1. Students are expected to be on time and in school for the entire student day each school day.
2. A student who is not present in class at least one half of the class period shall be counted absent.
3. On the day of the student's absence, the parent should call the school to explain the absence. The absence will be excused if it meets the criteria outlined below. The parent or guardian must contact the school within 48 hours of the absence or appropriate documentation is required. If this contact is not made, the absence will be recorded as unexcused.
4. If a student is continually sick and repeatedly absent from school, he or she must be under the supervision of a physician in order to be excused from attendance.
5. Excessive absences will lead to a parent conference, referral to the District's Child Study Team, referral for social work services, referral to Truancy Court, and/or the involvement of the State Attorney. Parents who fail or refuse to cooperate with the school in the matter of regular school attendance for their child may be prosecuted for truancy by the State Attorney's Office.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: What is an excused absence?
A: An absence can be excused for the following reasons:
1. You are ill or injured.
2. Major illness in your immediate family (this means parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, or others living in the home or who are close relatives).
3. Death in your immediate family.
4. Religious instruction in your faith. This requires a note from your parent before the absence.
5. Subpoena or forced absence by any law enforcement agency. A copy of the subpoena or summons must be given to the Principal or Designee. This includes detention at a juvenile center in which you continue your education.
6. A major disaster as decided by the administration. Parents who fail or refuse to cooperate with the school in the matter of regular school attendance for their child may be prosecuted for truancy by the State Attorney s Office.
7. A School Board approved field trip or activity.
8. A documented appointment with a doctor or dentist.
9. An occurrence of head lice, with a maximum of two excused days.
Q: How many excused absences can I have?
A: You are allowed nine excused absences. Your parent may excuse nine absences per year. When you have reached your limit, official documentation is then required for every additional absence.
Q: What if I have used all of my excused absences and a family emergency occurs?
A: You must provide appropriate documentation to the school Principal or Designee for approval. These will be recorded as excused absences.
Q: How can I make up work when I am absent?
A: After an excused absence, you must arrange with your teacher for any make-up work. You have the same number of days that you were absent to make up your work. This rule does not apply to some long term assignments. (A long term assignment is when a student has 10 or more days to complete the work.) These long term assignments will be due on the specified date unless excused in writing by the teacher or Principal. It is your responsibility to make these arrangements and to submit the make-up work within the deadlines set by the teacher(s). You do not have the right to make up work if your absence was unexcused.
Q: What is an unexcused absence?
A: Anything that does not meet the criteria of an excused absence is considered unexcused. (Please refer to Excused Absences Section.)
Q: How many unexcused absences can I have?
A. In Manatee County, state law requires the regular attendance of children between the ages of 6 and 18 and makes parents and legal guardians legally responsible for seeing that their children attend school. Five unexcused
absences in one month or fifteen unexcused absences in a 90 day period may result in a referral for truancy court action. If you have accumulated a total of 10 unexcused absences, the District Truancy Department will send a letter by U.S. mail to the address on school records. The letter will request a meeting to discuss the potential truancy issue. Family vacations during scheduled school time are considered unexcused absences.
Q: What happens if I am late for school?
A: If you arrive at school late for any reason, you must report to the office and receive a tardy admit slip. The tardy will be deemed as excused or unexcused. You are expected to be in school at the start of the school day, everyday.
Q: What is an excused tardy?
A: An excused tardy is when you are late for school due to sickness, injury, death in your family, medical or dental appointments with a note from the physician, school sponsored activities, court date, or other reason approved
by the school Principal. For elementary students, parents must accompany the student to the office when they are tardy. If an elementary student arrives late and comes into the office unaccompanied by an adult, he/she will receive
an unexcused tardy.
Q: How many times am I allowed an unexcused tardy?
A: Habitual tardiness is unacceptable and unfair to other students because instruction is interrupted every time a late student arrives. Every three unexcused tardies within a grading period count as one unexcused absence. Please note that five unexcused absences in one month or 15 unexcused absences in a 90 day calendar period may result in Truancy Court for the parent/student. Also, individual schools may develop school-based consequences
for tardy students.
Q: May I leave school early in the school day?
A: To be considered present for the day, you must be in attendance for at least half of the school day. You are expected to be in school for the full day. However, if you must leave school early, you must go to the office and receive permission for early release. Parents of elementary and middle school students must report to the office to pick up their child.
Q: What are excused reasons for leaving school early?
A: Excused reasons for early dismissal follow the same guidelines as excused absences. They include: illness or injury, major illness or death in your immediate family, subpoena or forced absence by a law enforcement agency, a
major disaster, a documented appointment with a doctor or dentist, discovery of head lice, participation in another academic class or program, or other parental requests as judged appropriate by the Principal.
Q: What happens if I leave school early for unexcused reasons?
A: Numerous early dismissals are unacceptable and unfair to the other students whose instruction is interrupted each time a student leaves early. Every three unexcused early dismissals within a grading period will count as one
unexcused absence. Please note that five unexcused absences in one month or 15 unexcused absences in a 90 day calendar period may result in Truancy Court for the parent/student. Also, individual schools may develop school-
based consequences for unexcused early dismissal students.