Please email "excuse" notes to OLHattendance@henry.k12.ga.us.

    Attending school regularly is very important if students want to succeed in school. Georgia law requires that all children between the ages of six (6) and sixteen (16) attend school unless they have a lawful reason to be absent. In addition, students under the age of (6) who have been on roll for twenty (20) or more days fall under the provision of the Georgia Mandatory Attendance Law, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-150(c). Students who have more than five (5) days of unexcused absences during the school year will be considered truant. The legal penalties for truancy include referral of students to Juvenile Court and referral of parents to State Court. Any Georgia resident who has control or charge of a child who is convicted of violating mandatory school attendance requirements will be subject to a fine of not less than $25.00 and not more than $100.00, imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, community service, or any combination of such penalties per absence.

    Absences – Tardies - Check Outs Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes on time and each day.

    • Absence is defined as the non-attendance by a student in an approved regularly scheduled class or activity, regardless of the reason for such non-attendance. An exception is when a student participates in an approved activity (such as, but not limited to: field trip, academic competition or approved athletic event), he/she may be excused from school, counted present, and shall be responsible for any work missed during the time he/she is away from school. See below descriptions for what may be considered an excused versus an unexcused absence.

    • Tardy is defined as the failure by a student to be in the assigned classroom or instructional space at the assigned time.

    • Check Out is defined as a student who reports to the school attendance office to leave class, the school, or an approved activity before the assigned time for the end of such class, school day, or approved activity.

    On the first day students return/report to school (or classes) from an absence, parents should provide the school with a written note explaining the reason for the absence. The note should include the date(s) of the absence, the reason(s) for the absence, and the signature of the parent or of the doctor who treated the student. Parents may be asked to provide additional documentation, such as medical documentation, by the principal or his/her designee, for absences, tardies, and check outs. Please see the section entitled “Truancy Intervention Meeting” in this Handbook for more information about situations where a student has too many unexcused absences, tardies, or check outs.

    Parents are encouraged to make every effort to schedule doctor and dental appointments outside of school hours. Parents should not check out students for the purpose of avoiding car rider traffic. Disciplinary action may be taken against students not in attendance for the full school day for reasons that cannot be excused.

    Excused Absences

    Absences will be treated as excused if they occur for the following reasons (additional documentation, such as medical documentation, may be required by the principal or designee):

    1. Student illness that would endanger the student’s health or the health of others.

    2. Serious illness or death in the student’s immediate family which would reasonably necessitate absence from school, in the determination of the principal or his/her designee.

    3. A scheduled medical, dental, or eye examination.

    4. Special and recognized religious holidays observed by the student’s faith.

    5. An order of a governmental agency, such as a court order or a pre-induction physical exam for military service.

    6. An inability to attend school due to weather or other conditions making school attendance impossible or unreasonably hazardous.

    7. Attendance upon a trip or event having significant educational value, provided the principal is notified of the absence in advance and he/she determines the trip or event has significant educational value.

    8. Unusual or urgent circumstances requiring the student’s parents to be outside of Henry County overnight, and where the parents determine that it would be in the student’s best interest to accompany them. If prior notice cannot be given, a written explanation is to be provided no later than the first day the student returns to school after the absence.

    9. Take Your Child to Work Day. Students who participate in this event will be excused, but will be counted absent.

    10. To visit with a parent serving in the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard. If such parent has been called to duty or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, a student shall be granted excused absences, up to five (5) school days per school year, for the purpose of visiting with his/her parent.

    A student who serves as a Page of the General Assembly during the school year shall be counted present at school in the same manner as an educational field trip.

    Jessie’s Law (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-692.2) states a foster care student (served by DFCS) who attends court proceedings relating to the student’s foster care shall be credited as present by the school and shall not be counted as an absence, either excused or unexcused, for any day, portion of a day, or days missed from school.

    Unexcused Absences

    An absence that does not qualify as excused is an unexcused absence. Parents are encouraged to carefully and frequently monitor student attendance through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal and contact the school immediately with any questions about the attendance record. Unexcused absences will be subject to attendance investigation and can result in penalty as imposed by the Georgia’s compulsory attendance law. Excessive absences may jeopardize a student’s ability to earn course credits for the semester or year. In addition, withdrawal from school before graduating may jeopardize a student’s eligibility to obtain or keep a driver’s permit or license.