||Early Dismissal Schedule
|Student Drop Off
||8:20 & 8:30
|Period 7/Credit Rec.
|Period 8 (Night)
|Period 9 (Night)
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 the required presence of school-aged children in school, e.g., compulsory attendance, the other with how a child’s attendance affects the award of a student’s final grade or course credit—are of special interest to students and parents. They are discussed below.
State law requires that a student between the ages of six 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.]
A student 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/or 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;
- Documented health-care appointments for the student or a child of the student, 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 arrival or return to campus; and
- For students in the conservatorship (custody) of the state,
- Mental health or therapy appointments; or
- 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 hours.
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 this has been authorized by the board under policy FEA(LOCAL), the student receives approval from the campus principal, follows the campus procedures to verify such a visit, and makes up any work missed.
Absences of up to two days in a school year will also be considered an exemption for a student serving as an early voting clerk, provided the district’s board of trustees has authorized this in policy FEA(LOCAL), the student notifies his or her teachers, and the student receives approval from the principal prior to the absences.
As listed in Section I at Accommodations for Children of Military Families, absences of up to five days will be excused for a student to visit with a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian who has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or immediately returned from certain deployments. Please see page 11 for that section.
An absence of a student in grades 6–12 for the purpose of sounding “Taps” at a military honors funeral for a deceased veteran will also be excused by the district.
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 without excuse from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, or
- Is absent without excuse on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period.
If a student age 12 through age 17 violates the compulsory attendance law, both the parent and student could be charged with an offense.
[See policy FEA (LEGAL).]
Attendance for Credit or Final Grade
To receive credit or a final grade in a class, a student in kindergarten–grade 12 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 or a final grade for the class if he or she completes a plan, approved by the principal, which 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 or a final grade 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 or a final grade lost because of absences. [See policy FEC.]
In determining whether there were extenuating circumstances for the absences, the attendance committee will use the following guidelines:
- All absences, whether excused or unexcused, must 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 at 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 or a final grade.
The student or parent may appeal the committee’s decision to the board of trustees by filing a written request with the superintendent in accordance with policy FNG (LOCAL).
The actual number of days a student must be in attendance in order to receive credit or a final grade will depend on whether the class is for a full semester or for a full year.
Official Attendance-Taking Time
The district must submit attendance of its students to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) reflecting attendance at a specific time each day.
Official attendance is taken every day at 10 AM for full day attendance. Students enrolled in the Optional Flexible School Day Program will receive attendance based on the program guidelines.
A student absent for any portion of the day, including at the official attendance-taking time, should follow the procedures below to provide documentation of the absence.
Documentation after an Absence
When a student is absent from school, the student—upon arrival or return to school—must bring a note signed by the parent to the attendance clerk. The note must also include the following information: date of note, date of absence(s), student’s name, student ID #, reason for the absence(s) and a daytime contact number. A note signed by the student, even with the parent’s permission, will not be accepted unless the student is 18 or older, is an emancipated minor under state law or meets the criteria for McKinney Vento Act. A phone call from the parent may be accepted, but the district reserves the right to require a written note.
The campus will document in its attendance records for the student whether the absence is considered by the district to be excused or unexcused. (See below.) Please note that, unless the absence is for a statutorily allowed reason under compulsory attendance laws, the district is not required to excuse any absence, even if the parent provides a note explaining the absence.
Absences that will be considered excused when: A student who has been absent from school and provides written documentation that meets the Vidor ISD attendance policy.
• Personal illness with documentation provided by one of the following:
1. Signed by parent or guardian up to and including the sixth (6th) absence
2. Signed by the school nurse
3. Signed by a doctor or other health care official when the student has been absent for the entire day (The parent of a student cannot serve as both parent and health care official.)
• Death in the immediate family, which includes parents, grandparents, and siblings (both natural and step). Three days are allowed.
• A “college” day is excused if prior approval was obtained and the documentation is completed and signed as per board policy.
• Court proceedings (other than for truancy filings) with supporting documentation signed by the court
• Inclement weather conditions that can be validated by district officials
• All student suspensions
• All absences covered under Texas Education Code Section 25.087 (b)
Absences will be considered unexcused when a student who has been absent from school and does not provide written documentation or if the documented reason does not meet the Vidor ISD attendance policy.
Doctor’s Note after an Absence for Illness
Upon return to school, a student absent for more than 6 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. Otherwise, the student’s absence may be considered unexcused and, if so, would be considered to be in violation of compulsory attendance laws.
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 in order to determine whether the absence or absences will be excused or unexcused.
[See policy FEC (LOCAL).]