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Sutherland Elementary

Home of the Seahawks


Student attendance is essential to academic success. Since teachers strive to maximize the learning potential for every moment of the school day from, tardy bell to dismissal bell, students who arrive late or leave early miss important instruction. Late arrivals and early dismissals also interrupt teaching and learning in the classroom. We sincerely appreciate your efforts to schedule appointments so that your child will not miss instruction.

Students are tardy if they arrive in class after the 8:35 bell. Medical and dental appointments are excused tardies. If a student accumulates three (3) unexcused tardies in a grading period, it will be counted as an absence. Acceptable reasons for being tardy are the same as the acceptable reasons for being absent. If the student misses more than half the school day, they will be considered absent.

The State’s Attorney's Office operates a TIP (Truancy Intervention Program) program in all elementary schools. Parents must make contact with the school when their child is absent for ANY reason. The contact can be in the form of a note to the teacher, a call to the school office, or a call to our attendance line at 588-5011, which is available 24 hours a day. Failure to contact the school will result in the student being considered to have an unexcused absence. Acceptable reasons for being absent are in the Code of Student Conduct and include:

• Illness of the student
• Major illness in the immediate family
• Death in the immediate family
• Duration of a religious holiday for the student
• Religious institutes
• Subpoena or forced absence by a law enforcement agency, including detention in a juvenile center
• Scheduled medical and dental appointments
• Students with communicable diseases are excused until they no longer present a hazard to others.

NOTE: The principal must approve absences for trips or other parental requests in advance. Family vacations are not considered excused absences.

When a student accumulates five (5) absences during a grading period, school personnel will make contact with the family and discuss parent and child responsibilities relative to school attendance. If unexcused absences continue, the child and parents will be referred to the State’s Attorney's office for possible prosecution.