WUES Attendance Policy



    Attendance studies have shown that students with fewer absences and tardies perform better in school than those with a high rate of absenteeism.  We urge families to make school a priority and to schedule vacations, family visits, appointments around the school calendar.  We understand that this is not always possible. 

    In the event that your child must be absent, arrive late, and/or leave early from school, parents must send a written note within three days of a child’s absence.  To help ensure your child’s absence is coded correctly, please be sure your note includes the following information:

    • Child’s Legal Name (first and last name)    Child’s Teacher’s Name
    • Date of Absence    Reason for Absence

    All absences, tardies, and early leaves are recorded as unexcused.  When the Data Manager receives the written note AND it meets the Union County Public School Attendance Policy (BOE Policy 4-1a), the absence will be recorded as excused.  For your convenience, a portion of the policy is listed on the back.

    You can send the note in your child’s agenda or you can e mail the information to carrie.johnson@ucps.k12.nc.us.  (e-mail is the same as a written note).

    Students are expected to remain at school the entire school day (7:15 am – 2:00 pm).  Students that are not IN their classroom by 7:30 am are considered tardy.  Students arriving after 7:30 am must have a parent come in to the WUES office and sign them in. 

    In the event you need to pick your child up before the school day ends at 2:00 pm, you must arrive at school before 1:30 pm.  For safety reasons, students will not be released after 1:30 pm.  Students will NOT be called to the office before the parent has arrived.

    Absences due to educational opportunity – To request for a family trip to be an excused absence, parents must complete the Educational Opportunity form at least 10 days prior to the trip.  Forms are available in the school office and on the website.

    If you have any questions, please contact the school office.

    Thank you for your help in this important matter!


    The Public School Laws of North Carolina require compulsory attendance for all children between the ages of seven and 16 years. Every parent* or person having control of a child between these ages enrolled in the Union County Public Schools is responsible to make sure the child attends school continuously during the time school is in session.

    Class attendance, as well as reporting to school on time, is essential to high student achievement. With this is mind, all students are expected to be in attendance each day school is in session, for the entire school day. Furthermore, it is expected that students report to school on time and not be signed out early unless extenuating circumstances exist. FOLLOWING ANY ABSENCE(S) OR TARDY(IES), A STUDENT IS REQUIRED TO PRESENT WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION FROM THE PARENT/GUARDIAN/CUSTODIAN STATING THE REASON FOR THE ABSENCE OR TARDY. Written documentation must be presented within three school days after the student returns to school; otherwise, the absence(s) or tardy(ies) will be recorded as unexcused. Upon review of documentation, the absence or tardy will be coded lawful or unlawful based on the criteria set forth below:

    CODE 1 - LAWFUL -- See listing below

    The following are lawful reasons for school absences:

    1. Illness or Injury
    2. Death in the Immediate Family
    3. Medical or Dental Appointments
    4. Court or Administrative Proceedings
    5. Religious Observances – a minimum of two days each academic year for observance of an event required or suggested by the religion of the student or the student’s parent(s) with written prior approval from the principal.
    6. Educational Opportunity with prior approval by Principal
    7. Quarantine
    8. Military Deployment – for students attending ceremonies related to military deployment of family members


    CODE 2 - UNLAWFUL -- All absences that are not classified as lawful.


    Absences include those that are lawful, unlawful, and due to suspension. Students will not be counted absent from school when participating in school sponsored functions. Upon returning from an absence, students will be given two days to make up the work missed for each day absent. When arrangements are not made to make up work, or if the make-up work is  not completed in time, the student will receive no credit. Students on out-of-school suspension are expected to complete class work as assigned by the school.

    Students in grades K-5 who are absent 20 days, (lawful, unlawful, or OSS) can be retained.


    When a student has accumulated three unexcused absences, the principal or designee shall notify the parent/guardian/custodian of the absences. When a student has accumulated six absences for any reason, the principal/designee shall notify the parent/guardian/custodian by mail that the student has accumulated this number of absences, and that the parent/guardian/custodian may need to consult with school personnel pertaining to attendance and possible future consequences. School personnel will be available to assist the student and family in solving any attendance problems. When a student has accumulated ten absences for any reason, the principal/designee shall have a conference with the student and his/her parent/ guardian/custodian to discuss the accumulated absences and to develop a plan relative to school attendance for the remainder of the school year.

    When a student accumulates three, six, and/or ten unlawful absences in a school year, the principal/designee will follow the procedures required by law. These procedures include the above referenced notification provisions, referral to school personnel to address the underlying causes of the attendance issues and if, after ten unexcused absences, the principal determines that there has not been a good faith effort on the part of the student and/or parent/guardian/custodian to comply with the attendance requirements, a notification to both the district attorney and department of social services shall be made.


    All tardies/early leave will be addressed on a school-by-school basis. Attendance in school for all classes the full time allotted for classes is essential for student success. However, at the 10th unexcused tardy or early leave, the student will be referred to the school attendance counselor for discussion with parents. At the 15th unexcused tardy or early leave, the student and his/her parents will be required to meet with the school principal to determine a plan that allows the student to be on time and in school all day. A student who has been tardy/early leave 20 times (unexcused) may be referred to Truancy Court.