In accordance with G.S. 115C-378, every parent, guardian, or custodian in North Carolina having charge or control of a student between the ages of 7 and 16 years shall cause the student to attend school continuously for a period equal to the time which the public school to which the student is assigned is in session. Every parent, guardian, or custodian in North Carolina having charge or control of a child under age seven who is enrolled in a public school in grades Kindergarten through two shall also cause the child to attend school continuously for a period equal to the time which the public school to which the child is assigned shall be in session unless the child has withdrawn from school. No person shall encourage, entice, or counsel any child of compulsory age to be unlawfully absent from school. The parent, guardian, or custodian of a child shall notify the school of the reason for each known absence of the child, in accordance with local school board policy.
Lawful Absences The superintendent, principal, or teacher who is in charge of a school has the right to excuse a student temporarily from attendance on account of sickness or other unavoidable cause. (Below are the valid/lawful excuses for temporary nonattendance of a student at school.)
1. Illness or Injury: When the absence results from illness or injury which prevents the student from being physically able to attend school.
2. Quarantine: When isolation of the student is ordered by the local health officer or by the State Board of Health.
3. Death in the Immediate Family: When the absence results from the death of a member of the immediate family of the student. For the purpose of this regulation, the immediate family of a student includes, but is not necessarily limited to, grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters.
4. Medical or Dental Appointments: When the absence results from a medical or dental appointment of a student.
5. Court or Administrative Proceedings: When the absence results from the attendance of a student 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. The Local Board of Education can be considered an administrative tribunal.
6. Religious Observance: School principals are required to authorize a minimum of two excused absences each academic year for religious observances required by faith of a student or a student's parents. The student shall be given the opportunity to make up any tests or other work missed due to this excused absence. (S.L. 2010-112)
7. Educational Opportunity: When it is demonstrated that the purpose of the absence is to take advantage of a valid education opportunity, such as travel. Approval for such an absence must be granted prior to the absence. This would include, but is not limited to, a student serving as a legislative page or a governor's page.
8. Local School Board Policy: LEA's may excuse temporary or occasional absences for other reasons in accordance with local school board policies, provided that the student has been in attendance for at least one-half of a school day during the current school year.
9. Absence related to Deployment Activities: - A student whose parent or legal guardian is an active duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting for the purpose of visiting said parent or legal guardian. (G.S. 115C-407.5 Article V (E)) Page 13 of 81
10. Child Care Absences: Absences due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the student is the custodial parent are to be coded excused (lawful). (G.S.115C-375.5)
Here is a link to a website to help parents encourage good attendance at school.