What Does The 90% Rule Mean For Your Child?

    • In addition to Texas compulsory attendance laws, districts are required to enforce the 90% rule which states that students in grades Kindergarten through 12th must attend class for 90% of the time it is offered to receive credit or a final grade.  This rule applies even if your child has an IEP or 504 Plan. 

    • The average school year is 180 days.  This means your child can only miss 18 days (or parts of a day) of school or 18 days (or parts of a day) of a specific class.  If the school is on a semester schedule, this number is cut in half.

    • A student who is in attendance for at least 75 percent, but less than 90 percent, of the days a class is offered may be given credit or a final grade if the student completes a plan approved by the principal, that provides for the student to meet the instructional requirements of the class.

    •  The 90 percent rule applies to all absences (excluding those exempt by law), including excused absences.

    • For elementary students, this means they could repeat a grade if they are in school less than 90% of the school days.  A middle or high school student may have to repeat a class that they received a passing grade in if they did not attend that class at least 90% of the days of the class.

    What Can You Do If Your Child Falls Below 90% Compulsory Attendance?

    • If the student drops below 90% attendance but attends class at least 75% of the days the class is offered, the student may earn credit for the class by completing a plan approved by the principal or campus attendance review committee which allows the student to fulfill the instructional requirements for the class. 

    • If a student falls below the 75% attendance rate or has not completed the plan approved by the principal, the student will be referred to the Campus Attendance Review Committee and they will review the reasons for your student's absences, review performance, and determine if there are extenuating circumstances for the absences.  If extenuating circumstances exist, the committee will develop a plan that will allow the student to regain credit or a final grade lost due to attendance.  Each plan will be unique and based on the individual student's circumstances.

    • The student or parent may appeal the Attendance Review Committees decision to the building principal. 

    Which Absences are Exempt From The 90% Rule?


    • Religious holy days (festivals, ceremonies, etc. are not excused)

    • Required court appearances

    • Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship or taking part in a United States naturalization oath ceremony (for the student)

    • Service as an election clerk

    • Documented healthcare appointments for the student or a child of the student (a  note from the healthcare provider must be submitted upon the student’s return to campus)

    • Students in the custody of the state

    • Mental Health or therapy appointments

    • Court ordered family visitations, or any other court ordered activity, provided it is not practicable to schedule the student’s participation in the activity outside of school hour

    • Visit with parent or guardian called to duty



    • Pursuing enlistment in a branch of the US Armed Forces (17 years or older)

    • Student serving as a voting or election clerk

    • Student participating in sounding Taps for military honors

    • Visiting a driver’s license office to obtain a driver’s license or driver’s permit (Enrolled in high school, 15 years or older, 1 day for permit, 1 day for license while enrolled in high school)

  • In addition to following the compulsory attendance law, Belton ISD is required to enforce the 90% rule — a student must attend class at least 90% of the days it is offered to receive credit or a final grade in the class. This includes grades kindergarten through 12th and applies to students with an IEP or 504 Plan.

    An average school year is 180 days, which means a student can only miss 18 days of school (or parts of a day) or 18 days (or parts of a day) of a specific class.

    All this to say — attendance matters! There are options for students who fall below 90% attendance but who attend at least 75% of the days class is offered. Read more about these alternative plans in the Parent and Student Handbook.