Alabama Compulsory Attendance Code:
The Alabama Compulsory Attendance Laws require students between the ages of 7-16 to attend school. The law states that parents or guardians having control over school age children are responsible for the children's regular attendance and proper conduct.
A parent, guardian, or other person having charge of any child officially enrolled in Alabama public schools (K-12) shall explain in writing the cause of any and every absence of the child no later than three (3) school days following return to school. A maximum of three (3) parent notes per semester will be accepted. Beginning with the fourth (4th) absence, an excuse from a physician must be submitted or prior permission from the principal must be given in order for the absence(s) to be excused. A failure to furnish such (written) explanation shall be evidence of the child being truant each day the student is absent. The child shall also be deemed truant for any absence determined by the principal to be unexcused based upon the State Department of Education's current School Attendance Manual. Four or more unexcused absences within a school year constitute a student being truant for the purpose of filing a petition with the Court. The Interagency Committee on youth Truancy Task Force recommendations known as the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program timeline for reporting truancy shall define the truancy statute of any student as follows:
1. First truancy/unexcused absence (warning)
a) Parent/guardian shall be notified by the school principal or his/her designee that the student was truant and the date of the truancy.
b) Parent/guardian shall also be provided with a copy of Alabama's compulsory school attendance laws and advised of the penalties that can be applied and the procedures that shall be followed in the event that other unexcused absences occur.
2. After the third unexcused absence (conference)
a) The parent, guardian, or person having control of the child shall (1) attend a conference with the attendance officer and principal or their designee and/or (2) participate in the early warning program provided by the juvenile court.
b) Attendance at one of these conferences shall be mandatory except where prior arrangements have been made or an emergency exists.
c) Failure to appear at the school conference and/or to appear at the early warning program shall result in the filing of a complaint/petition against the parent under Code of Alabama (1975), 16-28-12 (c) (failure to cooperate), or a truancy against the child, whichever is appropriate.
3. After the fourth unexcused absence the principal or his/her designee will recommend a complaint/petition be filed against the child and/or parent/guardian, if appropriate.
CHILD UNDER PROBATION:
1. The school attendance officer should be notified by the juvenile probation officer of all children in the school system under the probation supervision by the juvenile court as consistent with state statute, Code of Alabama (1975), 12-15-100 and 105.
2. Where a child is under probation is truant, the school attendance officer should immediately notify the juvenile probation officer.
A STUDENT MAY NOT HAVE MORE THAN THREE (3) ABSENCES PER CLASS WITHIN A SEMESTER (6 per year).
The day(s) that a student is suspended will be counted as excused absences. Credit and/or passing to the next grade may be withheld from students exceeding the allowable number of absences. If credit is denied or the student is retained as a result of excessive absences, the parent/guardian may appeal.
Failure to provide adequate documentation could result in the filing of a complaint/petition against the child or parent/guardian if appropriate (parent or guardian will go to Jefferson County Family Court).