In the State of Tennessee, all children between the ages of 6 and 17 are required to attend school. It is the responsibility of school employees to investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law.


Absence is defined as not being present at school for the entire day, a major portion of the school day or 75% of any class, study hall, or activity during the school day for which the student is scheduled. Attendance is critical to student achievement, therefore, students are expected to be present each day school is in session.


Students will be counted tardy each morning beginning at 8:15am. Any student signed out prior to 2:55pm will also be counted tardy.


Grainger County accepts the following as extenuating circumstances for an absence

1.       Personal illness with a note from the doctor

2.       Hospital confinement

3.       Death in the family

4.       Participation in a court order or subpoena


Early dismissals disrupt the learning day and are strongly discouraged.

PLEASE NOTE: Excessive tardies and/or dismissals may also result in referral to the sheriff, constable, city policeman, district attorney general, or the foreman of the grand jury,


(1) It is the duty of the principal or teacher of every public, private, or parochial school to report promptly to the Director of Schools, or the Director’s designated representative, the names of all children who have withdrawn from the school, or have been absent five (5) days (this means an aggregate of five (5) days during the school year and not necessarily five (5) consecutive days without an adequate excuse. Each successive accumulation of five (5) unexcused absences by a student shall also be reported.


(2) Such Director shall thereupon serve, or caused to be served, upon the parent, guardian or other person in Tennessee in parental relation to such children unlawfully absent from school, written notice that attendance of such children at school is required. A new notice shall be sent after each successive accumulation of five (5) unexcused absences.


(3) If it appears that, within three (3) days after receipt of the notice, any child, parent, guardian or other person in parental relation has failed to comply with the provisions of this part, the director, in the name of the local school system, shall report the facts of such unlawful attendance to the sheriff, constable, city policeman, district attorney general, or the foreman of the grand jury, who shall proceed against the parent, guardian, or other person having charge and control of the child shall at once place the child in some day school aforementioned.



(4) The director of any local school system, after written notice to the parent or guardian of a child, shall report any child who is habitually and unlawfully absent from school to the appropriate judge having juvenile jurisdiction in that county, the child to be dealt with in such manner as the judge may determine to be for the best interest of the child. The judge may access a fine of up to fifty dollars ($50.00) or five (5) hours of community service, in the discretion of the judge, against the parents or legal guardians of K-12 children if the child is absent more than five (5) days during the school year, unless the parent or legal guardian presents adequate excuse.


(5) Students on school sponsored trips will not be counted absent.


(6) Students will be allowed to leave school only when an adult accepted by the school comes IN TO THE SCHOOL TO SIGN THE STUDENT OUT. Students are not allowed to sign themselves out. Anyone caught without signing out properly will be given an office referral!


(7) Students leaving early will not receive any credit for the classes missed that day.