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Focus on All Absences When Targeting Students for Help, Expert Says

The Pasco County School Board in recent months has drawn clear distinctions between excused and unexcused absences when setting its student conduct policies.

Board members have given school principals more leeway in taking away privileges for children with too many unexcused absences. They meanwhile killed an administration proposal to allow students more freedom to make up work missed during an unexcused absence.

Students are allowed to do the work from excused days missed.

Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, a national leader on attendance policy, told the Gradebook that the board’s approach unnecessarily punishes children.