DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County schools are already seeing the impact of this year's new attendance policy.
This year the new policy only allowed for 5 unexcused absences instead of 14.
Albany High School is showing some of the biggest changes. The school has cut excessive absences by 82 percent.
Along with an increase in attendance, the entire school district has also seen a decline in disciplinary actions.
School officials say having students in the classroom on a regular basis increases their ability to perform better in class and on tests.
"We want to change the culture in Dougherty County so that students want to be in school. It's a place where they want to go because they know they're going to have fun and we know they're going to be safe," explains DCSS official J.D. Sumner.
Officials say it's not just the attendance policy that's keeping kids in the classroom, but a more open dialogue between school staff and parents.
It's a trend they hope to see continue throughout the rest of the school year.