Mom and student

Student Handbook and Family Handbook

The Student and Family Handbook has been developed to help students, families, and administrators understand the policies and procedures established for students. The document is now available online and topics of interest can be navigated using the menu on this page. Please note that the current online document is always the official version - updates may be made at any time as policies and procedures change. Anyone with questions may call the Communications and Community Relations Department at 941-927-4009.   

The Student and Family Handbook is developed and reviewed annually by a committee of district administrators, parents, students and school safety personnel and is divided into multiple sections. See the Table of Contents for more information. 

Florida Standards for the Arts, Health, Physical Education, Science and Social Studies, as well as the implementation of the Florida Standards for English Language Arts/Reading and Mathematics, are the foundation of curriculum and instruction for all Sarasota County students. The Florida Standards are the culmination of an extended, broad-based effort to fulfill the charge issued by the states to create the next generation of K-12 standards in order to help ensure that all students are college and career ready by the end of high school. The Standards define the knowledge and skills in core content areas that students are expected to master within their K-12 educational careers. This is one of the most important changes in education in the United States in the last 50 years and stands to positively affect students, parents, teachers, communities and the workforce. 

Parental Rights in SCS

The School Board of Sarasota County, Florida is committed to honoring the rights of parents/legal guardians and promoting their involvement in the District. The School Board recognizes the fundamental rights of parents/legal guardians to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their minor children. This webpage also contains a list of important information relating to the promotion of parental involvement in schools. 

Parents’ Bill of Rights (HB 241) (2021) and Parental Rights in Education (HB 1557) (2022)

In 2021, the Legislature enacted HB 241, the Parents’ Bill of Rights, codified in Chapter 1014, F.S. It provides that “important information relating to a minor child should not be withheld, either inadvertently or purposefully, from his or her parent.”  (s. 1014.02, F.S.)  School boards, as well as other government agencies, may not infringe upon the fundamental rights of parents unless it is “reasonable and necessary to achieve a compelling state interest and that such action is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.”  (s. 1014.03, F.S.)  These rights include the right “to direct the education and care of [the parent’s] minor children.”  (s. 1014.04(1)(a), F.S.)  Finally, school boards must adopt a policy to promote parental involvement in the schools, including a process to object to instructional materials, opt-out of sex education, and other rights previously enacted in the Education Code (Chapters 1000-1013, F.S.).  (s. 1014.05, F.S.)

Further, in 2022, the Legislature enacted HB 1557, entitled Parental Rights in Education.  This bill amended the Powers and Duties of District School Boards.  (s. 1001.42, F.S.)  It requires school boards to adopt procedures for notifying parents/legal guardians “if there is a change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student.”  (s. 1001.42(8)(c)1., F.S.)  District procedures can only permit withholding information from a parent/legal guardian “if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect.”  (s. 1001.42(8)(c)2., F.S.)  

The Legislature also added to the Superintendent’s Duties and Responsibilities   Section 1001.51(12)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that “Such records and reports shall include any determination to withhold from a parent information regarding the provision of any services to support the mental, physical, or emotional well-being of the parent’s minor child.  Any such determination must be based solely on child-specific information personally known to the school personnel and documented and approved by the school principal or his or her designee. Such determination must be reviewed annually and redetermined.”  (s. 1001.51(12)(a), F.S.)