian is unwilling to cooperate with the truancy intervention plan, then a referral may be made to Bradley County Juvenile Court without first having to implement subsequent intervention tiers, if any, pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-6- 3009(f)(1-2). Evidence that a parent/guardian is unwilling to cooperate can include, but is not limited to, a parent/guardian's failure or refusal, on multiple occasions, to attend meetings scheduled for Tier 2 or 3 interventions, return telephone calls, attend follow-up meetings, enter into an attendance agreement, or actively participate in any of the tiers of the truancy intervention plan.
Absences shall be considered “excused” for the following reasons, with proper documentation, if turned in within 3 school days of the absence. Three (3) total parent notes will be allowed for the types of absences listed below:
- Personal illness
- Illness of an immediate family member
- Religious observances with proper documentation and prior approval from administration
- Death of family member, please provide a copy of the obituary following the absence
- Authorized school-sponsored trips and activities
- Circumstances that, in the judgment of the principal, create emergencies over which the student has no control
- A one-day excused absence is provided for students when their parent or custodian is deployed and also returns from active military service. Military documentation must be provided.
- College Visits - Seniors (3), Juniors(2) must have prior approval from your academy counselor. Proper documentation must be provided from the college you are visiting. *Please check with your counselor for further information.
Absences in excess of three (3) excused by parent note or a doctor’s statement will be termed “unexcused” and shall justify the student being placed in a Truancy Intervention Prevention Program.
- A doctor’s note for a student absence will be excused only for the time specified on the note. Doctors visits will only county as a half-day excused absence unless specified by the provider that a full day’s absence is required.
- If a medical note appears to be altered in any way, the doctor’s office will be called to verify the absence. If the note has been altered by a student or parent, it will be turned over to the administration and/or SRO.
- If a student has accumulated eight (8) or more unexcused absences for the year, he/she will be ineligible to attend the prom.
- Any Senior who has accumulated ten (10) or more unexcused absences during the school year will take part in the alternative graduation date in June, not the class graduation in May.
- Once a student turns eighteen years old and has irregular attendance, due to excessive, unexcused absences, he/she will be advised by administration that enrollment at Bradley Central High School can be put into jeopardy. State law states, if an 18 year old student misses 10 consecutive days or 15 days total due to unexcused absences, his/her enrollment at Bradley Central can be terminated. Requirements for diploma completion will have to be completed elsewhere.
A student will be deemed tardy if he/she arrives at the classroom after the tardy bell. A student will not be considered tardy if the administration or counseling department is dealing with the student. However, the student must have a pass showing he/she was in the counseling center or the administrative offices.
Tardies will start over at the semester. Three (3) parent notes will be accepted for arrival-to-school tardies for each semester. It is also important to make sure that your student provides a doctor's note when they are arriving late from a physician's visit to ensure that their tardies are entered as excused. Discipline procedures for tardies are as follows:
1st Violation – Warning – the student’s name will be documented on a Google spreadsheet for all violations.
2nd Violation – Notification to parent/guardian from a team leader.
3rd Violation – Notification to parent/guardian, school community service assigned.
4th Violation – 1 block of ISS assigned; parent notified in writing
5th Violation – 2 blocks of ISS assigned; parent notified in writing
6th Violation – All day of ISS assigned; parent notified in writing
7th Violation – 1 day of after school detention assigned; parent notified in writing
8th Violation – 2 days of after school detention assigned; parent notified in writing
9th Violation- Meeting with Academy Principal/Parent phone call
10th Violation – Juvenile Citation issued by SRO ($50 fine assessed by BCSO); parent phone call
CHECK IN/EARLY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
If a student is late to school due to an appointment or a transportation issue, he/she must report to the attendance office to check-in. Please provide documentation if your student is late due to an appointment.
If a student is late to school any time after their first period, he/she must come to the attendance office to check-in. Three check-ins, each semester, may be excused with a parent or guardian note. Check-ins beyond these numbers will be excused only if a doctor’s note or other acceptable evidence (dentist, lawyer, court, etc) is produced when the student returns to school.
EARLY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
To dismiss a student before 3:10 pm, a parent or guardian must call the attendance office at 479-0457 or come into the attendance office. After three phone dismissals per semester, a parent must always come to the attendance office to dismiss a student early. Three dismissals each semester may be excused with a parent or guardian note. Student dismissals beyond these numbers will be excused only if a doctor’s note or other acceptable evidence (dentist, lawyer, court, etc.) is produced when the student returns to school. There will be no dismissals after 3:00 p.m. due to school ending at 3:30 p.m. Students needing to leave campus for appointments, etc., should be picked up and/or signed out prior to 3:00 p.m. in the attendance office.
*Students who have attempted to dismiss themselves or another student by telephone will be required to have a parent or guardian come into the attendance office to dismiss them out for the remainder of the school year.
*If a student becomes sick at school, he/she must have a pass to go to the school nurse. Each student is allowed three nurse-excused check-outs per semester.
Students who have attended at least “three hours and sixteen minutes” (State daily minimum) of every academic day will receive perfect attendance certificates. Student absences for bereavement shall not result in the loss of a perfect attendance certificate.
All missed work, whether due to an EXCUSED absence or to an UNEXCUSED absence, may be made up without academic penalty. Students will have the number of days they are absent to turn in their makeup work. (ex. If a student is out of school for 3 days, the student will have 3 days to turn in missing work.) If makeup work is not turned in within the allotted time, the student will receive a zero (0) for those assignments.
For questions regarding attendance, contact the Attendance Office at 479-0457. Attendance office hours are from 8:05 am until 3:00 pm Monday through Friday.