Regular attendance is an essential ingredient for a student to achieve success in school.  It has been proven that one of the most common causes of failure in school is poor or irregular attendance.  Students are expected to be in school promptly and daily. It is the parents'/guardians' responsibility to encourage their children in regular school attendance.

Personal illness, death in the family, subpoenaed court appearance, hospitalization, and emergency conditions or education/school related activities, as determined by the Principal will be excused absences and students will be allowed to make up work. After three days of unexcused absences, the Principal or designee of the school according to state law regarding truancy (T.C.A. 49-6-3007) will notify parents.  Truancy is defined as an absence for an entire school day or the major portion of any class or activity during the school day for which the student is scheduled.  It is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence that all absences in excess of five days were missed as a result of a doctor's diagnosis that attendance places the student or others at risk.  

The only exception to the preceeding will be: alternative school, dismissal from compulsory attendance by the School Board, religious holidays regularly observed by their faith, and absent from school due to the death of a family member.

  Students who have experienced circumstances that have warranted an unusual number of absences may request a hearing with the Board.  Students transferring into McKenzie Middle School will be subject to the attendance policy on a proportional basis for the remainder of the school year.  Students attempting to transfer to McKenzie Special School District to avoid attendance problems in another school district will not be admitted.

The school's Principal or designee will notify the parents/guardians after the following absences without appropriate documentation.

3 days unexcused-  Contact from the Principal or designee. 

5 days unexcused - Second contact from the Principal or designee. Begin the progressive truancy intervention requirements as described in state statute 49-6-3009 listed below:

Tier I -requires a parent conference with the Principal or designee, an attendance contract, and regularly scheduled follow-up meetings with parents.

Tier II - further unexcused absences requires a school designee to make a determination of reasons for absences and/or referral for student to receive counseling services.

Tier III - continued unexcused absences will require Saturday School or after school courses designed to improve attendance and behavior.

*If this progressive truancy plan is unsuccessful in changing attendance behavior, juvenile court officials will be notified.

Students in after school activities must attend classes until 11:30 to be able to participate. These activities will include but are not limited to cheerleading, athletics, and band. The only exemption will be for those students who miss a school day to fulfill an out-of town medical examination. 

A student who is in attendance at least half of the school day shall be counted as being present for that day.  A student who is in attendance less than half the school day shall not be counted present for any portion of that day.

Students who have been absent must report to the gym from 7:00 a. m.-7:50 a.m. on the day returning to school and present a note explaining the absence. The admittance slip will be designated as "excused" or "unexcused", depending on the reason for the absence.  The admittance slip will be presented to the student's teacher each period and left with the last teacher of the day. If the student is absent for part of the day, the same procedure will be followed for the periods/time the student missed.  The parent or guardian must sign out students leaving the campus before 3:00 p. m.  Students will not be checked out after 2:30 p.m. except for doctor's appointments.  Medical documentation must be presented by the students on the following day after 5 early check-out days.

Students will be required to make up work missed for absences. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for make up work upon returning to school.  When a student is absent, the school may be contacted to get assignments before returning to school.  Assignments may be picked up in the office from 3:00-3:30 on the day of contact.

To serve as an incentive for attendance, students who have missed no more than one day per semester for both the semesters will be exempted from final examinations.  All students in grades 5-8 will take first semester exams. The exemption will be lost if the student is failing a subject for the year or has been assigned out-of-school suspension or alternative school.  Any missed time over 30 minutes will count as a whole day for test exemption purposes . In either case the student would take all exams.  The exemption will be lost if a student has more than 6 tardies to any class.