Your child’s academic and social progress is influenced to a great extent by regular participation in school. Regular attendance without tardiness is the key. When your child will be absent from school, please call the Attendance Line at 954-659-3607 and leave a message that morning to report the absence and reason for the absence. If you do not call in to report the absence within 48 hours your child will receive an “unexcused absence.” You must call in each day that your child is out. You will receive a letter once your child receives 3 unexcused absences. Please note, four tardies will equal one excused absence.
We encourage you to schedule your child’s appointments after school hours. If this is not possible, parent/guardians must come to the main office first to have their child released. Office personnel will notify the classroom teacher that your child needs to report to the office. For your child’s safety, the teacher will not release a child to anyone who has not signed them out at the office. Office personnel will not release a child to anyone not listed on the Emergency Contact Card, unless the school is notified by the parent in writing in advance.
Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between attendance and achievement in school. Therefore, our attendance policy will be strictly enforced in accordance with the Broward County Attendance Policy listed below:
PATTERNS OF ATTENDANCE
All compulsory age students are required to attend school every day of the 180-day school year or the equivalent on an hourly basis pursuant to the State Board of Education. Parents of children of compulsory school age are responsible for their child’s daily school attendance because poor academic performance is associated with nonattendance, schools will respond in a timely manner to prevent the development of patterns of non-attendance which may indicate early signs of truancy. Schools will collaborate with appropriate local and state agencies that are involved in truancy prevention, intervention, and judicial action.
Additional information related to attendance can also be found in the current edition of the Code of the Student Conduct approved, as school board policy.
I. COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
- All children who have attained the age of six years or who will have attained the age of six years by February 1 of any school year, or who are older than six years of age but who have not yet attained the age of 16 years or age specified by state statute, whichever is older, except as hereinafter provided, are required to attend school regularly during the entire 180-day or the equivalent on an hourly basis pursuant to the state Board of Education school term. (F.S.1003.21) (1) (a))
- A student who attains the age of 16 years during the school year is not subject to compulsory school attendance beyond the date upon which he or she attains that age if the student files a formal declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment with the School Board. The declaration must acknowledge that terminating school enrollment is likely to reduce the student’s earning potential and must be signed by the child and parent. A student who attains the age of 18 years during the school year is not subject to the legal sanctions for compulsory school attendance. (F.S.1003.21 (2) (c))
- An exit interview must be conducted by school personnel to determine the reasons for the student’s decision to terminate school enrollment and actions taken to keep the student in school. (F.S. 1003.21(2) (c)).
- Students under 16 years of age may not be withdrawn from school for any reason unless expelled through Board action or covered by an exemption allowed by Florida Statute (F.S.1002.20 (2)(b)).
- Compulsory school attendance requirements may be met by attendance in a home education program (F.S.1002.01 (2) (b) 20 (2)(b).
- A “home education program” means the sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his or her parent in order to satisfy the attendance requirements of S.S. 1002.41, 1003.01(4) and 1003.21 (1). (F.S. 1002.01(1))
- For students enrolled in Department of Juvenile Justice Programs, the compulsory school attendance requirement is governed by state law and regulations and includes a longer term (F.S. 1003.52).
II. PATTERNS OF NON-ATTENDANCE
- A student may be establishing a pattern of non-attendance when he/she has an accumulation of tardiness, early sign outs, and/or unexcused absences that exceed 5 days in one marking period or 10 days in 2 marking periods.
- A student may be identified as “habitual truant” if he/she has 15 unexcused absences within 90 calendar days with or without the knowledge or justifiable consent of the child’s parent, is subject to compulsory school attendance under s.1003.21(1) and (2)(a), and is not exempt under F.S.1003.21(3) or s. 1003.24, or by meeting the criteria for any other exemption specified by law or rules of the State Board of Education (F.S.1003.01(8)).
- Home Education Program: For Home Education attendance requirements see Board Policy # 6000.1 (F.S. 1003.26(f)).
If after an accumulation of absences as noted above, the principal and/or his designee determines that the reasons for time out of school are invalid, the principal/designee shall refer the student to the Collaborative Problem Solving Team to determine if early patterns of truancy are developing and provide appropriate interventions (F.S. 1003.26 (1)(b)), and/or the State Attorney’s Office will be notified due to non-compliance with compulsory school attendance laws. However, if the principal and/or his designee determines that the reasons for the absences are valid and there are no early signs of truancy, the parent must provide a note (to be kept on file at the school) that provides the reasons for those absences.
Parents and students may verify absences at any time at school or at home by contacting the school or by accessing electronic attendance records through Virtual Counselor which link is found on the Broward County Public Schools website.
- EXCUSED ABSENCES
Students shall be counted in attendance if they are away from school or on campus on a school day and are engaged in an educational activity which constitutes a part of the school-approved instructional program for students. Otherwise, students must be in school unless the absence has been permitted or excused for one of the reasons listed below (F.S. 1003.24(4), 1003.26)
- Illness of student.
- Illness of an immediate family member.
- Death in the family.
- Religious holidays of the student’s own faith.
- Required court appearance or subpoena.
- Special event. Examples of special events include important public functions, conferences, state/national competitions, college/university campus tour/visit as well as exceptional cases of family need.
- Scheduled medical or dental appointment.
- Students having, or suspected of having, a communicable disease or infestation which can be transmitted are to be excluded from school and are not allowed to return to school until they no longer present a health hazard (F.S. 1003.22). Examples of communicable diseases and infestations include, but are not limited to, fleas, head lice, ringworm, impetigo and scabies. Students are allowed a maximum of five excused days absence for each infestation of head lice.
- Students on field trips and students who attend alternative to suspension programs or in internal in-school suspensions are not considered absent.
- UNEXPECTED ABSENCES
Absences not excused as defined in the previous section, are considered unexcused.
- Students without a completed Certificate of Immunization indicating compliance with the current required schedule of immunizations will not be allowed to attend classes until this document is provided or a waiver is obtained. Absences due to non-compliance with immunization requirements shall be considered unexcused. (F.S. 1003.22(1)
- For students transferring into Broward County, including but not limited to foster care students, or homeless students, a temporary 30-day waiver of both health examination documents and certificates of immunization must be granted. (F.S. 1003.22(1) (5) (e))
- Students who have been externally suspended may be offered an opportunity to participate in an alternative to suspension program. If they do not attend, the assigned days, the absences will be considered suspensions. For a student with a disability (SWD) if FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education) is provided and the student does not attend, the student will be marked absent based on this attendance policy. The SWD will be permitted to make up work
- MAKE-UP WORK (This does not apply to specific homework provided under FS 1003.01 to certain suspended students.)
- Excused Absences and Field Trips: Student shall be given an opportunity to make up work for credit and grade for ALL excused absences and field trips.
- Suspensions: Make-up work for credit and grade is allowed for all students. It is the student’s responsibility to get the missed work. All work is due on the day of return from the suspension. Student is NOT allowed to participate in any school activities during the suspension period.
- Middle School Students: Make-up work for credit and grade is allowed for ALL absences due to the statutory promotion requirements to high school and the impact on course recovery.
- TARDINESSTardiness is defined as a student not being in the classroom when classes are scheduled to begin.
- Tardiness is disruptive to the learning environment and can have a negative impact on student achievement. Tardiness may also count toward establishing a pattern of non-attendance that may indicate early signs of truancy. A pattern of non-attendance may be established by an accumulation of tardiness, absences (excused and unexcused), and early sign outs that exceed five (5) days in a marking period or ten (10) days in two (2) marking
- A tardy is excused for the same reasons that an absence is excused. Excused absences/tardiness include: illness, illness of an immediate family member, death in the family, religious holidays of the student’s faith, required court appearance or subpoena by a law enforcement agency, special event, scheduled doctor or dentist appointments, or communicable disease. In extenuating circumstances, principals and/or their designee may also excuse a tardy for reasons other than those stated if documentation is provided. Parents must follow the same process to excuse a tardy as they do to excuse an absence.
- A student who has an excused tardy (note or telephone call) should report directly to class after first checking in at the designated check-in area of the school.
- Excessive tardiness will be addressed on a case–by–case basis to determine if there is a pattern of non- attendance. Non-attendance for instructional activities is established by tardiness, early-sign-outs, or absences for all or any part of the day.
- Tardiness to any class without documentation may be considered unexcused.
- EARLY SIGN-OUTS
When students are signed out early on an ongoing basis, their academic performance may be negatively impacted. The school system strongly encourages parents to ensure their student is in school for the full school day every day. Signing out early may count toward establishing a pattern of non-attendance that may indicate early signs of truancy. A pattern of non-attendance may be established by an accumulation of tardiness, absences (excused and unexcused), and early sign outs that exceeds five (5) days in a marking period or ten (10) days in two (2) marking periods.
- No students shall be released within the final 30 minutes of the school day unless the principal/designee determines it is an emergency.
- All schools will establish procedures for early release that ensure that all students are treated consistently.
- Excessive early sign-outs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis to determine if there is a pattern of non-attendance. Non-attendance for instructional activities is established by tardiness, early sign outs, or absences for all or any part of the day.
STUDENT’S RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Students have a right to know how the District defines and handles excused absences, unexcused absences, and tardiness. The District’s Discipline Matrix that assigns specific consequences for misbehavior is part of the school’s discipline plan. The Discipline Matrix, attached hereto as Appendix A, is hereby made part of this Code of Student Conduct. The Discipline Matrix sets forth the guidelines for assessing consequences for violations of School Board policies. School principals have the discretion to deviate from these guidelines by assessing an appropriate consequence other than stated in the Matrix if he or she determines in his or her sole discretion that there are mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
- Under Florida law, the Superintendent of Schools/designee shall have the authority to assign, provide for the proper placement, and govern students so as to promote the safety and welfare of all students and
school personnel (F.S. 1001.41, 1001.42, 1001.51 (24), 1003.31, 1003.32 and 1006.08).
- Students have a right to make-up work they missed during an excused absence or suspension.
- Students who are married, are parents, or are expectant parents have the right to remain in the regular school program or attend a special center program tailored to their specific needs.
- Students have a right to be protected from exposure to communicable diseases and infestations when in school.
- Students have a responsibility to attend all classes.
- Students have a responsibility to be on time for school and all classes.
- Students have a responsibility to ask their parents to notify the school when they are absent.
- Students have a responsibility to ask teachers for, and to complete, make-up assignments, in accordance with the guidelines from Make-Up Work, within Section I.
- Students have a responsibility to get medical advice and/or counseling about how to adjust their schooling for marriage, pregnancy, and parenthood.
- Students having or suspected of having a communicable disease are not allowed to attend school. In order to return to school, parents must obtain a doctor’s note stating that the student is no longer contagious. Chickenpox is the only infectious disease that does not require a doctor’s note.
The School Board of Broward County, Florida stresses the importance that all students attend school regularly and remain in school until they graduate from high school. However, “a child who attains the age of 16 years [or age specified by state statute, whichever is older] during the school year is not subject to compulsory school attendance beyond the date upon which he or she attains that age if the child files a formal declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment with the District’s School Board. The declaration must acknowledge that terminating school enrollment is likely to reduce earning potential and must be signed by the child and the child’s parent. The school district must notify the child’s parent of receipt of the child’s declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment” (F.S. 1003.21). Declaration of Intent Forms are available at each school’s administration office. Also be aware that students who drop out of school are not eligible to receive a driver’s license or driver’s permit or will have their license or permit revoked.
NOTE: For additional information on students’ rights and responsibilities, see the Code of Student Conduct as well as the Driving Privileges & Attendance section of this policy.