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Discipline, Attendance, Truancy, and Textbooks

Discipline Policy


 DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES

Students shall be treated with fairness in all discipline matters and shall be given procedural due process when the discipline measures of corporal punishment, short- and long-term suspension, or expulsion are applied. Before being punished for violation of Board policy or local school rule/regulation, the local school principal or designee shall ensure that students are accorded the following appropriate due process:

Informal Due Process (Corporal Punishment, Alternative Placement, and Short-Term Suspension)

1. The student shall be given oral or written notice of the charge(s) against him/her.

2. The evidence supporting the charge(s) shall be explained to the student.

3. The student shall be given an opportunity to present his/her version of the facts concerning the charge(s) and present witnesses. 

The disciplining authority (principal or teacher, etc.) may impose appropriate discipline measures immediately following the informal due process hearing stated above.

Formal Due Process (Long-Term Suspension and Expulsion)

When a student is facing possible long-term suspension of more than 10 school days or expulsion, the Board shall ensure that the following formal due process procedures are afforded the student:

1. The right to a hearing

2. The right to be represented by counsel

3. The right to cross-examine witnesses

4. The right to a written record of the hearing

5. The right to a written record of the Board's decision

Special Education Students

Before the application of the above procedures to a special education student, said the student's IEP committee shall be convened to determine if the student's behavior warranting punishment is related to the handicap. In the event it is determined that the student's behavior is not related to the handicap, the student shall be treated as any other student, except that, a special education student may not be suspended or expelled for more than ten (10) school days without being provided an alternative educational program.

 Attendance Policy


 All students, regardless of age, enrolled in the Elmore County School System are required to be in continuous attendance at their designated school. Prompt and regular attendance at school provides students with the skills needed for future success and aids in the development of good character. While occasional absences are unavoidable, state law places the responsibility for regular attendance upon the parent/guardian. The Code of Alabama (16-28-15) requires that a written note from the parent/guardian stating the reason for the absence must confirm every absence (to include check-outs and check-ins) within three (3) school days. Failure to furnish the written explanation for the absence may result in the student being considered truant with the knowledge of the parent/guardian or person in control of the student. Participation in legitimate school activities or special reasons acceptable to the principal may be excused if permission is granted before the absence.

Grades K – 6

Students in K-6 who accumulate seven (7) excuses that have not been verified by a physician’s statement, may be required, at the discretion of the principal, to secure a physician’s statement for all future absences. Any student in grades K-6 who has accumulated more than twenty (20) excused or unexcused absences may be considered for retention.

Grades 7 – 8

Students in grades 7-8 who accumulate seven (7) excuses that have not been verified by a physician’s statement may be required, at the discretion of the principal, to secure a physician’s statement for all future absences. Any student in grades 7-8 who has accumulated more than twenty (20) excused or unexcused absences may be considered for retention.

Grades 9 – 12

Students in grades 9-12 who accumulate seven (7) excuses within a school year that has not been verified by a physician’s statement may be required, at the discretion of the principal, to secure a physician’s statement for all future absences. Students in grades 9-12 who accumulate more than seven (7) unexcused absences in a class may be denied credit for that course. Students will not be permitted to make up work for unexcused absences. Students in grades 9-12 who accumulate more than four (4) unexcused absences in an eighteen-week class may be denied credit for that course. Required court appearances and physician-verified absences are considered excused absences. 

Excused Absences:

Written documentation must be submitted no later than three (3) days after the student’s return to school. After three (3) days an excuse will not be accepted, and the absence will be regarded as truancy.

1.     Illness

2.     Legal quarantine

3.     Court-required appearance

4.     Death in the immediate family

5.     Inclement weather which could be dangerous to the life and health of the child as determined by the principal

6.     Emergency conditions as determined by the superintendent or principal

7.     Prior permission of the principal with the consent of the parent/guardian.

On the day of the student’s return to school, he/she must arrange with the teacher for make-up work to be completed at a mutually agreed upon time. If the student fails to make arrangements or fails to meet the deadline, he/she will receive a zero for the missed work unless another absence has occurred.

Students who are out of class due to college day or other approved activities should be prepared to complete make-up work the day they return to school.

For absences of five (5) consecutive days or more, consideration should be given to the volume of make-up work required. The teachers should collaborate to establish a reasonable schedule for submission of make- up work. Make-up work for a preceding nine weeks should be completed within two weeks of the next nine weeks unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Unexcused Absences (Make-up work not permitted)

1.     Failure to register or start to school on time

2.     Truancy

3.     Missing a bus or ride

4.     Suspension

5.     Unauthorized trips, such as family vacations without prior permission, shopping, hunting, fishing, ball games, etc.

6.     Birthdays or other celebrations

7.     Updating an expired immunization form

8.     Any absence for which a written excuse was not provided within three (3) days

CHECK-OUT / CHECK-IN

Check-outs, check-ins, and tardies will be considered as absences from those class periods missed and treated as any other absence to include:

1.     Students who leave school for any reason must check-out through the school office following their school’s check out procedure.

2.     Only persons whose names appear on the school’s registration form may check-out students unless the school receives permission in writing in advance from the parent/guardian.

3.     Written permission is to be given first by the parent/guardian or “emergency person” shown on the school’s registration form before each check-out, except in cases of sudden illness, accident, or similar incident where telephone confirmation is the only alternative.

4.     Check-ins and check-outs are considered absences in classes missed. Excused/Unexcused will be determined based on whether or not an excuse is submitted for the check in/out. Students may, at the school’s discretion, be required to bring a written note when they return to school from a check-out. 

TARDIES

 Tardy to School

Students are required to report to their school no later than the official beginning of the school day. Tardy to school is excused for the same reasons as absences. (See previous section on absences.) Personal vehicle problems or missing the school bus will not be considered an excused tardy. All students are provided with bus transportation. Unexcused tardiness may result in disciplinary action. Only an excused tardy will permit academic work to be made up. Any exceptions to this tardy policy will be reviewed by the administration. After 10 20 excused tardies, a doctor’s excuse is required for each successive tardy. Please note that a student will not be eligible for a perfect attendance certificate if the student has a tardy.

Tardy to Class

A student is considered tardy to class when he/she is not in the classroom when the tardy bell rings.

Grades 5 – 8

Students are to report to class for roll check before participating in any other scheduled activity. A student reporting to class more than 10 minutes after class has started will be considered skipping that class.

Grades 9-12

Instructional periods are approximately 50 minutes (this may vary somewhat between schools). Students are expected to be in their assigned classroom ready for work when the tardy bell rings. Students who report to class more than 10 minutes late without a written excuse from a faculty member are considered skipping class. Students who are more than 25 minutes late to class unexcused will be considered absent from that class. The accumulation of tardies starts over at the beginning of each new nine-week grading period.

  Truancy 


 The parent/guardian must be notified in writing by the school when a student has accumulated one (1) unexcused absence. By law, all absences that are not explained by a written excuse within three school days, are considered truant. At that time the parent will be provided a copy of Alabama’s compulsory school attendance laws and advised of the penalties and procedures that will be followed in the event of further unexcused absences. If a parent/guardian believes that the school’s attendance record is in error, he/she should contact the school.

The principal or designee must notify parent/guardian with a written notice when a student has accumulated three (3) unexcused absences. Failure to notify the parent/guardian would result in the student continuing in good status even if absences exceed the maximum number of absences.

Upon the fifth (5th) unexcused absence, a follow-up letter scheduling a conference with the parent/guardian, student, and attendance supervisor will be required. At this meeting, the parent/guardian and student will be notified that the following consequences may occur if any more unexcused absences are accumulated during the remainder of the school year:• Participation in the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program provided by the juvenile court

• Possible referral to the Helping Families Initiative Program

• Possible retention/denial of credit

• Appearance in juvenile court

Failure to attend the school conference for five (5) or more unexcused absences may result in a referral to the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program.

If a student accumulates seven (7) unexcused absences, the Elmore County Attendance Coordinator will, within ten (10) school days, file a request with the Elmore County Juvenile Probation Office for an Early Warning Truancy Conference. This will require the parent’s/guardian’s and student’s attendance at a meeting with the Elmore County Attendance Coordinator and the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer at an Early Warning Truancy Prevention Conference.

Failure to attend the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program may result in a petition being filed by the Elmore County Attendance Coordinator for the parent/guardian and student to appear in juvenile court and/or a referral to the Helping Families Initiative Program.If a student accumulates additional truancy after an Early Warning Truancy Conference, or if the parent and student do not attend a scheduled Early Warning Truancy Conference, the family may be referred to the Helping Families Initiative Program. If a student accumulates three (3) additional unexcused absences after an Early Warning Truancy Conference during the school year, for a total of at least ten (10) unexcused absences, the Elmore County Attendance Coordinator will file a petition for the parent/guardian and the student to appear in juvenile court.

Textbook Policy


We seek to provide all students with textbooks.  Each student must have a signed textbook permission slip before textbooks can be issued. If a book becomes damaged or lost, it must be paid for before another book will be issued.  Textbook selection is coordinated with the Curriculum and Instruction Department.