Attendance Policies

Compulsory Attendance

All children who have attained the age of six (6) years by February 1 of any school year, or who are older than six (6) years of age but have not attained the age of sixteen (16) years, shall be required to attend school regularly during the school term. A student shall attend all school sessions unless excused by the proper school authority. This rule does not apply to students who have been granted a Certificate of Exemption.

Each parent/legal guardian of a student within compulsory attendance age of six (6) to sixteen (16) is responsible for the student's school attendance.

Student Absences

On a daily basis, student absences will be recorded as unexcused until an acceptable excuse has been provided by the parent/legal guardian indicating the reason for the student’s absence. The principal has the ultimate authority to decide whether an absence shall be excused. Attendance documentation must be submitted to the school within 48 hours of the student’s absence. The principal may extend this deadline beyond 48 hours.

Early student departure during the last hour of the school day is strongly discouraged.

 If a student is repeatedly absent from school due to illness, the school is authorized to require the parent/legal guardian to provide a written physician’s statement for each subsequent absence to be considered excused.

Absences shall be excused for the following:

  • Illness, injury, or other insurmountable condition
  • Illness or death of a member of the student’s immediate family (OCPS practice has
    been to define immediate family as the student’s mother, father, brother,
    sister, stepmother, stepfather, step-siblings, and other relatives who live in the
    student’s home)
  • Recognized (or established) religious holidays and/or religious instruction
  • Medical appointments
  • Legal appointments
  • Participation in an approved activity or class of instruction held at another site
  • Prearranged absences of educational value with the principal’s prior approval
  • Pediculosis (head lice) infestation (up to four (4) days per school year)
  • Catastrophic disasters that significantly impact the life of the student (e.g. loss of
    residence from natural disaster).

Students shall be given a reasonable amount of time to make up any work assignments which were missed during an absence. At least one (1) school day shall be allowed to make up missed work for each day of absence.

Truancy

A student between the ages of six (6) and under sixteen (16) who is absent from school without having an excused absence, with or without the knowledge and/or consent of the parent/legal guardian, will be considered “truant.”

A student between the ages of six (6) and under sixteen (16) who has fifteen (15) or more unexcused absences within ninety (90) calendar days, or an equivalent combination of unexcused absences and accumulated tardies as determined in the Child Study Team action, will be considered a “habitual truant.” Days when a student is suspended from school are not included in the number of absences when determining “habitual truancy.” Students may make up work missed during a suspension within a time limit established by the principal.

If a student has had at least five (5) unexcused absences, or absences for which the reasons are unknown, within a calendar month or ten (10) unexcused absences, within a ninety (90) calendar day period, or an equivalent combination of unexcused absences and accumulated tardies as determined in the Child Study Team action, the student's primary teacher shall report to the principal or designee that the student may be exhibiting a pattern of nonattendance. The principal or designee shall, unless there is clear evidence that the absences are not a pattern of nonattendance, refer the case to the school's Child Study Team to determine if early patterns of truancy are developing. If the Child Study Team finds that a pattern of nonattendance is developing, whether the absences are excused or not, a meeting with the parent/legal guardian must be scheduled to identify potential remedies.