School attendance is the responsibility of the parent and the student. There is a strong relationship between attendance and academic performance. Students who will be 6 years old by February 1 of any school year, or who are older than 6 but have not attained the age of 16, are expected to attend school every school day of the 180-day school year. A student who attains the age of 16 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. The declaration must be signed by the student and his or her guardian. An exit interview and a survey completed by the student is a part of the withdrawal process. Without the formal Declaration of Intent, students continue to be subject to compulsory school attendance until they are eighteen or graduate from high school.

    Florida Statute §1003.24 states that the parent/legal guardian of a child of compulsory age is responsible for the child’s daily school attendance. School staff, parents, students and state agencies are expected to work together to ensure that all applicable school attendance laws are obeyed, including but not limited to referral to the state-designated agency for possible court action for truancy.

    All absences are considered unexcused until the school receives written explanation from the parent/guardian within three days of the absence. The principal or designee has the authority to determine whether or not an absence is excused. Excessive excused absences for illness may result in the student being required to provide a doctor’s note or other substantiating medical evidence.

    Attendance is reported by the period at the middle and high school levels. In order to be considered present for the day, a student must be in attendance minimally for:

    High School
    The equivalent of four periods in a traditional seven-period day (200 minutes) or three block periods (270 minutes)

    Middle School
    Four periods of the day (200 minutes)

    Elementary School
    Half of the school day (200 minutes)

    Students have a RIGHT to:

    • Information defining rules for absences, tardiness, withdrawal and make-up assignments.
    • Transportation within the student’s school zone, but outside the two-mile limit from school.
    • Appeal a decision about an absence.
    • Make up all work missed during an out-of-school suspension or an unexcused absence, including tests and quizzes. In the case of unexcused absence, a teacher may deduct up to 30 percent from the earned grade for the work made up.

    Students have a RESPONSIBILITY to:

    • Attend classes daily and be on time.
    • Provide notification from a parent/guardian when absent.
    • Abide by school bus rules and regulations.
    • Request make-up assignments from teachers upon their return to school after an absence and to complete this work within a reasonable length of time, as specified in school and district attendance procedures and the Student Progression Plan.

    200.1 — Excused Absences

    • Student illness (if documented by parent/guardian or medical doctor)
    • Observance of a religious holiday or service that is recognized as such by members of the student’s faith
    • Medical appointment with documentation
    • Death in the family
    • Subpoena by law enforcement agency or mandatory court appearance
    • Other individual student absences beyond the control of the parent or student, as determined and approved by the principal or principal’s designee
    • Therapeutic services appointment (i.e. speech, occupational, physical, behavioral therapy)

    200.2 — Absence Reports

    • Absences should be reported in accordance with school policy and documented by a written note.
    • The report must come from a parent/guardian or a physician and give the date(s) of the absence and the reason for it.
    • These absence reports must be submitted within three days following the absences, although school principals may make exceptions in cases of need.
    • Parents may be asked to provide written medical documentation when excused absences for illness are excessive. Over nine absences for illness per semester or eighteen for illness in a school year is considered excessive.

    200.3 - Student in Transition Enrollment Procedures (SCSB Policy 5.14) 

    A homeless/transition student is defined under the Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act as lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, and includes:

    • Sharing the housing of other persons temporarily due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason (doubled-up);
    • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.
    • Living in motels, hotels, temporary trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
    • Migratory children living in one (1) of the above-described circumstances;
    • Unaccompanied Youth living in one (1) of the above-described circumstances.

    Unaccompanied homeless youth are those students who meet the above definition of homeless and are not living in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian. Not all unaccompanied youth are considered homeless. Determination for McKinney-Vento protections must be based on the lack of a “fixed, adequate and regular“ nighttime residence.   

    Every child has a right to a free and appropriate public education. Florida Statute 1003.21 requires that all children attend school regularly until they are 16 years old. Children in transition who fit federal definitions of homelessness have a right to:

    • Immediate school enrollment and attendance, even without required enrollment documentation at either the school of- origin (the school last attended before they lost their housing) or the school they are zoned for based upon their current living situation.
    • Thirty (30) day grace period in which the Homeless Education Liaison will assist parents with obtaining necessary enrollment documentation.
    • Remain at their school-of-origin for the duration of the school year even if they move outside of the school’s attendance zone.
    • Transportation to and from the school-of-origin for the duration of the school year.
    • Receive free breakfast and lunch immediately for the duration of the school year.
    • Receive prompt resolution about school placement to include special education, bilingual education, gifted and remedial programs.      

    Students eligible under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act can receive support through the student support staff at their school and through Schoolhouse Link, the District’s contracted homeless education program.  Services provided included assistance with school enrollment and McKinney-Vento identification, transportation to and from “school-of-origin” for the duration of the academic school year, school uniforms, school supplies, support and linking for families to community agencies. Students in Transition may also be eligible for additional supportive academic services. For more information, please contact the Schoolhouse Link Program at 941-923-6100.