The State of Texas requires that all students at least 6 years of age and not yet 19 attend school until they obtain a diploma. It is important that students attend school each day. There is a very strong connection between student attendance and academic performance in school. Therefore, when students miss class, they miss out on learning.
We do recognize, however, that perfect attendance is not always possible. We do not want students who are sick attending classes. If your child is absent from all or part of a school day, the student--upon arrival or return to school--must bring a note signed by the parent or health care professional that describes the reason for the absence. All notes should be provided within two days of returning to school. The campus will update attendance records based on the provided documentation.
If you have any questions about your child's attendance record, please contact your child's school.
What can I do to help?
Keep Reviewing Your Child's Attendance Records
It is important to monitor your child's attendance and stay in communication with the school to ensure that you are informed about your child's attendance history.
Minimize Instructional Time Lost
Schedule any appointments (doctor, dentist, etc.) outside of school hours.
What to Do When Your Child is Absent
You must send a note to the campus that describes the reason for the absence within two school days of your child returning to school.
Get to Know Your Child's Teachers
Be sure to get to know your child's teachers. Ask questions about their classes, how they arrive at assigning grades, homework policies and make-up work procedures. Attend parent-teacher conferences; they will help you stay informed about your child's progress.
Make-Up Work and Passing Grades
If you child is absent for any reason, including extra-curricular activities, be sure the assigned make-up work is completed. Submitting missed assignments due to absences will help maintain eligibility for extracurricular activities as well as a student's GPA.
How Can I Monitor My Child's Attendance?
You can sign up for the AISD Parent Cloud, which will allow you to access your child's attendance records online, including absence codes identifying excused and unexcused absences. You can also see your child's grades in real time. If you do not have access to a computer, you can request a copy of your child's attendance record for the week at the campus. Records will only be released to parents and guardians.
Check For Accuracy
Review your child's attendance record and absence codes as often as possible. As soon as you notice a problem with attendance, or if you receive a letter and do not recognize the absence dates listed, contact the school immediately. Unexcused absences can lead to a variety of other issues including a referral to Truancy Court. You can set up the ParentConnect system to contact you immediately after your child is marked absent.
Minimum Attendance for Course Credit
In addition to the Compulsory Attendance Law, there is the 90% law. In order to receive credit for a final grade for a class, a student is required to attend class 90 percent of the days a class is offered regardless of whether the student's absences are excused [see FEA] or unexcused. Atty. Gen. Op. JC-0398 (2001). If the student does not meet this requirement, the student must go through the Attendance Recovery Process.
If the student drops below 90% but attends class at least at 75% of the days the class is offered, the student may earn credit for the class by completing a plan approved by the principal.
Submission of the attendance appeal must occur within 30 school days of the end of the semester in which the credit was denied. The campus attendance committee then meets and renders a decision based on the circumstances as presented by the student and parent within 30 school days of the end of the semester in which the credit was denied. See Austin ISD Board Policies FEC (LEGAL) and FEC (LOCAL).
Credit Loss Defined
When students do not meet the 90% attendance rate in a class, it is reflected on their report cards as course credit denial. See the Flow Chart for Attendance Recovery for specific steps.
How does the district notify the parents/guardian and students regarding violation of the attendance law?
Parents and guardians are notified of absences through:
- school progress reports
- report cards
- warning letters
- SchoolMessenger phone calls
What types of absences count against the 90% attendance law?
Some examples of absences that count against the 90% attendance law include, but are not limited to:
- Family trips
- attendance at non-school sponsored events
Please note: Illnesses that are excused under Compulsory Attendance Law may count against the 90% attendance law.
What types of absences do not count against the 90% attendance law include, but are not limited to:
- school field trip
- UIL activity
- dual credit course
- college visit
- other school-related event
Whom should I talk with first on the campus?
Check in with your student's assistant principal or the attendance specialist. One of these individuals can review your child's absences with you and let you know next steps.
What happens if my child's attendance falls below the 75% threshold?
When students fall below the 75% attendance rate, the student and parent/guardian must appeal to the Campus Attendance Committee. This Committee will review the reasons for your student's absences, review performance, and offer a plan for recovery. Each plan is unique based on individual students' circumstances. If a student is in good standing, work missed has been made up, and proper documentation for absences has been provided, the Attendance Committee may determine the method for recovery.
Why did my student lose credit?
TEC section 25.092 reads "...any grade level from kindergarten though grade 12 may not be given credit or a final grade for a class unless the student is in attendance for at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered." Click here to read the entire policy.
Is a doctor's note required for each absence?
No, a doctor's note is not required for each absence. When a student's absence for personal illness exceeds 5 consecutive days, the principal or attendance committee may require that the student present a statement from a physician or clinic's statement of illness after a single day's absence as a condition of classifying the absence as one for which there are extenuating circumstances.
Why does my student have different attendance rates for each course?
For high school courses, attendance is taken for every class period because students are taking courses for credit to complete their high school degree. See your attendance specialist or assistant principal for a specific explanation to your student's situation.
How does the 90% law impact middle school students?
For middle school students who are taking courses for high school credit, the high school rules apply. To earn credit for all middle school courses, they must meet the 90% attendance requirement by the end of the year.
What Activities May Be Assigned to Recover Attendance?
The method of credit approval or recovery is unique to each student. Example of actions under the Principal's Plan for recovery may include but are not limited to:
- Additional work is assigned
- Tutoring/study hall time is assigned
- Practice on SAT/ACT skills (must occur outside of the school day)
- NHS/PALS/AVID tutoring (must occur outside of the school day)
- Any combination of the above
- Other academic activities as assigned
If you have any quesions about your child's attendance record, please contact:
CARMEN LEDESMA, Attendance Specialist