LIBERTY HILL ISD TRUANCY/DROPOUT PREVENTION
COORDINATOR, SANDY SCOTT
LIBERTY HILL ISD TRUANCY/DROPOUT PREVENTION.
LIBERTY HILL ISD
301 Forrest Street, Liberty Hill, TX 78642
LIBERTY HILL HIGH SCHOOL
LIBERTY HILL MIDDLE SCHOOL
SANTA RITA MIDDLE SCHOOL
BILL BURDEN ELEMENTARY
LOUINE NOBLE ELEMENTARY
LIBERTY HILL ELEMENTARY
RANCHO SIENNA ELEMENTARY
SANTA RITA ELEMENTARY
BAR W ELEMENTARY
The Texas State Compulsory Attendance & Truancy policy, available online in the TASB School Law eSource, is a comprehensive resource that provides valuable information on the state's regulations regarding school attendance and truancy. This policy serves as a crucial reference for educators, administrators, and parents, highlighting the legal requirements and consequences associated with student attendance.
Reviewing the Student Code of Conduct for district policy on attendance (Pg 25) is a vital step in understanding the expectations and consequences related to student attendance within a specific educational institution. This document outlines the guidelines, rules, and procedures that students must adhere to regarding attendance requirements. By thoroughly examining the student code of conduct, both students and parents can gain a comprehensive understanding of the school's policies on attendance, including procedures for reporting absences, tardiness, and early dismissals.
Students who have been absent must present a written or emailed 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/or a parent note. You can send a note with your student (to ensure it was turned in, monitor your student’s attendance on Skyward Family Access Center), turn in a note yourself, or email a note to the CAMPUS ATTENDANCE CLERK.
Absence notes must include:
If no documentation is provided, the absence is considered unexcused.
Texas Education Code 25.087 ~ Excused Absences
Absences that are considered EXCUSED (with a parent or doctor’s note) under Texas State Law:
When the student is absent, the parent must provide a note that explains the reason for the absence within 2 school days after the student returns to school.
If no documentation is provided, the absence is considered unexcused.
Contact Your Child’s Campus to Find Out What if Any Additional Documentation is Needed for Excused Absences Under Texas State Law
ALL GRADE LEVELS
Attendance laws require districts to enforce the 90 percent rule, which states that students in grades K-12 must attend class for 90 percent of the time the class is offered to receive a final grade or credit. The 90 percent rule applies to ALL absences, including excused absences not exempted by the law.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.(Pre K students are expected to comply with Compulsory Attendance Law). 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 student is absent?
A. Students who have been absent must present a written or emailed 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/or a parent note. You can send a note with your student (to ensure it was turned in, monitor your student’s attendance on Skyward Family Access Center), 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. Signing your student out does not excuse an absence. 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 sufficient 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. In most cases no, if your student is ill but does not go to the doctor, a parent note indicating the student is ill will suffice. However, should the student develop a questionable pattern of excused 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 if they send the student home from school for an illness. In addition, if your student is ill for more than 3 consecutive days, you will be required to provide a doctor’s documentation to excuse the absence exceeding 3 days.
Q.Why did the campus mark my student’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:
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. Why was my student counted absent when they were late, not absent?
A. If a student arrives after the start of school, the student must check-in at the attendance office. At elementary level, a student is considered tardy if they arrive at school after the start of the school day. If a student is more than “ “, he/she will be marked absent. At High School and Middle School, a student is considered tardy if they arrive to class after the first 10 minutes of the class period. If a student is more than 10 minutes late to class, the student is marked absent.
Q. What should I do if I believe my student’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 student 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 at least three (or more) days or parts of days. 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, Attendance Class (Online and/or In-Person), Attendance Contracts, Mandatory Student Tutorials, Student Detentions, Attendance Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP), Referral to Administration, Counselor, or Truancy Intervention Specialist, 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 Williamson County. At this point the campus may also file a criminal complaint against parents who contribute to the non-attendance of their child, regardless of the age of their child.
Q. What is the 90% Rule? (Owing Hours)
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 the class or a final grade.
Q. How to make-up hours?
A.Students and/or parents will be notified of the hours a student owes and a plan will be developed with the administration on acceptable ways the student may make-up the hours owed.
Q. What is the difference between Truancy and the 90% Rule?
A. The 90% rule is referring to missing more than 10% of instructional time regardless if absences were excused or unexcused. If a student is not in compliance with the 90% rule they could have credits withheld even if they pass the class (High School courses only), or not be promoted to the next grade level. In order to recover credit or be promoted the student must make up the seat time.
Truancy is in reference to unexcused absences only. Any student who has 10 or more unexcused absences in a 6 month period, is considered to be truant. The student and family will be required to participate in Truancy Prevention Measures(TPM). If the TPMs do not improve attendance, the student may be referred to Truancy court, if 12 years or older. In addition the parent could have a Parent Contributing to nonattendance filed against them.
Q. My student 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 will count for the 90% Rule and if absence is excused.
Q. I do not have access to the Skyward Family Access Center to view my student’s attendance. Who do I contact?
A. Please contact your child’s campus and ask to speak to the Registrar.
Q. My student 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.
Truancy/Dropout Prevention June 2023