Attendance: Frequently Asked Questions
Is my 5 or 6 year old kindergarten student subject to the NC Compulsory Attendance Law?
What procedures do I follow if I decide to home school my child?
What is the difference between homebound instruction and home schooling?
How does moving in the middle of a school year affect my student's assignment?
Why should I provide the school with my personal demographic information?
Why do I have to provide a note to excuse my student's absence?
If I am requested to provide a doctor's note to excuse my student's absence, does this violate HIPAA law?
How does attendance affect my student's participation in sports and extra-curricular activities?
What if my student is absent due to a suspension from school?
Will the school let me know when my student is absent?
Is the school required to provide make-up work when my child is absent, including when my child is suspended?
How can I get a copy of my student's attendance record?
Q: What procedures do I follow if I decide to home school my child?
A: You should contact the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education at (919) 733-4276 or at their web site (www.ncdnpe.org). Until you are approved as a home school, your child must continue to attend his or her assigned school.
Q: What is the difference between homebound instruction and home schooling?
A: Homebound instruction is offered to students who have been referred by their physician or psychiatrist and approved by the director of homebound instruction, or to students who receive Exceptional Children's services and are placed on long-term suspension. A teacher instructs the student at home or a pre-arranged site twice a week for two hours per session.
Home schools are administered under the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education. Parents must follow NCDNPI's guidelines, which include instructional guidelines, curriculum, testing, etc.
Q: What if my family moves in the middle of a school year? How does this affect my student's school assignment?
A: Your student may remain in his or her school for the rest of the school year, but you are responsible for transportation to and from school. You may choose to transfer your student to his or her residential school. Proof of address is required.
Q: Why should I provide the school with my personal demographic information?
A: There are several reasons the school needs updated demographic information. The information is needed in order to share information about school events, i.e. school pictures, field day, snow days, etc., as well as your child's grades, discipline information, attendance information and other important matters. The school also needs accurate information in case of an emergency involving your child.
Q: Why do I have to provide a note to excuse my student's absence?
A: It is the parent's responsibility to inform the school of the reason for a student's absence so that the school can determine whether the reason meets state guidelines. (See Policy 5110 - Attendance.) It is also helpful information for the school to appropriately serve the student after an illness or injury, or for health concerns in the school environment. Even if the school sends your child home sick, a note is needed as documentation because all notes are maintained in a centralized file.
Q: If I am requested to provide a doctor's note to excuse an absence, does this violate HIPAA law?
A: If you are requested to provide a physician's statement, you need only provide documentation that the student was seen by the doctor and the date(s) covered. No confidential medical information is needed.
Q: How does attendance affect my student's participation in sports and extra-curricular activities?
A: If your student misses 10 days within a semester, he or she must apply for and receive a waiver in order to participate.
Q: Will the school let me know when my student is absent from school?
A: Yes, many attempts are made but they depend on the accuracy of the information you provide to the school. You are notified of your student's absences through an automated calling system, teacher telephone calls, attendance letters from the principal and calls and/or home visits by the school social worker.
Q: Is the school required to provide make-up work when my child is absent, including when my child is suspended?
A: Yes. Work should be requested by the parent or student as soon as possible. It is due by the third day from the date each absence occurred. Make-up work can be requested for a suspended student if the suspension is not a long-term suspension. Most schools require a 24 hour period to allow the teacher to gather materials to send home.