Tennessee - Family Engagement on Chronic Absenteeism: Program requirements

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
Regulation
Summary: 

State law involves parents in responding to truancy or chronic absenteeism using non-punitive or supportive interventions.

Rules of the Tennessee Department of Education 0520-02-02-.24 JOB DESCRIPTION, ATTENDANCE SUPERVISORS. [Repealed as of 08/29/2018]

(3) Services to Parents/Families.

  • (a) Consultation and Communication. The school attendance supervisor:
      1. Makes home visits and holds conferences with parents
      1. Mediates among family, school and court when necessary
      1. Interprets criteria for community resource utilization to families and assists in locating appropriate services outside the school system when needed
      1. Consults with parents regarding school attendance and school adjustment problems
      1. Reports student status and progress regularly to parents.
  • (b) Legal Proceedings. The school attendance supervisor:
      1. Provides guidance to parents regarding due process.

Rules of the Tennessee Department of Education 0520-01-02-.17 STATE ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES.

Each Local Education Agency (LEA) shall adopt an attendance policy that is firm, but fair; includes effective accounting and reporting procedures; accounts for extenuating circumstances; includes appeal procedures; and establishes and maintains alternative programs for students who fail to meet minimum attendance requirements.

Attendance policies should include remedies to address excessive absences that account for a student's social and emotional development and family support. Early intervention is a key aspect of a policy that effectively improves attendance. Efforts to improve attendance should include supports and interventions in elementary, middle, and high school levels to address and prevent chronic absenteeism.

(1) The number of unexcused absences shall comply with T.C.A. § 49-6-3007. When appropriate, responses to and consequences for unexcused absences shall be handled within the school setting using relevant supports and interventions that address the underlying cause(s) for the unexcused absences. Nontraditional learning environments that improve student engagement such as online or distance learning, credit recovery, evening programs and flexible scheduling should be considered.

  • (a) Upon or before five (5) days of unexcused absences, the principal or designee shall notify the director of schools or designee and initiate meaningful communications with the student and their parent/guardian. The school shall attempt to determine the underlying cause(s) of the unexcused absences. When appropriate, a plan to improve school attendance should be initiated for the student.
  • (b) Upon or before ten (10) days of unexcused absences, the principal or designee shall attempt to meet in person with the student and/or their parent/guardian, develop or refine the attendance plan, and provide necessary supports and services to improve school attendance. The principal or designee shall maintain documented attempts to meet with the student and their parent/guardian and the resulting atten
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