It is the belief of the Homewood City Board of Education that regular school attendance positively impacts student achievement; therefore, we believe it is in the best interest of your child to attend school regularly. Furthermore, regular school attendance is mandated by The Compulsory School Attendance Law of the State of Alabama, Title 15, Section 28-12, Code of Alabama, 1975. School administrators are required under state law to enforce this law. Furthermore, student attendance is a standard that the Alabama State Department of Education uses to assess a district’s accountability.
When absences occur, a written, excusable explanation must be provided to the school for each absence within three school days from the day the student returns to school. Failure to provide this explanation will result in the student being considered unexcused for the missed days. Please review the Attendance Policy section of the Homewood City Schools Code of Conduct. Absences from school could lead to loss of credit for the courses in which the student is enrolled. To assist you in monitoring your child’s attendance, a letter will be sent when a student has reached at least three (3) unexcused absences. Should your child acquire at least five (5) unexcused absences, a second notification letter requesting a conference with the truancy office for Homewood City Schools will be sent. Upon the seventh (7th) unexcused absence during this academic school year, the student and parent will be referred to the Jefferson County Family Court Truancy Intervention Program.
In many cases, absences from school are unavoidable due to health problems or other circumstances. However, chronic absenteeism can have a drastic impact on your child’s education. According to the national organization Attendance Works, children chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to learn to read by the end of third grade. Once students enter sixth grade, chronic absences are an early warning sign of a drop-out. By ninth grade, attendance is a better graduation predictor than your child’s eighth grade test scores. This letter serves as an awareness tool for your family. We want your child to be successful in school, and regular attendance is an important part of that success.
It is our sincere desire that all of our students achieve their highest level of academic excellence. We believe that regular school attendance is an essential aspect of academic achievement, and we ask that you help your child attain that success by insisting upon regular school attendance. Thank you very much for your partnership in this matter.
HMS/HHS Attendance For Students Off Campus Days
Beginning Monday, August 31, both the high school students and middle school students will need to make the following adjustments in submitting their attendance. Between 6:00 am and 11:15 am Monday through Friday, students are required to log in to Schoology and submit a response to the assigned attendance item on the days when they are not on campus. For virtual students, this will be the practice each weekday. For traditional students, this will be the practice for remote days.
The submitted response to the Schoology attendance check-in item is the only way in which daily attendance for secondary students will be confirmed by school officials and marked in iNow on the days when the student is not on campus. A Google Meet, email, conversation, or any other communication with a school employee is not a substitute for the Schoology attendance check-in. In addition, the attendance check-in is not a substitute for participating in required live class sessions for students.
To ensure that this attendance requirement is met by students when they are not on campus, the following practices are suggested for students and/or parents who use a smartphone:
- Establish a calendar reminder and/or an alarm for the dates and times that the student will need to submit a response to the Schoology check-in item.
- Set the reminder/alarm for at least 30 minutes prior to the 11:15 am deadline to ensure enough time to complete the task.
- Be mindful that students and teachers nationwide are using Schoology, so log in early enough to allow time to make an Internet connection and to then make the submission during the attendance window
Finally, both schools will send a notification to parents whose child is considered absent for the day, that is, the student did not submit a response as required. Absences must be explained with a note (written note, email, or fax) from a parent or legal custodian within 3 school days from the date the child returns to virtual or traditional school. Failure to provide this explanation will result in the child being marked with an unexcused absence for the missed days. There is a limit of five (5) parent notes per child that will be accepted each semester for unexcused absences. For additional information regarding attendance and absenteeism, please see the HCS Student Code of Conduct.