Attendance Policy

  • Based on the number of unexcused absences, students must maintain a 90% attendance rate in all class periods throughout the school year in order to maintain privileges to include but not limited to:             
  • Parking
  • Homecoming Events
  • Grad Night
  • Prom
  • Field Trips (Teachers must provide an alternate assignment)
  • Athletic Participation
  • Extra-Curricular Events


Excused Absences:

  • Parents/Guardians can excuse up to five (5) days per semester by providing a written and signed note(s). This shall also include prearranged absences. For more than (5) days of excused absences in any one class period, a doctor's note may be required. Extenuating circumstances may be addressed with administration. Prearranged excused absences will not be approved during district and statewide assessments.
    • To submit your notes to excuse an absence you can do one of the following, be sure each note has the student name clearly written, student ID number and dates to be excused.
      • Drop off your note in the basket at the front office-where guests sign into campus.
      • Email your notes to Donna Loughran at
      • Fax notes to 352-797-7110 attention "Attendance Office: Donna Loughran"

Unexcused Absences:

  • If a student is under the 90% attendance rate at the time of the event, the student will lose their privileges. This will occur if a student does not turn in a note from their parent/guardian (must be one of the excused reasons). This could also occur if a student has more than (5) excused absences per semester. 
  • Opportunities for make up work vary based on whether the absences is excused, unexcused and the number of unexcsued absences. A full length explanation of our make up work policy is available on our "Make-Up Work Policy" page.

Legal Implications of Truancy

Compulsory Attendance:  

  • Florida Law (Section 1003.21, Florida Statutes) states that all children who are either six years of age, who will be six years old by February 1 of any school year, or who are older than six years of age but who have not attained the age of 16 years, must attend school regularly during the entire school term. 
  • A student who attains the age of 16 years during the school year is not subject to compulsory school attendance beyond the date upon which he or she attains that age if the student files a formal declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment with the district school board. 


  • Florida law defines truant as a student who attains 5 or more unexcused absences in a 30 calendar day period. A "habitual truant" is defined as a student who has 15 or more unexcused absences within 90 calendar days with or without the knowledge or consent of the student's parent or guardian, and who is subject to compulsory school attendance.

Loss of student's Driver's License: 

  • Students reported for non-compliance with attendance requirements are being reported to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Students meeting the definition of legally truant defined above will lose their driver's license. It can only be reinstated after a period of 90 days of maintaining legal standard of attendance. The suspension is part of the permanent driving record and will likely increase car insurance rates.

Loss of Cash Assistance by DCF: 

  • The Learnfare Program (Learnfare) was established in 1993 as part of the Welfare Reform Act and requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to reduce the temporary cash assistance (TCA) for recipients who fail to comply with the program's requirements. Learnfare requires a reduction in the temporary cash assistance if a recipient fails to comply with attendance requirements. The reduced portion is that amount allotted to the truant child, or the amount allotted to the parent or guardian if he or she is not participating in the required conferences. The family EBT card balance will be adjusted by DCF, full EBT card benefits may only be reinstated after certain criteria are met. Section 414.1251, F.S. -- Learnfare Program.

Parental Prosecution: 

  • Parents of students who continually or habitually skip school may face criminal charges if the school has taken all of the legally required steps to address the problem, and those interventions haven’t worked. Unless the parents can show that they weren’t aware the absences or tried their best to keep the kids in school, they may be found guilty of a misdemeanor (punishable by to 60 days in jail or jail time plus a $500 fine). When that’s the case, the court will refer the parent and child for counseling, guidance, and other services. (Of course, the parents also risk the severe penalty of losing custody if their children are found dependents of the juvenile court.). Parents who don’t obey court orders to send their kids to school or to participate in services like parenting classes may be charged with contempt of court. (Fla. Stat. §§ 775.082, 775.083, 984.151, 1003.24, 1003.26, 1003.27 (2019).)

Student Prosecution:

  • The school may file a truancy petition in juvenile court. After a hearing, the court may order the student to pay a penalty or do certain things, such as attend alternative classes, perform community service, or participate in intensive counseling. Students who don’t obey the court orders or who stay out of school without their parents’ knowledge could find themselves under the juvenile court’s control as a dependent child or a “child in need of services.” Once they’ve been declared in need of services, children who continue to disobey court orders can face punishment, including juvenile detention and out of the home shelter placement.
  • Fla. Stat. §§ 984.03, 984.151, 1003.26