General Provisions and Attendance

All Florida Statutes cited on these pages are also available on the Florida Senate web site.

Provisions for Military Families

Florida’s public school districts recognize the special challenges facing military families and students. Recognizing these challenges, Florida’s school districts have made efforts to assist the transition by:
  • improving the timely transfer of records
  • developing systems to ease student transition during initial entry into school
  • promoting practices which foster access to extracurricular activities and programs
  • establishing procedures to lessen the impact of moves from the end of the junior year as well as before and during the senior year
  • providing services for transitioning students when applying to and finding funding for postsecondary study
  • providing other assistance as identified by local school and school districts. Florida Statute 1000.36

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Transfer of Records

Procedures relating to the acceptance of transfer work and credit for students are prescribed by State Board of Education regulation. You should contact the local school district for specific information and requirements.

The Florida State Board of Education has prescribed by rule that there be a cumulative record for each student enrolled in a public K-12 school. The cumulative record is confidential, shall be maintained in the required form, and contain all required data. The procedure for transferring and maintaining records of students who transfer from school to school are prescribed by rules of the State Board of Education. Florida Statute1003.25, Compact Rules Section 3.101 (a) (b) (RTF, 126KB)

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School Attendance

Attendance Requirement

All children who have attained the age of six or who will have attained the age of six by February 1 of any year are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term. Children who will have attained the age of five years on or before September 1 of the school year are eligible for admission to public kindergartens during that school year under rules adopted by the district school board.

Any child who has attained the age of six years on or before September 1 of the school year and who has been enrolled in a public school or who has attained the age of six years on or before September 1 and has satisfactorily completed the requirements for kindergarten shall progress according to the district's student progression plan.

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. The school district must notify the student's parent of receipt of the student's declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment. Florida Statute1003.21

Minors between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years of age who do not attend school regularly will not be issued a learner’s permit or will have their driving privilege suspended by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Florida Statute 232.19

Parents' Responsibility

School attendance is the responsibility of the parent. Since there is a strong relationship between attendance and academic performance, it is important that parents take an active role in working with the school to ensure their child’s attendance on a daily basis. Schools provide information regarding attendance policies and procedures at the beginning of the school year. Parents must contact the school each time a student is absent. However, methods of notification vary among schools. Absences are classified as excused and unexcused, local school board policy lists the reasons for which an absence may be excused. Florida Statute 1003.24

Attendance Policy

Each district school board establishes an attendance policy that includes, but is not limited to, the required number of days each school year that a student must be in attendance and the number of absences and tardiness after which a statement explaining such absences and tardiness must be on file at the school. Each school in the district must determine if an absence or tardiness is excused or unexcused according to criteria established by the district school board. Florida Statute 1003.24

Section 5.105: Absences as Related to Deployment Activities (RTF, 126KB)

Enforcement of School Attendance

It is the policy of the state that each district school superintendent be responsible for enforcing school attendance of all students. The responsibility includes recommending to the district school board policies and procedures to ensure that schools respond in a timely manner to every unexcused absence, or absence for which the reason is unknown, of students enrolled in the schools. District school board policies must require parents to justify each absence of the student, and that justification will be evaluated based on adopted district school board policies that define excused and unexcused absences. To prevent the development of patterns of nonattendance, the policies require schools track excused and unexcused absences and contact the home in the case of an unexcused absence from school, or an absence from school for which the reason is unknown. Early intervention in school attendance matters is an effective way of producing good attendance habits that will lead to improved student learning and achievement. Florida Statute 1003.26

Minors between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years of age who drop out of school, or who accumulate 15 unexcused absences in any 90-calendar-day period, will not be issued a learner’s permit or will have their driving privilege suspended by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Florida Statute 232.19

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School-Entry Health Examinations; Immunization against Communicable Diseases

All children entering Florida schools, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, must have the following:
  • Certification of Immunization form that documents completion of all doses. Refer to the Nursing Section of the Student Support Services web site for required immunizations. The approved Florida Certificate of Immunization form is available through various Florida medical providers. Please contact your local school district to obtain locations for acquiring completed certificate of immunization.
  • Proof of health examination conducted within one year before entering school that has been signed by a physician. The School Entry Health Exam form is available at the Nursing Section of the Student Support Services web site for download. The Guide for Completing the School Entry Health Exam containing directions, time limits, exemptions, as well as other important information in completing this form is also available at this site. Florida Statute 1003.22

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Parental Involvement and Student Responsibilities

Parent Involvement and Code of Student Conduct

Each student is expected to remain in attendance throughout the school day and school year, unless excused by the school for illness or other good cause, and must comply fully with the school’s code of student conduct. Further it is expected that parents cooperate with school and district personnel, and that parents comply with the school’s reasonable requests. Florida Statute 1003.04

Responsibility of Student

During the time a student is being transported to or from school at public expense; during the time she or he is attending school; during the time she or he is on the school premises participating with authorization in a school-sponsored activity; or during a reasonable time before and after the student is on the premises for attendance at school or for authorized participation in a school-sponsored activity, the student shall be under the control and direction of the principal or teacher in charge of the school, and under the immediate control and direction of the teacher or other member of the instructional staff or of the bus driver to whom such responsibility may be assigned by the principal. Florida Statute 1003.31

Responsibility of Teacher, Principal, and District School Board

It is the responsibility of each teacher or other member of the school staff of any school to maintain control and discipline of students assigned to him or her at all times. According to law and to the rules of the district school board, each teacher or other member of the staff of any school shall have such authority. Florida Statute 1003.32

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