University School of Jackson

MS Attendance Information

USJ recognizes that education requires continual instruction, classroom participation, learning experiences, and diligent study for students to reach their maximum potential. Tardiness and absenteeism are detrimental to academic achievement. Research has shown that there is a direct relationship between attendance and scholastic performance. Students with good attendance records have a better chance to achieve higher grades, enjoy school, and learn the responsibility necessary for independence and success in later life. Realistic distinctions should be made between legitimate and illegitimate absences. Therefore, USJ has established the following categories to encompass the majority of situations. All questions regarding attendance requirements should be directed to the Middle School Director. In the event of communication problems or differences of opinion between home and school, the school reserves the right to determine in which category a particular absence belongs.

A parent must notify the Middle School secretary (731-660-2110) between 7:45 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on any day that a student is to be absent from school.

All students returning to school following an absence, regardless of the category, must report to the Middle School office with a note signed by a parent or guardian or the parent must have already emailed the Middle School Secretary stating the reason for the absence.


Early Dismissal and Return

Students may not leave campus or return to campus during the school day for any reason without permission of school officials. The following procedures must be followed when leaving and/or returning to campus:

• When a student has a scheduled appointment, parents should contact the Middle School office before 8:30 a.m. with the intended time of dismissal, so teachers can be notified through morning announcements.

• Students will dismiss themselves from class and meet the parents in the front lobby. Parents or other visitors should never interrupt a class.

• Students leaving campus during school hours must sign out in the Middle School office.

• Upon return to school after an appointment during school hours, students must sign in inthe Middle School office.

• Students will not be readmitted to class without an admit slip from the Middle School office.


Excused Absence

The following are considered reasons for excused absences:

• Personal illness

• Serious illness or death in the immediate family

• Severe weather or road conditions

• Medical or dental appointments

• School sponsored activities

• Other circumstances as determined by the Middle School Director • Five (5) Family Days per school year


Unexcused Absence

Students, who are absent for reasons other than the above mentioned, will not be given an excused absence. Receiving credit for work missed lies at the discretion of the instructor. Under mitigating circumstances and at the faculty member's discretion, the student might be allowed to make up a major test and/or assignments. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with the teacher on making up any missed work.


Excessive Absences

In the event that a student's absences are excessive or are jeopardizing his/her academic success, the school reserves the right to require a doctor's excuse in order for the missed days to be deemed excused. In accordance with Tennessee state law (49-6-3007) which applies to all independent schools in the state of Tennessee, when a student accrues five (5) unexcused absences from school, written notice will be given to the student's parent or guardian and disciplinary action will be taken. If the parent or guardian fails to rectify the absenteeism, the USJ administration is required by law to report said absenteeism to the appropriate local governmental authorities.


Pre-arranged Absence

The school’s vacations are generous in both number and length, and therefore, USJ expects parents and students to observe the dates specified on the school calendar. Exceptions, which are requested in advance, will be considered. By submitting a Pre-Arranged Absence Form (in advance of at least 7 days), the following absences may be excused for students in good academic standing:

●  Special family trips (total of no more than 5 days)

●  School sponsored activities which require the student to be absent from school for the entire day

The Pre-arranged Absence Form must be obtained from the Middle School office. Each parent/guardian needs to submit a request to Becky Baskin, [email protected], at least 7 days prior to the absence. Mrs. Baskin will complete a prearranged form and present it to the MS Director for approval. The form must be approved by the Middle School Director at least 7 days prior to be considered an excused absence. After approval by the Director, the form will be given to the students to be submitted to teachers for signatures and assignment information. The student should request all assignments from his/ her teachers and make arrangements to make up any missed tests or quizzes. Students may request no more than 5 family days/ year.

* Failure to submit the form as outlined above may result in unexcused absences or zero grades for the days missed. If a student’s academic standing is in jeopardy, a pre-arranged absence may not be granted.


Tardy to School /Class

Recognizing the school's responsibility to help adolescents through the maturation process, we encourage punctuality, considering it to be a virtue in one's personal and professional life.

Students not in their classrooms at the appointed times will be considered tardy. This includes being on time to class in the morning and between classes.

Excessive (5 or more) tardies will result in disciplinary consequences to be determined by Dean of Students.

Students who arrive late to school or late to class must report to the Middle School office for an admission slip. All tardies will be considered unexcused unless excused by the Director.

For More Information

Margaret Livingston
Middle School Director

[email protected]

Hayley Wilkerson
Assistant to the Middle School Director

[email protected]


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