Research shows that school attendance and student achievement is directly correlated. Imagine how hard it is to miss a day or two of algebra and then have to get back on track as the whole class is moving forward knowing information that you missed!
We understand that students sometimes are ill or have genuine reasons to miss school, such as doctor or therapists visits, required court appearances, funerals, and so forth. State law and district attendance policy allows the parent to write notes to document and excuse up to 10 days of student absence for illness or excusable reasons per year: 5 days in the first term (August thru January) and 5 days in the second term (January to June). Beyond those 10 days, if a student has a serious reason to miss additional days, the school principal can review parent requests to excuse up to 5 more days per year, for a total of 15 days. That is a lot of time out of school--especially when students have to make up the missed work AND keep up with the new work. (Note: Students do not receive credit for work made up for unexcused absences which impacts grades.)
Beyond 15 days per year, only doctor/therapist or court notes are accepted to excuse absences. It is very important to document all days of absence with a note which must be turned in at school--even if the reason for absences does not allow the day to be excused. It is important to note that family vacations are not excusable days. Questions about attendance should be directed to the attendance clerk at your child's school.
When students begin to accrue "unexcused absences," the district is required to monitor the student's attendance. Calls are made to the home on the day of absence. Letters are sent home when the students begins to have more unexcused absences. When the unexcused days total 10 in a 90-day period or 5 in a 30-day period, the school counselor has to hold a Student Study Team (SST) meeting to talk with the parent/guardian about why the student is missing school and make a plan to get the unexcused absences to stop. Remember, students can easily fall behind in learning when they miss days of school!
If the unexcused absences do not stop, the district is required to refer the student and family for additional services. Failure to have a child attend school is a law violation. In very severe cases, the parent/guardian may be called into court to explain the situation to a judge and can be placed on probation. No one wants to see this happen, so it is very important that the home and school work together toward success for the students!
Flagler policy requires that all students enrolled in school adhere to district attendance policy. Students who are not required by law to attend school may be withdrawn for non-attendance. Students who are required by law (based on age) to attend school will be referred for services and intervention if they have continuing unexcused absences.
Sometimes parents/guardians need assistance in getting a student to school. For students who are aged 10-17, Children in Need of Services (CINS) can provide intervention and assistance for the situation. The parent/guardian can call CINS directly at 1-800-539-4228 or contact the student's school counselor who can make a referral for services.
We all have to work together to meet our goal of "Striving to be the Nation's Premier Learning Organization". Attendance is a big part of school success!