School Attendance

The school year for students is 180 days, and student attendance at school is important every one of those days! Your child’s learning is directly linked to being in class every day. To ensure that every child and parent knows how important it is to attend school daily, Tennessee has a Compulsory School Attendance Law (TCA-49-6-3001) which requires all children ages 6-17 inclusive to attend school each day.

The law gives school districts authority to set requirements related to student attendance following these state guidelines (TCA-49-6-3002a):

  • Attendance policies shall be firm but fair so that each student has a reasonable opportunity to meet the minimum requirements;
  • Effective accounting and reporting procedures shall be developed to keep parents or guardians informed of a student’s absence from class;
  • Policies shall accommodate extenuating circumstances created by emergencies over which the student has no control;
  • Appeal procedures shall be included to assure the student’s right of due process; and
  • Alternative programs shall be established to provide educational options for any student who severely fails to meet minimum attendance requirements.

The best way to know your district’s attendance requirements regarding excused and unexcused absences is to visit its Website and follow any links for Students and Parents. Look within the parent link for a heading labeled “Attendance.”

Tennessee’s minimum requirements for student compulsory attendance can be found in the Tennessee Code Annotated document.

A link to the online code follows: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/

After clicking on the page that opens (an agreement that you understand the intended use of the site), scroll to Title 49 – Education, scroll to Chapter 6, then scroll to Part 30: 49-6-3001: School Age – Entrance – Attendance – Withdrawal. Click on that title.