In an effort to stress the importance of attendance and being prompt to class, this week’s article will address tardiness and unexcused absences at Franklin County School. Academic success is greatly affected by poor attendance or being chronically tardy to class. Students are expected to be present, prompt and prepared when entering a classroom.

Parents or guardians are required to provide written notes or other documentation to the attendance officer to explain every absence. Official third-party documentation (doctor, lawyer, judge) is required for every absence above five in a nine-week grading period. Parents need to be aware that any absence after the fifth parent note will be unexcused unless proper documentation is provided by a third party. Extended absences must be approved at least one week in advance and a pre-approval notice must also be filled out at the school.

The attendance officer begins to track and notify parents or guardians after five absences within a grading period, or 10 absences within a 90 day calendar period. These are early indicators of truancy according to the attendance office. Upon compulsory attendance or failure by a parent or guardian to comply with attempts to enforce school attendance, the superintendent may file a truancy petition.

Tardiness will be dealt with by suspending driving privileges, In-School Suspension or detention. Students who have reached three tardy infractions will receive a verbal warning and conference with the dean. After this meeting, parents will be notified of continued tardiness.

"Be Here and Be Here,” Principal Clatto said recently. “In other words, we must be here at school every day and when we are here, we must be attentive and on point. That's what we expect of them and they should expect that of us.”

You cannot be your best, if you are not here with the rest!

Christy Thompson is dean of students at Franklin County School. She can be reached at cthompson@franklin.k12.fl.us