Learning builds day by day. A child who misses a day of school misses a day of learning. Research shows children who are in school regularly perform better. Children who are tardy, leave early or are absent can never get back what's most important: class discussions, questions and explanations by the teacher which makes learning come alive. Student's success in school depends on consistent attendance.
Florida law (Fla. Stat. #1003.24, (2009)) requires that the parent of each child from the ages of five to sixteen years of age be accountable for their child's school attendance and holds parents responsible for providing an explanation for any absence from school.
Absence is nonattendance of a student at school or in an approved educational activity/field trip or program on days school is in session. A student who is not physically present at school or not participating in a school approved activity as defined under the compulsory school law shall be counted as absent and shall not be recorded as in attendance that day.
The law allows for absences for illness or medical care, death in the family, religious holidays, prearranged absences for educational purposes approved by a school administrator and certain other special circumstances and insurmountable conditions. A student with an excused absence is not subject to any disciplinary or academic penalties. Notes requesting an excused absence must be received within three days of an absence.
Students who are absent, tardy or leave early due to a scheduled medical or dental visit will need to provide documentation from the medical provider.
An unexcused absence is defined as any time a child is out of school for reasons not recognized in the law. In these cases the child may be subject to academic penalties.
Unexcused absenteeism sufficient enough to jeopardize academic progress in elementary school is defined as a student being absent without an acceptable reason five (5) times in a calendar month or ten (10) times in a semester (90 calendar days).
Tardiness is defined as any arrival at school after the bell to begin school has sounded. Leaving school early also falls under this category.
Truancy is defined as a student who is not in attendance with or without the parent, guardian or other person having charge of the student and whose absence has not been excused.