Attendance Policies & Procedures

  • Attendance Matters!

  • The information below is intended to explain state and district policies on student attendance.

    The main topics addressed are:

    • Policies
    • Absences
    • Compulsory Attendance
    • Attendance Q & A
    • Attendance Codes

Attendance Policies - State and District

  • Attendance Policies - State and District

    First and foremost, the goal of Hays CISD is to ensure that we have our students in class every day and every period.   Our students are valuable and important to us. In order to make the most of educational opportunities, students must have consistent, punctual daily attendance and must be in the classroom when roll is taken to be counted present.

    Excessive unexcused absences can hinder a student’s progress, hinder the district’s ability to provide for his/her educational needs, and, at the secondary level, may result in the loss of credits.  The two State laws that address attendance are the Compulsory Attendance law and the 90% of Attendance law that affects the award of a student’s final grade or course credit.

Attendance Intervention Specialist Contacts

  • District Policy: Updated Attendance Policy FEA (LOCAL)

    A student that has had no contact, participation, or has not met the minimum criteria to be marked present for 5 consecutive school days and has made no effort to communicate with their campus could be withdrawn. Please ensure that your campus has been contacted to communicate why your student is not present at school.

    State Attendance Law:

    Section. 25.085 of the Texas Education Code states (a) A child who is required to attend school under this section shall attend school each school day for the entire period the program of instruction is provided.

    A child who is at least 6 years of age, or who is younger than 6 years of age and has previously been enrolled in first grade, and who has not yet reached the child’s 19th birthday shall attend school.  Students enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten shall attend school.

    A person who voluntarily enrolls in school or voluntarily attends school after the person’s 19th birthday shall attend school each school day for the entire period the program of instruction is offered.  A school district may revoke for the remainder of the school year the enrollment of a person who has more than 5 absences in a semester that are not excused under Section 25.087.

    A student in any grade level from Kindergarten - 12th grade may not be given credit or a final grade for a class unless the student is in attendance for at least 90% of the days the class is offered.

Absences

  • Absences

    An absence will be excused if the absence meets the State or District policy for excused absences.  (See the Student Code of Conduct for a listing of what is excused and unexcused).  Students have 5 school days after they return to bring an absence note to the office.  After that period of time, the absence will remain unexcused.

    Parent notes must include:

    1. Student’s name and ID#
    2. Date of the absence and reason for the absence
    3. Parent’s name and original signature with current phone number

    Upon return to school, a student absent for more than 5 consecutive days because of a personal illness must bring a doctor note.  Also, should the student have an extended absence from school, contact the school counseling department so that assignments can be collected to help the student stay on track with class work.

    Should a 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.  Also, if a student has excessive absences, the superintendent’s designee, the campus attendance committee may require a doctor’s note for all future absences for the remainder of the school year.

    A student in violation of the compulsory attendance law shall be reported to the District Attendance Intervention Specialist, who will implement preventative measures, an attendance/behavior plan and as a last resort may institute a court action as provided by law.

    Tips on Doctor’s Visits:

    Please schedule doctor’s appointments after school hours or on weekends whenever possible.  If an appointment is scheduled during school hours, please send your child to school before the appointment or return your child to school after the appointment. Otherwise the absence might be unexcused.

  • 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 days, 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 compulsory attendance, the other with attendance for course credit, are of special interest to students and parents. We must always keep these laws and state expectations in mind and follow them with fidelity.

    1. The goal of Hays CISD is to get students to attend school. According to FEA (LOCAL) policy, any student who has had no contact, participation, or has not met the minimum criteria to be marked present for five (5) consecutive school days and has made no effort to communicate with their campus could be removed from district membership in the Student Information System. 
    2. Student attendance is currently reflected in the Parent Portal provided to all students and their families. Attendance is recorded daily and parents/guardians can access this portal to verify student attendance as frequently as they wish. Students who have not attended 5 consecutive school days with no contact with the school, will be considered absent for five (5) consecutive unexcused days and may be withdrawn from school enrollment.
    3. Before a student is withdrawn for 5 consecutive unexcused absences, the campus must be able to show that they have made a good-faith effort to locate the student’s whereabouts. A good faith effort would include: phone calls, emails, home visits, etc. to ensure that our attempts are thorough on the part of the campus and the district.
    4. Any school moving in the direction of withdrawing a student under this policy must work directly with the Office of Student Services to gain approval for the withdrawal to happen. The goal of Hays CISD is to get students to attend school.
    5. Students who are withdrawn from their current campus may want to re-enroll in their campus. Students will be re-enrolled as per state law. All enrollment procedures will be followed. The goal of Hays CISD is to get students to attend school.
    6. Upon the registration and re-enrollment of the student, the parent/guardian must provide an up-to-date proof of residency of where the student/family lives.
    7. Should a student be withdrawn and the student is on a transfer to a campus other than their home campus as defined by the district boundaries, the student transfer may be revoked and the student could be returned to their home campus.
    8. The withdrawal date would be entered as of the sixth day to show the previous five (5) days as unexcused absences, regardless of the total number of accumulated unexcused absences.

Compulsory Attendance

  • Persons Subject to Compulsory Attendance

    Under §25.085, compulsory attendance applies to students who are at least six years old as of September 1 of the applicable school year. The law requires a student to attend public school until the student’s 19th birthday, unless the student is exempt under §25.086.

    Under §25.085(c), compulsory attendance also applies to students below the age for compulsory attendance during any period that the student is voluntarily enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten. 

    In addition, under §25.085(d), compulsory attendance applies to certain extended-year programs, tutorial classes, accelerated reading instruction programs, accelerated instruction programs, basic skills programs, and summer programs for students subject to certain disciplinary removals.

    Compulsory attendance is enforced through §25.093 and Chapter 65, Texas Family Code.

    • All school personnel have the responsibility to encourage school attendance. 
    • The school administration has the responsibility to follow the state compulsory attendance laws.
    • Each teacher is required to keep a record of attendance when their students report for class. The teacher must record each absence. 

    It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to timely provide proper documentation for each excused absence request. (A note is required within 5 days of a student’s absence.)

    Hays CISD does excuse certain absences such as sickness or a funeral but all parent notes will be reviewed by the campus attendance office.  If the cause for the absence is acceptable to the administrator, the absence will be excused. If the cause is not acceptable, the student will receive an unexcused absence. Excessive unexcused absences may lead to a criminal prosecution for the parent and a truancy conduct petition for the student.

  • Student Withdrawals

    The Hays Consolidated Independent School District is authorized through FEA (LOCAL) policy to withdraw a student who:

    • Has had no contact, participation, or has not met the minimum criteria to be marked present for 5 consecutive school days may be removed from district membership in the Student Information System, unless the student has a valid excuse under district policy and state law and has contacted their campus; and 
    • Is not receiving instructional services from the local school system through homebound instruction or instructional services required by the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); and
    • The school personnel have made a good faith effort to notify the parent, guardian, or other person who is in charge of a student who has a chronic attendance problem, and there is still no contact or response able to be made.
  • Parental Notification of Student Withdrawal

    The principal or the principal’s designee shall use his or her best efforts to notify the parent, guardian, or other person who has charge of the student if the school system plans to withdraw a student who is younger than 18 years of age.

    Texas requires a child who is at least 6 years of age, or who is younger than 6 years of age and has previously been enrolled in first grade, and who has not yet reached his/her 18th birthday to attend school unless exempt by law. Students enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten shall attend school.

    The state compulsory attendance law also requires that a child between the ages of 6 and 18 must attend school and District required tutorial sessions unless the student is otherwise legally exempted or excused. A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his eighteenth birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year. However, if a student eighteen 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 is then unauthorized and may be considered trespass.

    School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student that is absent from school without permission from any class; from required special programs; from additional instruction assigned by a placement/attendance committee or from required tutorials will be considered in violation of the law and subject to disciplinary action. A school aged student deliberately not attending school may also result in assessment of penalties by a court of law against both the student and/or his or her parents. A complaint may be filed in the appropriate court if the student:

    • Is absent from school ten (10) or more days, or parts of days, within a six month period in the same school year, or
    • Is absent from school on three (3) or more days, or parts of days, within a four-week period.

    State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences. These include the following activities and events:

    • Religious holy days;
    • Required court appearances;
    • Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship;
    • Service as an election clerk; and
    • Documented healthcare appointments, including absences for recognized services for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.
    • In addition, a junior or senior student’s absence of up to two days related to visiting a college or university may be considered an exemption, provided the student receives approval from the campus principal, follows the campus procedures to verify such visit, and makes up any work missed.

    A person required to attend school may be excused for temporary absence as long as a note is provided to the campus. Absences in which a note is not provided will be considered unexcused. Texas Education Code prohibits a student from being withdrawn by HCISD after 5 consecutive absences if the whereabouts of the student is known. The student shall remain enrolled in HCISD and truancy may be filed based upon standard truancy procedures.

  • Attendance for Course Credit

    To receive credit in a class, a student must attend at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered. When students fall below 90% attendance, the assistant principal will implement a principal plan and notify the student and parents of the plan to regain credit. As part of the principal plan, the student may be required to make up time outside of school hours. Failure to complete the principal plan may result in denial of course credit and/or retention. An attendance committee consisting of school administration and faculty will hear any appeals if a student or parent wishes to appeal a denial of credit brought about by failure to attend a class at least 90% of the days in the semester.

    Note: All absences, both excused and unexcused, count against the 90% attendance rule.

Dropout Prevention/Recovery

  • Dropout Prevention

    Students who are experiencing difficulties in school and may want to talk about other options can contact the Office of Student Services and will be connected with an Attendance Intervention Specialist to help prevent student from dropping out, 512.268.2141.

    Dropout Recovery

    Students who have dropped out of school and who want to obtain their high school diploma can call the Office of Student Services and will be connected with an Attendance Intervention Specialist to assist with a plan that best fits their educational needs, 512.268.2141.

Frequently Asked Questions: Attendance

  • What are the truancy laws in the state of Texas?

  • How many absences will create a filing for truancy charges?

  • What are absences exempt from Compulsory Attendance Laws?

  • What absences can be excused?

  • What do I do when my child is absent from school?

  • Do doctor’s or parent notes count toward the ten days for truancy?

  • What about when my student has an early dismissal?

  • Why did I receive a letter about attendance and truancy?

  • I cannot get my child to go to school. Can someone come out, pick them up, and make them go?

  • There is an error in my student’s attendance; how do I get the absence corrected?

  • Can my student drop out/stop attending school at the age of 17?

  • I have notes that will excuse my student’s absences; do I still need to appear in court?

  • How much is the fine?

  • What time is my child considered present for the day?

  • What if my child is tardy?

Attendance Codes

  • EA

    Excused Absence note from parent

    Counts against 90% rule

    UN/UP

    Unaccounted/Unexcused Personal 

    Counts against 90% rule

    EW

    Excused Waived, note from doctor; did not attend school 

    Counts against 90% rule

    OC

    Student was On Campus but not in class

    Does NOT count against 90% rule

    OI

    College or Institute visit (2 per yr.)

    Does NOT count against 90% rule

    OJ

    Required court appearance

    Does NOT count against 90% rule

    OL

    School UIL Activity

    Does NOT count against 90% rule

    ON

    Doctor's note; did attend school

    Does NOT count against 90% rule