2021-2022 Updates for Attendance, Tardies, Ear Buds, and Cell Phones

Posted June 10, 2021

Attendance

Research has clearly shown a link between attendance and academic achievement. To ensure our students are given every opportunity to reach their fullest potential The Gulf County School Board has adopted the following attendance policy:

  • The first three (3) absences in each 9-week period, will be excused with a parent or doctor’s note.
  • After the first three absences in each 9-week period, a doctor’s note will be required for an absence to be considered excused.
  • If a student’s absence is marked unexcused, the highest score they can attain on any assignment for that day is 59/F.

The school board also approved a semester exam exemption policy which is a fantastic incentive to encourage improved attendance. The details are as follows:

  • If a student has 4 or less absences in all classes, then he or she can exempt semester exams in classes with a semester average of A or higher

  • If a student has 2 or less absences in all classes, then he or she can exempt semester exams in classes with a semester average of B or higher

  • If a student has perfect attendance, then he or she can exempt semester exams in classes with a semester average of C or higher

  • If students earn an exemption in all classes for the complete day of scheduled semester exams, they can be excused from school for that day.

Note:  This is an exciting incentive program, which is not designed to penalize students, but rather to reward exceptional attendance. With legitimate illnesses, doctor’s appointments, funerals, etc., it is unlikely that even dedicated students will meet the attendance/grade benchmarks for every semester during their time at WHS. However, with twelve opportunities to earn exemptions (there are twelve semesters for students progressing from grades 7-12), students who strive diligently will potentially receive this benefit on several occasions. In addition, even if students do not meet the exemption standard, those that endeavor to do so will significantly improve their academic performance due to increased time in class.

Distance Learning

All GCSD students will be in Bricks & Mortar traditional school.  For options regarding full-time virtual school, please contact the Office of Instructional Services at 850.229.6940.

Tardies

  • The student is responsible for regular and punctual class attendance.  Students must be inside the classroom by the end of the ringing of the tardy bell in order not to be considered tardy.  The teacher/office staff will determine if a tardy is excused or unexcused.
  • Students will be allowed two cumulative tardies by class period per 9 weeks without penalty. On the 3rd tardy and each subsequent tardy, students will be referred to the office.
  • Students who are late to 1st period will be referred to the office on the 4th cumulative tardy.  (Excused tardies for 1st period are doctor’s appt., court, DMV appt., and bus related tardies. All other tardies must be approved by school administration.)
  • The tardy policy restarts each 9 weeks.

Dress Code Quick Notes (see below for full policy)

  • Students may wear jeans with holes or tears, but no flesh may show 5 inches or more above the knee in the front and back. 
  • Shorts worn must be no shorter than 5 inches above the knee in the front and back-this applies also to boys.
  • Girls may wear leggings as long as they have a shirt/dress that is no less than 5 inches above the kneecap.
  • Crop Tops will not be permitted. Shirts must fall below the waistband.
  • Dresses worn, may be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee in the front and back.
  • Headbands, Hats, Hoods on hoodies are not to be worn in the building.

Students wearing clothing that does not meet dress code will be provided school issued sweatpants or shirt/sweatshirt.  At the close of the day, the student will return the school issued clothing and collect their clothing from the office. 

If a student refuses to wear the school issued attire, he or she will be placed in an alternate setting until replacement attire is received.

Ear Buds

  • Earbuds are NOT permitted in class and may be taken up if visible to school Staff.  If listening devices are needed for instruction, teachers will provide them. 
  • Earphones and headphones are not permitted on campus.
  • Only one earbud may be worn before the morning bell, in the hallways, during break and during lunch.

1st offense: Asked to put away.

2nd offense: surrendered and the student can pick it up after school

3rd offense: surrendered, with a referral, and the parent must pick up the at school

  • If earbuds become an issue, no earbuds will be allowed for the remainder of the year.

Cell Phones

  • Cell phones may be used before the morning bell, between classes, during break, during lunch, and after school. Earbuds are not permitted in the classrooms.
  • Cell phones must be turned off and not visible while entering any classroom, office, media center, locker room, lab, etc.  Exceptions may be made by the teacher if the phone is to be used as an instructional device.
  • If a cell phone rings, vibrates, is used for any reason, or is visible during any prohibited time, the student will be required to surrender the phone.  At any time school personnel feels the presence of a cell phone to be detrimental to the learning/teaching environment, the student will be required to surrender the phone.  Refusal to surrender the phone will be considered an act of defiance punishable according to the Code of Conduct.
  • Emergency calls will be allowed with approval.
  • In the event of cellphone theft, the school will accept no responsibility.
  • No photos or videos should be taken without administrative approval. Discipline will be applied.
  • Students may not be in possession of a cell phone during standardized testing.  Failure to comply will result in the invalidation of the test.  Similarly, cell phones are not permitted during other testing situations or in dual enrollment.  Violation of this policy will result in serious disciplinary consequences.

1st offense: Asked to put up phone

2nd offense: Phone surrendered and the student can pick it up after school

3rd offense: Phone surrendered, with a referral, and the parent must pick up the phone at school