Attendance in school is central to educational achievement and school success.  Attendance and participation in class are an integral part of the teaching-learning process, and thereby a part of the grade earned.  Additionally, regular attendance develops patterns of behavior essential to success later in life, both personal and business.  While there are times when students must be absent from school due to physical inability to attend, it must be understood that parents or legal guardians have the responsibility for ensuring that students attend and remain at school daily.


    The principal shall adhere to all conditions of the North Carolina Compulsory Attendance Law, and shall notify parents or guardians of their responsibility under the same law.  Students at any age who accumulate excessive absences may experience consequences ranging from extra make-up work to course failure.


    Participation in the following activities shall not be counted as absences from either class or school.  Students, however, shall complete assignments missed:

    a.  Field trips sponsored by the school                                                           

    b. Athletic events requiring early dismissal from school                           

    c. Governor /Legislative pages

    d. School-initiated and scheduled activities

    e. In-school suspension  

    f. Academic Support Center                                                                   


    In the event of absence or tardiness, it shall be the responsibility of the student to bring to the attendance committee or principal a note signed by the parent, or guardian citing the reason for such absence or tardiness, and any additional documentation deemed necessary to verify an absence or tardiness that may be required. 

     All absences for reasons such as educational visits, legal, medical, a death in the family or military may require written proof.  Examples of written proof include, but are not limited to, a receipt with name and valid date, a subpoena, or hospital discharge papers.  Appointment cards are not accepted as proof, but can be used to obtain an unexcused early dismissal (pink slip).

    All notes--parent, guardian, medical, legal documents, etc.--shall be presented within three (3) school days of student’s return to school.  Failure to comply will result in the absence or tardiness being recorded as unexcused.  The Attendance Committee will not accept inclusive or “blanket notes” at the end of the six weeks. 


    Valid conditions for excused absences are:

    A. Illness or injury that makes the student physically unable to attend school.

    B. Isolation ordered by the State Board of Healt

    C. Death in the immediate family

    D. Emergency medical or dental appointment or an appointment that has been approved in advance by the Principal

    E. Participation as a party under subpoena as a witness in a court proceeding.

    F. Observance of an event required or suggested by the religion of the student’s parent(s) with prior approval from the principal

    G. Participation in a valid educational opportunity such as travel with prior approval of the principal.

    H.  Other excused absences, i.e., approved family trips, doctor’s appointments, college scholarship interviews or documented placement tests must be dealt with in advance and on an individual basis.
    I. Organized trips -- NOT school-relate

    1. Will be limited to one (1) trip per student each year

    2. A request must be made in advance from the organization in charge of the trip to include the name of the student participating and the date(s) of the activity.

    3. Written permission from the parents of each student going on a trip must be filed in the office with an assistant principal.

    J. Triton High School does not recognize a ‘Skip Day’ or ‘Beach Weekend.’    Absences for these purposes will be unexcused

    K. ‘Out of Town’ is considered an unexcused absence unless the reason falls in one of the excused categories listed above and is approved in advance.

    L. All other absences are unexcused.  Car trouble is an unexcused tardy or absence.

    M. Absences from class to prepare for an event that school night will be unexcused unless approved in advance by the principal or an assistant principal.


    In the event of an excused absence, a student shall be entitled to make up work under the following conditions:

    A. If an absence has been approved in advance and/or work assigned by a teacher in advance, all make-up work, including tests and assigned work for the day of return, is due upon the student’s return to school.

    B. If make-up work has not been assigned in advance by a teacher, or by teacher option, the student will have:

                    1.  One day for each day absent, for absences of from one to three days

                    2.  Two days for each day absent, for absences exceeding three days


    The responsibility for securing and arranging for make-up work rests with the student.  The student should contact the teacher to determine arrangements and guidelines for making up the missed work. Make-up work will be assigned at the convenience of the teacher.


    A teacher may allow, but is not required to help a student make up work missed during an unexcused absence.


    Any absence of a student that results from a suspension of that student for misconduct pursuant to G.S. 115C-391 shall not be considered an unexcused absence for purposes of the Compulsory Attendance Law.  Such an absence shall be an unexcused absence for purposes of co-curricular activity eligibility.  Students serving out of school suspension are not eligible to participate in co-curricular activities during their period of suspension.  Eligibility is not restored until the day the student has legally returned to school following the suspension.  However, team or group rules may require additional penalties that go beyond these school requirements.


    The principal has the right to excuse a pupil temporarily from attendance because of sickness or other unavoidable cause that does not constitute unlawful absence as defined by the State Board of Education.  When a pattern of questionable absence develops, the school shall contact and advise the parent of the legal responsibility to keep the child in school.  When it has been determined that pupil has 10 accumulated unexcused absences, the school will notify the parent/ guardian of possible prosecution through the district attorney’s office.


    Partial days:  In order to leave school early, a student must report to the attendance committee in the commons and:

    A. Present a note to receive an early dismissal (pink slip) after necessary verification;

    B. Unexcused pink slips must be cleared by the attendance committee within three (3) school days after a student returns to school;

    C. All students other than early release students leaving campus during the school day must have permission from the office and a parent before signing out.

    D. Students must sign out.  If returning, they must sign in, indicating the time returned; and

    E. Pink slips cannot be given for students to leave school and obtain medicine.


    Early release students (work/study students) including seniors who leave before fourth block, must have an early release permit on their person and must leave campus by the same exit.  This exit will be in front of the gym.  All students must leave campus the first five minutes of the block.


    A student must attend school for one-half day to be counted present for the day.  In order to be counted present in each class, a student must remain in class for one-half the class block.


    A student found guilty of forging the name of a teacher, parent, guardian, doctor or office personnel to a note may be suspended.  A parent conference will be held prior to that student returning to class.


    1. Students should not arrive tardy to school/class.   Continued or excessive unexcused tardies will be referred to an assistant principal.

    2. Homerooms and club periods are to be treated the same as classes in reference to tardies and skips.


    In order for “unusual justifiable circumstances beyond the student’s control…” to be waived and the absence(s) not count towards the seven (7) absences allowed by the Harnett County Attendance Policy, students should note the following.

    After a student has been absent because of a lawful absence, the student should go to the attendance committee and fill out a Waiver Request Form.  The student should also present a note or documentation to support the absence.  This might include a doctor/dentist note, a note from the Clerk of Court, an obituary or funeral program, etc.  The attendance committee will then rule on the waiver request and if the request is approved, will notify the student’s teachers. 

    Please note that regularly scheduled medical appointments do not meet the waiver criteria, but only appointments necessitated by illness or injury.  Medical notes should indicate the student was “unable to attend school” or “under a physician’s care” in order to qualify to be waived.  Medical notes do not need to have any further explanation of the student’s absence in order to be waived.