East Hamilton Middle High School

Attendance Tips & Policies

Attendance Information

If a student arrives at school after 7:15, the student must come in the front office and sign in through the computer system or get a tardy pass from an administrator at the center compass.

Attendance is taken around 7:30 by 1st block teacher.

If a student signs in after the following times:

9th 7:45              10th-12th 7:55

The student will be marked unexcused absent for 1st block but not the whole day as long as they sign in through the computer system in the front office.


If a student misses half of a class they will be marked absent for the whole class.


Automatic calls go out to parents at 10:00 and are based off 1st block attendance.


Teachers take attendance in Powerschool 1st block only. The rest of the day teachers take attendance on paper. The attendance clerk makes adjustments to Powerschool throughout the day by a report from the sign-in/sign-out computer in the front office. It is very important that students sign-in and out of the front office when coming in and out of the school building.


All notes are entered at the end of the day or next day.


For a student driver needs to be dismissed from school, they must have a handwritten note, email or fax from the student’s guardian or parent before they can leave. Handwritten notes dropped off at the front office are best. The note must have the student’s name, time to be dismissed, name of person dismissing and phone number to contact if school sees necessary.


If a parent would like someone else to pick up the student one time and they are not on the pick-up list, then the office must have it in writing. If a parent would like to add someone to the student’s pick-up list, it must be in writing.


If a student is 15 and wants to get their permit. There is a clip board to sign-up on in the front office Monday through Thursday and pick-up on Friday. You must be passing 3 classes and have no more than 10 unexcused absences per semester.


Absences are coded in Powerschool as the following:

UNX—Unexcused absence                                        PEX—Parent excuse

UTY or TDY--Unexcused tardy                                   EXC—Excused absence

MED—Medical absence                                             CRT--Court

ACT— School activity                                                  DTH-Death in the family

HBD—Homebound                                                    REL—Religious holiday

ISS—In School Suspension                                       SUS--Suspended

ALT—Alternate School (Washington)                      Z--Expelled

P—Present (not used often)                                     Blank-Clear out


Blank—means the original code was cleared out


Unexcused absence means that the student is not at school or missed half of the class. An unexcused absence will not be changed without documentation.


Unexcused tardy means late to school or late to class from an outside appointment.


Parent excuse is a handwritten note, email, or fax from the student’s guardian or parent. The note should have the student’s first and last name, date and explanation of why the student was out.  A parent excuse is used for an all day absence not for a tardy or a single class. A student is allowed 3 all day parent excuses per school year.


Medical absence is when the student is out of school for a medical appointment. The documentation must include the students first and last name and the dates that they missed school.  If the student is out two or more days past the original doctor documentation, then call the doctor’s office and have them fax over a new doctor note with the correct dates. If a student has a chronic health condition that may cause the student to be out often, you may ask the student’s doctor for a standing doctor note. The doctor standing note requires the student’s name, the health condition and that it may require them to be late or absent from school. The parent or guardian is still required to send in an email, handwritten note, or fax stating the student is out for the medical condition, dates, and to refer to the doctor standing note for the absence to be entered into Powerschool as medical.


Excused absence is when the nurse sends the student home sick for that day only, and Mr. Eller's exemptions.


Activity absence means the student was out of class for a school activity, examples are fundraiser selling, field trips, ACT testing, AP testing, school performance, district performance, games, tournaments, 3 college visits with documentation, and 2 days for job shadowing for capstone.  


Court absence means the student had to appear in court and will be changed with proof of appearance


Death in the family absence documentation is an obituary or memory card with the student’s first and last name and the dates the student was out because of the funeral.


Religious Holiday absence is when a student is out because of a special or recognized religious holiday regularly observed by that particular faith with documentation from the church.


Homebound is a service that is provided for students who are unable to attend school due to serious health or orthopedic impairment where the student will be absent for a minimum of ten consecutive school days. For more information on this type of absence contact school counselor or Brooke Bridges, Homeschool liaison.



The difference between unexcused and excused absences is unexcused absences are where the teacher does not have to let the student make up their work.  Excused absences the teacher is required to let the student make up assignments. Activity absences do not go against the student’s attendance.


Truancy Procedure


Tier One is when a student reaches 5 unexcused absences. The school will contact the parent or guardian by mailing a five-day letter/invitation to meet with an administrator. The meeting is to review the attendance policy expectations and sign an attendance contract. 


Tier Two is when a student continues to have unexcused absences (10).  The school will make a referral to the school social worker. A legal notice from the social worker will be sent to the parent or guardian with an invitation for a mandatory meeting where a needs assessment will be given. If the parent or guardian refuses to meet or does not comply by the deadline, the social worker may visit the family home. If this approach is unsuccessful, the parent or guardian will be referred to Tier Three.


Tier Three is when Tier Two approach is unsuccessful. A certified letter will be mailed to the guardian or parent that they must attend a Truancy Board meeting. Meetings will be held at each learning community and may include the following members:

District Appointed Administrative Leader, School Social Worker, School Counselors, Department of Children Services, and Juvenile Court Representative. The Truancy Board will listen to any barriers that the family presents. A confidentiality statement will be signed by all parties present. Also a contract will be signed by the parent or guardian making them aware that continued unexcused absences will result in a court referral.


If the parent or guardian doesn’t attend this meeting, or the student fails to make continuous improvement in his or her attendance, the Truancy Board will have no other choice but to refer the student to the Juvenile 

Judge for a court proceedings as a violation of the State Compulsory Attendance Law [T.C.A. 49-6-3001(c)]. Thank you for your careful consideration of this matter.

If you have any other questions or concerns you may contact, Paula Zeh,  Attendance Clerk, at the following:


Fax: 423-893-3536

[email protected]

All content © 2022 Hamilton County Schools. All rights reserved. | Privacy Notice | Website by School Messenger