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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pinellas school board to discuss high school attendance policy

As foretold last fall, the Pinellas school board is set to revisit Pinellas' much-debated attendance/exam exemption policy for high school students. The following memo sums up alternatives to the current policy that Superintendent Julie Janssen will present to the board at tomorrow's work shop.

Among the options: All students must take finals. Period.

New attendance policy 5505.05

• Purpose is to foster responsibility and reliability on the part of District students to attend all classes
• Address compulsory school attendance and limited exceptions
• Address responsibilities of parents and students
* Parents ensure attendance
* Obtain permission for absences
* Provide documentation as requested
* Give notice of changes in address
* Be aware of school calendar
• Address responsibilities of school district and school principals
* Take attendance
* Report absences
* Contact parents
* Refer for truancy
• Define excused absences
• Allow for makeup work
• Require School Attendance Incentive Plans as part of School Improvement Plans
• Emphasize positive inducements to maintain regular attendance


Final Examination Requirements

Current Policy

Current Policy 5420.03 provides that students are required to take the final examination in each course in which the student has a course grade of “C”, “D”, or “F” in the 1st or 2nd six weeks of the term or has a provisional course grade of "C", "D", or "F" for the 3rd six weeks of the term. Students who have a course grade of "A" or "B" in the 1st and 2nd six weeks and have a provisional course grade of “A” or “B” in the 3rd six weeks are not required to take the exam. Students not required to take the exam must maintain the required grade through the remainder of the 3rd six weeks. An Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam may be taken in lieu of a teacher developed final exam in those designated courses provided that the student is not required to take the final exam in order to earn course credit.

Alternatives:

1)  A Sliding Scale of Grades and Absences Including a 2.0 or C Grade

All students would be required to take final examinations as an academic performance requirement for the completion of high school courses with the exception of students meeting the following criteria:
A provisional 4.0 in a course with no more than 4 absences in any class
A provisional 3.0 in a course with no more than 3 absences in any class
A provisional 2.0 in a course with no more than 2 absences in any class

Except for second semester seniors, all students meeting these criteria would be required to take an exam during at least one of the semesters of a year long course.

An AP or IB exam could be taken in lieu of a teacher developed final exam in second semester only in those designated courses.

2)  A Sliding Scale of Grades and Absences Only for Students Achieving a 4.0 or 3.0

All students would be required to take final examinations as an academic performance requirement for the completion of high school courses with the exception of students meeting the following criteria:
A provisional 4.0 in a course with no more than 4 absences in any class
A provisional 3.0 in a course with no more than 3 absences in any class

Except for second semester seniors, all students meeting these criteria would be
required to take an exam during at least one of the semesters of a year long course.

An AP or IB exam could be taken in lieu of a teacher developed final exam in second semester only in those designated courses.

3)  All Students are Required to take Final Examinations

All students would be required to take final examinations as an academic performance requirement for the completion of high school courses. 

The same exception would be made for AP or IB exams.

4) Keep the current policy 5420.03 as is, but add the following paragraph or add it to the new attendance policy 5505.05:

“Any student who has _______[PICK A NUMBER] or more unexcused absences from class must take a final exam even if such final exam is not an academic performance requirement under School Board policy 5420.03 C.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:09am]

    

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