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Nuts and Bolts of the Elementary School Day
The elementary school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Students should arrive by 7:55 a.m. Students are recorded as tardy if they are not in class at 8:05 a.m. Because neither supervision nor safety can be guaranteed before that time, students may begin arriving at the school no earlier than 7:45 a.m. Since classroom instruction begins at 8:00 a.m., it is important that every child arrive at school well enough in advance to be in class and ready to learn. Students who arrive after 8:05 a.m. are considered tardy and will miss the beginning of their classes. Students should understand the importance of regular and punctual attendance. Students should develop good habits, such as being on time. The arrival of tardy students interrupts instructional time of other students in the class. School Board policy states that three unexcused tardies of 15 minutes or more will be treated as one unexcused absence under the state’s Compulsory Attendance Law. Students who arrive late, that is after the tardy bell, must be accompanied to the office by the person responsible for bring them to school that day. Failure to do this will result in the child receiving an unexcused tardy. Furthermore in order to reduce classroom interruptions, students will not be called to the office to leave early after 2:30 in the afternoon except in an emergency, which must be approved by Mr. Walton or Ms. Ipock.
Arriving late to school or leaving early puts students at a disadvantage because they miss valuable classroom instruction. Teachers lose time from scheduled learning activities when they must stop to repeat instructions for children who are late. NC School Law (General Statue 115c-378-383), the Lenoir County Board of Education and Southwood Elementary School require regular attendance. Students are expected to be present each day of the 180 day term. Students with excessive absences are significantly increasing their risk of failure, which may result in retention. When absences exceed 20 days, further documentation will be required (physician’s statement, court order, etc.) Absences not documented according to this policy will be referred to the attendance officer of the Lenoir County Public Schools. Students arriving at school by 11:30 will be counted present but marked tardy. Students with excused absences have “2 school days” in which to make-up any missed assignments. Students who participate in school related activities are counted present. (i.e. field trips) In the event of absences, it shall be the responsibility of the student to bring to the teacher a note signed by the parent or guardian giving the reason for such absences.
The State Department of Public Instruction outlines what constitutes an "excused" absence.
The reasons are as follows:
· illness or injury of the student
· quarantine by order of the Lenoir County Health Department;
· death in the immediate family;
· medical or dental appointments;
· court or administrative proceedings;
· religious observations; or
· Absences, which in the opinion of the principal have an educational value as great as that received during an equal amount of time in school (not exceeding one family sponsored trip per year).
*Please note: Students with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (oral), vomiting, or diarrhea will be excluded from school and may not participate in school activities until they are symptom-free without medication for 24 hours. Students with an undiagnosed rash may be excluded from school. If they are excluded from school, readmission is contingent upon a note from a physician, being symptom-free and receiving appropriate treatment. Parents will be called when a student’s condition prevents participation in normal school activities.
All other absences are unexcused and unlawful for reasons other than those stated above.
Truancy, vacations and no reason indicated are all unexcused absences. If a child is suspended from the bus and does not attend school, that absence is unexcused. However, if a child is suspended from school, that absence is excused.
Unexcused absences: Reasons for which absences may not be excused are:
· Any absence not meeting the requirements of an excused absence shall be an unexcused absence.
· A teacher shall not be required to allow a student to make up work missed during an unexcused absence.
Students will receive a perfect attendance certificate when present and not tardy for the entire school year. Students who are present each day but have been tardy will receive a certificate of attendance.