Parents are responsible for reporting their child's absence.
To report an excused absence, you may choose one of the following options:
- Submit an Online Excused Absence Form from your child's school website under Contact: "Report an Absence"
- Call the school's attendance hotline
- Submit a note to the school's Front Office Staff
Visit your school's website for the Attendance Hotline phone number or to submit an Online Excused Absence Form.
When reporting an absence, please include ALL of the following information:
- Name of parent reporting absence
- Phone number of parent reporting absence
- Child’s first and last name
- Child’s school ID number or date of birth
- Child's grade level
- Date of absence
- Reason for absence
Parents are expected to report absences within two days of the absence. If requested by the school, the parent must provide documentation of an illness from a physician or public health unit.
Excused Absences - from Policy 5.5: Attendance
Students must be in school unless the absence has been permitted or excused for one of the reasons listed below:
- Illness of student
- Illness of an immediate family member
- Death in the family
- Religious holiday
- Required court appearance or subpoena
- Special event (Examples of special events include important public functions, educational enrichment activities, conferences, state/national competitions, college/university tour/visit, and exceptional cases of family need. A school administrator will use professional judgement to determine application of “special event” as an excused absence and indicate the specific number of days granted.)
- Scheduled medical or dental appointment
- Student has a communicable disease
Students on field trips, attending alternative to suspension programs, or in internal suspension programs are not considered absent.
Student attendance has a strong correlation to academic achievement as identified by the U.S. Department of Education. Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for all public schools in Broward County for the 2018/19 school year was 93.8%. The reports below provide snapshots of district-wide attendance for all public schools from elementary, middle, high, multi-level schools, and center schools.
Chronic absenteeism has been included in the Attendance Brief beginning with the 2016/17 report. Chronic absenteeism is defined as a student missing 10% or more full school days (including absences that are excused, unexcused, or external suspensions). This metric operates as an Early Warning Indicator for students missing days throughout the school year.
- Example: In the first 30 days of school, a student that was absent 3 days may receive phone calls from teachers, support from other school staff, and strategies and interventions for the family to help prevent the student from missing too many days before the end of the school year.
Official reports for attendance are created by the Student Assessment & Research Department in collaboration with the Student Services Department and the Coordinator for District Attendance.
CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO REVIEW THE DETAILED REPORTS:
2018/19 BCPS Data Snapshot: Student Attendance SY17-SY19 and Appendices released December 2019.
2017/18 BCPS Data Snapshot: Student Attendance SY16-SY18 and Appendices released 10/10/2018
What are the acceptable reasons for an excused absence?
The Attendance Policy allows eight reasons for an absence to be excused. The reasons are:
- illness of student,
- illness of an immediate family member,
- death in the family,
- religious holidays of the student’s own faith,
- required court appearance,
- special event,
- scheduled medical or dental appointment,
- or student having, or suspected of having a communicable disease.
What is chronic absenteeism?
"Chronic Absenteeism" is when a child is absent for 10% or more full school days. That includes absences that are excused, unexcused, and suspensions.
Students that are absent 10% or more days are more likely to have difficulty with maintaining grade-level academic achievement.
By measuring as a percentage of days, schools and parents can work together early in the school year to prevent a child from missing too many school days.
How can chronic absenteeism affect one child?
Kindergarten and 1st Grade
- As few as 17% of students chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade were proficient on their 3rd grade English Language Assessment in a 2011 study.
- According to Attendance Works, 75% of 6th graders that are chronically absent are likely to drop out of high school before graduation.
- A single year of chronic absenteeism between 8th and 12th grade was associated with a seven-fold increase in the likelihood of dropping out. (USDOE)
Key research on chronic absenteeism can be found at Attendance Works: https://awareness.attendanceworks.org/wp-content/uploads/Research2016.pdf
How does chronic absenteeism impact school-wide academic achievement?
Chronic absenteeism has been correlated to academic achievement in studies throughout the last 20 years.
In 2018/19 within Broward County Public Schools:
- 128/224 schools (60.4%) increased "Total Points Earned for FSA."
- 101 of those 128 schools (78.9%) that increased Total Points Earned also decreased overall chronic absenteeism in the same year.
Improved attendance is not the only factor impacting student achievement. Student learning improves with consistent attendance, high-quality teaching, engaging curriculum, feeling safe in the learning environment, and a positive relationship between the home and school.
What is typical number of absences for a child in a school year?
It is normal for a child to be absent 2 or 3 times in a school year. Illness is the most common reason for excused absences.
In 2018/19, about 59% of all BCPS students in K-12 were absent less than 9 times in the school year. 71% of those students were absent less than 4 times in the school year.
For excessive absences:
When a child study team has a determined a pattern of nonattendance is evident, schools will inform parents to help determine effective strategies, necessary interventions, and require documentation for future absences.
5 days in a marking period (quarter) or 10 days in two marking periods may establish a pattern of nonattendance.
"Habitual Truant" is when a student is absent 15 days unexcused in a 90-calendar day period.
What should I do if the school records my child’s absence as unexcused when it should have been an excused absence?
Immediately contact the school and provide documentation with a request to have the absence corrected. Follow up with the school administrator if necessary. A principal may determine that an absence is unexcused if documentation does not support the reason for absence.
When a child is not at school, teachers will record the absence as unexcused at the beginning of class. The absence will initiate a notification to the parent's contact information (phone, email, and text) to alert the parent that the child is not at school. Parents are responsible for providing a reason for the child's absence from school.
Can my 18-year-old student sign himself out of school?
No. Regardless of age, parents are responsible for providing excusal for absences, tardiness, and early sign-outs for their child.
How do I ensure that the school has my current contact information?
Immediately notify the registrar and/or school counselor at your school if your telephone number and/or address changes.
Resources and News
July 31, 2019 - Amid the fanfare over the public school that NBA star LeBron James opened last year
Dec. 3, 2018. WILKES-BARRE, PA — The United Way of Wyoming Valley launched a program Monday that aims to decrease absenteeism among disadvantaged students in Wilkes-Barre elementary schools.
Nov. 28, 2018
At least 40 percent of California school districts and charter schools have rates of chronic absence in grades K-8 that are high or very high based on new performance measures that will be unveiled next month as part of the state’s updated school accountability system, known as the California School Dashboard.
Over the past decade, chronic absence has gone from being a virtually unknown concept to a national education metric that provides every school in the nation with critical data on how many students are missing so many days of school it jeopardizes their academic success. The inclusion of chronic absence in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was a watershed moment that made this metric an integral component of efforts to help students succeed in school and later in life.
The Miami Marlins today announced further details regarding its Good Student Program, a new community ticket program and core pillar of the organization's Baseball For Kids partnership with J.P. Morgan. The Good Student Program's inaugural edition in 2018 will recognize K-12 students in the public school systems of Miami-Dade County and Broward County who achieved perfect attendance and/or straight A grades during the 2017/2018 academic year.