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An important part of education
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The Bryan County School System staff members are looking forward to a great school year in 2007–2008. Attendance is a very important part of every child’s education.

Attendance can directly affect a child’s academic performance, and it can also help teach responsibility. Our school system is judged by academic achievement and attendance rate – among many measures of success.

The staff of the Bryan County School System would like to thank the students and parents who make the extra effort to help maintain our system’s excellent record of student attendance.

Students are expected to attend school every day. Bryan County’s attendance policy was developed in accordance with state law which requires that students attend a public school, a private school, or a home study program between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays.

Accordingly, students in kindergarten through eighth grades may miss a maximum of 15 days during the school year.

High school students will not receive credit for a course if they have more than seven absences per semester. If a student has excessive absences, credit will be denied unless the absences are excused by a doctor, the Health Department, a government agency, a court order, or a death in the immediate family.

A student’s absence may also be excused if an immediate family member is suffering from a serious illness, or if conditions render attendance hazardous to their health or the health of others, and if the student is sent home ill during the day by a school nurse or administrator. Students are not counted absent while they are serving as pages for the Georgia General Assembly.

There are several things the school system does to encourage attendance.

First, we ask our parents to call the school if their child is going to be absent for the day. If we do not hear from the parent, we have personnel at every school who will call to check on our students. The superintendent writes letters each nine weeks recognizing perfect attendance and thanking parents and students for the exceptional effort it takes to earn that recognition.

We maintain an Attendance Protocol Committee which is made up of service agencies in the community. This committee meets several times a year to set goals and discuss strategies that may help to improve attendance in our school system.

To be considered present, a student must remain at school at least half the instructional day, which is until 11:30 a.m. in primary, elementary, and middle schools.

A high school student must be present three periods to avoid being marked absent. Students must provide written documentation for excused absences and must complete missed work within three days of their return to school. In cases of serious and prolonged student illness, school administrators may make exceptions to the time period for make-ups.

A student who violates the compulsory attendance law may be subject to a variety of penalties in Juvenile Court. Parents of truant students may be subject to fines under the compulsory attendance law.

In order for students to derive maximum benefit from the educational process it is necessary that they attend school every day. Developing good attendance habits and taking responsibility for making up missed work at school will benefit all students in their educational careers and in later life-making them productive, conscientious members of the workforce and their community.

By William McGrath, director of student services for the Bryan County school system

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