Orange County Public Schools will no longer excuse absences of kids being kept home for fear of COVID-19

Orange County schools will no longer count students who are staying home over fear of catching COVID-19 as an excused absence. Superintendent Barbara Jenkins announced the change in a letter to parents, noting that the new rules take effect on Jan. 31.

Jenkins cited the strain of teaching students who are in class and at-home simultaneously, as well as the declining numbers of COVID-19 cases in OCPS schools. She also noted that the state took away the ability to code an absence in their records as related to fears of COVID-19.

"We can longer provide excused absences for those voluntarily keeping their children at home due to the pandemic," she wrote.

Jenkins went on to suggest home-schooling for parents that are still concerned about the ongoing pandemic. Parents are still encouraged to keep their child home if their child is symptomatic.

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