Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy (updated 8/30/21)

A printable version of this policy is available in English and Spanish.


School Board Policy JE outlines the responsibilities within the school building, but not limited to, the following:

  • School attendance is the responsibility of the student and parent/legal guardian.
  • Student absences will be recorded as unexcused until an acceptable excuse has been provided by the parent/legal guardian indicating the reason for the student’s absence. The principal has the ultimate authority to decide whether an absence shall be excused. Attendance documentation must be submitted to the school within 48 hours of the student’s absence. The principal may extend this deadline beyond 48 hours.
  • Early student departure during the last hour of the school day is strongly discouraged.
  • Students who have attended more than half a school day and are released from school prior to the closing of the school day shall be recorded as an early departure for the purposes of attendance. Early departures are either excused or unexcused.
  • A student is considered absent for the entire day if more than half of the school day is missed.

Absences shall be excused for the following:

  • Illness, injury, or other insurmountable condition (either dismissed through the clinic, or with a note from parent/guardian; if a student is repeatedly absent from school due to illness, the school is authorized to require the parent/legal guardian to provide a written physician’s statement for each subsequent absence to be considered excused). It is the practice of OCPS to require a doctor’s note when a student is absent for three or more consecutive days, or more than five non-consecutive day for medical reasons;
  • Illness or death of a member of the student’s immediate family (OCPS practice has been to define immediate family as the student’s mother, father, brother, sister, stepmother, stepfather, step-siblings, and other relatives who live in the student’s home);
  • Recognized (or established) religious holidays and/or religious instruction; per Florida State Statute 1003.21 (2)(b): There are a number of religious holidays which qualify as excused absences. In order to qualify as an excused absence, the religious tenets must forbid secular activities on that day, and the parents must have declared that their student is observing the holidays of that specific religion. Religious absences are treated like prearranged absences, and must be requested in writing at least five days prior.
  • Medical appointments (requires doctor’s note);
  • Legal appointments (with documentation);
  • Participation in an approved activity or class of instruction held at another site;
  • Prearranged absences of educational value with the principal’s prior approval;
  • Pediculosis (head lice) infestation (up to four (4) days per school year); or
  • Catastrophic disasters that significantly impact the life of the student (e.g. loss of residence from natural disaster).

A student who is not in his/her assigned class at the beginning of the class period is considered tardy.

Students shall be given a reasonable amount of time to make up any work assignments which were missed during an absence. At least one (1) school day shall be allowed to make up missed work for each day of absence.

If a student believes there is an error in their attendance, they should speak with their teacher to determine the correction needed. The teacher will communicate any changes to the attendance clerk.

Phone calls are not acceptable communications for excusing an absence.

Absence verification for students attending classes through LaunchEd@Home should be emailed to the attendance clerk: [email protected]. E-mails must come from the parent’s/guardian’s email on file, or directly from the appointment provider’s office (doctor, dentist, etc.).