Attendance Policy

Every Day Counts! - School Success starts with Attendance

All children who are 6 years by February 1 of any school year, or who are older than six years of age, shall be required to attend school regularly during the school term. A student shall attend all school sessions unless excused by the proper school authority. 

On a daily basis, student absences will be recorded as unexcused until an acceptable excuse has been provided by the parent/legal guardian indicating the reason for the student’s absence. The principal has the ultimate authority to decide whether an absence shall be excused. (OCPS practice is to encourage all attendance notes to be submitted within 48 hours of the student absence). 

If a student is repeatedly absent from school due to illness, the school is authorized to require the parent/legal guardian to provide a written physician’s statement for each subsequent absence to be considered excused. 

Absences shall be excused for the following when a written note is provided:

  • Illness, injury, or other insurmountable condition
  • Illness or death of a member of the student’s immediate family (OCPS practice has been to define immediate family as the student’s mother, father, brother, sister, stepmother, stepfather, step-siblings, and other relatives who live in the student’s home)
  • Recognized (or established) religious holidays and/or religious instruction
  • Medical appointments
  • Legal appointments
  • Participation in an approved activity or class of instruction held at another site
  • Prearranged absences of educational value with the principal’s prior approval
  • Pediculosis (head lice) infestation (up to four (4) days per school year)
  • Catastrophic disasters that significantly impact the life of the student (e.g. loss of residence from natural disaster).

In order to assist our families, Southwood utilizes its Child Study Team to monitor and support attendance concerns.  The Child Study Team also encourages and recognized students with consistent attendance throughout the year.  Our Child Study Team includes:  principal, dean, guidance counselor, classroom teacher, registrar and school social worker.

Please review the complete OCPS attendance guidelines at