School attendance is required for all children in the state of Georgia; therefore, it is important for any absence from school to be excused with a school excuse, if possible. Excuses can be obtained from a medical doctor, or as a parent/guardian, you may write notes to excuse your children from school for sickness for up to 7 days in one school year. If you are unsure of how many days your student has been absent, you may check your parent portal account or check with your child's school counselor.
Absences from school may be excused for the following reasons:
- The pupil is personally ill and attendance at school will endanger his/her health or the health of others.
- The pupil's immediate family has a serious illness or death, which would reasonably necessitate absence from school.
- A special and recognized religious holiday observed by the faith of the pupil occurs on a school day.
- A court order or an order by a governmental agency including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces, mandating absences from school.
- Conditions rendering attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety.
- The pupil has a special medical or dental appointment that cannot be made for after school hours.
- The pupil attends a funeral, which is approved at the discretion of the school administration.
- An educational trip, if approved by the school administrator after the parent submits the required application.
- Visitation with parent/guardian up to five days for parent's/guardian's call to duty or leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting.
The school may request that the parent/guardian provide one or more of the following documents to validate the absence as excused:
- School nurse release
- Doctor’s excuse
- Subpoena/Court Order
- Obituary of an immediate family member
- Hospital intake form for an immediate family member
- Government document for pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces
This list is not all inclusive.
School Counselors are obligated to follow the Stephens County School System's attendance protocol when reviewing student attendance. A student is considered truant when he/she has reached 10 or more unexcused days from school in one year. The Stephens County protocol consists of the following contacts/attempts to reach parents based on the following:
- 3 unexcused days - Parent/Guardian will be contacted
- 5 unexcused days - Parent/Guardian will be contacted
- 10 unexcused days - Parent/Guardian will be contacted to schedule an Attendance Support Team meeting where an attendance contract will be reviewed
- 11+ unexcused days - School Counselor may refer to the School Social Worker along with a referral to the Stephens County Risk Reduction Committee
- 14+ unexcused days - School Social Worker may refer to Juvenile Court for truancy
- 20+ unexcused tardies/early check-outs - Parent/Guardian will be contacted to schedule an Attendance Support Team meeting where an attendance contract will be reviewed
It is important to communicate with your child's school when your student is absent. Excuses may be written in your student's agenda or on a separate piece of paper that he/she can turn in to the front office or on their grade level hallway. Parents may also email excuses to the school counselor.
If you have any questions about your child's attendance or need to turn in a school excuse, please contact or send your excuse to your child's school counselor: