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Lexington City School System


(Based on Lexington City Schools Policy 6.200)


All students in grades Kindergarten through Eighth Grade are required by law to attend school every day unless excused by one of the reasons listed below.  Regular school attendance develops patterns of behavior essential for professional and personal success. Regular school attendance for every student is mandated by the State of Tennessee’s compulsory attendance laws (TCA 49-6-3001). Parents or legal guardians have a legal responsibility for ensuring that students attend and remain at school daily.  For the safety and well-being of the student, parents or legal guardians are required to ensure that the school always has current home contact information. 


A.  Attendance Standards 

For reporting purposes, a student must attend school 50 percent of the school day in order to be counted as present for the entire day.  Any student who misses a portion of a day less than 50 percent will be considered tardy for that day.


B.  Absences 

When a student must miss school, a written excuse signed by a parent or guardian must be presented to the teacher on the day returning after an absence. If the student does not present a note within three days, the absence will be coded as unexcused. Board policy provides that an absence may be coded as excused for the following reasons:

  1. Personal illness or injury which makes the student physically unable to attend school, (including medical or dental appointments with statement from doctor’s office);

  2. Illness of immediate family member;

  3. Death in the family;

  4. Religious observance of an event required or suggested by the religion of the student or the student's parent(s) with prior approval by the principal;

  5. Pregnancy;

  6. Summons, subpoena, or court order, or

  7. Circumstances which in the judgment of the principal create emergencies over which the student has no control.

Extended illnesses may require a statement from a physician. Out-of-school suspensions will be counted as a lawful absence for attendance record-keeping purposes. 


C. Tardies-Checkins/Checkouts

A tardy is documented for any portion of the school day that a student is not in school such as late arrival to school (check-in) or leaving early from school (check-out). The amount of time lost due to a student being checked-in or checked-out will be documented as UNEXCUSED until either a parent note or excused category reason is turned in to the office.  If the note is not presented within three days, the tardy will remain coded as unexcused.  Parents are required to sign their child in or out each time the child is late or checks out of school early.


Lexington City uses the following process to address unexcused tardiness:

3 Days Unexcused

  • Principal/designee will provide written notification to the parent/guardian of the student’s tardies

5 Days Unexcused

  • Written notification of school-level meeting. 

  • Complete assessment and contract

7 Days Unexcused

  • Director/designee will initiate a truancy board meeting

10 Days Unexcused

  • Director/designee will make referral to Juvenile Court


D. Truancy 

Lexington City has a progressive intervention plan to address truancy (excessive unexcused absences from school):



Number of Days Absent


Tier I

3 or less days.

(excused or unexcused)

  • School-wide incentive programs designed to encourage good attendance. Incentives may include:  Grade-level competitions, drawing for prizes, individual and group rewards and public recognition for good attendance.

  • Supports for students and families with attendance issues.

  • At 3 days (excused or unexcused) teacher(s) will reach out to the parent or guardian to express concern and remind parent/guardian of policy 6.200.

  • At 3 unexcused absences the principal/designee will provide written notification to the parent/guardian of the student’s absences.

Tier II

5 Days Unexcused

  • Written notification of school-level conference with principal or assistant principal.

  • Completion of assessment and development of an attendance contract.

  • Possible referral to counseling.

  • Follow-up phone call(s) as needed by principal or assistant principal and reminder of consequences.

Tier III

7+ Days Unexcused

  • Referral to truancy board meeting by attendance supervisor.

  • Possible interventions involving juvenile court system.


E.  Chronic Absenteeism

Class attendance and participation are critical elements of the educational process in all grades (K-8) and may be taken into account in assessing academic achievement and promotion. Students with excessive absences (excused or unexcused) may be required to attend before/after school sessions and/or summer school as determined by the principal.  Administrators have the discretion to direct administrative actions (i.e. Parenting Classes and/or Saturday School for parents and students).  Failure to comply with assigned administrative actions may result in immediate referral to the LCSS Truancy Board.


F. School-Related Activities            

All classroom activities are important and difficult, if not impossible, to replace if missed. It is the intention of the Board of Education that classes missed be kept to an absolute minimum through close scrutiny and a monitoring system on the part of the principal. School-related activities must be approved in advance by the principal. The following school-related activities will not be counted as absences from either class or school: 

  1. Field trips sponsored by the school;

  2. School-initiated and scheduled activities;

  3. Athletic events requiring early dismissal from school;

  4. In-school suspension.


G. Make-Up Work

Assignments missed for any reason will be completed by the student in a timely manner. The teacher will determine when work is to be made up. The student is responsible for finding out what assignments are due and completing them within the specified time period. 


H. Parent Notes

Students are allowed a total of 5 parent notes per year to address up to 5 days of absences OR tardies.  Parent notes must explain the reason for the absence or tardy which must fall under the guidelines for excused absences and include the date(s) of the absence or tardy.  The note must be signed by the parent and returned by the student within 3 days of his/her return to school. After 5 parent notes have been used, all other excuses will be determined based on valid documentation under the guidelines for excused absences as outlined by board.