Topic is not addressed in state statutes or regulations, but is addressed in non-codified policy.
Early Warning System to Promote K-12 Academic Success: District Guidance
This guide provides information on how to use early warning data to identify, support, and monitor at-risk and chronically absent students in grades K-12.
Mississippi Code 37-13-85. Powers and duties.
The Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement shall have the following powers and duties, in addition to all others imposed or granted by law:
- (a) To establish any policies or guidelines concerning the employment of school attendance officers which serve to effectuate a uniform system of enforcement under the Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law throughout the state, and to designate the number of school attendance officers which shall be employed to serve in each school district area;
- (b) To supervise and assist school attendance officer supervisors in the performance of their duties;
- (c) To establish minimum Standard for enrollment and attendance for the state and each individual school district, and to monitor the success of the state and districts in achieving the required levels of performance;
- (d) To provide to school districts failing to meet the established Standard for enrollment and attendance assistance in reducing absenteeism or the dropout rates in those districts;
- (e) To establish any qualifications, in addition to those required under Section 37-13-89, for school attendance officers as the office deems necessary to further the purposes of the Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law;
- (f) To develop and implement a system under which school districts are required to maintain accurate records that document enrollment and attendance in such a manner that the records reflect all changes in enrollment and attendance, and to require school attendance officers to submit information concerning public school attendance on a monthly basis to the office;
- (g) To prepare the form of the certificate of enrollment required under the Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law and to furnish a sufficient number of the certificates of enrollment to each school attendance officer in the state;
- (h) To provide to the State Board of Education statistical information concerning absenteeism, dropouts and other attendance-related problems as requested by the State Board of Education;
- (i) To provide for the certification of school attendance officers;
- (j) To provide for a course of training and education for school attendance officers, and to require successful completion of the course as a prerequisite to certification by the office as school attendance officers;
- (k) To adopt any guidelines or policies the office deems necessary to effectuate an orderly transition from the supervision of school attendance officers by district attorneys to the supervision by the school attendance officer supervisors;
- (l) Beginning on July 1, 1998, to require school attendance officer supervisors to employ persons employed by district attorneys before July 1, 1998, as school attendance officers without requiring such persons to submit an application or interview for employment with the State Department of Education;
- (m) To adopt policies or guidelines linking the duties of school attendance officers to the appropriate courts, law enforcement agencies and community service providers; and
- (n) To adopt any other policies or guidelines that the office deems necessary for the enforcement of the Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law; however, the policies or guidelines shall not add to or contradict with the requirements of Section 37-13-91.
Mississippi Code 37-13-91 Compulsory school attendance requirements generally; enforcement of law.
(5) Any parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child subject to this section who refuses or willfully fails to perform any of the duties imposed upon him or her under this section or who intentionally falsifies any information required to be contained in a certificate of enrollment, shall be guilty of contributing to the neglect of a child and, upon conviction, shall be punished in accordance with Section 97-5-39.
Upon prosecution of a parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child for violation of this section, the presentation of evidence by the prosecutor that shows that the child has not been enrolled in school within eighteen (18) calendar days after the first day of the school year of the public school which the child is eligible to attend, or that the child has accumulated twelve (12) unlawful absences during the school year at the public school in which the child has been enrolled, shall establish a prima facie case that the child's parent, guardian or custodian is responsible for the absences and has refused or willfully failed to perform the duties imposed upon him or her under this section. However, no proceedings under this section shall be brought against a parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child unless the school attendance officer has contacted promptly the home of the child and has provided written notice to the parent, guardian or custodian of the requirement for the child's enrollment or attendance.
(6) If a compulsory-school-age child has not been enrolled in a school within fifteen (15) calendar days after the first day of the school year of the school which the child is eligible to attend or the child has accumulated five (5) unlawful absences during the school year of the public school in which the child is enrolled, the school district superintendent or his designee shall report, within two (2) school days or within five (5) calendar days, whichever is less, the absences to the school attendance officer. The State Department of Education shall prescribe a uniform method for schools to utilize in reporting the unlawful absences to the school attendance officer. The superintendent or his designee, also shall report any student suspensions or student expulsions to the school attendance officer when they occur.
(7) When a school attendance officer has made all attempts to secure enrollment and/or attendance of a compulsory-school-age child and is unable to effect the enrollment and/or attendance, the attendance officer shall file a petition with the youth court under Section 43-21-451 or shall file a petition in a court of competent jurisdiction as it pertains to parent or child. Sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and municipal law enforcement officers shall be fully authorized to investigate all cases of nonattendance and unlawful absences by compulsory-school-age children, and shall be authorized to file a petition with the youth court under Section 43-21-451 or file a petition or information in the court of competent jurisdiction as it pertains to parent or child for violation of this section. The youth court shall expedite a hearing to make an appropriate adjudication and a disposition to ensure compliance with the Compulsory School Attendance Law, and may order the child to enroll or re-enroll in school. The superintendent of the school district to which the child is ordered may assign, in his discretion, the child to the alternative school program of the school established pursuant to Section 37-13-92.
(8) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations for the purpose of reprimanding any school superintendents who fail to timely report unexcused absences under the provisions of this section.