A child between the ages of 6 (on or before September 1) and 18 is required to attend school each day during the instructional year unless otherwise exempted by law. A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her eighteenth birthday is required to attend each school day. However, if a student 18 years of age or older has more than 5 unexcused absences in a semester, the District may revoke the student's enrollment. School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law.
The GPISD Student Attendance Team represents the school both in consulting with students and families and with the Justice Court where attendance cases are filed. More information, including information regarding Texas Compulsory Attendance Law and GPISD Policy, may be found in the appropriate Student Handbooks. The GPISD Student Attendance Team assists students and parents in understanding and complying with the Texas State Compulsory Attendance Laws. Good attendance is a major success tool for every student and a goal we want every student to achieve.
What is Truancy?
Truancy occurs when a school-age child or adolescent frequently misses school without an adequate excuse. Because attendance is required of school-aged students, Texas law requires districts to adopt truancy prevention measures to address barriers that hinder attendance and reduce the need for compulsory attendance enforcement.
Truancy Prevention Measures
GPISD makes daily automated phone calls and sends emails to parents whenever a student has been marked absent. This is the first step to preventing truancy. It is imperative that parents ensure Skyward has the most current and up-to-date contact information.
The next step is to issue a warning letter after the third full or partial absence within a four-week period. This is also when the campus will employ truancy prevention measures for the student. Truancy prevention measures are required by law to assist families in improving attendance and avert court filings for compulsory attendance.
Truancy Prevention Measures will include, but are not limited to:
- Parent and or Student Conference
- Truancy Prevention Class (Online and/or In-Person)
- Attendance Contracts
- Mandatory Student Tutorials
- Student Detention
- Parent Engagement Classes
- Referral to Administration, Counselor, or Truancy Officer
- Saturday School
- In-School Suspension
- Home Visits
When truancy prevention measures fail to solve the attendance problem, referral to a truancy court becomes an option. If a student fails to attend school on 10 or more full days or partial days within a six-month period in the same school year and those absences have been verified by the campus as unexcused, students 12 and older may be referred to the Truancy Court of Dallas County. The campus may also file a criminal complaint against parents who contribute to the nonattendance of their child, regardless of the age of their child.
The goal of each campus is to provide truancy prevention measures for students who exhibit attendance issues in a way that meaningfully addresses the student’s overall attendance. The Student Attendance Team assists campuses with attendance interventions, and may delay referrals to court if the student shows considerable progress and the delay is in the best interest of the student.