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

New law cracks down on school absences

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Kutcher's peanut ponder picture makes London news

    Kutcher's peanut ponder picture makes London news

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:17:49 GMT
    Ashton Kutcher, one of the world's top TV stars, stopped to ponder Georgia's official Peanut Statue in Ashburn. His selfie, showing himself and his fiancé, Mila Kunis, appreciating the structure, hasMore >>
    Ashton Kutcher, one of the world's top TV stars, stopped to ponder Georgia's official Peanut Statue in Ashburn. His selfie, showing himself and his fiancé, Mila Kunis, appreciating the structure, has circled the globe.More >>
  • Supreme Court to hear Cuthbert insurance case

    Supreme Court to hear Cuthbert insurance case

    Thursday, April 17 2014 10:15 AM EDT2014-04-17 14:15:49 GMT
    The Georgia Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case of BARZEY V. CITY OF CUTHBERT (S14A0620)  next week. A woman whose adult son was killed while working for the City of Cuthbert is appealingMore >>
    A woman whose adult son was killed while working for the City of Cuthbert is appealing a Randolph County court ruling that she is not entitled to her son's death benefit, even though she is his only legal heir.More >>
  • Today's the day for News on the Road!

    WALB anniversary tour starts Thursday

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:04 AM EDT2014-04-17 13:04:46 GMT
    WALB News 10 is hitting the road for our 60th anniversary. You might remember this photo from 2004. Yolanda, Dawn, and Ben having fun with the Ladies of the Red Hat Society in Tifton for WALB's 50thMore >>
    WALB News 10 is hitting the road for our 60th anniversary. You might remember this photo from 2004. Yolanda, Dawn, and Ben having fun with the Ladies of the Red Hat Society in Tifton.More >>

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

Powered by WorldNow