Attendance FAQ

  • What do I do if my child will be absent from school?

    The parent/guardian will need to call or email the school Attendance Secretary.  Let them know that your child will not be at school today or additional days. 

    When your student returns to school send in a written note/email within three school days to the Attendance Secretary or submit documentation to Skyward.

    What does my child do if they are late for school? 

    In grades, K-8 the parent will have to accompany the student to the school office and sign the student in. 

    In grades 9-12, the student will need to report to the Attendance/Main office and receive a pass to attend class.

    What are examples of unexcused absences?

    Going shopping, visiting relatives, birthdays, refusing to come to school, senior skip day, prom prep day, and vacations are a few examples of unexcused absences.

    What if my student is absent due to COVID during the 2023-2024 school year?

    Wilson County Schools will accept all recommendations provided by health care providers for isolations and quarantines. 

    • Any positive test results (Health Department, Walk-in Clinic, Doctors Office, or home test) without written recommendations for isolation or quarantine will be excused up to five calendar days from the start of symptoms.  
    • A positive home test will need to have the student’s name and/or initials written on the test.  The positive home test will count as one parent note and can excuse up to five days (ex. N, A, A, A, A).  Students may return to school when they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication to reduce a fever. 

    Any documentation related to an absence must be submitted within three school days of the student's return to school to the school Attendance Secretary or Skyward.

    How many parent notes do students have each school year? 

    Parents have five parent notes per semester.  After using five parent notes in a semester other absences are recorded as unexcused. 

    What are the reasons for schools to accept a Parent Note based upon School Board Policy?

    1. Student’s personal injury or illness;
    2. Illness of an immediate family member, with immediate family defined as a parent, sibling, or grandparent;
    3. Death of an immediate family member or other individual with principal’s permission;
    4. Extreme weather conditions;
    5. Religious observances;
    6. College or postsecondary visits;
    7. Pregnancy;
    8. School-sponsored or endorsed activities;
    9. Parent/Guardian military deployment or return; or
    10. Summons, subpoenas, or court order

    A few examples of reasons for tardies/absences/early dismissals that will not be excused are oversleeping, car issues, family vacation, missing the bus not related to bus running late, or any other reason not related to the categories above.

    Parent notes that do not list a reason will not be accepted.

    To avoid using up all parent notes, please keep in mind that medical issues can always be excused with doctor notes.  No parent note is needed for death in the family if we receive an obituary.  No parent note is needed to excuse a college visit if we get written verification from the college that the student was there.  No parent note is needed for religious observation if we get something from the religious organization verifying the observation.

    My child's school bus is not running.  Is staying home an excused absence?

    Parents are responsible for making sure their students attend school daily.  Wilson County Schools encourages parents to have back-up plans if a bus is not running.  For example, you could form a carpool and alternate days to pick-up and drop-off students.  Absences due to lack of transportation to school are unexcused.  

    Is a death in the family an excused absence and does it count as a parent note?

    Death of immediate family member (mother, father, grandparents, brother, or sister (three days) is an excused absence and does not take away from the five parent notes per semester.  Principals may require additional verification.

    I have a deployment that is upcoming so how do I get this excused?

    Military – Parent/Custodian Deployment/Return - A one day excused absence for students when their parent or custodian has a deployment into active military service. A one day excused absence for students when the parent or custodian returns from active military service. Students can make-up schoolwork missed during the excused absence.  Military deployment/return does not count against the five parent notes per semester.  Principal may require additional verification.

    What do I do if my child is required to attend court (ex. Truancy, Custody, etc.)?

    Ask the court for an excuse that you can provide the school.  With verification from the court, the absence is marked as excused.

    What do I do if my child has an extra-curricular activity that is non-school related and they have to miss school?

    Contact the principal at least seven days prior to the event.  The principal will check to see that the student is in good standing (grades, discipline, and attendance) and can approve the absence for no more than ten days per school year.  If the student’s standing is not good, then the principal can deny the request.  Finally, the principal will not approve/excuse absences for extra-curricular non-school related activities during testing.  Please note absences will be coded as parent note(s) and only five will be excused per semester.

    What items does the school want on the parent note?

    Written documentation shall include the reason for absence, time and duration if an appointment, date, parent signature, and phone number.

    My child marked absent and I sent in a note.

    Written documentation must be submitted within three days of the student returning to school.  If not submitted to the Attendance Secretary within this time-period, the absence will be marked unexcused.  Check your Skyward account to ensure that the student turned-in the note.

    I cannot get into my Skyward account.

    Call your school’s Registrar or Attendance Secretary and they will be able to help. 

    How does my student get their driver’s license reinstated?

    The student will need to pass half of their semester classes and or not miss 10 days in a row or fifteen days in a semester.  When semester grades are posted and the student meets the requirements for reinstatement, they should contact their Attendance Secretary.  The Attendance Secretary will contact the Attendance Department at the Central Office and they will provide the Department of Safety and the student with documentation of reinstatement.

    How does my child get a Truancy form for their Learners permit or Driver’s License?

    Contact the Attendance Secretary at your school.  Please note many schools have summer hours so reach out to them prior to the end of school for assistance.  Also, know that the Attendance Secretary cannot provide a Truancy Form prior to the students fifteenth birthday. 

    Will my child get in trouble for tardies to school or class?

    The school will follow the guidelines in the Student Handbook under Category 1 Offenses.

    Why is my student being sent to court for Truancy?

    There are many reasons that a student may appear in court for truancy.  Below are a few:

    • The student missed ten days of school in a row.
    • The student missed fifteen days during a semester.
    • The student’s parents did not work with the school to improve attendance using the Three Tier System (ex. Not returning emails, phone calls, or coming in for meetings – this is a new law).
    • The student did not turn in excused absences notes to the Attendance Secretary.
    • The student was on a Valid Court Order (VCO) for truancy and missed five more days of school.
    • The student misses ten unexcused absences and per School Board Policy, a truancy petition filed.

    Can my child receive an excused absence for visiting a college or vocational school?

    Two college or vocational visits during the eleventh and twelve grades are amiable for students.  Students have to receive prior approval form the school principal and signed documentation from the institution for which they visited provided.  Return the documentation to the Attendance Secretary upon return to school and within three days.

    The school nurse sent my child home. How do I report the absence? 

    Students who go home at the direction of the School Nurse are marked as excused.  When the student returns to school the parent will provide a note that states the student was sent home by the Nurse, date, and time, as well as any other instructions by the Nurse.  This type of situation does not count against parent notes. 

    My student missed six days in a row and I did not take them to the doctor.  Can I use my parent notes?  

    Yes, you can use five parent notes (ex. one per day) and have one unexcused absence.