Student + Family Handbook


School attendance is the responsibility of the parent and the student. There is a strong relationship between attendance and academic performance. Students who will be 6 years old by February 1 of any school year, or who are older than 6 but have not attained the age of 16, are expected to attend school every school day of the 180-day school year. A student who attains the age of 16 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. The declaration must be signed by the student and his or her guardian. An exit interview and a survey completed by the student is a part of the withdrawal process. Without the formal Declaration of Intent, students continue to be subject to compulsory school attendance until they are eighteen or graduate from high school.

Florida Statute §1003.24 states that the parent/legal guardian of a child of compulsory age is responsible for the child’s daily school attendance. School staff, parents, students and state agencies are expected to work together to ensure that all applicable school attendance laws are obeyed, including but not limited to referral to the state-designated agency for possible court action for truancy.

All absences are considered unexcused until the school receives written explanation from the parent/guardian within three days of the absence. The principal or designee has the authority to determine whether or not an absence is excused. Excessive excused absences for illness may result in the student being required to provide a doctor’s note or other substantiating medical evidence.

Attendance is reported by period at the middle and high school levels. In order to be considered present for the day, a student must be in attendance minimally for:

High School
Equivalent of four periods in a traditional seven period day (200 minutes) or three block periods (270 minutes)

Middle School
Four periods of the day (200 minutes)

Elementary School
Half of the school day (200 minutes)

Students have a RIGHT to:
  • Information defining rules for absences, tardiness, withdrawal and make-up assignments.
  • Transportation within the student’s school zone, but outside the two-mile limit from school.
  • Appeal a decision about an absence.
  • Make up all work missed during an out-of-school suspension or an unexcused absence, including tests and quizzes. In the case of unexcused absence, a teacher may deduct up to 30 percent from the earned grade for the work made up.

Students have a RESPONSIBILITY to:
  • Attend classes daily and be on time.
  • Provide notification from a parent/guardian when absent.
  • Abide by school bus rules and regulations.
  • Request make-up assignments from teachers upon their return to school after an absence and to complete this work within a reasonable length of time, as specified in school and district attendance procedures and the Student Progression Plan.

200.1 — Excused Absences
  • Student illness (if documented by parent/guardian or medical doctor)
  • Observance of a religious holiday or service that is recognized as such by members of the student’s faith
  • Medical appointment with documentation
  • Death in the family
  • Subpoena by law enforcement agency or mandatory court appearance
  • Other individual student absences beyond the control of the parent or student, as determined and approved by the principal or principal’s designee

200.2 — Absence Reports
  • Absences should be reported in accordance with school policy and documented by a written note.
  • The report must come from a parent/guardian or a physician and give the date(s) of the absence and the reason for it.
  • These absence reports must be submitted within three days following the absences, although school principals may make exceptions in cases of need.
  • Parents may be asked to provide written medical documentation when excused absences for illness are excessive. Over nine absences for illness per semester or eighteen for illness in a school year is considered excessive.
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Pupil Support Services
Sonia Figaredo-Alberts, Executive Director

Julie Zarling, Administrative Assistant

Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31109
Fax: 941-927-4052
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34231
Green 3rd Floor

Exceptional Student Education
Tammy Cassels, Supervisor

Ana Montero, Administrative Assistant

Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 34226
Fax: 941-927-4014

Student Services
Debra Giacolone, Supervisor

Sally Dean, Administrative Assistant

Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 34754
Fax: 941-361-6157 

School Health Services 
Suzanne Dubose, Supervisor

Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 34765
Fax: 941-927-4108

Florida Department of Health Sarasota County 
Linda Glover, Supervisor
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 32101 

Alternative Education, Discipline & Dropout Prevention
Bethany King, Supervisor

Patty Woods, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31113 

ESOL and Migrant Education
Jamie Rodriguez, Supervisor

State & Federal Projects
Jane Mahler, Supervisor

Betsy Hooper, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 34061 

Staff Listing

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The language translations of the Student and Family Handbook that are available on this website were created using an electronic translation program. Please note that some words and phrases may not be translated perfectly from the original English, which is the official version of the document. If you have questions about the wording of the district rules or other information provided in the language translations of the Handbook, please contact the Sarasota County School District office of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), at 941-927-9000, ext. 34061.