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CMS says social media post about absences is 'insensitive' to pandemic

According to the CMS attendance policy, students can have 10 or more excused absences. Quarantine or illness qualify under those conditions.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Parents of students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have been asking questions about the district's attendance policy after a viral post on social media made it appear students could only miss five days over the course of the school year. 

With quarantines seemingly unavoidable for many students due to COVID-19, parents are wondering how CMS will handle absences this year. 

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QUESTION

Can students miss more than 10 days of school if they are excused absences?

SOURCES

ANSWER

Yes. According to the CMS attendance policy, students can miss more than 10 days of school if those absences are excused. 

WHAT WE FOUND

WCNC Charlotte's VERIFY team reached out to CMS, asking about the post and if there is a maximum of five absences this year. In a statement, CMS said the graphic "contained confusing information and was insensitive to the current realities of the ongoing pandemic."

CMS also issued a copy of its attendance policy, which states under North Carolina law, that parents can be criminally charged if a student has 10 unexcused absences. However, there are some instances where students can be excused, including illness or quarantine. 

At Tuesday's board meeting, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Matthew Hayes said the district understands that students, whether they're sick or in quarantine, will need more than 10 days of absences and has plans in place for kids to miss school for an extended period of time. 

"Teachers will notify administrators that have students that need to be out for more than five consecutive days due to illness quarantine," Hayes said. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

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