Four years after rejecting the idea, the Pasco County School Board is poised to allow students with unexcused absences to make up missed work without penalty.
But first, it expects to make some slight adjustments to the proposal it received from the administration.
During a recent workshop, board members said they backed the idea of ensuring that students have the opportunity to show what they know for their grades — regardless of whether a parent remembers to submit a note explaining why their child missed school.
But they also acknowledged the need to protect teachers from having to do too much extra work to accommodate for children’s absences. They pointed to the possibility of creating new tests and assignments, to protect against cheating, as one example.
They asked the staff to revise the proposal before bringing it back for a vote.
That vote is scheduled for Tuesday. And staff has offered some changes aimed at assuaging the board members’ concerns.
The key change is to alter language so it no longer states that students “will have the right” to make up any and all assignments, tests and related work. Instead, it says they “may” have that ability, providing more leeway for teachers to provide alternative work for completion.
Students still would have to request the work within two days of their absence in order to qualify for the credit. Officials said they expected that provision will help children who care about their grades and education, while it will likely keep kids who skip routinely from taking advantage of the system, because they rarely ask for their assignments in that time frame.
The public hearing on the code of conduct is set for the beginning of the board’s meeting, which starts at 6 p.m.