Compulsory Attendance Law
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.
In addition to the Compulsory Attendance Law, there is the 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 flow chart for specific steps.
We do recognize, however, that perfect attendance is not always possible. Ill children should be kept at home to allow recovery and to keep other students from contracting the illness if contagious.
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 guardian 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 ask your child’s school.
- 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.
- Send a Note
For an excused absence, 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 your child is absent for any reason, including extracurricular 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 Our 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.
- school progress reports
- report cards
- warning letters
- SchoolMessenger phone calls
- 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.
- school field trip
- UIL activity
- dual credit course
- college visit or other school-related events
- Additional work is assigned
- Tutoring/study hall time is assigned
- Practice on SAT/ACT skills (must occur outside of school day, but at the school site)
- NHS/PALS/AVID tutoring (must occur outside of the school day)
- Any combination of the above or
- Other academic activities as assigned