Children ages 6 (on or before September 1) through 18 year of age are required to attend school each day during the instructional year, as well as any applicable accelerated instruction program, extended year program, or tutorial session, unless otherwise exempted by law. School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student absent without permission from school, from any class, from required special programs, such as additional special instruction assigned by a grade placement committee or from required tutorials, will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance law and subject to disciplinary action.
Upon enrollment, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will be under the same compulsory attendance law as grades 1 through 12
When a student between ages 6 and 19 incurs unexcused absences for three or more days or parts of days within a four week period, the school will send a notice to the student’s parent, as required by law, to remind the parent that it is the parent’s duty to monitor his or her child’s attendance and to require the student to come to school. The notice will also inform the parent that the District will initiate truancy prevention measures and request a conference between school administrators and the parent. These measures will include a behavior improvement plan, school-based community service, or referrals to either in-school or out-of-school counseling or other social services. Any other measures considered appropriate by the district will also be initiated.
The truancy prevention facilitator for the District is Mary Flores. If you have questions about your student and the effect of his or her absences from school, please contact the facilitator or any other campus administrator.
When a student is absent, it is important to let the school attendance office know the reason for missing school. Parents must call the school or send an electronic communication through the Parent Portal in Skyward to the school before before 10:00 a.m. on the day of the absence. If contact is not made on the day of the absence a signed note will be required. If a signed note is not received within 4 days of the absence, the absence becomes unexcused.
The campus will document in its attendance records for the student whether the absence is considered by the District to be excused or unexcused. Please note that, unless the absence is for a statutorily allowed reason under compulsory attendance laws, the District is not required to excuse any absence, even if the parent provides a note explaining the absence.
When a student's absence for personal illness exceeds five consecutive days, the student shall be required to present a statement from a physician or health clinic verifying the illness or other condition that requires the student's extended absence from school. Otherwise, the student’s absence may be considered to be in violation of compulsory attendance laws.
Should the student develop a questionable pattern of absences, the principal or attendance committee may require a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s absence from school in order to determine whether the absence or absences will be excused or unexcused.
If a student needs to leave school or arrives late, he/she must check‑in or check‑out through the office. Unauthorized absence or absences without parent knowledge will be considered truancy. Truancy may require a parent‑student conference with an administrator.
Students must meet two requirements in order to get credit for course work:
- Academic standards (grade of 70 or above) and;
- Attendance requirements.
Exemptions to compulsory attendance:
- for the purpose of observing religious holy days, including traveling for that purpose (excused days for travel shall be limited to not more than one day for travel to and one day for travel from the site where the student will observe the holy days.); or
- for treatment by health care professionals if the student begins classes or returns to school on the same day of the appointment or treatment
- for recognized services for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders
- activities related to obtaining United States citizenship.
- required court appearances
- court ordered family visitations, provided it is not practicable to schedule outside school or school hours.
- for students in the conservatorship (custody) of the state
- for children of military families
The District recognizes the following as extenuating circumstances for the purpose of granting credit for a class:
- Board-approved extracurricular activity or public performance subject to limitations in FDD (Legal) proceeding.
- Required screening, diagnosis, and treatment for Medicaid-eligible students.
- Documented health care appointment, if the student begins classes or returns to school on the same day as the appointment.
- Temporary absence resulting from any cause acceptable to the teacher, principal, or Superintendent.
- Juvenile court proceeding documented by a probation officer.
- Absence required by state or local welfare authorities.
- Family emergency or unforeseen or unavoidable instance requiring immediate attention such as death in the family or serious illness of a parent. (Such absences are limited to three consecutive days unless an extension is approved by the Superintendent or designee.)
- A transfer or migrant student begins to accumulate absences only after he/she has enrolled in the district. For a student transferring into the district after school begins, including a migrant student, only those absences after enrollment will be considered.
- In reaching a decision about a student’s absences, the attendance committee will attempt to ensure that is in the best interest of the student.
- The student or parent will be given an opportunity to present any information to the committee about the absences and to talk about ways to earn or regain credit.
- Resulting from any cause acceptable to the teacher, principal, or Superintendent.
- A student serving as an election clerk, if the student make up any work missed.
- An absence of a student in grades 6-12 for the purpose of sounding “Taps” at a military honors funeral for a deceased veteran will be excused by the District.
Examples of unexcused absences are:
- Being out of town, only for acceptable reasons, without principal's prior approval.
- Being absent for personal reasons other than illness, only for acceptable reasons, without the principal's prior approval.
- Being truant.
- Car trouble and/or no transportation.
- Parent failing to contact the school by note within four school days of the excusable absence.
- Any reason for which extenuating circumstances are not found by the campus administration.
Notice of Absences
The District shall notify a student’s parent if the student has been absent from school, without excuse under Education Code 25.087, on three days or parts of days within a four-week period. The notice must:
- Inform the parent that:
- It is the parent’s duty to monitor the student’s school attendance and require the student to attend school, and
- The parent is subject to prosecution under Education Code 25.093: and
- Request a conference between school officials and the parent to discuss the absences.
The fact that a parent did not receive the notices described above is not a defense to prosecution for the parent’s failure to require a child to attend school nor for the student’s failure to attend school.
Education Code 25.095
A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall notify a student’s parent in writing at the beginning of the school year that if the student is absent from school on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year:
- the student’s parent is subject to prosecution under Section 25.093, Texas Education Code;
- and the student is subject to referral to a truancy court for truant conduct under Section 65.003 (a), Family Code.
Whenever absent from any class, it is the student's responsibility to secure the assignments that were missed and turn them in to the teacher. The rule is that the student is given a minimum of one day to make up work for each day that the student is absent. The teacher may give more time, but not less than one day per day of absence. A student who does not make up assigned work within the time allotted by the teacher will receive a grade of zero for the assignment. Students are to contact their teacher for makeup work as soon as they return to their classes. A student will be permitted to make up tests and to turn in projects due in any class missed because of absence. Teachers may assign a late penalty to any long term project in accordance with time lines approved by the principal and previously communicated to students. On unexcused absences, the highest grade a student can receive on makeup work is a 70. There will not be a grade penalty for make-up work after an absence because of suspension. (See Grading and Reporting.)
The parent may call the school to get assignments for the student. Parents should call by 8:00 a.m. to allow teachers to use their conference period for preparation. Assignments need to be picked up after school on the same day. If a student is present the day an assignment is made and absent the day an assignment is due or test is given, the student is still responsible for the assignment/test the day he/she returns to school.
DAEP or In-School Suspension Makeup Work
A student removed from the regular classroom to in-school suspension or another setting, or a DAEP, will have an opportunity to complete, before the beginning of the next school year, each course the student was enrolled in at the time of removal from the regular classroom. The district may provide the opportunity by any method available, including a correspondence course, distance learning, or summer school.
Students must be in attendance for 90% of the number of days scheduled in a year in order to receive credit for each class. When a student violates the compulsory attendance law, an attendance committee will be called.
The attendance committee will review all the documentation. Credit may be granted by the Attendance Committee for accumulated absences due to extenuating circumstances providing class work is made up. Parents and students may petition the school Attendance Committee for review of the student's attendance. The school attendance committee will make decisions regarding student retention or promotion. The attendance committee may impose conditions for promotion to the next grade level such as attending after-school instructional sessions, complete Saturday school, or complete additional assignments. If the attendance committee finds that there are no extenuating circumstances for the absence or if the student does not meet the conditions set by the committee for promotion, the student will not be promoted. If a petition for promotion is denied, the student or parent may appeal the decision to the superintendent’s designee.
If a student is involved in a criminal or juvenile court proceeding, the approval of the judge presiding over the case will also be required before the student receives credit for the class.
A student may be referred to Saturday School if:
- The student has missed more than 18 school days and has violated the Compulsory Attendance Law. This placement is made by the principal.
- The student may attend Saturday Attendance School if the student has 10 or more unexcused absences.
Unexcused absences that count toward a violation of the compulsory attendance law cannot be made up by attending attendance school. Violation of the compulsory attendance law can result in criminal prosecution.
If a student moves out of the district it is necessary that he/she be withdrawn from the present school or pay out-of-district tuition for the remainder of the semester. During the school year, if a student moves from one attendance zone to another within the district, the student may complete the current school year at that campus if all policies and procedures are followed and if attendance and tardies are not a problem, or may choose to enter the campus zoned to the new residence. The person who enrolls a student is the only one eligible to withdraw that student. Please notify the school office of a pending withdrawal one day in advance. Records will be sent to the receiving school upon receipt of proper request forms if all textbooks have been returned, office loans paid, and library fines paid.
Students are expected to be in their assigned classrooms when the tardy bell rings; teachers may require students to be in their seats when the tardy bell rings. If a student fails to meet these expectations in any class, he/she may be required to check in through the appropriate assistant principal’s office.
Permission to Leave School
A student will not be released from school at times other than dismissal hours except with the principal’s permission or according to the campus sign-out procedures. The teacher will determine that permission has been granted before allowing the student to leave the classroom.
A student who has not been tardy to or absent from school by 10:00 a.m. each day during a school year shall be entitled to receive a perfect attendance certificate. The student must have been enrolled on the first regularly scheduled school day and have attended each day for the entire school year. An excellent attendance certificate is given to a student whose absences do not exceed three. Three tardies is the same as one absence for this award.