La Porte ISD Administrative Guidelines Attendance Program and Procedures

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1 1. Attendance. Regular attendance at school is one of the most reliable indicators for academic success. Failure to attend school as prescribed in the following policy can have serious consequences including academic failure, loss of course credit, failure to progress to the next grade, disciplinary action, and court-imposed penalties such as fines, court costs, and community service requirements. Students and parents should take the time to become familiar with these procedures. a. Attendance for Credit. The Texas Education Code ( Compulsory Attendance Law) requires school attendance for a minimum of 90 percent of the days the course is offered in order to receive credit for the course or to be advanced to the next grade. See paragraph 3 below. [Note: A student attending school as of their 18 th birthday is required to complete the current school year.] b. Campus Attendance Committee. If the student fails to meet the 90 percent attendance for credit requirement, the student s case will be referred by petition to the Campus Attendance Committee for determination as to whether or not to award credit or promote to the next grade. If a petition for credit is denied, the student will not earn credit for the course. See Paragraph 3 for more information. c. Compulsory Attendance Truancy. Parents/guardians are responsible for student attendance. The parent/guardian is to contact the school when the student is absent. Students with excessive unexcused absences will be referred to the District Attendance Officer who will contact the parents/guardians. Texas Education Code Section Warning Notice: The Texas Education Code requires school districts to notify a student s parent in writing at the beginning of the school year that if a 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 on three or more days or parts of days within a four week period that: The parent is subject to prosecution under Section ; and The student is subject to prosecution under Section Absences a. Excused absences. A student may be excused for temporary absence: 1) Resulting from any cause acceptable to the principal. Personal illness, sickness, or death in the family are classified as excused absences. A note signed by the parent/guardian showing the dates and reasons for the absence must be submitted within three (3) days after the student returns to class. If this note is not sent within the three days, the absence will be unexcused. Three consecutive absences due to illness require a doctor s statement in order to excuse the absences. Students with excessive absences for illness (more than eight in one semester) will be required to furnish a doctor s note to excuse the absences. Page 1 of 5

2 2) Resulting from unusual causes where the following conditions apply: Reason for student s absence is stated in writing, signed by the parent/guardian, and submitted to the campus administration with a minimum of two (2) weeks advance notice. Student is passing all classes/courses. Assignments made prior to student s absence must be turned in before the dates of absence occur. Students will make up all work missed and will be given time based on the number of days excused from school. Students may not take nine weeks, six weeks, on-line tests, benchmark tests, or semester exams before the published exam dates. A student shall not be granted an excused absence for unusual causes during semester exams or during state-wide assessment exams. If the above conditions and reasons are not met, the student shall be given an unexcused absence. 3) For the purpose of observing religious holy days. These absences must comply with 2) above. 4) For temporary absences resulting from treatment by health care professionals, such absences shall be excused if the student begins classes or returns to school on the same day as the appointment or treatment. In order for the absence to not be subject to the 90 percent attendance rule, a note from the health care professional verifying the appointment must be on file at the school within three (3) days following the appointment. 5) Students may have two college visit days in the Spring of their junior year and two in the Spring of their senior year, with two week prior approval of their grade level principal and a letter from the college or university verifying the visit. These absences for approved college visits do not affect exemption for final exams. A student whose absence is excused shall be permitted the time, as outlined in the Campus handbook, to make up work missed for full credit. When returning to school following an absence, students must bring a note signed by a parent stating the date and reason for the absence. Notes signed by the student, even with the parent s permission, are not acceptable. Please realize that these notes constitute government documentation. Office personnel may verify the note with parent or doctor s office (if applicable). Falsification of information on an excusal note will be grounds for disciplinary action and may be introduced into legal proceedings. We strongly encourage students that miss school for any reason to make up specific assignments missed and/or to complete additional study assigned by the teacher to meet specific class or course requirements. A student who fails to make up assigned work within timelines allotted will receive a zero grade for the assignment. Page 2 of 5

3 A student who must leave school during the day must bring a note from his/her parent that morning. A student who becomes ill during the school day should, with the teacher s permission, report to the school nurse. The nurse will decide whether the student should be sent home and will notify the student s parent. Note: Students are not authorized to initiate calls home without permission from the office. A student absent for more than 50 percent of the school day without appropriate justification may not participate in after-school or night activities on the day missed. The principal may make exceptions for unusual circumstances. b. Unexcused Absences. 1) Unexcused absences are absences for any reason the principal does not consider acceptable. 2) Absences without parent permission are unexcused and considered truancy. Make up work is available to all students. Students who are absent from school for any reason are encouraged to make up the work missed. It is the student s responsibility to request missing assignments. A student absent from school or from any class without parent permission will be considered truant, will be subject to disciplinary action, and will receive an unexcused absence. A student with an unexcused absence may make up all work missed for full credit unless the student is truant. The grade for make up work for a student that is truant shall be reduced by 50 percent. Students will be withdrawn following 10 consecutive days of unexcused absence. 3. Awarding of Credit for a Class (Texas Education Code ) In order to receive credit in a class, students must be in attendance for a minimum of 90 percent of the days the course is offered. Students with less than 90 percent attendance in a class will be provided the opportunity to petition for the awarding of the class credit providing they passed the class academically. The student must submit a petition of appeal to the Campus Attendance Committee. The Campus Attendance Committee will make a determination of whether or not to award the credit based upon student performance and the presence of extenuating circumstances. Examples of extenuating circumstances include: Excused absences Days of suspension Participation in court proceedings or child abuse/neglect investigation Late enrollment or early withdrawal for a migrant student or student under the jurisdiction of the Texas Youth Commission Days missed as a reported runaway Page 3 of 5

4 Completion of a competency based program for at-risk students Teen parent absences to care for his/her child Participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation program Other circumstances deemed unique by the Committee The following are examples of alternative learning activities that may be assigned by the Campus Attendance Committee in order for a student to regain credit lost due to absences. Note: These items are not designed to regain academic credit due to academic failure. Completion of additional assignments as assigned by the Committee Completion of an assigned research project Attendance at tutorial sessions Completion of individual written papers or oral reports Completion of assigned library activities Completion of assigned laboratory activities Participation in computer assisted instruction Demonstration of mastery of course objectives in a manner determined by the Committee Performance of community service (with parent approval) Completion of make up hours for those classes missed over the 90 percent minimum (This is a requirement in order to recover the lost credit.) 4. Permission to Leave Campus. All La Porte ISD schools are closed campuses. Once students arrive on campus, they may not leave until their scheduled dismissal time unless they: a. Present a signed parent note to the appropriate office at/before the time of check out. Office personnel may verify the parent permission/request. b. Receive permission from the appropriate office prior to departing. c. Sign back in at the appropriate office upon return (if applicable) 5. Tardiness. Promptness is a quality that is valued in the workplace and most other avenues of life, such as appointments. A student who enters a classroom late (after the tardy bell rings) without the properly signed admittance slip is considered tardy. The district considers tardies to be serious disciplinary infractions due to the disruptions they cause to the classroom environment and lost instructional time. Consequences for unexcused tardies may include detention (lunch time, after school, or Saturday school), in school suspension, or suspension out of school. See campus handbooks for the specific tardy policies and consequences. 6. Truancy. Truancy is a Class C misdemeanor. A parent/guardian s failure to attend a hearing under the truancy statutes is also a Class C misdemeanor. In addition, campuses will administer disciplinary action to the student. 7. Withdrawals. If at any time a student moves from the school attendance area, the office must be notified immediately so that appropriate withdrawal procedures can be initiated. Page 4 of 5

5 No withdrawal form will be issued without clearance (textbooks, library books/fines, other fees.) 8. Verification of Enrollment (High School). Verification of enrollment forms for the purpose of obtaining a drivers license or permit can be obtained in the office. In order to qualify for the form, a student must have been in attendance 90 percent of the days in which classes were offered during the previous semester. Page 5 of 5

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