New law cracks down on school absences - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New law cracks down on school absences

Valdosta - A new Georgia law is cracking down on school absences. "After the fifth unexcused absence, we may make a referral through the social worker to juvenile court or after the 10th excused absence we may make a referral to juvenile court," said Dr. Steve Smith, Lowndes County Schools Superintendent.

The state law won't take effect until next school year, but the Lowndes County School system implemented the new absentee system this year in hopes of boosting their attendance numbers. Once a student reaches three unexcused absences, social worker Sandra Wilcher sends a note home to their parents asking them to call her. "On that phone call we'll discuss what's going on, if they've just forgotten to send notes in, if there's a problem in the family," said Wilcher.

If she finds the student was sick, or there's a legitimate reason for the absences, the student will likely be excused. But often times, the reasons aren't acceptable. "Students are staying home to babysit, sometimes in migrant situations its to interpret for their families," said Wilcher.

School administrators say the new system has made a huge difference in attendance. "Overall in the school system last year, just over seven percent missed 15 days or more, this year, just over two percent have missed more than 15 days," said Wilcher.

And the key to keeping your kids out of court is communicating with the school system. "Everyday a child is absent, they need to send a not explaining the absence," said Smith.

Dr. Smith says the system isn't designed to punish parents and students, its meant to keep kids in the classroom and give them the highest quality of education.

posted by ashley.harper@walb.com

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • 'Hurricane Hoedown' to benefit families, first responders affected by Harvey & Irma

    'Hurricane Hoedown' to benefit families, first responders affected by Harvey & Irma

    Monday, September 25 2017 3:01 PM EDT2017-09-25 19:01:33 GMT
    (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)

    In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Crisp County Sheriff's Office has teamed up with a South Georgia wedding hotspot to help out.

    More >>

    In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Crisp County Sheriff's Office has teamed up with a South Georgia wedding hotspot to help out.

    More >>
  • South Georgia Food Bank takes special delivery from Canada

    South Georgia Food Bank takes special delivery from Canada

    Monday, September 25 2017 1:37 PM EDT2017-09-25 17:37:58 GMT
    (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)

    Prince Edward Island, Canada shipped more than 42,000 pounds of vegetables to Second Harvest of South Georgia's Thomasville distribution center. Those vegetables will be distributed to Irma victims in Florida. "They were willing to do whatever it took to get produce into this affected area," said Foodbank CEO Frank Richards. It's not every day that you get a call from the prime minister of Canada, but Second Harvest staff says that connection lead to a shipment of 42,500 ...

    More >>

    Prince Edward Island, Canada shipped more than 42,000 pounds of vegetables to Second Harvest of South Georgia's Thomasville distribution center. Those vegetables will be distributed to Irma victims in Florida. "They were willing to do whatever it took to get produce into this affected area," said Foodbank CEO Frank Richards. It's not every day that you get a call from the prime minister of Canada, but Second Harvest staff says that connection lead to a shipment of 42,500 ...

    More >>
  • Two juveniles caught breaking into Valdosta church

    Two juveniles caught breaking into Valdosta church

    Monday, September 25 2017 12:02 PM EDT2017-09-25 16:02:04 GMT
    (Source: VPD)(Source: VPD)

    Valdosta Police responded to a burglary call Sunday morning about 8:30. They saw that someone had broken a window trying to get into the church in the 800 block of West Magnolia Street. 

    More >>

    Valdosta Police responded to a burglary call Sunday morning about 8:30. They saw that someone had broken a window trying to get into the church in the 800 block of West Magnolia Street. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly