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Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions


If my child is younger than 6 and not required to attend school, do attendance laws apply to my child?  If you voluntarily enroll your child in a pre-kindergarten or kindergarten before age 6, school attendance laws apply to your child, as well.  


What is a POD (Parts of Day Absence)?  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 those parts of the day continue. 


What does the Compulsory Attendance Law say?  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 pre-kindergarten 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.  


What should I do if my child is absent?  Students who have been absent must present a written excuse from the parent or guardian when the student returns to school.  All absences require a Dr's note and/or a parent's written note.  You can send a note with your student, turn in a note yourself, or email a note to the campus secretary.  


Will my child need a Dr's note every time they are absent due to illness?  A student absent for five or more consecutive days because of a personal illness must bring a statement from a Dr 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, the principal or attendance review committee may require a statement from a Dr. 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.  


Why did the school mark my child's absence as unexcused even though I turned in a note and/or called to let the school know my child would be absent?  The reasons could include the following:

  • The parent absence note was not turned in to the campus secretary when the student returned to school after an absence.
  • The student's absence was due to a reason not considered excused by State guidelines.
  • The student's absence may have required a Dr's note to be excused due to excessive absences resulting in a violation of the 90% Rule.  

If you still have questions or you believe there is an error with your child's attendance record, please contact the school.


What should I do if I believe my child's attendance is not accurate?  Discuss the concern with your child AND verify this information with the school.  


Will my child be able to make-up for missed school work?  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 school for more information. 


When is a student considered truant?  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 parts 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.  


Why did I receive a letter about attendance and truancy?  If you receive a letter from your student's school, it is because attendance records show that the student has absences on three or more days or parts of days.  The warning letter AND truancy prevention measures are required by law to assist students and parents and to prevent schools from filing with the court for compulsory attendance.  


What are Truancy Prevention Measures (TPM)?  Truancy prevention measures (TPM) are meaningful interventions implemented by a school 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. Mandatory Student Tutorials, Detention, Saturday School, In-School-Suspension.  


What happens when the TPM's do not improve my child's attendance?  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 Karnes 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.  


I cannot afford to take my child to the Dr every time they are sick, what should I do?  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.


What is the 90% Rule?  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% 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.   


I do not have access to the Parent Portal to view my child's attendance.  Who do I contact?  Please contact your child's campus secretary.