Absences could jeopardize credit

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 1, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; Several high school students are already approaching the maximum number of unexcused absences allowed for a semester.

Principal Dr. Isaac Espy said there are around 20 to 30 students who are in immediate danger of approaching the mandated amount of unexcused absences allowed in a semester. He said he is concerned about the repercussions associated with reaching the set amount of absences and its effects for the students.

If a student receives 10 unexcused absences then, according to the handbook, they may face loss of credit for the classes for which they exceeded the absence allotment. Espy said the school has had to deny credit in the past to students that exceeded their absences.

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The Demopolis City School Board recognizes absences as excused if they are due to illness of a student, death in a student’s immediate family, inclement weather, legal quarantine, emergency conditions as determined by the principal or the student has received prior permission by the principal. State law also states that after two days any absence not explained in writing shall be marked as unexcused.

Espy said the school has high attendance but there are already students approaching their limit for the semester, which began Jan. 4. He said he had to deny credit to students last semester for exceeding their absences.

Espy said absences tend to be heavy the first part of the school day, but full day unexcused absences are a problem as well. He said on a good note that there are very few occurrences of students skipping school contributing to unexcused absences.