|The Meridian Public School District supports the philosophy
that the instructional
program is the vital part of formal education. Experience has shown
that a high
quality of work is virtually impossible with irregular attendance.
Thus, students are
expected to attend school at all times when school is in session.
Students must have on file in the office of student personnel,
current and valid personal data/emergency contact information.
False information provided for parent contacts may result in
Mississippi Law requires all persons between the ages 6 and 17 to
enroll and attend school. If a child has not attained that age of
17 on or before Sept. 1 the child is compulsory.
The MPSD classifies all absences in all schools as unexcused except
for the following reasons:
- A school activity
- Isolation by the State Board of Health
- Death or serious illness of family member
- Illness of student provided that a note from
parent/guardian/doctor is turned in to the school following the
- Medical appointment (documented)
- Court proceeding
- Religion required absence with prior approval from
- Other absences previously approved by the superintendent
Consequences for failure to comply with the Mississippi Compulsory
School Attendance Law may include:
1. If a student has five unexcused absences, the school is required
to report the absences to the school attendance officer.
2. The school attendance officer will attempt to get the student
back into school by contacting and working with the
3. If the student does not return to school as requested, the
school attendance officer will file an action in Youth Court
against the student and/or the parents/guardians and order the
student back to school.
If a compulsory-school-age child has not been enrolled in a school
within fifteen (15) calendar days after the first day of the school
year of which such child is eligible to attend or if a
compulsory-school-age child has accumulated five (5) unexcused
absences during the school year, the principal or superintendent
will report such absences to the school attendance officer of the
youth court or family court.
Parents of a compulsory-school-age child who has not been
enrolled in school within eighteen (18) calendar days after the
first day of the school year of the public school which such child
is eligible to attend or parents of a compulsory-school-age child
who has accumulated twelve (12) unexcused absences during the
school year are subject to prosecution under the Mississippi
Compulsory School Attendance Law. School attendance is considered
an important responsibility of the student and parents.
Parents are requested to contact the school on each day the
student is absent from classes. In cases of unreported absences,
school personnel will attempt to contact the parent. Meridian High
School uses a computer system to call the primary number listed in
the file every day that a student has an unverified or unexcused
Consistent with the mission of the MPSD, prompt and
regular attendance in all classes is an important goal of the
All students who are enrolled at Meridian High School are required
to attend all assigned classes on a daily basis.
Students who do not follow their schedule are considered truant.
Students missing ten or more minutes from a class will be
considered absent. If the student does not have a valid excuse
he/she will be considered truant.
Procedure for Parents and Students
Absences are considered unexcused until information is provided to
the school that meets the criteria of an excused absence.
All absences must be substantiated by a phone call from the
parent/guardian by 1:00 on the day of the absences, or a written
excuse from the parent/guardian by 9:00 on the day after an absence
containing the home, work, and/or cell telephone number. Failure to
comply with this policy will result in the absence being unexcused
and class work and tests for the missed classes may not be made up.
An unexcused absence may be for a period or any part of or the
entire school day.
Unlawful Absences/Valid Excuses
An "unlawful absence" is an absence during a school day by a
compulsory-school-age child, which absence is not due to a valid
excuse for temporary nonattendance. Days missed from school due to
disciplinary suspension shall be considered an "excused" absence
under this section.
Each of the following shall constitute a valid excuse for temporary
nonattendance, provided satisfactory evidence of the excuse is
provided to the superintendent or his
a. Attendance at an authorized school activity with the prior
approval of the superintendent or his/her designee.
b. Illness or injury which prevents the student from being
physically able to attend school.
c. When isolation is ordered by the county health officer, by the
State Board of Health or appropriate school official.
d. Death or serious illness of a member of the immediate family,
which includes children, spouse, grandparents, parents, brothers,
sisters, stepbrothers and stepsisters.
e. A medical or dental appointment with prior approval of the
superintendent or his/her designee, except in the case of
f. Attendance at the proceedings of a court or an administrative
tribunal if the student is a party to the action or under subpoena
as a witness.
g. Observance of a religious event, with the prior approval of the
superintendent or his/her designee. (Approval should not be
withheld unless, in the professional judgment of the superintendent
or his/her designee, the extent of the absence would adversely
affect the student's education.)
h. Participation in a valid educational opportunity, such as
travel including vacations or other family travel, with the prior
approval of the superintendent or his/her designee. (Approval shall
be based on the professional judgment of the superintendent or
his/her designee but shall not be withheld unless the extent of the
absence would adversely affect the student's education.)
i. Other conditions sufficient to warrant nonattendance, with prior
approval of the superintendent or his/her designee. However, no
absences shall be excused when any student suspensions or
expulsions circumvent the intent and spirit of the compulsory
attendance law. §37-13-91 (4)
When it becomes apparent that a student will be absent for
an extended period of time (5 or more consecutive days) due to
illness and/or hospitalization, the student may be classified as
HOMEBOUND and will not be counted as absent for attendance
reporting purposes. The student must be reevaluated for homebound
status every three weeks.
This classification must be verified by a doctor's statement,
approved by the student's counselor, and include a written plan for
helping the student to stay current in his/her class work.
Homebound status does not excuse the student from making up all
class work missed. Failure to conform to the attendance policy may
result in a failing grade in each class that exceeds the number of
absent days allotted.
It is the responsibility of the student to contact the
teacher to make arrangements to complete make-up work from an
excused absence. As a general rule one absence would require one
day to make up any work missed. Normally make-up work should be
completed outside of regular instructional time. This can be done
at the teacher's discretion.
Any work missed for an unverified or unexcused absence can not be
made up and a zero shall be recorded.
Student absences resulting from officially approved school business
will not be counted against the student. In such an instance,
make-up work should be pre-arranged.
Students who are suspended from school will not be allowed to