Attendance Basics

    • Students who are at least six years of age, or who have been previously enrolled in first grade, and who have not yet reached their 18th birthday shall attend school for the entire period the program is offered.
    • The entire period means coming to school on time, being present in every class period, and remaining in class until the school day is officially over.
    • Parents must call the school attendance office if his or her student is not going to be in school.
    • Medical and dentist appointments should be made, if at all possible, after the school day has ended. If this is not possible, the student and/or parent must bring a doctor’s note the next day verifying the appointment.
    • Early checkouts before the school day has ended are strongly discouraged. Truancy charges will be filed if there are excessive unexcused early checkouts from school. These early checkout absences are considered missing “parts of days.”
    • Students enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten shall attend school.
    • A person who voluntarily enrolls in school or voluntarily attends school after the person’s 18th birthday shall attend school each school day for the entire period the program of instruction is offered.
    • The District may revoke for the remainder of the school year the enrollment of a person who has more than five unexcused absences in a semester.
    • A person whose enrollment is revoked for exceeding this limit may be charged with trespassing.
    • Students who miss 10 or more days, or parts of days, without an excuse, will have truancy charges filed against them and/or their parent(s.)

     Compulsory Attendance

    State law requires that a student between the ages of six and 18 attend school, as well as any applicable accelerated instruction program, extended year program, or tutorial session, unless the student is otherwise excused from attendance or legally exempt. 
    A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 18th birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year and is subject to compulsory attendance laws, if the student is under 21 years old. In addition, if a student 18 or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester the district may revoke the student’s enrollment. The student’s presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing.

    • [See Board Policy FEA.]

    A student in grades 5 and 8 will be required to attend any assigned accelerated instruction program, which may occur before or after school or during the summer, if the student does not meet the passing standards on the state assessment for his or her grade level and applicable subject area. 


    Parent’s Note after an Absence

    When a student must be absent from school, upon returning to school, must bring a note signed by the parent that describes the reason for the absence. A note signed by the student, even with the parent’s permission, will not be accepted unless the student is 18 or older. Notes must be received within three days of the student’s return to school. Any child may be excused from school for absences resulting from personal sickness, death in the family, quarantine, and weather or road conditions.

    Doctor’s Note after an Absence for Illness

    Upon return to school, a student absent for more than three consecutive days because of a personal illness must bring a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s extended absence from school.

    • [See Board Policy FEC (LOCAL).]

    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.

    • [See Board Policy FEC (LOCAL).]

    The 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.

    What is Truancy?

    Absences from school not authorized by the parents of the student will be considered TRUANCY and are subject to disciplinary consequences, including judicial consequences. If a student is absent from school without an excuse for 3 or more days or parts of days within a four-week period, the parents and student are subject to prosecution. If a student is absent from school without an excuse for 10 or more days, or parts of days, within a six-month period in the same school year, the parents and student may be brought to truancy court.

    Truancy is:

    • Not showing up to school
    • Showing up late
    • Skipping school
    • Cutting class
    • Missing classes without a valid excuse

    Warning Notices

    If a student is absent from school without an excuse for three days or parts of days within a four-week period, the District must notify the parents in writing. This notice must include a statement reminding the parent that it is the parent’s duty to monitor the student’s school attendance and require the student to go to school, and that the parent is subject to prosecution if the student continues to be truant from school. The District must request a conference between the appropriate administrator and the parent to discuss the absences.

    •  [Senate Bill 1432 (Education Code, Family Code, Criminal Procedure)]

    Exceptions

    Students will not be considered absent for the following exceptions, when written documentation is provided to the attendance office:

    • The student is participating in a Board-approved extracurricular activity or public performance, which is under the direction of a member of the district’s professional staff or an adjunct staff member who has a bachelor’s degree and is eligible for participation in TRS.
    • The student is participating in a mentorship approved by district personnel to serve as one or more of the advanced measures needed to complete the Distinguished Achievement Program outlined in 19 TAC 74.13(a)(3).
    • The student is Medicaid-eligible and participating in the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program. Such students may be excused for up to one day at any time without loss of ADA.
    • The student is observing holy days, including days of travel to or from a site where the student will observe holy days. 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 religious holy days. A student whose absence is excused for the purpose of observing religious holy days shall not be penalized for the absence and shall be counted as having attended for purposes of calculating the average daily attendance in the district.
    • The student has a documented appointment with a health care professional during regular school hours, if that student commences classes or returns to school on the same day of the appointment. The appointment should be supported by a document such as a note from the health professional. Students excused under this provision shall be allowed a reasonable time to make up school work missed on those days. A student whose absence is excused for an appointment with a health care professional shall not be penalized for the absence and shall be counted as having attended for purposes of calculating the average daily attendance in the district.

     Students will receive an excused absence for the following extenuating circumstances:

    • Temporary absence resulting from any cause acceptable to the principal, or Superintendent (including being sent home by the school nurse).
    • 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.

    Note: Absences authorized by the parent and acceptable to the principal will be considered an excused absence.