Attendance and the Law
What is the 90% Rule?
- Texas school districts are required to enforce the 90% rule which states that students in Kindergarten through 12th grade must attend a class for 90% of the time it is offered to receive credit or a final grade. This rule applies even if your child has an IEP or 504 Plan.
- The average school year is 180 days. In a 180-day school year, a student can only miss 18 days (or parts of a day) of school or a specific class. This number is cut in half for school years (or individual classes) operating on a semester schedule.
- The 90% rule applies to all absences (excluding those exempt by law), including excused absences.
- Elementary students are in danger of having to repeat a grade if they are in school less than 90% of school days. Middle and high school students risk having to repeat a class, even if they received a passing grade, if they did not attend that class at least 90% of the days of the class. They must attend that class 90% of the days the class is offered to receive credit.
What If A Student Fails to Meet the 90% Rule?
- A student who is in attendance for at least 75% but less than 90% of the days a class is offered may be given credit or a final grade if the student completes a plan approved by the school's principal that provides for the student to meet the instructional requirements of the class. However, a student under the jurisdiction of a court in a criminal or juvenile justice proceeding may not receive credit or a final grade without the consent of the judge presiding over the student's case.
- If a student falls below the 75% attendance rate or has not completed the plan approved by the principal, the student will be referred to the Campus Attendance Review Committee and they will review the reasons for your student's absences, review performance, and determine if there are extenuating circumstances for the absences. If extenuating circumstances exist, the committee will develop a plan that will allow the student to regain credit or a final grade lost due to attendance. Each plan will be unique and based on individual students' circumstances.
- The student or parent may appeal the Attendance Review Committee's decision to the building principal.
Which Absences are Exempt From The 90% Rule?
State law allows for exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences if the student makes up all assigned work and turns in the appropriate documentation. In addition, the appointment must be for the student. The following activities are exempt:
All Grade Levels
- Religious Holy Days
- Required court appearance
- Activities related to US citizenship
- Documented healthcare appointments (must attend school on the same day as the appointment)
- Students in the conservatorship of the state
- Students of military families
Secondary Grade Levels
- Up to two days for college visits (11th & 12th Grade Only)
- Students who are 17 years of age and older pursuing enlistment in the Armed Services
- Students who are 15 years of age or older visiting a driver's license office to obtain a learner's or driver's license
- Serving as an early voting or election clerk
- Sounding taps at a funeral