School Attendance

Student absences should be reported daily on the appropriate form in your attendance folder. Chickasaw uses an automated bar code attendance procedure. Excessive absences should be investigated by the teacher, attendance clerk, and/or school social worker.

Students who are returning from an absence are required to bring in a written note of explanation from their parent or guardian. Teachers should place all notes in the attendance folder and send them to the office on a daily basis so that the attendance clerk may determine if the absence is excused or unexcused. When notes are returned to the classroom teacher, they should be kept in the envelope provided and submitted to the office at the end of the school year. If you do not receive a note for an absence, a form note should be sent home with the student to be checked, signed and returned by the parent.

Florida Law requires that each public school implement the following steps in regards to student attendance:

1. The principal or designee must contact the parent/guardian to determine the reason for each unexcused absence or absence for which the reason is unknown.

2. If a student has 5 unexcused absences or absences for which the reasons are unknown within a calendar month or 10 unexcused absences within a 90 calendar day period, the primary teacher or designee must report to the principal or designee that the child may be exhibiting a pattern of nonattendance.

3. Unless there is clear evidence that there is no pattern of nonattendance, the principal shall refer the case to the child study team. If the child study team finds a pattern of nonattendance, a meeting with the parent/guardian must be scheduled.

4. If the meeting does not resolve the problem, the child study team shall implement interventions that best address the problem including:

· Frequent communication with the teacher and family

· Changes in the learning environment

· Mentoring

· Student counseling

· Tutoring, including peer tutoring

· Placement into different classes

· Evaluation for alternative education programs

· Attendance contracts

· Referral to other agencies for family services

· Other interventions.

The law also provides that the superintendent/designee may file a truancy petition in the judicial court in which the student is enrolled if the school determines that a child has 15 unexcused absences within a 90 calendar day period. The circuit court may use a general or special master to hear the petition.