Dothan City Schools adds stiff consequences to attendance policy

Dothan City Schools adds stiff consequences to attendance policy

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Dothan City Schools is strengthening its attendance policy in an effort to make sure students are in school and parents make sure they attend.

The school board recently passed an addendum to the policy that adds stricter consequences for truancy.

If a child gets 10 unexcused absences, they will be administratively withdrawn and parents must pay a $25 fee to re-enroll their child. If a child then gets three additional unexcused absences, the Department of Human Resources will be contacted.

"This is something we don't want to use, but we have to get their attention on it," said Scott Faulk, Safety, Security, and Attendance Director for Dothan City Schools.

An unexcused absence is when a child is not at school and there is no parent note or doctor's excuse given.

According to Faulk, students in Dothan City Schools have an over 90 percent attendance rate this school year. He says it's not so much about the number of students not attending, but sometimes the response given when they are absent.

"Some of our parents take it very lightly," said Faulk. "I've been told to my face it doesn't matter - you're not going to do anything."

The system says the new policy was in an effort to put some action behind their previous policy and also ensure students are in class to learn.

"There are some states that still look at the end results of second grade reading to determine if there needs to be an institution of higher learning built or an institution of incarceration built," Faulk said.

There is a parent meeting to discuss the new attendance policy Sept. 12 at 6:00 pm at Northview High School.

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