ATTENDANCE RULES [Policy 5200]
The expectation of the School Board of Lake County, is that all students will be in attendance each day of the school year.
1. Parents/guardians are responsible for the attendance of their children within the compulsory school age (6 through 16 years of age). A student who attains the age of 16 during the school year is not subject to compulsory school attendance beyond the date that (s)he attains this age, if the student files a formal declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment with the district 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 student and the student’s parent/guardian. [Section 1003.21, Florida Statutes]
2. Each parent of a child within the compulsory attendance age is responsible for the child’s school attendance as required by law. [Section 1003.24, Florida Statutes]
3. A habitual truant is defined by law as a student who has 15 unexcused absences within 90 calendar days, with or without the knowledge or consent of the parent or legal guardian. [Section 1003.01(8), Florida Statutes] Accumulated tardies and early departures shall be considered unexcused absences. Three unexcused tardies or early releases will equal one unexcused absence for the purpose of defining a habitual truant. The superintendent must provide the Department of Highway and Motor Vehicles with the name of each habitual truant, age 15 and above. The Department of Highway and Motor Vehicles may not issue a driver’s license or learner’s driver’s license to, and shall suspend any previously
issued license of any such student. (Sections 322.091 and 1003.27, Florida Statutes). Families receiving public assistance for a student through the State of Florida Learnfare program may have that assistance withdrawn if the student is identified as habitually truant or has dropped out of school. [Section 414.1251, Florida Statutes] Additionally, a parent who refuses or fails to have a minor student who is under the parent’s control attend school regularly commits a misdemeanor of the second degree. School Board of Lake County employees who willfully violate state truancy law may face action against their certification. [Section 1003.27(7), Florida Statutes]
4. Students and families violating the state truancy law may face court action. [Sections 1003.24, 1003.27, and 1003.29, Florida Statutes]
5. More than 10 excused/unexcused absences in a semester is considered to be excessive. A written statement from a licensed practicing physician verifying an illness or injury must be provided after that point for the absence to be considered excused. In cases where a student is experiencing a long-term illness or injury, only one written statement per year from a licensed practicing physician is required. However, the parent/guardian will need to continue to submit a note explaining the reason for each absence.
6. Whenever a student of compulsory school age is absent or tardy without the permission of the person in charge of the school, the parent/guardian of the student will, within the grading period after the absence or tardy, report and explain in writing the cause of such absence
or tardy to appropriate school personnel.
7. Excused absences or tardies include:
- illness or injury of the student
- illness or injury of the student’s immediate family necessitating the student’s absence – immediate family includes, but is not limited to
- parent, brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, legal guardian or person in loco parentis, or member of the household.
- death of a member of the student’s immediate family
- doctor or dental appointments which cannot be scheduled outside of school hours
- pre-arranged absences of educational value and with the principal’s prior approval - The request for pre-arranged absence must be at least
- five days in advance unless there are extenuating circumstances.
- recognized religious holidays
- attendance at a center under Children and Families Services supervision
- significant community events with prior permission of the principal
- insurmountable conditions. Insurmountable conditions are extreme weather conditions, communicable disease outbreaks and local
- conditions determined by the School District which, after taking into account the material circumstances, would render impracticable a
- student’s attendance at school. (F.A.C. 6A-1.09513)
- judicial actions – subpoena/summons: Juvenile Detention Center
- Truancy Hearings
- Any absence of a student diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or eligible for the Autism Spectrum Disorder program through Exceptional Student Education for an appointment scheduled to receive therapy provided by a licensed health care practitioner or certified
- behavior analyst.
8. All other absences or tardies are considered unexcused.
9. Upon return from an absence(s), students are responsible for making arrangements with the teacher to make up assignments and/or test(s). Students may need more time, depending on the length of the absence, to remediate content or receive the initial instruction he/she missed. In collaboration with the student and/or parent, teachers will establish the due date for missed work or tests after considering the length of the absence and the instructional or remediation time needed to ensure student mastery of the course content/standard. Students shall earn full credit for all assignments, tests, and quizzes made up within the reasonable time limits established by the teacher. Partial credit shall be given for assignments not completed within the time limits established by the teacher.
10. Students may participate in academic field trips without being counted absent.
11. Two (2) parent notes per 9 week period will be excused. All other undocumented absences will be counted as unexcused.
12. Once a student has 5 or more unexcused absences, it will result in an evaluation by the principal, or designee, of a potential pattern of non-
attendance and referral to the appropriate school official. Schools may require adherence to an attendance contract if the student has violated the attendance rules.
13. Procedure for Student Returning from Absence – Upon returning to school a student must present a note or other appropriate documentation
explaining an absence within 48 hours of the student’s return to school. Otherwise the absence may be considered as unexcused.
14. Incentive for Good Attendance – The principal or designee has the final authority for determining whether or not a school offers incentives for good attendance.
15. Academic Field Trips (AFT)
- An AFT is defined as an event in which a student is participating in a school sponsored event under the auspices of a teacher.
- 4 AFTs per 18 week period
- Students may participate in AFTs without being counted absent if all required work is made up.
16. Out-of-School Suspension Days
- Elementary and Middle School: A student who receives a suspension for the first, second, or third time shall not have the suspension count
- as an unexcused absence.
- High School: A student who receives a suspension for the first time shall not have the suspension count as an unexcused absence.
- When the suspension results in unexcused absences, as referenced above, the suspension should not prohibit the student from maintaining academic momentum (see #9 of this section).
17. Tardy Policy Per 9 Weeks
- A student is considered tardy to class after the bell rings unless excused by a note from school personnel.
- 3 tardies per 9 week period = 1 unexcused absence
- Missing 15 minutes or more in a traditional schedule or 30 minutes or more in a block schedule of a class constitutes an absence
18. Administration of Attendance Rules – The Attendance Office, under the supervision of the principal or designee, is allowed the flexibility to design the paperwork, procedures, and the coordination with the School Counseling Office in the implementation of the Attendance Rules.
19. Students, 18 years of age and older, shall have all rights accorded to their records, unless they are dependent on their parents as defined in the Internal Revenue Code. Students, 18 years of age and older, in K-12 educational programs are required to be in compliance with attendance and discipline policies of the School Board of Lake County.