A Parents’ Guide to Secondary Attendance
When a student is absent, the state has rules on how we must code that day. If it falls under an acceptable reason and we receive a note, we can code it as an excused absence. An excuse for absence is to be received within 3 days of the student returning to school. The excuse must either be from a doctor or a parent. If the excuse is from a doctor, there is no need for an additional parent note. The state requires the parent notes to include the student name, the reason for the absence, the date of absence, and a parent signature. Parent note excuses will be accepted with a maximum of 8 days first semester and 9 days second semester.
Notes may be turned into the office, faxed, or emailed to the following:
fax to 817-556-3403 or email: email@example.com
Another aspect of attendance that brings up many questions is the difference between the two major parts of Compulsory Attendance law.
1. Compulsory Attendance – 90% Rule: States that students must attend at least 90% of the time in order to receive credit for the classes taken. There is not a distinction between excused and unexcused for this law. It is due to this law that your principals work diligently to come up with a plan for your student to regain credit. This only applies to students who have missed or who are in danger of missing more than 10% of the days in the semester.
2. Compulsory Attendance – Excused vs. Unexcused: States that acceptable excuses must be turned in for absences. Since all of this data is recorded into a state-wide computer program, the state has determined that students should not receive more than 10 unexcused absences in a 6 month period. If students have 10 or more unexcused absences for days or parts of days, the parents and students are in danger of being taken to truancy court.
The above are two completely different aspects of attendance. They are often confused with each other when questions are posed. The school district does not want any student to fall within the consequences of attendance law, but we fully understand the value of students having the opportunity to learn, develop into a productive member of society, and achieve an abundant life.
We are providing you with the following information as a courtesy and a reminder about JISD attendance procedures. We want to make sure that you are well informed. As the handbook states, “It is a well-known fact that the greatest cause of failure is irregular attendance. Parents are urged to cooperate with the school to encourage good school attendance.”
When a student is absent, parents must turn in a written note or doctor’s note within the first three days of the student’s return to school. If documentation is not received by the third day the absence will be recorded as unexcused.
- Attendance: Attendance is taken each and every period. Students must be in class to be counted present. A list of excusable absences is also listed in the student handbook.
- Excused absence: Any absence that is followed with an acceptable note explaining illness or extenuating circumstances. Examples: Illness, Day of Funeral for an immediate family member with obituary or order of service from funeral or religious holy day. The campus attendance officer will determine if an extenuating circumstance is excused.
- Unexcused absence: Any absence without an acceptable note of explanation. Example: vacations, out of town etc.
- Attendance Officer / Truancy Court: It is the goal of our campuses to address attendance issues before having to notify the attendance officer or filing in the courts. These actions are considered a last resort and will be used only when in accordance with Texas law. When a student has accumulated 10 unexcused absences, including being signed out early, a court case will be filed (Texas Education Code 25.094). Parents will be notified repeatedly before any of these actions are taken.