Attendance Guidelines and Procedure, Compulsory School Attendance
1. Attendance: Florida Law requires all children from ages six to sixteen years of age to attend school.
One of the strongest foundations for school success is regular school attendance.
2. Parent Responsibility :
a. Florida Statutes, 1003.24 clearly defines the responsibility of parents for the attendance of their child at school and requires them to provide an explanation for any absence from school. It is the intent of the school to hold parents responsible for their child’s attendance to the extent provided by law.
i. Any time a student returns to school after an absence, a note MUST be brought from home within five days of his/her return.
1. Acceptable excuses for student’s absences: Sickness, Injury, a death in the family, religious holiday, a school-sponsored event, a previously approved activity or Other Insurmountable condition.
2. Attendance was impracticable or inadvisable on account of sickness or injury, attested by a written statement of a licensed practicing physician, or was impracticable because of some other stated insurmountable condition as defined by rules of the State Board of Education.
3. Excuse notes will only be accepted by the student’s homeroom teacher upon his/her return to school.
a. Excuse notes may not be accepted at the END of the school year for an absence that occurred previously in the year.
4. Although the school does not support students missing school for vacation purposes, any student missing school for vacation must notify the administration.
a. Notification MUST be made in writing at least two weeks in advance so teachers can have the appropriate work ready for the student.
b. If, during the course of the school year, a student has unauthorized absences sufficient enough to jeopardize academic progress, in accordance with F.S. 1003.24, the procedures under Florida Statues 984.151, 1003.26, and 1003.27 shall be followed by the appropriate school personnel.
3. Excused and Unexcused Absences: Absence is defined as nonattendance of a student at school or in an approved educational activity/field trip or program on days school is in session. A student not physically present at school or not participating in an approved school activity shall be counted absent and shall not be recorded as in attendance on that day.
a. The law allows for absences for illness or medical care, death in the family, religious holidays, prearranged absences for educational purposes approved by an administrator, financial and certain other special circumstances or insurmountable conditions. Under these circumstances school policy regards these absences as excused absences.
b. An unexcused absence takes place any time a child is out of school for reasons not recognized by law. Unexcused absenteeism sufficient enough to jeopardize academic progress at the elementary level is defined as a student being absent without an acceptable reason five (5) times in a calendar month or ten (10) times in a 90-calendar day period.
i. Determination of whether an absence is excused or unexcused is the responsibility of the local school principal or designee.
a. Tardiness is defined as any arrival at school after 8 am without an approved excuse. Tardiness and leaving early without an acceptable excuse, for the purpose of this policy, are seen in violation of 1003.21, F.S. (Compulsory attendance statues) Students who are chronically tardy or leave early without acceptable excuses more than five (5) times in a calendar month or ten (10) times in a 90 calendar day period will be subjected to action as dictated by 1003.27, F.S.
b. Determination of whether a tardy is excused or unexcused is the responsibility of the school principal or designee.
c. If it is determined that the parent is responsible for the cause of the chronic tardiness or leaving early without an acceptable excuse, then 1003.27 (2), F.S. shall be used to gain compliance.
a. It is the responsibility of the student’s parents to notify the school when their child will not be in attendance. While a student is enrolled in elementary or middle school, the school shall be notified the day the student returns to school from an absence of one (1), two (2) or three (3) days.
b. For the purpose of these regulations, a “truant “is one who is not in attendance, with or without approval of the parent or other person having charge of the student, and whose absence has not been excused.
c. A habitual truant is a student who has fifteen (15) unexcused absences within ninety (90) calendar days with or without the knowledge or consent of the student’s parent or legal guardian.
6. Make up work
a. Students who have been absent and are excused are given the privilege of making up work. The length of time within which work may be made up shall be determined by the extent and nature of the absence. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and complete all makeup work.
7. Other considerations
a. Students attending a curriculum related educational field trip sponsored by the school and chaperoned by school personnel or a function as an administratively recognized representative of the school shall be considered in legal school attendance.
b. Students who are absent for an “educationally valuable experience” other than a field trip or school sponsored function or activity may receive an excused absence if the following criteria are met.
i. A written request, identifying the educational benefits, must be submitted by the parent/guardian.
ii. The absence must be pre-approved at least two weeks in advance by the principal or designee.
iii. Students are responsible for work missed during this absence.
c. Students who are suspended or prohibited from attending school due to failure to meet immunization requirements shall be considered administratively absent and considered excused