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Student Attendance

School attendance ensures student success Attendance Requirements

Our mission is to provide children with positive reinforcement that promotes school attendance, academic achievement, and also sees that social, emotional, and developmental needs are met, rather than emphasizing the need to reduce truancy, suspension and expulsion.

Regular school attendance increases the likelihood of a child’s success in school. However, frequent absences from school are often the first indicators that a young person is headed for trouble. “When young people start skipping school, they are telling their parents, school officials and the community at large that they are in trouble and need our help if they are to keep moving forward in life.” (U. S. Department of Education Manual to Combat Truancy)

In Tennessee, compulsory school attendance is the law.

Compulsory Attendance Policy | Asistencia obligatoria | Attendance Policy in Arabic | Attendance Policy in Somali | Attendance Policy in Vietnamese | Attendance Policy in Kurdish | Attendance Policy in Farsi

TCA § 49-6-3001 c(1) reads in pertinent part:

“Every parent, guardian or other legal custodian residing within this state having control or charge of any child or children between six (6) years of age and seventeen (17) years of age, both inclusive, shall cause such child or children to attend public or non-public school, and in event of failure to do so, shall be subject to the penalties hereinafter provided.” … (Click here for the entire text of the statute.) By law, if your child has 5 or more unexcused absences, your child’s name will be reported to an attendance officer. (State Law on Truancy Reports) The attendance officer has a duty to investigate to determine why the child has been absent from school. (State Law on Truancy Investigations) You will receive a notice informing you of the absences. (Sample Truancy Notice) In addition, the attendance officer may petition the Juvenile Courts requiring that you show cause why your family should not be subject to fines for the unexcused absences.

To enforce the compulsory attendance law, Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County enacted a loitering ordinance which states that no child between 6 and 17 years old “shall loiter, idle, wander or play in or upon the public streets, highways, alleys, parks, or other public places, buildings, businesses, places of amusement and entertainment, vacant lots or other unsupervised places during those hours he is required to be in school…” (Click here for the entire text of the ordinance.)


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