Allen ISD Attendance Policy
(This information is from the 2012-2013 Student Handbook)
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 day’s, 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 credits, are of special interest to students and parents. They are discussed below:
State law (TEC 25.085) requires that a student between the ages of 6 and 18 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.
A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 18th birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year. If a student 18 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 thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing. [See policy FEA.]
Students enrolled in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten are required to attend school.
State law requires attendance in an accelerated reading instruction program when kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students are assigned to such a program. Parents will be notified in writing if their child is assigned to an accelerated reading instruction program as a result of a diagnostic reading instrument.
A student in grades 3–8 will be required to attend any assigned accelerated instruction program, which may occur 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 applicable subject area.
Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance
State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences if the student makes up all work. 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 health-care appointments, including absences for recognized services for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. A note from the health-care provider must be submitted upon the student’s return to campus.
In addition, a junior or senior student’s absence of up to two days related to visiting a college or university will be considered an exemption, provided the student receives approval from the campus principal, follows the campus procedures to verify such a visit, and makes up any work missed.
Failure to Comply with Compulsory Attendance
School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student absent without permission from school; from any class; from required special programs, such as additional special instruction (termed “accelerated instruction” by the state); or from required tutorials will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance law and subject to disciplinary action.
A court of law may also impose penalties against both the student and his or her parents if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school. A complaint against the parent may be filed in court if the student:
· Is absent from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, or
· Is absent on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period.
For a student younger than 12 years of age, the student’s parent could be charged with a criminal offense based on the student’s failure to attend school.
If a student age 12 through age 17 violates the compulsory attendance law, both the parent and student could be charged with a criminal offense. [See policy FEA (Legal).]
Attendance for Credit
State law (TEC 25.092) also states that to receive credit in a class, a student must attend at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered. A student who attends at least 75 percent but fewer than 90 percent of the days the class is offered may receive credit for the class if he or she completes a plan approved by the principal that allows the student to fulfill the instructional requirements for the class. If a student is involved in a criminal or juvenile court proceeding, the approval of the judge presiding over the case will also be required before the student receives credit for the class.
If a student attends less than 75 percent of the days a class is offered or has not completed the plan approved by the principal, then the student will be referred to the attendance review committee to determine whether there are extenuating circumstances for the absences and how the student can regain credit, if appropriate. [See policy FEC.]
In determining whether there were extenuating circumstances for the absences, the attendance committee will use the following guidelines:
· All absences will be considered in determining whether a student has attended the required percentage of days. If makeup work is completed, absences for the reasons listed above as Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance will be considered days of attendance for this purpose.
· A transfer or migrant student begins to accumulate absences only after he or she has enrolled in the district.
· In reaching a decision about a student’s absences, the committee will attempt to ensure that it is in the best interest of the student.
· The committee will consider the acceptability and authenticity of documented reasons for the student’s absences.
· The committee will consider whether the absences were for reasons over which the student or the student’s parent could exercise any control.
· The committee will consider the extent to which the student has completed all assignments, mastered the essential knowledge and skills, and maintained passing grades in the course or subject.
· The student or parent will be given an opportunity to present any information to the committee about the absences and to talk about ways to earn or regain credit.
· The student or parent may appeal the committee’s decision by following the procedures included in policy FNG (Local).
· The actual number of days a student must be in attendance in order to receive credit will depend on whether the class is for a full semester or for a full year.
Supervision begins at 7:30 AM for all elementary campuses.
Parent’s Note After An Absence
On the day a student is absent, his/her guardian should call the attendance clerk in the school office. When a student must be absent from school, the student, upon returning to school, must bring a note, signed by the parent that describes the reason for the absence and the date(s) of the absence. After five (5) school days, the absence will be considered unexcused if the school office has not received a note. A note signed by the student, even with the parent’s permission, will not be accepted unless the student is 18 or older. Faxed notes may be accepted if they contain all required information including the parent/guardian signature. Emails will not be accepted.
Doctor’s Note After An Absence for Illness
Upon return to school, a student absent for more than five (5) 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 student’s extended absence from school. 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 student’s absence from school.
Last Modified on August 21, 2012