All children who have attained or will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year and have not yet attained the age of 16 years, except as otherwise provided, are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term.
Florida Statute 1003.21
Schools will track excused and unexcused absences and will make an effort to contact the home in the case of an unexcused absence from school for which the reason is unknown.
Florida Statute 1003.26
Punctuality to school and class are important to the student and the school. It is the student’s responsibility to get to school and class on time. A late arrival to school will be considered a tardy. A tardy to class means a student was not in the classroom by the second bell. Students have five minutes between classes to get to lockers, restrooms, or the outside of the buildings. Using the telephone, talking to another student, getting books from a locker, etc. will be unexcused. Students entering the building after 7:40 am are late and require an office admit.
The following disciplinary action will be followed for those students tardy to school or class.
1st Offense – Verbal Warning/ Teacher Conference
2nd Offense – Verbal Warning/ Teacher Conference
3rd Offense – Assignment of work detail in cafeteria or lunch detention (1-2 days)
4th Offense – Assignment of work detail in cafeteria or lunch detention (3 days)
5th Offense – Lunch Detention (4 days) or 1 day of After School Detention
6th Offense – Lunch Detention / After School Detention (2 days)
7th Offense – Loss of Parking Pass or 2 hours of Work Detail after school
*Subsequent Offenses – After school detention, loss of privileges and/or assignment of community service hours
To Report an Absence
It shall be the responsibility of each student’s parent or guardian to explain his/her student’s absence to the appropriate school personnel according to the school’s procedure for reporting your student’s absence, which may include telephone call, written notice, or by personal visitation as soon as possible upon the student’s return to school. Each school will establish procedures for reporting absences.
The parent will be required to justify each absence of the student, and that justification will be evaluated based on the criteria listed below that define excused and unexcused absences from school. Failure to provide requested documentation will result in unexcused absences. In the case of excessive or extended absences, upon request of the principal or designee, a parent will provide documentation (doctor’s statement) of a student’s illness.
The following are acceptable reasons for a student’s absences from school:
1. Illness of student.
2. Major illness in the immediate family of the student (immediate family is determined as parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, legal guardians or persons in loco parentis, or a member of one’s own household).
3. Death in the immediate family of the student.
4. Religious holiday of the student’s faith. Religious institutes, conferences, or workshops, provided that the principal or designee approves the absence in advance.
5. Absences for trips or other parental requests as judged appropriate for the student by the principal or designee, provided that the requests are approved in advance.
6. Subpoena or forced absence by any law enforcement agency, provided that the student is not under immediate suspension from school. A copy of the subpoena or court summons must be submitted to the school.
For purposes of attendance, school related activities would not be counted as absences from school.
Excused absences guarantee students the right to make up any and all assignments assigned on the day[s] of absence at full credit. The student is responsible for asking the teacher for assignments and make-up tests within two (2) class meetings with the teacher. The teacher shall specify a reasonable period of time for completion of make-up work. In no case shall the time be less than one full calendar day for each day missed. Work due to be turned in on the day of the excused absence will be turned in upon return and be given full credit. The principal or designee shall have the authority to modify these conditions with a confirmed hardship.
A student has perfect attendance for the year if the student has been in school every day for 180 days. With a note from the parent, official religious holidays will not be counted against perfect attendance. In addition, schools may give awards for outstanding attendance according to the school’s attendance monitoring plan.
TRUANCY AND EXCESSIVE ABSENCES
Parents will be advised if their child is considered truant or has excessive absences. If a student is determined to be chronically truant or demonstrating a pattern of non-attendance as required by F.S. 1003.26(1)(b), a referral will be made to the School Based Intervention Team (S-BIT). In some cases the student and/or parent may also be referred to the Office of Code of Student Conduct 10 the State Attorney’s Truancy Intervention Program (TIP), or a Children in Needs of Services/Family in Needs of Services
(CINS/FINS) petition could be filed.
Unexcused Absences, School Related Activities, and Parking
If a student record exceeds five unexcused absences, or absences for which the reasons are unknown, within a calendar month or 10 unexcused absences, or absences for which the reasons are unknown, within a 90 day calendar period, the student will lose the privilege of participating in extracurricular activities open only to students. These include but are not limited to field trips, dances, special events, club activities and participation in athletics, until the end of the following grading period/quarter. In addition, a student who drives on campus will have that privilege revoked until the end of the following grading period/quarter. If this occurs during the fourth quarter of the school year, the privileges would be lost for the first quarter of the following school year. The principal or designee may review extenuating circumstances brought forth
by a parent/guardian. The principal’s decision is final.
Florida Statute 1003.26
The Florida Legislature has enacted F.S. 322.091(1), which provides that minors (ages 14 – 18) satisfy school attendance requirements in order to apply for or maintain their driving privileges. The principal or designee will notify the District School Board of Pasco County of those students who accumulate 15 unexcused absences or absences for which the reasons are unknown, in a period of (90) calendar days. The school superintendent or designee is then required to submit to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) the names of the students along with their dates of birth, sex, and social security numbers. For the purposes of maintaining the right to drive, days of suspension from school will not be
forwarded to the DHSMV as unexcused.
If a student’s name is sent to the DHSMV for lack of attendance, then the student is in danger of having the current privilege to drive suspended, or for students who are under age 16, having their application for licensure denied. Hardship waiver hearings will be available in cases where the driver has been notified by DHSMV that the license will be suspended. Following a license suspension by DHSMV, the driving privilege may be reinstated if the student submits written verification to DHSMV that the student has completed 30 days of attendance in school without an unexcused absence.