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Attendance Procedures

All absences are considered unlawful or unexcused until a note is presented. The following procedures should be followed:

1. A note from a parent/guardian, physician or dentist, or other professional person as to why the absence should be considered “excused.”  The note must contain the following information:

The full printed name of the student
The reason for the absence
The date of the absence and the date the note was written
The class period(s) the student was absent
The day/time the person signing the note can be reached for verification

2. Students have three (3) days after their return to school to submit written excuses. Upon receipt of the note in the Attendance Office and when the written justification is considered a lawful absence, DATA personnel will update the student’s attendance record reflecting the absence as excused.

3. Parents and teachers are encouraged to verify attendance by contacting the Attendance Office at 473-5841 ext. 1005. Any discrepancy in attendance records that is noted by parents, teachers, or students should be immediately addressed to the attendance office. Any requested changes should be documented in writing for inclusion in the student’s attendance folder.

4. If the parent/guardian is going to be out of town, he/she should provide the Main Office emergency contact and temporary guardianship information in case of an emergency.

Early Dismissal

Early dismissals for students may be obtained as long as parents or guardians make the requests. These requests must be made in writing. 

Early dismissal requests should include a valid telephone number where the school can reach the parent/guardian who is making the early dismissal request. Should the school not be able to reach someone to verify the early dismissal, the student may not be able to leave. 

Written requests must be submitted to the main office upon the student’s arrival at school that day. 

Students leaving early and missing a class or classes will be counted absent.  Period absences shall also be coded "lawful" or "unlawful" based on DCS 4400-R Section 102. 

Before any student leaves the building for any reason, whether or not escorted by a parent, he/she must sign out in the main office.

Educational Opportunity/Travel Information

Parents are required to request prior approval for education opportunity/travel absences at least five (5) days in advance using forms available in the main office.

Absences due to out-of-town travel that are not pre-approved as educational travel by the school administration will be coded as unlawful (unexcused). 

Approval will depend upon individual student attendance, behavior and academic progress, as well as the education value of the travel. 

Principals may use discretion for requests made under emergency circumstances. Approved educational travel will be coded as lawful absence. Approval generally will not be granted for any student who has accumulated or will accumulate excessive absences as defined by grade level. 

Principals may use discretion, however, to approve additional educational travel for students engaged in activities such as competitions, performances, and other meaningful educational endeavors that advance the development of student talents and abilities. 

Generally, no educational travel will be approved two (2) weeks prior to or during state testing and exams unless the student is exempt.

Lawful (excused) Absences

Absences shall be coded "lawful" or "unlawful" as determined by the principal/designee based upon available information. Absences not defined as lawful or for which there is no given explanation shall be coded unlawful. LEAs shall excuse the temporary absence of a student upon a showing of satisfactory evidence of one of the following bases: 

  • Illness or injury prevents the student from being physically able to attend school.
  • The local health officer or the State Board of Health orders the isolation of the student.
  • The student is absent due to the death of a member of the immediate family.
  • The student has a medical or dental appointment.
  • The student is a party to or is under subpoena as a witness in the proceedings of a court or administrative tribunal.
  • The student has obtained prior approval by the principal to be absent due to the bona fide observance of an event required or suggested by the religion of the student or the student's parents. Pursuant to G.S. 115C-379, a student shall be excused at least twice for this reason during each school year if so requested.
  • The student/parent obtains prior approval from the principal to take advantage of a valid educational opportunity such as travel.
  • Absences due to pregnancy and related conditions or parenting, when medically necessary.
  • The student is participating in a job-shadow, Career and Technical Education student organization, or other work-based opportunity, as described in G.S. 115C-47(34a).

In addition, a student whose parent or legal guardian (a) is an active duty member of the uniformed services as defined by policy 4050, Children of Military Families, and (b) has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, will be granted additional excused absences at the discretion of the principal to visit with his or her parent or legal guardian.


Period Attendance Information

High school attendance is taken on a period-by-period basis.  A student must be in class two-thirds of the period to be counted present. A breakdown of attendance for each period is as follows:

1st period 55 minutes – arrives after 8:18, student is absent
1st period – leaves before 8:37, student is absent

2nd period 88 minutes – arrives after 9:28, student is absent
2nd period – leaves before 9:58, student is absent

3rd period 90 minutes with 1st Lunch – arrives after 11:35, student is absent
3rd period with 1st Lunch – leaves before 12:36, student is absent

3rd period 90 minutes with 2nd Lunch – arrives after 11:35, student is absent
3rd period with 2nd Lunch – leaves before 12:05, student is absent

4th period 55 minutes – arrives after 1:29, student is absent
4th period – leaves before 1:48, student is absent

5th period 55 minutes – arrives after 2:28, student is absent
5th period – leaves before 2:47, student is absent

Any student who misses more than five (5) days for any reason in any semester class or ten (10) days in any year-long class has exceeded the Dare County attendance regulation requirements. These students are subject to suspension of privileged activities (e.g., extra curricular activities, parking, attendance at prom, graduation ceremony, etc.) until such time as work is completed to the teacher’s and principal’s satisfaction.