San Marcos CISD Attendance Procedures

    1. Expectations
      1. Every student enrolled in the San Marcos school district is expected to attend school every day school is in session.
      2. Students are expected to arrive at school on time and are expected to go to every class.
      3. Students are expected to be in attendance during the full day of instruction, from the time school begins until the school day ends. Please check with the individual campuses for school start times.
    2. Compulsory Attendance
      1. A student between the ages of 6 and 18 must attend school, and district-required tutorial sessions, including Saturday school if required, unless the student is otherwise legally exempted or excused.
      2. A student who voluntary attends or enrolls after his/her eighteenth birthday is required to attend school each school day.
      3. Upon enrollment in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, a child must attend school.
        1. Parents who enroll their students in the SMCISD pre-kindergarten program will be given an attendance overview at the time of enrollment.
      4. The District may initiate withdrawal of a student for non-attendance if the student has been absent 10 consecutive school days, or repeated efforts by the District attendance officer and/or principal to locate the student have been unsuccessful, or if a student 18 years or older has more than five unexcused absences in one semester.
    3. Excused Absences
      1. The following absences will be considered excused absences, if appropriate documentation provided by the parent or guardian:
        1. Personal illnesses that do not exceed three (3) consecutive days.
          1. Illnesses that extend beyond three (3) days will require a doctor's note.
        2. Temporary absence resulting from any cause acceptable to the principal or superintendent.
      2. Students in grades K-12 who exceed five (5) or more absences, excused or unexcused, in a nine week grading period will be put on an attendance contract by the principal.
    4. Missed days that are considered Present
      1. According to state law (Texas Education Code 25.087) the following absences from school will count as a day present, if the student satisfactorily makes up the school work missed on the day of the absence and all documentation is provided for the absence:
        1. Documented health care appointment, if the student begins classes or returns to school on the same day as the appointment;
        2. Observance of religious holy days;
        3. Juvenile court proceeding documented by a probation officer;
        4. Required screening, diagnosis, and treatment for Medicaid-eligible students;
        5. Board-approved extracurricular activity;
        6. Is in grades 6-12 and misses school for the purpose of sounding "Taps" at a military honors funeral held in Texas for a deceased veteran;
        7. Is 16 years or older and misses school for the purpose of serving as an election clerk;
        8. Student misses school to appear at a government office to complete US citizenship;
        9. Student misses school for the purpose of taking part in the student's own United States naturalization oath ceremony; or
        10. Is in the junior or senior year of high school and misses no more than two days per year to visit a college or university.
    5. Notification from parents
      1. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to contact the school each day (telephone call, fax, email, or written note) regarding the student’s absence to explain the reason.
      2. Absences not cleared within three (3) days will be considered unexcused. See #11 regarding doctor’s notes.
    6. Unexcused Absences
      1. Any absence not listed above will be considered an unexcused absence.
      2. Examples of unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, class cuts, car trouble, over sleeping, personal business, vacation, going to DPS to get driver’s license, etc.
      3. If the student has a questionable pattern of absences in the current or previous school year, the principal may not excuse an absence from school unless a doctor’s note is provided for the absence.
      4. Attendance contracts will be required of students who have excessive (10% or more) absences from the previous school year.
      5. Students in grades K-12 who exceed five (5) or more absences, excused or unexcused, in a nine week grading period will be put on an attendance contract.
    7. Attendance Contracts
      1. Attendance contracts will be required of students who have excessive (10% or more) absences from the previous school year.
      2. Students who are on attendance contracts will be closely monitored for absences. When the student has accrued ten absences, either excused or unexcused, the principal may require doctor’s notes for any additional absence.
    8. Truancy
      1. A student absent from school without an excuse for ten (10) or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year or on three (3) or more days or parts of days within a four-week period is considered truant and in violation of compulsory attendance laws.
      2. The parent or guardian is subject to prosecution (TEC, Sec. 24.0939) if the student fails to comply with attendance laws.
      3. A student who is 12 years old or older is subject to prosecution (TEC, Sec. 24.094) or referral to juvenile court if he/she fails to attend school as required by law.
      4. Students will have truancy charges filed against them and/or their parent/guardian when the unexcused absences reach 10 days, or parts of days.
        1. Tardies to school in the morning are considered parts of days.
        2. Early checkouts are considered parts of days.
        3. Missed class periods in grades 6-12 are considered parts of days.
    9. Truancy Sanctions
      1. Students who have sanctions imposed by the truancy court will be monitored by the campus principal, the campus attendance office, and the District attendance office.
      2. Failure to meet the sanctions imposed by the court will result in a motion of contempt filed with the court against the student and/or parent or guardian.
      3. Students who have truancy issues in the current or previous school year will not be eligible for a host or transfer approval to a school outside their school boundary.
    10. Make up Work
      1. Students can make up work for both excused and unexcused absences.
      2. Refer to each campus’s grading guidelines regarding make-up work.
    11. Illness and Doctor’s Notes
      1. If a student begins classes or returns to school on the same day as a doctor’s appointment, they will be considered present for that day if they bring a signed and dated doctor’s note for the appointment.
        1. Doctor’s notes may be verified by the campus attendance office.
        2. Students are expected to make up any class work missed during the appointment.
      2. When a student's absence for personal illness exceeds three (3) consecutive days, the student must present a statement from a physician or health clinic verifying the illness or other condition requiring the student's extended absence from school.
        1. Doctor’s notes may be verified by the campus attendance office.
        2. Students are expected to make up any class work missed during the days absent.
      3. Students in grades K-12 who exceed five (5) or more absences, excused or unexcused, in a nine week grading period will be put on an attendance contract.
      4. The principal and/or attendance committee may, if the student has established a questionable pattern of absences, also require a physician's or clinic's statement of illness after a single day's absence as a condition of classifying the absence as one for which there are extenuating circumstances (SMCISD board policy FEC Local.)
      5. If a student has an accident or has been diagnosed by a doctor with a critical illness, the parent or guardian must notify the campus principal and attendance office immediately so homebound services can be discussed and service started, if warranted.
    12. Checkouts during the school day
      1. A parent or guardian who checks out his/her student during the school day needs to be aware that the absence may not be excused.
      2. Unexcused parts of days due to checkouts will be used to file truancy charges against the student and/or parent/guardian.
      3. Students who are checked out during the school day will be required to make up the missed class work.
      4. High School students who are checked out during the school day will be required to make up the hours missed.
      5. Parents of high school students who drive their own car to school must notify the attendance office in writing (fax, email or hand written note) that the student is leaving school.
        1. This absence may not be excused, depending on the circumstance.
    13. Early checkouts at the end of the day
      1. a) Early checkouts after 1:30 PM for Pre-Kindergarten students will be excused only if verified documentation is presented to the attendance office. Checkouts without a valid reason will not be excused.
      2. b) Early checkouts after 2:00 PM for K-5 students will be excused only if verified documentation is presented to the attendance office. Checkouts without a valid reason will not be excused.
      3. c) Early checkouts after 3:00 PM for 6-12 students will be excused only if verified documentation is presented to the attendance office. Checkouts without a valid reason will not be excused.
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      5. d) Examples of verified documentation that are considered valid reasons are dentist appointments, doctor’s appointments, counseling or therapy appointments, etc.
      6. e) Examples of reasons that will not be excused are leaving to beat the traffic, leaving to go to a football game, student doesn’t want to be at school, student doesn’t like the class, etc.
      7. f) A parent or guardian who checks out his/her student early, before the official dismissal time for the campus, needs to be aware that the absence may not be excused and that the absence may be used to file truancy charges against the student and/or parent.
    14. Vacations
      1. a) Family vacations need to be taken during scheduled breaks, as listed on the official San Marcos CISD school calendar.
      2. b) Texas Statute does not allow a student to be absent from school for vacation during instructional days.
    15. Loss of credit/promotion due to absences (SMCISD board policy FEC local)
      1. A student in grades 1-8 may not receive credit and may not be promoted if he/she has been in attendance fewer than 90% of the time school is in session.
        1. The Campus Attendance Committee will review the student’s absences and make a decision on credit and/or promotion before the end of the school year (see Attendance Appeals Process below.)
      2. Students in grades 9-12 who do not maintain 90% attendance in each class per semester may not be promoted or receive credit for a semester course.
        1. The Campus Attendance Committee will review the student’s absences and make a decision on credit and/or promotion before the end of the school year (see Attendance Appeals Process below.)
      3. Attendance is recorded each grading period and reported as part of the report card students and parents receive.
      4. Parents may also request a report of their students’ absences at any time from the campus attendance office.
    16. Attendance Appeals Process for loss of credit (SMCISD board policy FEC local)
      1. When a student’s attendance drops below 90 percent but remains at least at 75 percent of the days the class is offered, the student may earn credit for the class by completing a plan approved by the principal.
      2. This plan must provide for the student to meet the instructional requirements of the class as determined by the principal.
      3. If the student fails to successfully complete the plan, or when a student’s attendance drops below 75 percent of the days the class is offered, the student, parent, or representative may request award of credit by submitting a written petition to the Campus Attendance Committee.
      4. Petitions for credit may be filed at any time the student receives notice but, in any event, no later than 30 days after the last day of classes.
      5. The attendance committee shall review the student’s entire attendance record and the reasons for absences and shall determine whether to award credit.
      6. The committee may also, whether a petition is filed or not, review the records of all students whose attendance drops below 90 percent of the days the class is offered.
      7. Students who have lost credit because of excessive absences may regain credit by fulfilling the requirements established by the attendance committee.
      8. A parent or student may appeal the decision of the attendance committee in accordance with SMCISD board policy FNG (Local) beginning at Level Three.
Last Modified on July 3, 2017