ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Dougherty County School Board committee and has recommended to the full board a policy that would fail students if they have more than five unexcused absences during the year.
Right now, they are allowed to miss 14 days. Officials say the new policy would bring the DCSS in line with the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia General Assembly.
"Principals have discretion given the history of the child in terms of academic performance, in terms of behavior, to make determinations on a case by case basis," said Dr. Ufot Inyang, Asst. Superintendent. "It's important that we make a strong statement. It's nearly impossible to learn at the rate we expect and be absent from class. This policy not only brings the system in line with our CCRPI requirements and the legal definition for truancy, but it also sends a strong message that we expect our students to be in class, ready to learn, every day."
Currently both Georgia truancy laws and the College and Career Readiness Performance Index, or CCRPI, limit the number of unexcused absences to five for each student. Excused absences, which allow students to miss class for illnesses or the death of close relative, are not counted against the student so long as the excuse is properly documented.
Under the proposed plan, students in grades K-8 will be required to attend 175 out of the 180 instructional days offered by the system. Students in grades 9-12 who miss more than 3 class hours per semester class or 5 class hours per year-long class will not receive credit for that subject.
Any student who misses more than nine days throughout the year will be turned over to the District Attorney's office for prosecution under Georgia's Truancy statue.