The Okaloosa STEMM Academy education program is founded on the premise that regular school attendance is vital to the success of each student. Seeing that a student maintains regular attendance requires cooperative effort between the student, the parents, and the school. While written assignments and tests may be made up, the student who is frequently absent misses social interaction, class instruction, and discussion that are critical to the educational process.

For students to fully benefit from the instructional program, they are expected to attend school regularly, be on time for classes, and satisfy all course requirements. Poor attendance or excessive tardiness may result in low grades or course failure.

Official attendance is taken during the Advisory period.


The STEMM Academy expects parents or guardians to make reasonable efforts to ensure the regular attendance of their children, and to inform the school of any absences and their causes. A middle school student who is not in class for at least one-half of the class period is counted as absent from that class.

Definitions of absences:

  • Excused (E): death in family; appointments or illness requiring medical attention (physician’s statement required); religious holidays; absences verified by a parent/guardian and approved by administration. Note: School-sanctioned activities are marked as School Leave (SL) and do not count as absences.
  • Unexcused (U): truancy or suspension. An absence marked with a U has been marked by a teacher and in accordance with OSCD policy needs to be resolved by the student within 5 days. No make-up work will be accepted for periods /days absences that are unexcused.

All absences will remain unexcused unless verified within 5 days by a legible note from a parent/guardian, which must include:

  • printed student first and last name and grade level
  • reason for absence
  • date(s) absent
  • printed name and signature of parent/guardian writing note
  • telephone number where parent/guardian may be reached.

The Okaloosa County School Board Attendance Policy:

  1. After the third (3rd) unexcused absence or absences for which the reasons are unknown, parents/legal guardian of the student will be notified. The contact will include a review of the current attendance/truancy policies.
  2. After the fifth (5th) but before the eighth (8th) absence, (excused or unexcused) per semester in any class period, the parents/legal guardian will be notified of the absences.
  3. After the ninth (9th) absence (excused or unexcused) per semester, a letter will be sent to the parents/legal guardian notifying them of the necessity for a doctor’s excuse or an excuse from an official agency in order for the make-up work to receive grades. In addition, this letter will notify parents of the consequences of any additional absences.
  4. Prior to the fifteenth (15th) absence, the principal may review any absence caused by some insurmountable situation or event that places an undue hardship on the student and notify the teachers that this student may make up all work.
  5. After the fifteenth (15th) absence per semester in any class period, no make-up work will receive grades. An attendance expectation agreement may be initiated, outlining the consequences of non-attendance.
  6. After the fifteenth (15th) absence per semester in any class period, the student’s parent/legal guardian can appeal to the school’s attendance committee for permission to receive grades for missed work. Pending approval of the appeal and the submission of a doctor’s excuse, absences after the fifteenth (15th) may be entered as an excused absence in the AS400 system.

Make-Up Work Policy

Students should request missed classwork and homework materials when they return to school. 

Students will be provided five school days to complete assignments following an excused absence; the five day period begins the day the student returns to school. However, the teacher and/or principal may grant additional time for make-up work to be completed if the situation warrants.
It is the student’s responsibility to request make-up work for excused absences (up to 15 per semester). 

Students absent for multiple days are expected to seek and work on make-up assignments, as medically appropriate and practical. Students absent for any reason on a school sanctioned/sponsored trip on the day a previously assigned project is due, or a previously assigned test is scheduled, will submit the project or take the test the day of his/her return, as appropriate and practical. 

Principals will ensure that teachers provide make-up assignments upon parent or student request.  Make-up work will be provided no later than 24 hours following a request.

Anticipated Absences

Students should request materials to be provided in advance for pre-planned absences of three days or more. Please make the request 48 hours prior to the absence. Parents and students should monitor Google Classroom during extended absences. 

Students who expect to miss classes because of a field trip or other school-sponsored activity must arrange with the teachers of the classes missed for make-up work in advance of the absence.

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Scheree Martin, Principal

Okaloosa STEMM Academy
379 Edge Avenue
Valparaiso, FL 32580

School Hours: 7:00 - 2:30
Phone: 850-833-4120 

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