A strategic zero is an incomplete or zero (percent) taken on a project/homework assignment so that if an individual has a limited number of lates, they can be used on larger, more important assignments/projects. This is usually done in high school.
Teacher Fred: Aren't you going to use up a late on that unimportant yet time-consuming math project?
Minny: No, I think I'll take a strategic zero. Thank-you for the suggestion though.