What is the actual definition of truancy?
- Any child who has been absent from school for three (3) days or has been tardy on three (3) days without valid excuse is truant.
What if student misses school due to illness after the six notes have been used?
- Any absence beyond the six (6) days due to illness must be verified by a doctor's statement in order to be considered excused.
What does the school district do to help parents with absences/truancy?
- Students may submit a signed note from their parent/guardian to excuse an absence due to illness. Students may use up to six (6) of these notes per school year. These notes will only excuse six days per school year. For example, if a student misses two days due to illness and returns with a note from parent/guardian, two of the six days have been used.
How does the school district deal with truancy?
- On the fifth (5) unexcused absence a final notice will be delivered. Students in elementary and middle school will receive a home visit from an official of Hardin County Schools. Students in high school will receive either a home or school visit. If a high school student is met at school, a final notice will be mailed to the parent/guardian. This is to make sure that both the student and the parent/guardian are aware of exactly where they are in the process.
What if I am not home when a home visit attempt is made?
- The final notice will be left near the front door of the premises.
What happens if a student continues to miss more days unexcused after the final notice has been given?
- Once the final notice has been given, the parent/guardian and the student should work together to ensure no more unexcused absences. If the student continues to miss, the student along with the parent/guardian could be scheduled for mediation at the court house. Mediation is a service provided by the Hardin County Schools but is not a mandatory step prior to court. Depending on the circumstances, charges could be filed if absences continue after the final notice has been sent.
What is mediation?
- Mediation is an effort to help the parent/guardian, along with the student, understand the importance of being present at school. Usually a contract is set up and signed to ensure understanding. This process takes place at the court house. Mediation is the final step before court proceedings.
What if a student continues to have unexcused absences after mediation?
- If the student is twelve years old or younger, an educational neglect petition against the parent/guardian will be filed with the county attorney. If the student is thirteen years old or older, a truancy petition will be filed with the court designated worker (CDW).
What happens when a petition is filed?
- The petition will result in a court appearance that must be made with your attorney present. You will also be responsible for court cost at this time. From this point, the court will give you guidelines and directions on your truancy issues. If those guidelines are not followed, a contempt motion will be filed in court.
Once a final notice is given, students will not have anymore unexcused absences. If this is the case, no further steps will be taken.
High School Students
- Refer to your school handbook for information regarding make-up opportunities for excessive unexcused absences.
- Each high school has developed it's own criteria for awarding credits for make-up time.
- Truancy procedures at the district level have nothing to do with make-up time at the school level. Again, please refer to your high school for more details.
If you have further questions, please contact Director of Student Services Bryan Lewis by calling (270) 769-8800.