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I. School Attendance Florida Statute 1003.21 requires that all students between the ages of six (6) and sixteen (16) attend school regularly. Students who have attained the age of sixteen (16) and who have not graduated are subject to compulsory school attendance until a formal declaration of intent to withdraw, signed by student and parent/guardian, is filed with the district school board. Students are obligated to attend one hundred eighty (180) days of school each year. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to see that this law is obeyed. It is important to note that failure to attend school in a regular and timely fashion hinders the educational process. In addition, truancy and poor performance have a direct relationship to juvenile delinquency and destructive behavior, not to mention the disproportionate percentage of juvenile crime that occurs during school hours. Each parent or legal guardian of a child within the compulsory attendance age is responsible for the child’s school attendance as required by law.

Notification of Loco Parentis:  In cases in which a student is not residing with his/her parent(s) or guardian(s), the parent of the student must designate, in writing, the adult person(s) with whom the pupil resides who stands in loco parentis, so that the pupil may be admitted to or continue in school. This statement must be notarized and presented to the principal for acceptance.

II. Student Absences – Grades K-12

A. Excused Absences

1. Absences due to the following reasons will be excused:
? Illness or injury of the student
? Illness or injury to the student’s immediate family necessitating the student’s absence
? Death to a member of the student’s family necessitating the student’s absence 
? Recognized religious holidays of the specific faith of a student
? Doctor and dental appointments of the student
? Pre-arranged absences of educational value and with the principal’s approval
? Subpoena or forced absence by any law enforcement agency
? Major disaster that would justify absence in the judgment of the administration
? Head lice, a maximum of two days per incident 
2. It is the responsibility of the parent(s) or guardian to provide a written statement or oral notification, oral notifications are to be documented, indicating the reason for the absences within two (2) days of the student’s return to school. Denial of an excused absence based on this time frame will require documentation of parental contact to inform the parent that the absence remains unexcused after the two day period. The written statement must include the following information for each absence:
? Date the excuse is written
? Date(s) of the absence(s)
? Full name of the student
? Reason for the absence
? Daytime telephone number of parent or guardian
? Signature of parent or guardian
3. An excused absence should be coded as an “E” for reporting purposes. Final determination on whether an absence is excused or unexcused is the responsibility of the principal. Any planned absences, other than medical appointments, must be approved in advance by the principal. 

B. Unexcused Absences

? Any absence which is not justified by the parent or guardian according to allowable excuses (see above) or for which the reason is unknown

? Not attending class while on a school campus OCSB Attendance Procedures 6

? Final determination on whether an absence is excused or unexcused is the responsibility of the principal

? An unexcused absence should be coded as an “U” for reporting purposes

Accumulated Unexcused Tardies and Early Releases – Grades K-8 Punctuality is necessary for a student to take full advantage of available educational opportunities. If a student is not in the classroom when the tardy bell rings, he/she will be classified tardy. An early release is defined as any release prior to the regular dismissal time. Any student in grade K-8, who accumulates any combination of five unexcused tardies and/or unexcused early releases (not including documented medical/dental appointments or other authorized reasons that constitute an excused absence), shall be deemed absent (unexcused) for one school day. A parent/guardian request for early release or late arrival shall be considered excused with documentation in accordance with procedures for excused absences. Tardies and early releases that are deemed excused will not accumulate towards an absence. An unexcused tardy or early release will be coded as a “1” for reporting purposes.

C. Absences of Students Grade 9 – 12

1. In order for a student to earn credit in a course, a student should not be absent more than nine days. A student who exceeds nine absences in a course may earn credit in that class by earning a passing grade in at least one of the two nine weeks grading periods, and pass a comprehensive semester exam for that course.

D. Suspensions

1. Out-of-School Suspension
? When deemed necessary by the principal, a student may be prohibited from attending their home school.
? To maintain academic progress, students are encouraged to make up work even if full credit will not be awarded.
? All make-up work should be completed within one week following return from absence. This deadline may be extended with the approval of the teacher or principal.
? All students who are suspended from school may take nine week or semester exams for full credit following the period of suspension.
? Florida Law 984.13 provides authority for a law enforcement officer to take into custody a child who is suspended or expelled and not in the presence of the parent or guardian.
? An out-of-school suspension should be coded as an “O” for reporting purposes.
2. In-School Suspension
? Students in In-School Suspension will be allowed to make up work.
? Students will not be counted absent during In-School Suspension.
? An In-School Suspension should be coded as an “I” for reporting purposes.

E. Field Trips

? A student on a field trip will not be marked absent if approved by the principal prior to trip.
? A field trip should be coded as an “F” for reporting purposes.

F. Homebound

? Students who are on permanent Homebound need to be placed in Homebound homeroom with proper withdrawal (W01) and re-entry (R01) codes.
? Hospital/Homebound (H) student scheduled in a hospital program in another district pursuant to the rule regarding alternatelyassigned students, 6A-6.03020(6), FAC.
? Students who have been approved to come to school as they are able (intermittent homebound) code all absences once approved (M)