Staying Home Due to COVID Concerns Will no Longer be an Excused Absence

COVID concerns will no longer be an excused absence to stay home.

Phelan M. Ebenhack

COVID concerns will no longer be an excused absence to stay home.

Laura Richart, Reporter

Children staying home due to COVID-19 concerns will no longer be considered an excused absence in the Florida School District. This decision will begin taking effect on January 31st.

“Additionally, the state has not extended the quarantine code to be used in accommodation of absences in our attendance records, so students should be considered truant for non-attendance,” the district added in its announcement. “We simply must discontinue the provision.”

The previous provision allowed all students to stay home because of the concern for catching the virus or because they were experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The new protocol only excuses students if they have symptoms of the virus. Any student who caught the virus must go on quarantine until they receive a negative COVID-19 test.

According to the district, “It is … an additional strain on our teachers as they continue to manage assignments for large numbers of absent students.” If parents are worried about their children catching the virus the district recommends putting those students into a home school program for the rest of the pandemic. Overall that choice would make it easier for the students as well as teachers.

The number of COVID-19 cases have declined in the past two weeks. In the district there are 19,548 confirmed cases, 3,877 are employees, 15,594 are students, and the 77 others are visitors. Even though cases are declining it is still strongly recommended to wear a face covering when in public areas.