Attendance Information for Parents & Guardians
RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENT/GUARDIAN CONCERNING ATTENDANCE
- Ensure your child/children attend school each and every day for the entire school day.
- Ensure your child understands the importance of attending school and the value of receiving a quality education.
- Contact the campus registrar with any changes to phone number(s), e-mail addresses, and/or physical home address.
- Monitor your child's grades and attendance, which may be accessed through the Parent Portal.
- Confer with your child's teacher(s), counselor
or administrator in a timely manner with pertinent information about the student and/or in reference to any areas of concern.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will I be notified if my child/children have an absence?
It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to contact the school's attendance office as soon as possible when their child is absent from school. Additionally, most schools have a process in place for notifying parents by email, text or phone if the school has not already been contacted concerning the absence. However, parents and guardians may verify their son's or daughter's attendance at any time through the Parent Portal.
What should I do if I receive a compulsory attendance warning letter in the mail?
The compulsory attendance warning letter is required by state law in order to make parents/guardians aware the student has accrued 3 or more unexcused absences and to inform them of the consequences that could result if a student continues to accumulate an excessive number of unexcused absences. If you feel that these unexcused absences are in error, please contact your school's attendance office as soon as possible. Remember, you may at any time view all of your child's absences through the Parent Portal. It is very important that you contact your son's or daughter's school immediately when they are absent from school--and even more important for you to encourage them to be in school, if possible, each and every day!
What should I do if I receive a 90% Attendance letter?
When a student has fallen below or is in danger of falling below, 90 percent attendance based on both excused and unexcused absences, the parent/guardian will receive a warning notification from the school with instructions to contact the school for a parent conference. If the absences are greater than 75 percent but less than 90 percent, the student will be asked to complete a plan approved by the school's principal that provides for the student to meet the instructional requirements of the class.
What is the difference between the 90% rule and the truancy code?
In order to receive credit or a final grade for a class, a student must be in attendance at least 90% of the days the class is offered. This "90% rule" includes both excused (parent or doctor's note) and unexcused absences. However, if a student fails to attend school without excuse on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, the student may be subject to referral to a truancy court and the student’s parent or person standing in parental relation may be subject to prosecution for “Parent Contributing to Nonattendance” under Texas Education Code Section §25.093.
What constitutes an unexcused absence?
Per the Student/Parent Handbook: "In determining if a student's absence will be excused by the school, the reason for each absence must be stated in writing, signed by the parent/guardian or health-care professional, and submitted to the school upon the student's return to school. If a student is absent from school for health reasons after the District has issued a Compulsory Attendance Warning Notice, the school may require a written note from a professional healthcare provider in order for the absence to be excused. If a student fails to bring a note on the date the student returns to school, a temporary admission slip will be issued. The student has two days after his/her return to school to bring an absence excuse. If no excuse is submitted, the absence will be regarded as a truancy."
Excuses for an absence may include:
- Personal Illness / Doctor Appointment
- Death of a Family Member
- Student Health Services; Family/Student Counseling Therapy Appointments
In addition, for some types of absences, students are considered in attendance when supporting documentation is provided to the attendance office. These absences include health care appointments (when the student is in attendance for part of the day), religious holy days, court appearances, sounding taps at a military funeral, serving as an election clerk, application for citizenship, naturalization ceremony, and approved college visitation days. See the Student/Parent Handbook for more details on the required documentation for each of these.
How long do I have to clear an unexcused absence?
In order for the absence to be changed from unexcused to excused, documentation must be provided to the school attendance office within 48 hours from when the student returns to school. After 48 hours, the absence will remain unexcused, unless approved by a campus administrator.
What if I receive a warning letter but the absences were cleared?
Should you receive a warning letter and you know that the absences have already been changed to excused, you should contact the school's attendance office to verify that the absences have been cleared. However, in the event that your child's attendance again reaches 3 unexcused absences, another warning letter will be sent. Make sure to check your child's attendance regularly on the Parent Portal.
If I receive a warning letter, does it mean I am going to be fined?
No. The warning letter is to remind you of the state compulsory attendance requirements and to inform you that your child has accumulated three or more unexcused absences. Should your child continue to be absent without excuse for 10 or more days or parts of days, truancy may be filed against you and/or the student. If truancy is filed, it is then the decision of the court whether or not a fine will be assessed.