School Resource Officer

Deputy Jeremy Haskin

School Resource Officer

D.A.R.E Instructor

Truancy Officer

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Contact Info:

Office Number: (229) 245-2294 Ext. 2727

Email: jeremyhaskin@lowndes.k12.ga.us

School Resource Officer

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"Teaching students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives

The D.A.R.E. Vision

A world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance abuse, and other dangerous behaviors.

COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE (BOARD POLICY JBD)

Student Absences:

Compulsory school attendance is required of all children between the ages of 6 and 16 residing within the State of Georgia. The responsibility for ensuring the regular attendance of a school age child lies with the parent, guardian, or other person with whom the child resides (O.C.G.A.20-2-690.1). In an effort to improve student attendance, the Lowndes County School System has established procedures to address student absences from school. Through the combined efforts of the building level principal, classroom teachers, parents/guardians, school system social workers, local law enforcement officials and the Lowndes County Juvenile Court Judge, the goal to improve student attendance will be achieved. It is not the desire of Lowndes County Schools that students attend school when ill; however, there is a direct relationship between school attendance and academic performance. Therefore, every reasonable attempt should be made for students to attend school to help ensure their academic success.

Lawful Absences from School:

Lawful Absence from Class/School As permitted under Georgia state law and Georgia State Board of Education policies, a student's absence, tardy or early checkout may be excused for the following reasons:

1. Personal illness or when attendance in school would endanger a student's health or the health of others;

2. Serious illness or death of an immediate family member;

3. Mandated absence by order of governmental agencies, including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces;

4. Observing religious holidays, necessitating absence from school;

5. Conditions that render attendance impossible or hazardous to one's health or safety;

6. Registering to vote or voting, for a period not to exceed one day; and

7. Reuniting of families between military deployments, not to exceed five days.

NOTE: For school attendance purposes, students shall be counted present when they are in attendance at least one-half of the instructional day or serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly.

Absences Requiring Medical Documentation

​In the event that a student's personal illness or attendance at school endangers a student's health or the health of others, the school may require the student to present appropriate medical documentation upon return to school for the purpose of validating that the absence is an excused absence.

In the event that a student has excessive absences for health reasons, the school may require a physician's excuse in order to consider the absence as an excused absence.

Parents are encouraged to be proactive in communicating with their child's school when there is an unusual attendance pattern expected.

The following procedures will be utilized in addressing an accumulation of unexcused and/or excused student absences and/or tardies/early checkouts:

System approved letters are mailed that include the Georgia Compulsory Attendance Law (O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1). Instructions are included in each letter. Upon the generation of each letter, the principal and attendance officer will be notified.

Absences do not accumulate beyond the current school year.

School days missed as a result of out of school suspensions will not count as unexcused absences for the purpose of determining truancy.

A physician's statement may be required when excessive absences occur.

NOTE​: LCS complies with the Lowndes County Juvenile Court Protocol Agreement for Truancy in Schools. A referral to the Truancy Intervention Program (TIP), juvenile court, state court, magistrate court, and/or the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) may be made in lieu of the outlined Code of Conduct/Student Handbook 21 procedures. Protocol changes that occur during the school year will be posted on the website.

UNEXCUSED STUDENT ABSENCES

1. Students are required to provide written excuses for absences in accordance with Board Policy JBD. The principal of each school will designate a person or persons who are to maintain a record of students' excused and unexcused absences. Written notes explaining the reason for the student absence are to be retained until the end of the school term.

2. Teachers must maintain timely and accurate attendance records that reflect absences as excused or unexcused. A dated and signed note from the physician or parent/guardian or an e-mail from a verified parent/guardian account must be sent to the student's homeroom teacher explaining the reason for the absence within three (3) school days of returning to school. Otherwise, the absence will remain unexcused.

3. Upon a student's 3rd unexcused absence and notification by letter, the parent/guardian is to contact the school designee to discuss the student's attendance. Parental disregard for the notification of violating the compulsory school attendance law does not prohibit the SRO or school designee from taking action.

4. Upon a student's 5th unexcused absence, a letter will be sent requiring the parent to contact the SRO. The parent is to respond to the SRO to discuss the student's attendance. The SRO or designee may also make contact or visit with the student and the parent or guardian at home. If the student is found to be in violation of the attendance law, the SRO may make a referral to the Truancy Intervention Program or file a CHINS complaint. Failure to comply with requirements imposed may result in a referral to Juvenile Court for a truancy hearing.

5. Upon additional absences, a referral may be made to the Truancy Intervention Program. A CHINS referral may be made to DJJ. Failure to comply with requirements imposed may result in a referral to Juvenile Court for a truancy hearing. An automatic DFCS referral will be made for all elementary school students. A possible DFCS referral will be made for middle and high school students.

6. If the TIP program is completed and the student continues to be absent from school, a CHINS referral may be made to DJJ. Additional absences may result in a referral of the parent or guardian to State Court. If the TIP program is not completed, the matter may be referred to DFCS. If the parent or guardian has previously attended TIP, a second referral to the program will be forfeited and a State Court criminal prosecution may be initiated. Failure to attend TIP classes after referral is made will cause matter to be referred to Juvenile Court.

7. After a student has eight or more absences, the SRO may refer a parent to state court for prosecution if is suspected that the parent or guardian is the cause of the student's absence. At the State Court's discretion, parents may receive a fine, up to 30 days confinement in jail, community service, or any combination for each unexcused absence.

EXCUSED AND/OR UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

1. Upon a student's 7th absence, whether excused or unexcused, a notification letter is sent to the parent/guardian, requiring the parent or guardian to contact the school's designee regarding the student's excused absences. The school district SRO or their designee may also make contact with the student and the parent or guardian at home.

2. At 10 excused absences, a conference may be held with the student's parent or guardian and a school administrator or their designee regarding the student's absences and to determine if a Truancy Intervention is needed. If TIP is needed, a referral will be made.

3. Upon a student's 15th excused absence, unless extenuating medical conditions exist, a referral may be made to the TIP program.

TARDIES AND EARLY CHECKOUTS

1. Upon a student's 10th tardy/early checkout, the parent/guardian is notified by letter. The parent/guardian is to contact the school designee to discuss the student's attendance. The parent/guardian may be contacted and possibly visited by the attendance officer.

2. Upon a student's 15th tardy/early checkout and notification by letter, the parent/guardian is to contact the attendance officer to discuss the student's attendance. A TIP referral may be made.

3. Subsequent tardies/early checkouts may result in a referral to TIP, juvenile court, state court, and/or DFCS.

School Resource Officer

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School Resource Officer

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