Attendance Policy

The purpose of this article is to communicate the required attendance policy of Bridgewater Middle School with students, parents, teachers, and any other interested community members.

School attendance is ultimately the responsibility of the student and parent/guardian. The law requires compulsory school attendance to age 18. If a student accumulates five (5) unexcused absences within a month or ten (10) unexcused absences within a 90-calendar day period, the student will be reported to the principal or designee and a child study team will schedule a meeting with the student’s parent/guardian.

Due to Orange County School Board Policy, we are not able to excuse absences by phone. To report your child’s absence, you may send a written note or medical excuse when your child returns to school. Your child must place the note in the designated basket in the main office. Upon return to school from an absence, a written note stating the student’s name, student number, the date(s) of the absence, the reason, the parent/guardian signature, and at least one working telephone number must be submitted to the Attendance Office.

On a daily basis, student absences will be recorded as unexcused. It is the responsibility of a student’s parent or guardian to promptly report the reason for the student’s absence to the school. The principal has the ultimate authority to decide whether an absence is excused or unexcused. Excused absences include:

  • Illness or death of a member of the student’s immediate family (OCPS practice has been to define immediate family as the student’s mother, father, brother, sister, stepmother, stepfather, step-siblings, and other relatives who live in the student’s home)  
  • Illness, injury or other insurmountable condition
  • Recognized (or established) religious holidays and/or religious instruction. 
  • Participation in an approved activity or class of instruction held at another school site
  • Medical appointments with documentation
  • Legal appointments with documentation

A Pre-Notification of Student Absence form should be completed prior to the absence for any student who will knowingly be absent for something other than illness. Please note that completion of a Pre-Notification of Student Absence form does not automatically ensure the absence will be excused; it is simply a way of notifying the school prior to the absence.  Absences for illness lasting three (3) or more consecutive school days require a doctor’s note. 

If you have any questions about the attendance policy, please contact our attendance clerk, Sonia Deida at [email protected] 

Quick Links

Pre-Arranged Absence Form.pdf

OCPS Attendance Handbook