SECTION 2 (adapted from Student Code of Conduct)
Regular school attendance is a necessary part of a student’s education. Excessive absences impair a student’s educational progress, impacts whether the student passes or fails a grade, and may result in court proceedings and/or the loss of driving privileges. Absences shall be classified and treated as follows:
Students must be in school unless the absence has been excused for one of the reasons listed below. Excused absences include the following:
- Personal Illness.
- Illness of an immediate family member.
- Death in the family.
- Religious holidays of the student’s religious faith.
- Required court appearance or subpoena by a law enforcement agency.
- Special events, including, but not limited to, important public functions, student conferences, student state/national competitions, administrative approved post-secondary educational institution visitation, as well as exceptional cases of family need. Students must get permission from the principal at least five days in advance.
- Scheduled doctor or dentist appointments. The parent or guardian must notify the school of the date and appointment time prior to the absence/release time.
Students having or suspected of having a communicable disease or infestation that can be transmitted are to be excluded from school and are not allowed to return to school until they no longer present a health hazard (Florida Statute 1003.22). Examples of communicable diseases and infestations include, but are not limited to, fleas, head lice, ringworm, impetigo, and scabies. Students are allowed a maximum of three (3) days excused absence for an infestation of head lice.
- Unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Shopping trips
- Pleasure trips
- Suspension from school
- Appointments without prior approval except in case of emergency
- Other avoidable absences.
Any student who has been absent from school shall bring a note from a parent or guardian within forty-eight (48) hours of returning to school stating the cause of the absence. Failure to bring in a note will result in an automatic unexcused absence. However, the fact that the student brings in a note does not require the school administration to excuse the absence. These notes are to be brought into the front office so that the student planner can be marked accordingly.
A student may be deemed truant after (i) five (5) unexcused absences, or absences for which the reasons are unknown, within a calendar month, or (ii) ten (10) unexcused absences, or absences for which the reasons are unknown, within a 90-calendar-day period.
Students are subject to the following actions for preventing and correcting truancy:
- When a student may be exhibiting a pattern of non-attendance, the principal shall refer the student to the school’s attendance team to determine if a pattern of truancy is developing.
- The school’s attendance team shall meet with the student and parent or guardian to determine if a pattern of truancy is developing and to identify and implement potential remedies.
- If the school-based efforts to resolve non-attendance are unsuccessful, the student shall be referred to the Superintendent or his designee for truancy.
- If no valid reason is found for the student’s absences, the Superintendent or his designee may send the parent or guardian written notice requiring enrollment or attendance within three (3) days after the date of the notice.
- If the student does not return to school after the three (3) day notice, the Superintendent or his designee may refer the student and the parent or guardian to truancy court before the Circuit Court of St. Johns County. A criminal prosecution for truancy may also be initiated.
Florida law requires that minors who fail to satisfy attendance requirements will be ineligible for driving privileges. The School District is required to notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles of the following:
- Students ages 14-18 who accumulate fifteen (15) unexcused absences, not including out of school suspensions, in a ninety (90) calendar-day period.
- Students between the ages of 16-18 who have signed a declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment.
- Students ages 14-18 who are expelled.
- Students ages 14-18 who did not enter school and for whom the school has received no indication of transfer to another educational setting.
These students may not be issued a driver’s license or learner driver’s license. Also, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall suspend any previously issued driver’s license or learner driver’s license of any such minor pursuant to Florida Statute 322.091. In order to have a driver’s license reinstated, the student must attend school regularly for thirty (30) days with no unexcused absences and pay the appropriate reinstatement fee.