Frequently Asked Questions
Q. If my child is younger than 6, do attendance laws apply to my child?
A. If you voluntarily enroll your child in pre kindergarten or kindergarten before age 6m school attendance laws apply to your child, as well.
Q. What is a POD (Parts of Day Absence)?
A. In grades Pre K - 5, “parts of days” may be defined as 50 minutes or more of lost instructional time throughout the day. If a student consistently misses any part of the school day including, but not limited to, coming in late or leaving early, a district attendance warning letter may be sent to parents cautioning them of possible court action if the parts of day absences continue.
Q. What Does the Compulsory Attendance Law Say?
A. State law requires children to attend school each day that instruction is provided. The law applies to children ages 6–19.
If you voluntarily enroll your child in prekindergarten or kindergarten before age 6, school attendance laws apply to your child, too.
A person who voluntarily enrolls in or attends school after turning 19 is also required to attend for the entire period of the program of instruction.
Q. What should I do if my child is absent?
A. Students who have been absent must present a written excuse from the parent/guardian within two (2) school days from the day the student returns to school. All absences require a doctor’s note and/ior a parent’s written note. You can send a note with your student (to ensure it was turned in, monitor your student’s attendance), turn in a note yourself, or email a note to the campus clerk.
Q. If I sign my student out of school, do I still need to send a note?
A. Yes, signing your student out is not an excuse note. Parent/Guardian will need to provide a doctor’s note or Parent note when the student returns to school.
Q. Is a phone call to the school enough to excuse my student?
A.No, your student will need to have a note turned in within 2 days of their return to school.
Q. Will my child need a doctor’s note every time they are absent due to illness?
A.A student absent for five or more consecutive days because of personal illness may be asked to provide a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s extended absence from school. Otherwise, the student’s absence may be considered unexcused.
Should the student develop a questionable pattern of absences (5 or more parent notes in a grading period), the principal or attendance review committee may require a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s absence from school in order to determine whether the absence or absences will be excused or unexcused.
The School nurse may serve as a health clinic.
Q.Why did the campus mark my child’s absence as unexcused even though I turned in a note and/or called to let the campus know my child would be absent?
A. The reasons could include the following:
The parent absence note was not turned in to the attendance clerk within 2 school days after the students return to school after an illness.
The student’s absence was due to a reason not considered excused by State guidelines and/or District policy. Please refer to the Student and Parent handbook for more information.
The student’s absence may have required a doctor’s note to be excused due to excessive absences resulting in a violation of the 90% Rule. Please refer to the Student and Parent Handbook for more information.
You may have called the school to inform them your student would be absent, but if you did not follow up by turning in a doctor or parent note, the absence cannot be excused.
If you still have questions, or you believe there is an error with your child’s attendance record, please contact the campus attendance office or your child’s assistant principal.
Q. What should I do if I believe my child’s attendance is not accurate?
A.Discuss the concern with your child AND verify this information with your child’s teacher. If these steps do not resolve your concern, contact the attendance clerk at your child’s school.
Q. Will my child be able to make-up for missed school work?
A. All students will be given the opportunity to make up work missed due to all absences. Reasonable time frames for the completion of assignments must be established. Please contact your child’s teacher(s) for more information.
Q. When is a student considered truant?
A. A student engages in truant conduct if the student is required to attend school under TEC 25.085, and fails to do so.
If a student fails to attend school without an excuse on 10 or more days or pats of days within a six month period in the same school year and those absences have been verified by the campus as unexcused, the student and/or their parent may be referred to truancy court.
Q. Why did I receive a letter about attendance and truancy?
A. If you receive a letter from your student’s school it is because attendance records reflect that the student has absences without an excuse on three (or more) days or parts of days in a four-week period. This is also when the campus will implement Truancy Prevention Measures for the student.
The warning letter AND Truancy prevention measures (TPM) are required by law to assist students and parents and to prevent schools from filing with the court for compulsory attendance.
Q. What are Truancy Prevention Measures (TPM)?
A. Truancy prevention measures (TPM) are meaningful interventions implemented by a campus to help identify the cause of a student's unexcused absences and identify actions to address each cause. The TPM's should include ongoing communication with the student and parents regarding the actions to be taken to improve attendance and avoid court filings. TPM's include but are not limited to: Parent and or Student Conference, Truancy Prevention Class (Online and/or In-Person), Attendance Contracts, Mandatory Student Tutorials, Student Detentions, Attendance Behavioral Improvement Plan, Referral to Administration, Counselor, or Truancy Officer, Saturday School, In-School Suspension, and Home Visits.
Q. What happens when the TPM’s do not improve my child’s attendance?
A. When Truancy Prevention Measures fail to solve the attendance problem, referral to a truancy court becomes an option. If a student fails to attend school on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year and those absences have been verified by the campus as unexcused, students 12 and older may be referred to the prosecutor of the truancy court of Denton County. At this point the campus may also file a criminal complaint against parents who contribute to the nonattendance of their child, regardless of the age of their child.
Q. My child has excessive absences and the school is no longer accepting parent notes. I cannot afford to take my child to the doctor every time they are sick, what should I do?
A. If your child is not feeling well you can take them to school at the normal arrival time and let the nurse look at your child. If the Nurse believes your child needs to stay home, it would be an excused absence for that day.
Q. What is the 90% Rule?
A. According to Texas state law and Board policy, a student is required to be in attendance at least 90% of the days school or classes are offered. If a student misses more than 10% or approximately 18 days of school, they must make up class time or they will not earn credit for class or a final grade. If the class is a semester long, the number is reduced to, on average, 8 days of missed school.
Q. My child participates in a sport or activity that is not UIL approved, will my child be counted absent. If so, is it excused and will it count for the 90% Rule?
A. Your child will be counted absent. The campus administrator and/or attendance review committee will make the determination if the sport/activity is excused and if it will count for the 90% Rule.
Q. I do not have access to Skyward Family Access Center to view my child’s attendance. Who do I contact?
A. Please contact your child’s campus and ask to speak to the Registrar.
Q. My Child has a recurring appointment. Can I turn in a blanket note to excuse the absences?
A. No, please turn a note in each time your child has an appointment even if it is a recurring appointment. The campus needs verification from the medical professional that your child was at the appointment.