BCS Attendance Information

School Attendance Information


“Count me in for Learning: Promoting Regular School Attendance”


Arriving Late to School or Leaving School Early

We begin recording late arrivals (Tardy) at 7:55 a.m.  Ideally, students should be in their classrooms by 7:50 a.m. to get ready for the day and to hear school announcements at 8:00 a.m.  Lessons begin promptly at 8:00 a.m.  


Being Counted Present

Students must attend school one-half of the school day (3 hours, 15 minutes) in order to be counted in attendance for the entire day.

PARENTS - Please note, we must have a note explaining the reason for ALL absences. Notes should be given to your child's teacher.
                    *  See Below - BCS criteria for excuse/unexcused absences. 

Notes Documenting your Child’s Absence(s)

Following an absence, parents are required to give a note to your child’s teachers within 3 days.  Always give your child’s teacher a written note explaining the reason for your child’s absence and record the date of the absence.  Check with your child’s teacher periodically to ensure the teacher is getting your notes.  Teachers are responsible for coding absences (excused or unexcused) in our computer system.  If we do not get a note for an absence, the absence will remain UNEXCUSED.

Attendance Letters

In accordance with the North Carolina Compulsory Attendance Law, schools are required to notify parents when a child accumulates 3, 6, and 10 unexcused absences.  Contact your school social worker if you have any questions regarding this law.


 Court Action for Truancy

I. Parents can be referred to court and social services for failing to comply with the North Carolina Compulsory Attendance Law after 10 or more unexcused absences are documented.  A child’s past attendance history can impact the principal’s decision.  It is critical that parents participate in attendance conferences.

During the attendance conference, parents will meet to discuss:

Reasons for the child’s absences

  1. Review the Buncombe County Schools Attendance Policy and the North Carolina Compulsory Attendance Law.
  2. Review Notes the parent has sent to school. 
  3. Review reasons for students absences
  4. Review the child’s attendance record for accuracy and make corrections if needed.
  5. Develop and/or Review the plan for improving the child’s attendance and documenting absences.
  6. Assess child and family needs
  7. School staff members will continue to provide supportive services and make referrals to community resources as needed.

II. Parents who are not in compliance with the North Carolina Compulsory Attendance Law are encouraged to maintain regular contact with your child’s teacher and the School Social Worker (SSW) regarding the reason for all of your child’s absences.  The (SSW), teachers, principal, and parents must all work together to positively impact the outcome of the parent’s case.  The (SSW) can help document the positive achievements parents have made to improve a child’s school attendance.  The (SSW) is expected to provide the Court with a summary of a child’s attendance record, share information about the parent’s involvement in school activities, and report on the parent’s efforts to work with the school staff to improve their child’s school attendance.

Doctor’s Notes

Parents are encouraged to obtain a doctor’s note when a child has an appointment during the school day.  Doctor’s notes must state the date the child was seen, the illness being treated, and the date the child may return to school.  Doctor’s notes cannot excuse days missed before the doctors appointment and cannot be written based on a telephone call to the doctor’s office.

Our school could require doctor notes for all absences to be coded as excused if a student has accumulated 8 or more absences and/or has a history of excessive absences (over 14 absences) in a previous school yr.

Attendance School Make - Up

Buncombe County Schools Attendance Policy states: “A student who attends less than 166 days (accumulates 15 or more absences) could be required to participate in attendance school make-up.”  Excused absences and unexcused absences are counted.  We understand some absences are unavoidable.  Please keep your child’s teacher informed of all absences.

Educational Trips/Travel

For educational trips, parents can complete the “Request for Approved Educational Leave” form for educational family trips causing a child to be absent multiple days from school.  Ask your child’s teacher for this form.  This form must be completed before a trip occurs. 

*Note: the school principal may approve or decline Educational Student Leave.  If educational leave is approved, absences will be coded as excused.  If educational student leave is declined, absences will be coded as unexcused.

Your School Social Worker is Roxanne Skenandore                                     Work Cell phone: (828) 775-2195


BCS Attendance Policy Criteria for coding Absences (BCS Attendance Policy Link below)
Excusable Absences: 
1.Personal illness or injury that makes the student physically unable to attend school.
2. Isolation ordered by the local health officer or the State Board of Health.
3.Death in the immediate family.
4.Medical or dental appointment.
5.Participation under subpoena as a witness in a court proceeding.
6.At least two (2) days of excused absences must be allowed each academic year
for religious observances required by the faith of a student or a student’s parents. 
7. Participation in a valid educational opportunity, such as travel or service as a
       legislative or Governor’s page, with prior approval from the principal.
8. Pregnancy and related conditions or parenting (student), when medically necessary.
9. A student whose parent or legal guardian (a) is an active duty member of the
     uniformed services, as defined by policy 4050, Children of Military Families;
  and (b) has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned
     from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting will be granted
  additional excused absences at the discretion of the superintendent or designee
     to visit with his or her parent or legal guardian.
For students who are entitled to attend public school and who have enrolled in a public
school, unlawful absence is defined as:
1. A student’s willful absence from school with or without the knowledge of the parent;
 2. A student’s absence from school for any reason other than those listed in Section
          B under “Lawful Absences”; or
3. When students are not permitted to attend school because they lack proper immunization

  Buncombe County School Attendance Policy
North Carolina Compulsory Attendance Law