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Student Attendance

NOTE: The attendance policy applies to all students K-12. Suspensions are counted as unexcused absences.

The Compulsory School Attendance Law in Tennessee (TCA-49-6-3001) requires children (ages 6-17 inclusive) to attend school each day. A student who has been absent five (5) days (this means an aggregate of five days during the school year and not necessarily five consecutive days) without adequate excuse is considered truant and may be summoned to court for as few as 5 absences (TCA-49-6-3007).


The following are “official/adequate excuses” that should be turned in to the attendance secretary in the school office:

  • medical note for the student (doctor, dentist, hospital, etc.)
  • up to 5 parent notes per school year for student illness not requiring a doctor visit (submit within 5 school days of absence)
  • court note for the student
  • funeral notice (newspaper/program from the funeral home)
  • military deployment paperwork-for military dependents, TN Law (TCA 49-6-3019) allows the following for out of country deployments 12 months or longer:
    • 1 excused absence when the parent leaves for deployment
    • 1 excused absence when the parent returns at the end of deployment
    • Up to 10 days excused absences when the parent is home from the deployment for Rest and Recuperation
    • Local policy also allows up to 5 consecutive days of excused absences when the parent deployment is less than 12 months
    • Military paperwork/documentation MUST be provided to the school for these to be excused.

For high school and middle school classes, an absence per class is defined as missing 10 or more minutes of the class period.

Make-up work: (Including suspension and remandment) Upon the first day of returning to school, it is the student's responsibility to make contact with the teacher(s) regarding make-up work. During the school year, make-up work must be completed within a number of days equal to the number of consecutive days of the absence. A grade of "0" shall be entered into the teachers grade book for any missing work until the assignments have been completed and turned in.