Pinellas tightens attendance, exam exemption policy
The Pinellas County School Board voted unanimously tonight to finalize a tougher attendance policy that will make it harder for students to exempt final exams. It is effective immediately.
The district loosened the rules last year in the wake of swine flu fears, allowing high schoolers with an A or B average to exempt finals no matter how many days they had missed. The result: Higher absenteeism.
Under the policy approved tonight, students with an A or B average must still take the final if they have five or more absences (excused or unexcused) per semester in any class.
The board included three specific exceptions that will not be counted as absences for purposes of the exam policy: religious holidays, school-sponsored activities and college visitation days. The latter is limited to one day per year for juniors and three days per year for seniors.