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Policy Manual

5200 - Attendance

The educational program offered by this District is predicated upon the presence of the student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. Attendance shall be required of all students enrolled in the schools during the days and hours that the school is in session. School attendance shall be the responsibility of parents/legal guardians and students. Absences shall be reported to the school attendance office by the parent/legal guardian on the day the absence occurred.

In accordance with statute, the Superintendent shall require a statement from the cause for an absence from the parent/legal guardian of each student of compulsory school age who has been absent from school or from class for any reason. The School Board reserves the right to verify such statements and to investigate the cause of each single absence.

In addition, educators shall have the responsibility of encouraging regular attendance of students, maintaining accurate attendance records, and following reporting procedures prescribed by the Superintendent.

Provision shall be made for promoting school attendance through adjustment of personal problems, education of parents, and enforcement of the compulsory attendance laws and related child-welfare legislation.

Each school should establish procedures to ensure good attendance. This shall include but not be limited to:

  A. An annual Attendance Improvement Plan

 

  B. Formation and implementation of a school attendance committee

 

  C. Early school interventions regarding patterns on non-attendance

 

  D. School-wide incentives for good attendance

 

If the absences are excused, all educational requirements for the course shall be met before a passing grade and/or credit is assigned. A student whose absence has been excused shall be permitted to make up the work missed provided that the student makes arrangements with teachers within three days of the student's return to school. It is the student's responsibility to make these arrangements. Students shall submit make up work within the deadlines set by the teachers. Students on school business shall be counted presented and required to make up work missed.

Principals may grant extensions to the make-up time limit for extenuating circumstances. Regarding make-up of the work missed as a result of unexcused absences, each principal shall establish site-specific procedures that encourage both regular attendance and high academic achievement and shall review and modify these policies from time-to-time as required to maintain and improve their effectiveness.

The Board considers the following factors to be reasonable excuses for time missed at school:

  A. Personal illness of the student
    A student who has demonstrated a pattern of absences due to illness may be required to present medical verification the principal.

 

  B. Court appearance of the student

 

  C. Medical appointment of the student
    A note from a health care provider may be required.

 

  D. An approved school activity
    Absences will be recorded but not reported.

 

  E. Emergencies that are acceptable to the principal

 

  F. Other absences as approved by the principal 
    A written request from the parent/legal guardian is submitted to the principal at least three days prior to the date of absence. The parent will be notified of the decision.

 

  G. Attendance at a center under Children and Families Services supervision

 

  H. Accident resulting in injury to the student

 

  I. Significant community events with prior permission of the principal
    When more than one school is involved, the Area Superintendent will determine the status of the absence.

 

  J. Observance of an established religious holiday

 

  K. Death of a close relative
    For purposes of this policy, close relatives shall be defined as the father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter (or in-law), stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, half-sister, half-brother, stepchild, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparents, grandchild, or members of his/her own household.

 

Absences not included in excused absences listed above shall be unexcused.

Unexcused absences shall not be grounds for suspension from school but may result in detention or placement in existing alternative programs.

Any student who fails to attend any regularly scheduled class and who has no excuse for absence should be referred to the appropriate administrator. Disciplinary action should include notification to parents or legal guardians. Chronic truancy or deliberate nonattendance in excess of 15 school days within a semester shall be sufficient grounds for withdrawal of students 16 years of age or older, who are subject to compulsory school attendance under F.S. 1003.21.

The Superintendent shall develop administrative procedures that:

  A. Require proper procedures are established so the student and parents are provided the opportunity to challenge the attendance record prior to notification, and that such notification complies with applicable Board rules.

 

  B. The school session conforms to the requirements of the rules of the State Board.

 

  C. Attendance records are kept in accordance with the rules of the State Board.

 

  D. Investigate the cause(s) of a habitual truant's behavior, and consider modification of the educational program to meet particular needs and interests.

 

  E. Students whose absence has been excused have opportunity to make up work they missed and receive credit for the work if completed.

 

  F. Require that any student who exceeds or may exceed the District's limit on excused absence due to a specifically identifiable physical or mental impairment is referred for evaluation for eligibility either under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or other appropriate accommodation.

 

Such regulations should provide that a student's grade in any course is based on the performance in the instructional setting and is not reduced for reasons of conduct. If a student violates the attendance or other rules of the school, appropriate discipline should be imposed; the student's grades should be based upon what the student can demonstrate in the learning environment.

Whenever any student has a total of 15 days of unexcused absence from school during any semester, the student will be considered habitually absent. The Board authorizes the Superintendent to inform the student and parents/legal guardians of the record of excessive absences as well as the District's intent to notify the Department of Highway Safety of Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) of the student's excessive absences.

Students may not be given excused absences to remain out of school for the purpose of working unless the job is an integral part of the student's instructional program.

F.S. 1002.20, 1003.21, 1003.24, 1003.26, 1003.27

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