#AttendanceMatters in HCS

Welcome back to Haleyville City Schools! We are looking forward to a great school year! We are on a mission to motivate, educate, and inspire all students to achieve excellence. We want to ensure that every HCS student has the skills necessary to become well-rounded, productive citizens. For us to ensure we are fulfilling our mission, we are focusing on attendance this year in Haleyville City Schools. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), “Teacher effectiveness is the strongest school-related determinant of student success, but chronic student absence reduces even the best teacher's ability to provide learning opportunities. Students who attend school regularly have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance. This relationship between attendance and achievement may appear early in a child's school career. A recent study looking at young children found that absenteeism in kindergarten was associated with negative first grade outcomes such as greater absenteeism in subsequent years and lower achievement in reading, math, and general knowledge.” NCES also reports, “Poor attendance has serious implications for later outcomes as well. High school dropouts have been found to exhibit a history of negative behaviors, including high levels of absenteeism throughout their childhood, at higher rates than high school graduates. These differences in absentee rates were observed as early as kindergarten, and students who eventually dropped out of high school missed significantly more days of school in first grade than their peers who graduated from high school. In eighth grade, this pattern was even more apparent and, by ninth grade, attendance was shown to be a key indicator significantly correlated with high school graduation.” We do not want any student in our schools to be put at a disadvantage due to poor attendance. We want each and every student to be successful, and regular attendance at school increases his/her chances of success.

This year we have several fun and exciting ways to celebrate attendance at each school. We are doing attendance treats, parties, giving prizes and athletic tickets as prizes, and much more. We want every student to know that #AttendanceMatters in Haleyville City Schools. We also know that our younger Lions often are not solely responsible for their attendance. Parents- we need your help. We need you to support us as we focus on attendance and ensuring your student(s) is able to maximize his/her potential in our schools. We need you to have your students at school daily!

 HCS has board approved policies related to attendance outlined in our Student Code of Conduct. We understand the handbook has a lot of information and that as a parent, you receive lot of information at the beginning of the school year, so we wanted to highlight some important policies related to attendance:

Students with excessive absences (7 or more unexcused) will not be allowed to participate in field trips, prom, or extracurricular activities excluding athletic and co-curricular activities which have in place their own specific policies.

 After a total of three (3) excused absences or (3) Check-in/Check-outs verified by parent notes during a semester, students will be required to provide legal documentation (e.g. doctor, dentist, court, funeral, etc.) in order for the absence(s) or Check-in/Check-out to be excused. Additionally, a parent note may not account for consecutive days absent. Under special circumstances an administrator may excuse an absence or consecutive absences or may allow students to make up time via credit recovery, on Saturdays, or during the summer months when appropriate to avoid failure (i.e. FAs).

 Early Warning Program

 The Early Warning Program consists of the following:

  • Notification sent to parents/guardians concerning student absences/conduct
  • Student and parents’/guardians’ conferences with an administrator and/or counselor (conduct only)
  • Referral to Early Warning – The Juvenile Court Officer and/or District Attorney discusses with the parents/guardians and student the importance of following the Code of Student Conduct and school attendance.
  • Future sanctions are discussed if behaviors exhibited are not modified.
  • Conferences with a court representative, parents/guardians, administrator, counselor, student and other(s) as identified by the principal
  • CHINS (Child in Need of Supervision) petition and/or warrant for the parents/guardians


 When a student has reached the maximum number of Unexcused and/or Undocumented absences, check in/out, or tardies the procedure is as follows:

  • The parents/guardians or person having control or custody of the child shall be notified in writing of the referral to the Early Warning Program after 3 days.
  • The school administration and social worker will meet with parents or conduct a home visit after 5 days.
  • The court system will send to the parents/guardians or person having control or custody of the child a notice to attend the Early Warning Program (Court appearance).
  • The parents/guardians of children age twelve (12) and younger will attend the Early Warning Program appointment without the child. Children age thirteen (13) and older are required to accompany their parents/guardians to the Early Warning Program appointment.
  • If a student in Haleyville City Schools has 7 unexcused absences, the principal is required and will file a complaint with the county clerk against the parent/s. The student will not be involved in the complaint, only the parent.

Haleyville Middle /High School Exemption Policy

 Students who have reached academic excellence and who have met the expectations for attendance will follow the exemption policy below starting in August, 2023:

 1.   Students in grades 6-12 will take a mid-term exam in all content area classes      December of each school year (English, math, science and social studies). If a      student has an A average and perfect attendance (no tardies, no check ins/outs,      no absences unless school trips) they will be allowed to exempt their elective      classes.

 2.   Students in grades 6-12 who have an end of the year average of 90 or above,      who have no more than 7 absences for the school year (excused or unexcused),      whose discipline points are 9 or less for the school year and who have no more      than 3 tardies per semester will be eligible to exempt their final exams in May.

 3.   Students in grades 6-12 who have an end of the year average of 80-89 or       above, who have no more than 4 absences for the school year (excused or       unexcused), whose discipline points are 9 or less for the school year and who       have no more than 3 tardies per semester will be eligible to exempt their final      exams in May.

 4.   Students, who have earned an exemption in a course, have the opportunity to       take the final exam to improve their final grade without risk.  Principal      discretion can be used based on extenuating circumstances related to      attendance, grades, and/or student behavior.

 TARDY - Promptness is a learned behavior that will be very beneficial throughout a person's life.  It is important that students develop the self-discipline and maturity to get to school and class on time.  When students are tardy, they miss instructional time and they interrupt class by entering late.  When tardy to school or class, students will have to report to the Principal’s office to get an admit slip.   Tardy students will not enter class without the admit slip.  Tardiness will be recorded in the office and students will be punished according to the following schedule:

 4/5 Tardies - 30 Minutes Detention

  • 6 Tardies  –  2/30 Minute Sessions of Detention
  • 8 Tardies  –  1 Day of In-School Suspension
  • 10 Tardies – 1 Day of Saturday School or

2 days of ISS (Parents contacted)

 NOTE:  The number of tardies is based on a student's total number of tardies to all classes.  All students will start over at zero tardies at the beginning of each grading period.  Students who have reached 10 tardies within the grading period will be reinstated at the fifth tardy stage or the ladder of the consequences.  Driving privileges will be revoked for students who report late to school (i.e. after first period) 5 times or more per grading period. Failure to attend assigned detention within three days will result in in-school suspension or other disciplinary action.

 For student to be successful, they must be in school. We want to focus on the positives of being at school daily and never have to worry about the consequences associated with chronic absenteeism because students are attending school regularly. We want all students to be Champions in all they do, and we believe that with encouragement from HCS as well as from our families, we can ensure that all students are successful.

 Again, we are looking forward to a wonderful school year in HCS! We are the #HomeOfChampions and are #OnAMission to ensure all students succeed in HCS!

 Dr. Holly W.. Sutherland
Haleyville City Schools