Policies and Laws

Senate Bill 49 (Parents’ Bill of Rights)

In late 2023, The North Carolina General Assembly passed Senate Bill 49—Parents Bill of Rights. This act was voted on to enumerate the rights of parents to direct the upbringing, education, healthcare, and mental health of minor children. Attached are the recommended policies, as they relate to Sterling. 

SB49 Summary Notes Policy on Parents’ Rights
Parental Involvement Policy Parental Information Requests Policy
Review of Instructional Materials Policy Notifications of Student Physical and Mental Health
Resolution of Parental Concerns Policy Policy on Protected Information Surveys

Attending school on the first day is crucially important. Sterling Montessori receives full state funding for a student ONLY if the student is present on the first day of school, at the minimum 3.5 hours. Charter schools in North Carolina are funded through a formula that’s based on average daily membership, or ADM. 1/20th of the full year funding is deducted each day your child is not enrolled. The state reviews Sterling Montessori’s ADM for the first 20 days of school and determines the school’s per-student funding based on that number. The higher our average membership, the more state funding Sterling Montessori receives.

If a student does not attend school on the first day, the school will contact the student’s parent or guardian. If an enrolled student does not attend Sterling Montessori by the close of business on the third (3rd) day of school, the school’s funding will be negatively affected. Sterling Montessori requires written explanation for the reason of the student’s absence as well as confirmation of the intent to remain enrolled.

In accordance with North Carolina‘s compulsory attendance law, G.S. 115C-378, the school shall notify the parent, guardian, or custodian of his or her child's excessive absences after the child has accumulated 3 unexcused absences in a school year. After 6 unexcused absences, the school shall notify the parent, guardian, or custodian that he or she may be in violation of the Compulsory Attendance Law and may be prosecuted if the absences cannot be justified under the established attendance policies of the State and Sterling Montessori. Once the parents are notified, the school shall work with the child and the child's family to analyze the causes of the absences and determine steps to eliminate the problem.

After 10 accumulated unexcused absences in a school year, the school shall review any report or investigation prepared under G.S. 115C-381 and shall confer with the student and the student’s parent, guardian, or custodian, if possible, to determine whether the parent, guardian, or custodian has received proper notification and made a good faith effort to comply with the law. If the school determines that the parent, guardian, or custodian has not made a good faith effort to comply with the law, the school shall notify the district attorney and the director of social services of the county where the child resides. If, however, the school determines that the parent, guardian, or custodian has made a good faith effort to comply with the law, the school may file a complaint with the juvenile court counselor pursuant to Chapter 7B of the General Statutes that the child is habitually absent from school without a valid excuse. Upon receiving notification by the Executive Director, the director of social services shall determine whether to undertake an investigation under G.S. 7B-302.

The NC Department of Public Instruction defines excused absences as:
  • Illness or injury which prevents the student from being physically able to attend school.
  • Quarantine ordered by the local health official or the State Board of Health.
  • Death in the immediate family (includes, but is not necessarily limited to, grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters).
  • Medical or Dental appointments
  • Court or administrative proceedings
  • Religious observance (2 days)
  • Educational opportunity (approval must be granted by the Executive Director one week prior to the absence). When it is demonstrated that the purpose of the absence is to take advantage of a valid education opportunity, such as travel, the purpose of the activity must be educational in order for the student to be granted this type of absence. The proposed activity must have significant educational value and relate to the core curriculum. The intent of the experience should have been educational from the outset and should be comparable to that which the student would have experienced in school. Approval for such an absence must be granted prior to the absence. Educational opportunities will be limited to ten (10) academic days in one academic calendar. An educational opportunity will not be approved as an excused absence within the first 20 school days of an academic year or during testing days, except under special circumstances at the discretion of the Executive Director.
  • 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.

Any absence not falling into one of these exceptions will be determined to be an unexcused absence. Because class attendance and participation are critical elements of the educational process, any absences from class can have a negative impact on a student’s academic achievement. Regular attendance must be prioritized and Sterling’s administrators monitor and analyze attendance of all students.

A student who is dismissed early for any reason during the day will be counted absent unless the total time in school is equal to half the regular school day, or 3 & ¼ hours.

Twenty (20) absences of any kind, including whole day absences, tardy absences, early dismissal absences (excused and unexcused combined) may be considered as a criteria for retention.


Severe weather, including hurricanes and winter storms, is a normal part of the school year. A determination will be made by the administration in the event of a weather related closing, delay or early dismissal.

  • All weather closings, delays and early dismissals will be posted on WRAL and the school’s website.
  • Sterling Montessori will not provide Before Care when operating on a delay and will not provide After Care when operating with an early dismissal.

Note: Sterling Montessori no longer follows WCPSS for weather-related closings.