Attendance Matters
Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow

two students sitting at thier school desk doing a worksheet

Students have the right to a free and appropriate public education, but they assume the responsibility to attend regularly and on time. Parents/guardians are responsible for the attendance of their children within the compulsory attendance age, 6 to 16. Parents have the responsibility to inform the school of their child’s absences and to explain the cause of each absence. Learn more about Florida State Statues, Part II, School Attendance.

Regular and punctual school attendance is crucial for a student’s academic success. The research findings make a clear case for engaging families to reduce chronic absenteeism. Good attendance habits begin at home with the right messages from parents and caregivers.

Why It Matters

If children don’t show up for school regularly, they miss out on fundamental reading and math skills and the chance to build a habit of good attendance that will carry them into college and careers.

The good news is that when students attend school regularly, they can see outsized literacy gains.

What Can We Do at Home?

Establishing consistent good habits at home can put children on the right track to good school attendance. Parents can:

  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpack the night before.
  • Know the first day of school and make sure their child has the required immunizations and materials
  • Introduce their child to his or her teachers and classmates before school starts to help with the transition.
  • Avoid letting their child stay home unless he or she is truly sick. Advise parents that sometimes complaints of a stomachache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
  • Talk to teachers, school counselors or other parents for advice on how to alleviate a child’s anxiety about going to school or other issues.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor or another parent.
  • Avoid scheduling medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.

Attendance Standard

  • All students are required to be on time and present each day school is open during the school year.
  • Students may not be absent from school without permission of the principal/designee.
    • The school principal or designee is the only person authorized to excuse a student’s absence.
    • A note from a parent/guardian is a request that a student’s absence be excused.
    • A pattern of non-attendance is, missing 10% to 19% or more of school, whether the absences are excused or not.  At such time the principal shall refer the student to the Attendance Review Committee to determine if early patterns of truancy are developing and identify root causes.  An intervention plan will be put in place to identify potential remedies and improve the student’s attendance.
    • For enforcement of school attendance purposes, unless acceptable documentation is submitted, an accumulation of daily unexcused absences that equal five (5) days in a calendar month or ten (10) days within a ninety (90) calendar day period, may be exhibiting a pattern of non-attendance as determined by the Attendance Review Committee.
    • If the student exceeds the ten (10) parent/guardian notes in a school year, principals may request additional documentation for subsequent absences.
  • Chronic tardiness is defined as six (6) or more tardies to school or to an individual class per quarter.

Make-Up Work

A student who is absent and the absence is determined to be an excused absence is required to make up all course work missed. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain assignments from the appropriate teacher(s) upon returning to class immediately following an absence. The student will be given the number of days absent plus one additional day to make up all work missed for full credit.

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