Attendance Policy for Huntsville City Schools

The Huntsville City Board of Education believes good student attendance enhances learning. When a student is not in school, he/she misses valuable instructional time. For this reason, the Board equates attendance with academic achievement and establishes policies and procedures designed to encourage and require students to be in school.

Student Absences

  1. Excused Absences – Parent(s)/guardian(s) must provide a written explanation of the reason(s) for each absence within two school days after each absence (or consecutive absences). If the written explanation is not provided within the two day period, the absences will be coded unexcused. A student must be in attendance one-half day to be counted present. Absences will be excused for the following reason:
    1. Personal illness without doctor’s excuse, with parent/guardian excuse
    2. Personal illness with a doctor’s statement
    3. Death in the immediate family
    4. Weather preventing attendance (would endanger student’s health)
    5. Legal requirements, such as subpoena or other required court appearance
    6. Legal quarantine

      A student may have a total of 7 excused absences for illness without a doctor’s statement. After an accumulation of 7 excused absences for illness without a doctor’s statement, the student will receive unexcused absences for illness unless absences are documented with a doctor’s statement. Any exception to this policy will require a doctor’s documentation of a chronic illness which causes absences which may not comply with the attendance policy. A student will still receive excused absences for reasons b, c, d, or e above.
  2. Unexcused Absences– Any absence(s) not classified as excused absence(s) will be coded unexcused. Days absent due to suspension will be classified as unexcused. All suspended students will be allowed to make up homework, tests, or activities, etc. missed due to suspension.
  3. Absences Due to School Related Activities – Students who participate in school sponsored, school related, or authorized activities and are thereby absent from school or class will not be counted absent from school. Students are expected to make up work missed while attending the activities, and should be given the same opportunities as those afforded students with excused absences. Students who attend but do not participate in school sponsored or school authorized activities will be counted ‘absent’ and the absence will be considered unexcused unless otherwise excused by the principal.
  4. Absences Due to Religious Purposes – Absences for religious purposes are excused only if the parent/guardian submits a written request. Such requests must clearly specify the denomination and the particular religious observance for which the excused absence is requested. Requests for excused religious absences exceeding three days per student, per year, must be approved in writing by the principal or the assistant principal.

Student Attendance Standards For Driver’s License

The Huntsville City School System shall comply with Alabama law (Section 16-28-40) governing school attendance standards and the operation of motor vehicles. School attendance standards are met by enrollment in a school or General Educational Development (GED) program or job training program approved by the State Department of Education. 

The Department of Safety will be notified when a student has more than 10 consecutive or 15 cumulative days of unexcused absence during a single semester.

Early Warning

The Early Warning Program is designed to reduce truancy, the number of student dropouts, and to provide an intervention program for student behavior at school. Find out more

Back to top