Welcome to the CHS Attendance Office, where we
Support, Challenge, and Prepare ALL students for tomorrow.
"80% of success is showing up." -- Woody Allen
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 compulsory attendance, the other with attendance for 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.
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,
o Mental health or therapy appointments; or
o 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.
Junior and Senior students may be allowed two days per year for college visitation. Pupils who choose to use this day will bring a note from their parents/guardian stating where and when they will be going. Upon receipt of this note, their respective counselor will prepare an absence from class form which the student will have each teacher sign. The completed form must be returned to the counselor at least one week prior to the day of absence. This college day is an excused absence, and does not count against exam exemptions. Upon return from visitation, student must provide a completed form with college seal.
The school asks that students be responsible in the use of their college days. Visitations when major grades are being taken (nine weeks tests, final exams, etc.) will not be approved. Please schedule visits accordingly. College visitations should be viewed as an educational opportunity and we hope that it proves to be helpful to students and their families. Any questions regarding college visitation days are left to the discretion of the Principal.
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 student notifies his or her teachers and 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.
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 from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, or
• Is absent on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period.
For a student younger than 12 years of age, the student’s parent could be charged with an offense based on the student’s failure to attend school.
If a student age 12 through age 17 violates the compulsory attendance law, both the parent and student could be charged with an offense.
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, that 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 Texas Education Agency (TEA) reflecting attendance at a specific time each day.
Official attendance is taken every day during second period.
A student absent for any portion of the day, including at the official attendance-taking time, should follow the procedures below.
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 that describes the reason for the absence within five days. A note signed by the student, even with the parent’s permission, will not be accepted unless the student is 18 or older or is an emancipated minor under state law. A phone call from the parent may be accepted, but the district reserves the right to require a written note.
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.
Doctor’s Note after an Absence for Illness
Upon return to school, a student absent for more than five 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.
Truancy is defined as absence from class or school for any portion of a period or day without proper permission from home and school. Any willful or premeditated violation of the state’s compulsory attendance laws or regulations governing school attendance on the part of the student or parent/ guardian is regarded as truancy. When a student is truant from school, the truancy will be considered a behavior problem and the student will be subject to disciplinary action. A student who continues to be truant from
Cutting one or more classes is considered nonattendance (truancy) and school employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student with more than 3 or more absences in a four-week period or 10 or more days absent within a six-month period will be turned over to the ASAP Officer, which may result in having to appear before a judge in a court of law. A student with 5 consecutive unexcused absences may be turned over to the ASAP officer.
Students not in class unless they have properly checked out through the attendance office or have permission to be out of school are considered truant.
Driver License Attendance Verification
The Texas Transportation Code requires individuals under 18 years of age who have not obtained a high school diploma or the equivalent to be enrolled in a public, home, private school, or GED program and must meet specific enrollment conditions to obtain or renew a license. The Verification of Enrollment Eligibility (VOE) is a mandatory form required by the Department of Public Safety in order to apply for a license to operate a motor vehicle. This form can be obtained at the student’s home campus. The 90% attendance rule applies when determining VOE. If a student awarded credit for each class the semester prior to the application for the VOE form and the school considers the student currently enrolled at the time the student applied for the VOE form, then the student should be considered for the VOE form unless a published policy states otherwise. Summer school does not count as make-up time for attendance purposes.