Regular and punctual attendance is the greatest factor in school success; therefore, a student’s first concern should be to attend class regularly. Being absent unnecessarily from school impairs a student’s opportunity to succeed in studies and also indirectly encourages the development of poor attitudes toward schoolwork and other obligations. A significant part of the learning process occurs in direct instruction from the teacher and the interaction between students and teachers within the classroom; completing makeup work, worksheets and other assignments cannot take the place of these essential interactions in the classroom. Communications between students, families and the school district personnel are important to understanding how attendance plays a role in a student’s overall success. We must all work together for a student to have the best educational experience possible and to take advantage of all of the opportunities available.
Regular school attendance is essential. Absences from class may result in serious disruption of a student’s education. The student and parent should avoid unnecessary absences.
- Can my student make up their work if they are absent?
- Documentation after an Absence (All Grade Levels)
- Driver License Attendance Verification (Secondary Grade Levels Only)
- Leaving Campus
- Official Attendance-Taking Time (All Grade Levels)
- What are the laws governing attendance?
- What do I do if my child has to be absent due to family emergency, illness, etc?
Can my student make up their work if they are absent?
Makeup Work Because of Absence (All Grade Levels)
A teacher may assign makeup work to a student who misses class based on instructional objectives and the needs of the student in mastering the essential knowledge and skills or meeting subject or course requirements.
The student will be responsible for obtaining and completing the makeup work within the time specified by the teacher. A student who does not make up assigned work within the time allotted by the teacher will receive a grade of zero for the assignment.
The student is encouraged to speak with his or her teacher if the student knows of an absence ahead of time so that the teacher and student may plan any makeup work. Please remember the importance of student attendance at school and that, even though absences may be excused or unexcused, all absences account for the 90 percent threshold regarding the state laws surrounding “attendance for credit or final grade.” [See Attendance for Credit or Final Grade for more information.]
A student involved in an extracurricular activity must notify his or her teachers ahead of time about any absences.
A student will be permitted to make up tests and turn in projects due in any class missed because of absence. Teachers may assign a late penalty to any long-term project in accordance with timelines approved by the principal and previously communicated to students.
DAEP Makeup Work
Elementary and Middle/Junior High School Grade Levels
Students assigned to DAEP should be completing daily assignments provided by the classroom teacher.
Grades 9 – 12
If a high school student is enrolled in a foundation curriculum course at the time of removal to a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP), he or she will have an opportunity to complete the course before the beginning of the next school year. The district may provide the opportunity to complete the course through an alternative method, including a correspondence course, another distance learning option, or summer school. The district will not charge the student for any method of completion provided by the district. [See policy FOCA(LEGAL) for more information.]
In-School Suspension (ISS) and Out-of-School Suspension (OSS) Makeup Work (All Grade Levels)
Alternative Means to Receive Coursework
While a student is in ISS or OSS, the district will provide the student with all course work for the student’s foundation curriculum classes that the student misses as a result of the suspension.
Opportunity to Complete Courses
A student removed from the regular classroom to ISS or another setting, other than a DAEP, will have an opportunity to complete before the beginning of the next school year each course the student was enrolled in at the time of removal from the regular classroom. The district may provide the opportunity by any method available, including a correspondence course, another distance learning option, or summer school. The district will not charge the student for any method of completion provided by the district. [See policy FO(LEGAL) for more information.]
Documentation after an Absence (All Grade Levels)
A parent must provide an explanation for any absence upon the student’s arrival or return to school. The student must submit a note signed by the parent. The campus may accept a phone call from the parent but reserves the right to require a written note.
A note signed by the student will not be accepted unless the student is age 18 or older or is an emancipated minor under state law.
The campus will document in its attendance records whether the absence is excused or unexcused.
Note: The district is not required to excuse any absence, even if the parent provides a note explaining the absence unless the absence is an exemption under compulsory attendance laws.
Steps to Follow When Absent: Local Policy 1
. Have the parent or guardian call the school and inform the office of your absence before 9:30 AM of the day of the absence.
2. Absences for doctor/dental appointments or court proceedings must be verified by an appointment card, citation notice, or written documentation. Students who attend school for part of the day (either before or after the appointment) and return to school with the appropriate documentation shall be counted as in attendance for the full day. Every effort should be made to schedule doctor/dental appointments outside of class time.
3. The parent or guardian is to write an excuse giving the student’s name, date, days of absence, the reason for absence, and their signature. Parent notes must be submitted within three days of absence to be considered as an excused absence. Notes signed by the students, even with the parent’s permission, will be considered a forgery, and the student will be disciplined.
4. Upon returning: Students should present the written excuse signed by parent or guardian to the office before going to any class.
5. Ask all teachers for make-up work assignments. Assignments that are not made up will be reflected in grades as zeroes. Each student is responsible for seeing that make-up work is completed.
6. For a perfect attendance certificate, students must be present each time roll is checked every school day.
7. Parents and students may request assignments. Please call by 9:00 AM the day you would like to pick up the assignments.
Doctor’s Note after an Absence for Illness (All Grade Levels)
Within three (3) days of returning to school, a student absent for more than three (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 absence. Otherwise, the absence may be considered unexcused and in violation of compulsory attendance laws.
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 absence to determine whether an absence will be excused or unexcused.
Physical Education Excuses
Physical Education is important for proper health and should be utilized by each student. This is a required course of study, and all students will participate. Students bringing a note from their parents will be exempt from participation that day. They will, however, need to dress out just as if they were participating. Notes from parents should be sent each day for a maximum of 3 days. After three days, a doctor’s excuse is required. (CISD) For additional information on the district’s requirements and programs regarding elementary, middle, and junior high school student physical activity requirements, please see the principal. [See policy FEC(LOCAL) for more information.]
Driver License Attendance Verification (Secondary Grade Levels Only)
A currently enrolled student seeking a driver’s license shall submit the Texas Department of Public Safety Verification of Enrollment and Attendance Form (VOE), signed by the parent, to the campus central office at least 10 days before it is needed. The district will issue a VOE only if the student meets class credit or attendance requirements. The VOE form is available at: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/driver/forms/VOE.pdf.
Further information may be found on the Texas Department of Public Safety website: https://www.dps.texas.gov/section/driver-license.
Remember that student attendance is crucial. Appointments should be scheduled outside of school hours if possible. Absent extenuating circumstances, students will not regularly be released before the end of the school day.
State rules require parental consent before any student leaves campus for any part of the school day.
For students in elementary and middle school, a parent or authorized adult must come to the office and show identification to sign the student out. A campus representative will ask the student to report to the office. For safety purposes and stability of the learning environment, we cannot allow any unescorted adult to go to the classroom or other area to pick up the student. If the student returns to campus the same day, the parent or authorized adult must sign the student back in through the main office upon the student’s return. Documentation regarding the reason for the absence will also be required.
The same process applies to students in high school if a parent picks the student up from campus. If the student’s parent authorizes the student to leave campus unaccompanied, a note provided by the parent must be submitted to the main office no later than two hours prior to the student’s need to leave campus. A phone call from the parent may be accepted, but the school may ultimately require a note for documentation purposes. The student must sign out through the main office and sign in upon his or her return, if the student returns the same day.
If a student becomes ill during the school day and the school nurse or other district personnel determines that the student should go home, the nurse will contact the student’s parent and document the parent’s wishes regarding release from school.
Unless the parent directs district personnel to release the student unaccompanied, the parent or other authorized adult must follow the sign-out procedures listed above.
If a student is permitted by his or her parent to leave campus unaccompanied, the nurse will document the time of day the student was released. Under no circumstances will a student in elementary or middle school be released unaccompanied. If a student is 18 years of age or is an emancipated minor, the student may sign him- or herself out of school. Documentation regarding the reason for the absence will be required.
All CISD campuses are closed campuses, and no students can leave during lunch without a parent signing the student out.
At Any Other Time during the School Day
Students are not authorized to leave campus during regular school hours for any other reason, except with the permission of the principal.
Students who leave campus in violation of these rules will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct
Official Attendance-Taking Time (All Grade Levels)
The district will take official attendance every day at:
● Elementary Campus at 9:30 AM, which is during the second instructional hour as required by state rule.
● Secondary Campus is 9:30 AM, which is during the second instructional hour as required by state rule.
A student absent for any portion of the day should follow the procedures below to provide documentation of the absence.
What are the laws governing attendance?
Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Students enrolled in prekindergarten and kindergarten are required to attend school and are subject to the compulsory attendance requirements as long as they remain enrolled.
Ages 6-18 State law requires that a student who is at least six years of age, or who is younger than six years of age and has previously been enrolled in first grade, and who has not yet reached their 19th birthday, shall 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. State law requires a student in kindergarten–grade 2 to attend any assigned accelerated reading instruction program. Parents will be notified in writing if their child is assigned to an accelerated reading instruction program based on a diagnostic reading instrument. A student will be required to attend any assigned accelerated instruction program 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/or applicable subject area.
Age 19 or Older A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 19th birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year. If the student incurs 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 policy FEA for more information.]
Compulsory Attendance—Exemptions All Grade Levels State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for the following activities and events, as long as the student makes up all work:
● Religious holy days;
● Required court appearances;
● Activities related to obtaining U.S. citizenship;
● Documented health-care appointments for the student or a child of the student, including absences related to autism services, if the student returns to school on the same day of the appointment and brings a note from the health-care provider;
● For students in the conservatorship of the state,
o An activity required under a court-ordered service plan; or
o Any other court-ordered activity, provided it is not practicable to schedule the student’s participation in the activity outside of school hours.
For children of military families, absences of up to five days will be excused for a student to visit a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian going to, on leave from, or returning from certain deployments. [See Children of Military Families for more information.]
Secondary Grade Levels
The district will allow junior and senior students to be absent for up to two days per year to visit a college or university, provided this:
● Has been authorized by the Board under policy FEA(LOCAL) and the student receives approval from the campus principal,
● Follows campus procedures to verify the visit, and
● Makes up any work missed. The district will allow a student 17 years old or older to be absent for up to four days during the period the student is enrolled in high school to pursue enlistment in the U.S. armed services or Texas National Guard, provided the student verifies these activities to the district. The district will allow a student to be absent for up to two days per school year to serve as:
● An early voting clerk, provided the district’s Board has authorized this in policy FEA(LOCAL), the student notifies his or her teachers, and the student receives approval from the principal prior to the absences; or
● An election clerk, if the student makes up any work missed. 20 The district will allow a student in grades 6–12 to be absent for the purpose of sounding “Taps” at a military honors funeral for a deceased veteran. Compulsory
Attendance—Failure to Comply All Grade Levels
School employees must investigate and report violations of the compulsory attendance law. A student absent without permission from school, any class, any required special program, or any required tutorial will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance law and subject to disciplinary action.
Students with Disabilities If a student with a disability is experiencing attendance issues, the student’s ARD or Section 504 committee will determine whether the attendance issues warrant an evaluation, a reevaluation, and/or modifications to the student's individualized education program or Section 504 plan, as appropriate.
Ages 6-18 When a student ages 6–18 incurs three or more unexcused absences within a four-week period, the law requires the school to send notice to the parent. The notice will:
● Remind the parent of his or her duty to monitor the student’s attendance and require the student to attend school;
● Request a conference between school administrators and the parent; and
● Inform the parent that the district will initiate truancy prevention measures, including a behavior improvement plan, school-based community service, referrals to counseling or other social services, or other appropriate measures.
The truancy prevention facilitator for the district is: Anjanette Murry, Ed. D. Assistant Superintendent of Data and Information Systems 400 W. Lewis Crandall, TX 75114 firstname.lastname@example.org 972-427-6000
For any questions about student absences, parents should contact the facilitator or any other campus administrator. A court of law may impose penalties against the parent if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school. The district may file a complaint against the parent if the student incurs ten or more unexcused absences within a six-month period in the same school year. If a student age 12–18 incurs ten or more unexcused absences within a six-month period in the same school year, the district, in most circumstances, will refer the student to truancy court. [See policies FEA(LEGAL) and FED(LEGAL) for more information.]
Age 19 and Older After a student age 19 or older incurs a third unexcused absence, the district is required by law to send the 21 student a letter explaining that the district may revoke the student’s enrollment for the remainder of the school year if the student has more than five unexcused absences in a semester. As an alternative to revoking a student’s enrollment, the district may implement a behavior improvement plan.
What do I do if my child has to be absent due to family emergency, illness, etc?
When sickness or other obligation necessitates an absence, a note signed by the parent/guardian explaining the reason for the absence is required the day the student returns to school. If a student fails to submit a note, the absence will be considered unexcused. The student will be allowed three (3) days to submit a written note excusing an absence (an email is acceptable as a note). Visit your campus website for instructions and contact information for your attendance/data clerk. It is very important to send a note because the absence will be unexcused if a parent/guardian fails to provide a note within the specified time. Unexcused absences are what triggers the warning letters regarding violation of truancy laws and can lead to filing of failure to attend school charges.
When a student’s absence for personal illness exceeds four (4) successive days, the student shall provide a statement from a physician or health clinic verifying the illness or other condition requiring the student’s extended absence from school (the school nurse is available to verify an illness on the day of the absence). If you did not take your child to the doctor, a note from the doctor’s office or clinic stating that you discussed symptoms with them and they advised you to stay home for a certain number of days would be sufficient. If your student is absent due to illness, please include his/her symptoms in your email or note. This is particularly important during this time as we are tracking absences related to flu and flulike symptoms to report to the health departments. Please let us know if your child has a fever, sore throat, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. If your student will be absent more than one day, a call would be helpful. The school nurse is available to verify an illness on the day of the absence.
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.