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

Attendance Intervention Specialist Contacts

Attendance Policies

  • Attendance Policies (State and District)

    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.

    According to the new 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.

Compulsory Attendance

  • Compulsory Attendance Law §25.085

    State law requires every child in school to attend school daily. If a student is absent for 10 or more days or parts of days within a 6 month period in the same school year:

    1. Parent is subject to prosecution under Section 25.093 of the Texas Education Code; and 
    2. Students ages 12-19 years old are subject to a referral to a truancy court for truant conduct under Section 65.003(a) of the Family Code.

    Also, a school district shall notify a student’s parent if the student has been absent from school, without excuse under Section 25.087, on three days or parts of days within a four-week period. The notice must:

    1. inform the parent that:
      (A) it is the parent’s duty to monitor the student’s school attendance and require the student to attend school; and
      (B) the student is subject to truancy prevention measures under Section 25.0915; and
    2. request a conference between school officials and to the parent to discuss the absences.

    Truancy Prevention Measures may include parent contact made by teacher, attendance clerk, counselor, administrator or attendance intervention specialist.  A Behavior/Attendance contract is required for a student who has accumulated 3 days or parts of days of unexcused absences within a 4 week period.  Other measures include and are not limited to parent/student conferences, tutorials, referrals to outside agencies that aid in preventing truancy and home visits.

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 included:

    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:

    1. Please schedule doctor’s appointments after school hours or on weekends whenever possible.
    2. 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.

    The only absences that are excused under the State law are the following:

    • Religious holy day.
    • Appointment with a healthcare professional if student commences classes or returns to school on the same day.
    • Attending funeral services for a member of the student’s immediate family (includes parent or sibling).
    • Visiting a college or university during the student’s junior and senior years of high school.
    • Required court appearances.
    • Certain situations when a parent or guardian is on active military duty.
    • Special education assessment procedures and special education-related services.
    • Appearing at a government office to complete paperwork for the student’s application for U.S. citizenship.
    • Taking part in a U.S. naturalization oath ceremony.
    • Serving as an election clerk.
    • Sounding “Taps” at a military honors funeral held in this state for a deceased veteran.
    • A temporary absence due to any reason that the teacher, principal, or Superintendent deems excused.

    It is your responsibility 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.

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 are wanting 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.

Attendance Q&A

  • What is an unexcused absence?

  • What is an excused absence?

  • What if my student was marked absent by mistake?

  • How do I know if my student has been absent?

  • How do I submit a parent note or health care professional note?

  • What is not an acceptable excuse for being absent from school?

  • What can a parent do to promote good school attendance?

  • What happens if my student has unexcused absences?

  • When is a student in violation of the compulsory attendance law?

  • What happens if a student is in violation of the compulsory attendance law?

  • My child needs to leave school early. Will this be excused?

  • What do I need to check out a student?

  • What do I need to submit to have my student check themselves out of school?

  • Do I have to go into the school to sign my student in for the day?

  • Can I check out my student during testing days?

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 

    Does NOT count 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