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                                                    A PARENT'S GUIDE TO ATTENDANCE

                                                            VANCE MIDDLE SCHOOL


Good attendance is important to school success. The school system and the state of Tennessee have established rules and regulations regarding student attendance. Below you will find information which will help you if your student needs to be out of school.

How many absences can my student have? Each year, students are allowed five (5) excused absences. Each student is also allowed five (5) family/educational cultural leave days. However, if a student has excessive absences or has more than five unexcused absences, cultural leave may be denied.

How do I ask for family/educational cultural leave? These forms are available in the main school office or they can be downloaded from our website. The form must be filled out and approved by the principal prior to the student's absence or the days missed will be unexcused. The forms cannot be turned in during or after the absences.

What about appointments? We ask that you try to schedule appointments before school, after school or during breaks if at all possible. Medical and dental appointments are excused for the time missed only. This includes time for travel before and after appointments.

What are the reasons allowed for absences? State law allows several reasons for absences.

1. Illness or hospitalization of student

2. Death in the immediate family

3. An illness or condition of a family member requiring the temporary help of the student (a doctor's note is required)

4. Recognized religious holidays or events

5. Required court appearance (court documentation is required)

6. Approved school-related activities

7. Approved family/educational cultural leave

How do I report an absence? The school needs to be aware of every absence, every day. You may report an absence in several ways - by calling the school (423-652-9449) or emailing Mrs. Hankins directly at Also, you may send a personal note or a doctor's note with your student when the student returns to school. The best way is to call, email or have the doctor's office fax (423-652-9297) a note. Too many times, notes get lost between home and school.

Please note: All absences after the five excused must have a doctor's note. If they do not, they will be considered unexcused. After five (5) unexcused absences, state law requires that the student be reported to the court for attendance review.