Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: “I have notes from a doctor that verifies my child’s illness.  Can the absences be waived?”
A:  No.  Absences are no longer waived.  The doctor’s notes make the absences excused, but they still count toward the absence limit.

Q:  “How many absences can my child have before there is the possibility that he would fail?”
A:  In elementary school, children must be present 164 days, which means that they are allowed to miss 16 days before retention is considered.  In middle school, students must be present 166 days, which means that they are allowed to miss 14 days before retention is considered.  At HHS, students must be present 170 days to receive course credit, which means that they are allowed to miss 10 days.  At EHHS, NHHS, and WHHS, students must be present 85 days per semester to receive course credit, which means that they are allowed to miss 5 days per semester.  

Q:  “Will my child’s excessive tardies count toward her absence limit?”
A:  No.  Tardies do not count toward absences.  As long as your child gets to school in time to be there for half the day in elementary and middle school, then your child will be counted present for the day.  Each school operates on a different daily time schedule so contact your school to determine the exact time that your child must be signed in to get credit for the day.  In high school, your child must be present for 2/3 of each class period to be counted present.  Each school will address excessive tardies on an individual basis.

Q:  “My child’s school keeps asking me about notes when my child is absent.  What business is it of theirs why my child is out?”
A:  Henderson County Public Schools Attendance Policy states that parents must explain a student’s absence.  North Carolina General Statute states that a school principal must investigate the reasons for a child’s absence.  If the school principal determines that a child’s absence does not meet the criteria for being excused, then the principal is required to file a complaint with the local law enforcement agency.  That’s why parents end up in court; they fail to send their children to school and they fail to communicate with the school regarding a child’s absence.

Q:  “My family has planned an extended vacation during school time.  This vacation has been planned for a long time.  I will have my child do a report of the things we see.  Can those absences be counted as excused since the trip is educational?”
A:  No.  Family vacations, no matter how educational, do not meet the criteria for excused absences.  Only educational trips sponsored by the school system are excused.  You must get prior approval from your school principal who will determine if an absence, due to an educational trip, is excused.

Q:  “My child has been sick a lot and I’ve communicated that in writing to the school.  She has been keeping up with her work and I don’t want her to fail.  What can we do?”
A:  Your school principal can arrange to help your child make up some of the time.  Contact your school principal to do this.  In North Carolina, the school principal ultimately decides promotion or retention.  Generally, if your child makes a good faith effort in making up the time missed, then the principal will promote the student if the student has satisfied the academic requirements.

Q:  “My child will miss a lot of school because of health issues.  What should I do?”
A:  Contact your school officials to obtain information regarding Homebound Instruction.  You will need a doctor’s statement recommending Homebound Instruction as part of the request.  Homebound Instruction for medical reasons may last for up to one semester per application.  

Last Modified: Jan 16, 2007