There is strong evidence of a direct correlation between good attendance and student achievement. Parents should stress to their children the importance of attending school regularly. At the beginning of the school year, parents and students are notified by each school of its attendance policy. Parents and guardians are responsible for seeing that their children attend school each day it is in session, according to Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education Policy JHBB and the NC Compulsory Attendance Law (N.C. G. S. – 115C-378). Under this law, a parent may be prosecuted in a criminal action if a student between the ages of 7 and 16 has more than 10 unexcused absences. The maximum penalty provided by law upon conviction is 120 days imprisonment and/or a fine of $200, at the discretion of the judge. In addition, a child between the ages of 7 and 16 could be referred by the school to the Department of Juvenile Justice for the filing of a petition asking the court to find the child to be undisciplined.
A student must attend school for at least half of the day to be counted present. Parents will be contacted by a school representative when their child accumulates 3, 6 and 10 unexcused absences. After 10 unexcused absences, the principal's designee or attendance official will issue a 10-day letter stating that the student is in violation of the NC attendance law and parents may be referred for prosecution.