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Student Attendance

There is probably no factor more important to successful school progress than regular and punctual school attendance. Students who are tardy or absent excessively from their instructional program fall behind in academic achievement. Excessive school absenteeism precedes grade failure, loss of interest, and may result in students withdrawing from school.

Parents and students are responsible for attendance, which is required by law during the 180 days that school is in session. Attendance is defined as the following: 1) school attendance – must be present for at least two hours of the day or engaged in a school-approved educational activity, 2) class attendance – must be present in class for at least half of the class period.

The following absences will be considered reasonable excuses for time missed at school: personal illness of the student, student medical appointment, death in the immediate family, observance of religious holidays, subpoena by law enforcement agency or mandatory court appearance, outdoor suspensions, family leave time for military-connected students, appointments for a therapy service provided by a licensed health care practitioner or behavior analyst, and documented absences beyond the control of the parent or student as approved by the principal.

Any absence that does not fall into one of the above excused absence categories is to be considered unexcused. Absences are initially recorded as “unexcused” and will be changed to “excused” upon receipt of the required documentation from the parent. Parents are responsible for reporting and explaining the absence or tardiness to the school within three days of the student’s return to school or the absence will remain as unexcused.

If the absences are excused, all educational requirements for the course shall be met before a passing grade and/or credit is assigned. The student shall have up to three school days to submit make-up work for excused absences or in a period of time equal to the number of days absent. Unexcused absences do not require that the teacher provide make-up work for the student.

M-DCPS oversees truancy intervention efforts for students ages 6-17 who are deemed habitually truant. Those students may be referred to a designated social service agency after required escalating services have been exhausted.

Students between the ages of 14 and 18 classified as habitually truant are reported to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the student will be ineligible to receive or maintain driving privileges.  Driving privileges may be reinstated upon demonstration of 30 consecutive days of attendance without any unexcused absences.

Specific guidelines for student attendance are reflected in The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida Policy 5200, Student Attendance, http://www.neola.com/miamidade-fl/  with specific procedures delineated in the Student Attendance Reporting Procedures Handbook http://ehandbooks.dadeschools.net/policies/89.pdf.