Regular school attendance is essential for a student to make the most of his or her education—to
benefit from teacher-led and school activities, to build each day’s learning on the previous day’s,
and to grow as an individual. Absences from class may result in serious disruption of a student’s
mastery of the instructional materials; therefore, the student and parent should make every effort
to avoid unnecessary absences. Two state laws—one dealing with the required presence of
school-aged children in school, e.g., compulsory attendance, the other with how a child’s
attendance affects the award of a student’s final grade or course credit—are of special interest to
students and parents.
State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of
absences if the student makes up all work. These include the following activities and events:
• Religious holy days;
• Required court appearances;
• Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship;
• Documented health-care appointments for the student or a child of the student, including
absences for recognized services for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders,
if the student comes to school or returns to school on the same day as the appointment. A
note from the health-care provider must be submitted upon the student’s arrival or return
to campus; and for students in the conservatorship (custody) of the state, an activity required under a court-ordered service plan; or any other court-ordered activity, provided it is not practicable to schedule the student’s participation in the activity outside of school hours.
As listed in Section I at Children of Military Families, absences of up to five days will be
excused for a student to visit with a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian who has been called to
duty for, is on leave from, or immediately returned from certain deployments.
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
The truancy prevention facilitator for the district is Ken Knippel. 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.
A court of law may also impose penalties against a student’s parent if a school-aged student is
deliberately not attending school. A complaint against the parent may be filed in court if the
student is absent without excuse from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six month
period in the same school year.
If a student ages 12 through 18 incurs unexcused absences on ten or more days or parts of days
within a six-month period in the same school year, the district, in most circumstances, will refer
the student to truancy court.
[See policy FEA(LEGAL).]
Attendance for Credit or Final Grade (Kindergarten Through Grade 12)
To receive credit or a final grade in a class, a student in kindergarten–grade 12 must attend at
least 90 percent of the days the class is offered. A student who attends at least 75 percent but
fewer than 90 percent of the days the class is offered may receive credit or a final grade for the
class if he or she completes a plan, approved by the principal, that allows the student to fulfill the
instructional requirements for the class. 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 or a final grade for the class.
If a student attends less than 75 percent of the days a class is offered or has not completed the
plan approved by the principal, then the student will be referred to the attendance review
committee to determine whether there are extenuating circumstances for the absences and how
the student can regain credit or a final grade lost because of absences. [See policy FEC.]
All absences, whether excused or unexcused, must be considered in determining whether a
student has attended the required percentage of days. In determining whether there were
extenuating circumstances for the absences, the attendance committee will use the following
• If makeup work is completed, absences for the reasons listed above at Exemptions to
Compulsory Attendance will be considered extenuating circumstances for purposes of
attendance for credit or the award of a final grade.
• A transfer or migrant student begins to accumulate absences only after he or she has
enrolled in the district.
• In reaching a decision about a student’s absences, the committee will attempt to ensure
that it is in the best interest of the student.
• The committee will review absences incurred based on the student’s participation in
board-approved extracurricular activities. These absences will be considered by the
attendance committee as extenuating circumstances in accordance with the absences
allowed under FM(LOCAL) if the student made up the work missed in each class.
• The committee will consider the acceptability and authenticity of documented reasons for
the student’s absences.
• The committee will consider whether the absences were for reasons over which the
student or the student’s parent could exercise any control.
• The committee will consider the extent to which the student has completed all
assignments, mastered the essential knowledge and skills, and maintained passing grades
in the course or subject.
• 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 or a final
The student or parent may appeal the committee’s decision to the board by following policy
The actual number of days a student must be in attendance in order to receive credit or a final
grade will depend on whether the class is for a full semester or for a full year.
Official Attendance-Taking Time (All Grade Levels)
The district must submit attendance of its students to the TEA reflecting attendance at a specific
time each day.
Official attendance is taken every day during the second instructional hour. A student absent for
any portion of the day, including at the official attendance-taking time, should follow the
procedures below to provide documentation of the absence.
Documentation After an Absence (All Grade Levels)
When a student is absent from school, the student—upon arrival or return 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 age 18 or
older or is an emancipated minor under state law. A phone call from the parent may be accepted,
but the district reserves the right to require a written note.
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.
Doctor’s Note After an Absence for Illness (All Grade Levels)
Upon return to school, a student absent for more than 3 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. Otherwise, the student’s absence may be
considered unexcused and, if so, would be considered to be in violation of compulsory
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.