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Student Attendance

NOTE: The attendance policy applies to all students K-12. Suspensions are counted as unexcused absences.

Click here to view the Focus Video regarding the CMCSS Attendance Policy

The Compulsory School Attendance Law in Tennessee (TCA-49-6-3001) requires children (ages 6-17 inclusive) to attend school each day. A student who has been absent five (5) days (this means an aggregate of five days during the school year and not necessarily five consecutive days) without adequate excuse is considered truant and may be summoned to court for as few as 5 absences (TCA-49-6-3007).


The following are “official/adequate excuses” that should be turned in to the Attendance Secretary in the school office:

  • Medical note (doctor, dentist, hospital, etc.) for which the student was a patient
  • Court note for which the student was required to be in court
  • Funeral notice (obituary/funeral program of a family member)
  • Military deployment paperwork-for military dependents, TN Law (TCA 49-6-3019) allows the following for out of country deployments:
    • 1 excused absence when the parent leaves for deployment
    • 1 excused absence when the parent returns at the end of deployment
    • Up to 10 days excused absences when the parent is home from the deployment for Rest and Recuperation
    • In addition, local policy allows up to 5 consecutive days of excused absences (either before or after the deployment) when the parent deployment is less than 12 months
    • Military paperwork/documentation MUST be provided to the school for these to be excused.
  • Student absences for sickness not requiring a doctor’s visit will be excused up to five (5) days per school year, if a parent note is submitted. To be excused, notes must be provided by the parent or legal guardian, and received by the school within five (5) school days of the absence.

For high school and middle school classes, an absence per class is defined as missing 10 or more minutes of the class period.

Make-up work: (Including suspension and remandment) Upon the first day of returning to school, it is the student’s responsibility to make contact with the teacher(s) regarding make-up work. During the school year, make-up work must be completed within a number of days equal to the number of consecutive days of the absences. A grade of “0” shall be entered into the teacher’s grade book for any missing work until the assignments have been completed and turned in.