Early Warning Truancy Program

Please note the following policy for absences and tardies for CCBOE.  If your child is enrolled in school from K-12, it is expected that they will be here each day and on time unless as specified below.


Alabama law requires all children between the ages of six and seventeen attend school. If any child fails to attend school without legal excuse, that child and the person having custody of that child will be referred to Juvenile Court. Any child who is prosecuted for truancy will be placed in a juvenile facility or in long term residential care. Any custodial adult who is prosecuted for failing to require a child to attend school may be jailed for up to one year and fined up to $500.00 or both.


The following contains information from the State Superintendent of Education Advisory Committee, excerpted from the recommended Policies and Procedures for Court/ School Truancy Prevention Programs.

A parent, guardian, or other person having charge of any child officially enrolled in Alabama public schools (K-12) shall explain in writing the cause of any and every absence of the child no later than three (3) days following return to school. Failure to furnish a written explanation shall be evidence of the child being truant each day he is absent. The child shall also be deemed truant for any absence determined by the principal to be unexcused based upon the State Department of Education’s current School Attendance Manual.

Seven (7) unexcused absences within a school year constitute a student being truant for the purpose of filing a petition with the Court. The Interagency Committee on Youth Truancy Task Force recommendations known as the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program timeline for reporting truancy shall define the truancy status of any student as follows:

The Court/School Truancy Procedures are as follows:

1.   First (1st) Truancy/Unexcused Absence (Warning): Parents/Guardians will be notified by the school principal or his/her designee that the student was truant and the date of truancy or unexcused absence. Parent/guardian shall also be provided with a copy of Alabama’s compulsory school attendance laws and advised of the penalties that can be applied and the procedures that shall be followed in the event that other unexcused absences occur, Code of Alabama 290-3-1. (Refer to the student attendance section below)

2.   Fifth (5th) Truancy/Unexcused Absence (Conference and/or Court Complaint Filed): The student and parent/guardian will be referred to Juvenile Court.  An early warning officer will contact the parent or guardian to address the complaint filed. The parent, guardian, or person having control of the child will participate in the early warning program provided by the juvenile court.

a.   Attendance at this conference shall be mandatory except where prior arrangements have been made or an emergency exists.

b.   Failure to appear at the school conference and/or to appear at the early warning program shall result in the filing of a complaint/petition against the parent under Code of Ala. 1975, §l6-28-l2(c) (failure to cooperate), or a truancy against the child, whichever is appropriate.

3.   Seventh (7th) Truancy/Unexcused Absence (Formal Court Proceedings): A petition will be filed against the student and/or parent/guardian. Formal court proceeding will follow.

4.   Child under Probation

a.   The school attendance officer should be notified by the Juvenile probation officer of all children in the school system under probation supervision by the juvenile court as consistent with state statute, Code of Alabama (1975) 12-15-100 and 105.

b.   Where a child under probation is truant, the school attendance officer should immediately notify the juvenile probation officer.


(Board Policy 6.1)

1.   Alabama law requires all children between the ages of six and seventeen to attend school. (Section 16-28-3, Code of Alabama, 1975) Once a child is enrolled in Cullman County Schools, attendance is mandatory and he/she must follow all attendance policies. If any child fails to attend school without legal excuse, the child and the person having custody of that child will be referred to Juvenile Court.

Any child who is prosecuted for truancy may be placed in a juvenile facility or in long-term residential care. Any custodial adult who is prosecuted for failing to require a child to attend school may be jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to $500.00.

2.   Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children are regular in school attendance.

a.   In compliance with Alabama Act 93-672, any parent, guardian, or other person having control or custody of any child required to attend school who fails to compel the child to attend school and properly conduct himself or herself in accordance with policies on student conduct shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. School officials who intentionally fail to report suspected violations to the district attorney shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

b.   Parents should monitor attendance as reported on the student’s report card. No other prior notification will be provided by the school or school system.

c.   Parents are urged to make dental, medical, and other appointments for their children after school hours, on Saturday, or on days when school is not in session.

3.   If a student becomes eligible for and receives homebound teacher services, absences will not be counted while the student is participating in the homebound program.

4.   It is each teacher’s responsibility to accurately check roll for each class period daily and report absences in the required manner.

5.   Teachers will provide students who have been absent for excused reasons an opportunity to make up missed assignments. This opportunity shall be provided within a one-week period following the absence at a time most convenient for the teacher. This opportunity does not require the teacher to re-teach the lesson, but it does require that the student receive a reasonable opportunity to learn missed lessons. Teachers are under no obligation to permit students absent for  unexcused reasons to make up missed assignments.

a.   Excused absences include illness, death in the immediate family, emergency conditions as determined by principal (example: inclement weather which would be dangerous to the life and health of the child) legal quarantine, summons to court, prior approval of the principal upon request from the parent or guardian.  Any absences not excused shall be considered unexcused (vacations, weddings, etc.).

b.   Cullman County Schools will accept notes from parents as excused absences as defined above for no more than three (3) unexcused absences per semester for grades K-12.

c.   It is the student’s responsibility to request make-up assignments from teachers upon return to school and to complete this work within a reasonable length of time.

In order to ensure maximum teaching time, attendance procedures for monitoring class period tardies/early checkout shall be developed at each local school at the discretion of the principal. A student in grades K-8 shall be promoted from one grade level to the next higher grade level at the end of the scholastic year when it is considered the student has satisfactorily demonstrated the skills necessary to function successfully in the next grade as is in compliance with the Cullman County Schools Attendance Policy.

6. Students interested in pursuing programs at WSCC, CATA, and Specialty Programs should become familiar with the specific attendance requirements set forth by those programs. For additional information, please contact your school counselor.



Notice of Non-discrimination

The Cullman County Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

April Tucker (Title IX Coordinator)

PO Box 1590

Cullman, AL 35056


Tiffanye Mitchell (504 Coordinator)

17600 US Hwy 31 N

Cullman, AL 35058



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