Carroll County Public Schools recognizes the relationship between good attendance and academic achievement. Both absences and tardiness are serious disruptions to the educational process.  The school system expects students to maintain a 96% attendance rate or better.
 
 A student is counted present for a full day if the student is in attendance four hours or more of the school day. A student is counted present for a half day if in attendance for at least two hours of the school day, but less than four hours. A student in attendance less than two hours of the school day is counted absent for the day.  A student scheduled for less than a full day is to be counted present based on the amount of time he/she is scheduled to attend school. 
 
When a student is absent, arrives late, or leaves school early, the parent/legal guardian is requested to inform the school the morning of the absence.  In addition the parent/legal guardian must provide an explanation of the absence in a written note, a fax, an e-mail, or via phone call within five days of the student's return to school.  
 
Excused absences include illness of the student, death in the immediate family, observance of a religious holiday, a court summons, a suspension or exclusion from school for health reasons, and family vacations (when approved in advance).
 
Absences will be considered unlawful if the absence does not meet the criteria listed above for an excused absence or if an explanation of the absence is not provided within five days of the student's return to school by the parent or legal guardian as noted above. 
 
If student absences become excessive, the school may require medical verification to excuse further absences from school.  Disciplinary consequences for an unlawful absence/truancy may include, but are not limited to a student and/or parent conference, detention, Saturday School, suspension, or a request for extended suspension. Additionally, legal charges may be filed against the student and/or parent(s).  Legal charges may result in community service hours, juvenile detention, confinement in jail, fines or other consequenses as determined by the court.
 
Legal Penalties:
 
Any person who induces or attempts to induce a child to absent himself/herself unlawfully from school or employs or harbors any child who is absent unlawfully from school while school is in session is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both.
 
Any person who has legal custody or care and control of a child who is 5 years of age or older and under 18 who fails to see that the child attends school or receives instruction under this section is guilty of misdemeanor and:
 
  •     for a first conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $50 per day of unlawful absence
        or imprisonment not to exceed 10 days, or both; and for a second or subsequent
        conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $100 per day of unlawful absence or
        imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both.