|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 regular attendance.
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
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
Absences from school may be excused or unexcused. Any
student who is absent from school should present written excuse,
signed by the parent or legal guardian within three days of the
absence. After a student has been absent for more than five
(5) consecutive school days or a cumulativee total of ten (10)
school days per semester;, written verification from the physician
regarding an illness or injury or a substantiating statement
regarding a death or other reasons for absences is required.
Additonal verification may be required if it is deemed appropiate.
State law requires an Official Notice of Unexcused Absence to be
filedwith the Attendance Officer after five (5) unexcused absences.
If a student is not enrolled within 15 calendar days after the
first day of school or if a student has 12 unexcused absences, the
parents are subject to prosecution according to state law. A
student who is absent from school 15 consecutive days may be
dropped from the roll, unless the school is notified by the parent
With an excused absence, class makeup work
must be completed within with 3 days upon the
student returning to school. If a student has an extended
absence due to illness or extenuating circumstances, approval may
be granted for an extension to complete makeup work. However, all
makeup work should be completed before the end of the current
If circumstances allow, parent/guardian should apprise the
school in advance of the absence. Three parent
notes will be considered for excused
absences. Any parent notes beyond three will require
additional documentation. After three parent notes, parents are
required to attend an onsite conference with the school principal.
Failure to attend the conference with the principal will result in
an unexcused absence.
63% ATTENDANCE LAW
For the purpose of determining and reporting attendance, a pupil
must be present for at least sixty-three percent (63) of his/her
instructional day, as fixed by the local school board, and defined
by the student's schedule, in order to be considered present for
the full-day attendance.
Leaving School Before Dismissal Time
When a student becomes ill or an emergency arises during
the regular school day which may warrant early dismissal, the
student must report to the principal's office. Before the student
may be released from school, a parent, legal guardian, or person
authorized by a parent (name listed on the sudent's locator card)
must come to the school office and sign out. If the school
requests that a student checks out for illness or injury, the
absence will be considered excused for remainder of the school
In cases of divorce, it shall be the responsibility of the
parent who receives legal custody of the child involved to place a
file in the school a copy of the custody order. The child shall be
released only to the parent having legal custody or to the parent
having written authorization from the custodial parent. Written
authorization must be filed with the school at the time or
A student will be released for a doctor's appointment, dnetal
appointment, or any other just reason when the parent, legala
quardian, or person authorized by the parent comes to the school
and signs the student out.
A student who leaves the school campus at any time must obtain
permission from the principal and meet the requirements established
under the check-out policy.
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 "unexcused"
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
1. Attendance at an authorized school activity with the prior
approval of the superintendent or his/her designee. A
compulsory-school-age child participating in an authorized school
activity with the prior approval of the superintendent of the
school district, or his/her designee, is considered PRESENT for average
daily attendance reporting purposes. The activities include, but
are not limited to: official organized events sponsored by the 4-H;
Future Farmers of America; Junior livestock shows; rodeo events;
official employment as a page at the State Capital; subject-matter
field trips; athletic contest; student conventions; music festivals
or contest. A student's participation in an authorized school
activity must be verified by one of the following: student
schedule; class roster; or activity roster.
2. Illness or injury which prevents the student from being
physically able to attend school.
3. When isolation is ordered by the county health officer, by the
State Board of Health or appropriate school official.
4. Death or serious illness of a member of the immediate family,
which includes children, spouse, grandparents, parents, brothers,
sisters, stepbrothers and stepsisters.
5. A medical or dental appointment.
6. 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.
7. 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.)
8. 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.)
9. 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)