Attendance Policies

 

Parents often have questions regarding attendance policies. This page is designed to answer those questions for you. Feel free to contact me with any further questions.

 

WHY DO ABSENCES MATTER ?

  1. Your student's academic success is in direct relation to their attendance. Student absences affect student grades and success.
  2. State law requires a student to be in attendance 90% of the time to receive credit for a course.  
  3. School districts do receive funding for each day a student is in attendance.  

 

STATE FUNDING PERIOD : Campus attendance is taken for each period throughout the entire day. However, the state determines attendance and thus funding for the day based on whether your student is present in 2nd period (9:10am -10:00am). We appreciate you planning necessary medical and dental appointments so that your students are not absent from 2nd period when possible.

 

PHONE CALLS and PARENT NOTES : Any time a student is absent, you are obligated to contact the school Attendance Secretary, Terri Litton.   A daily phone call or a parent note is sufficient for this requirement.  Even if an absence is not on the approved list for excused absences, your call is required to provide us with information we can pass on to the truancy office to let them know the student is not a truant situation.

 

WHEN DOES AN ABSENCE BECOME AN ABSENCE?   If a student is not present, they are absent. Junior High is different from elementary school.  We take attendance EVERY CLASS PERIOD! Your student is counted absent or present in each individual class. Exemptions and 90% attendance (see below) can be lost by being absent part or all of a day, rather than just by 2nd period attendance.

 

ILLNESS : Students who do not feel well at school, are to report to the school nurse rather than trying to contact a parent themselves. The nurse will contact the parent, and consult with the parent regarding what to do for the good of the student. Please do not pick up a sick student who has not gone through the nurse's office.

 

DOCTOR NOTES : When you take a student to the Physician, Dentist, or Counselor, after your appointment, ask the doctor's receptionist for a return to school note. This note should have the doctor's name, address, and phone number, his/her signature, the date on which the doctor advises that you return to school, and your student's name.  This note needs to be turned in to Terri Litton upon your student's return to school.  You only have 3 days after their return to get this note turned in.

 

WHY DOES IT MATTER?   If your student misses more than 8 days per semester of school, and you have turned in professional notes for some of those days, and all of the student's make-up work has been successfully completed, the campus attendance committee will take that into consideration when determining how to plan for the student to meet state requirements for attendance.

 

COURT APPEARANCES : Rules state that a student should attend school before or after a court appearance, where possible. Our truant officer only excuses the actual time spent in court for court dates, which is usually less than half a day. Any absence beyond that time, unless noted as necessary by the court clerk, will be considered unexcused. Please get the court receptionist to sign a return to school note, to prove that the student actually attended court proceedings.

 

FUNERALS : When a student is absent due to a family member's death, we certainly excuse that absence. Please have your student bring us a copy of the obituary or funeral home flyer. We will be glad to photocopy these items and return the original to your student.

 

ABSENCES :   The Hurst Euless Bedford School District expects students to meet the state mandated requirements for attendance in school. We also recognize that some absences are unavoidable due to health or legal issues. Following is a summary of the district rules on excusing absences.  

 

WHAT IS EXCUSED AND WHAT IS NOT EXCUSED:  

Excused:

  • Health Care Appointments  
  • Personal Illness (up to 4 days without a doctor note)
  • Direct Participation in Court Proceedings
  • Funerals

 

Not Excused:

  • Family Trips or Vacations
  • Oversleeping
  • "Family Emergencies" not approved by school administrators  
  • Car Trouble/No Ride to School  
  • Personal reasons
  • Family members in the hospital  
  • Translating for family members' appointments  

 

Note: For all absences over 4 days duration, you must provide us with a doctor note for the absences to be excused.  

Note: Authorized School Activities and nationally recognized Religious Holy Days (with church documentation) are not considered to be absences.  

 

ARRIVING TO SCHOOL LATE : Central Junior High classes begin promptly at 8:15am every morning.  If a student is not in class when each bell rings, then she/he is considered tardy. Each teacher is asked to record tardiness.  Students will be disciplined for repeated problems with tardiness. Just as class attendance is taken each class period, each teacher throughout the day will mark students for tardiness.

90% ATTENDANCE RULE : Attendance violations may affect promotion and/or class credit status. According to state law, students in grades 1-8 shall not receive credit and may not be promoted (even if their grades are passing) if in attendance fewer than 90% of the 177 school days. Students in grades 9-12 who do not maintain 90% attendance in each class per semester may not be promoted or receive credit for a semester course. A grade level may have to be repeated over extreme attendance problems. In addition, students who want a driver's learning permit may not have one if their attendance does not meet state requirements.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY STUDENT IS OUT FOR MORE THAN 8 DAYS IN A SEMESTER ? The 90% attendance rule translates into 8 absences per semester. If a student exceeds these 8 absences, we provide a Saturday School program. The requirement is that for every day over 8 absences, a student must attend 2 hours of Saturday School. Regardless of the reasons for the absence, no matter how reasonable, it counts as one of the student's 8 limited absences.  If there are extenuating circumstances for a student's absences, you may appeal to the Campus Attendance Committee.  

Warning: Some parents think this means they "get" 8 absences per semester. We cannot begin to make clear enough the fact that surprises happen, and you can suddenly be over the 8 absences and serving Saturday School. Student's grades quickly suffer. Make-up work can be done, but it never takes the place of classroom instruction.

 

TRUANCY : By definition, "Students absent from school without permission of a parent or guardian, or absent from class without the principal's permission, shall be considered truant, shall be reported to the attendance officer, and shall be subject to disciplinary and court action."  Truancies of three or more days in a four-week period in which we do not hear from a parent will result in turning their name in to the district truant officer.  Absences over the 8 days minimum may be considered truancies, depending on the reasons for absence.  Continued truancy may result in anything from a visit with the truant officer to fines and parental jail sentences. The State of Texas is quite serious about student attendance in school.

EXEMPTIONS: Student success is directly related to good attendance. HEB ISD is proud to offer an attendance incentive program for those students with exemplary attendance. To get an exemption at the end of each semester, there is one basic rule to remember:

An absence, is an absence, is an absence, is an absence!  No matter what the reason, doctor note, excuse, ("I was only gone one class period" or "I talked to the principal and they said it was excused,") an absence is still a loss of exemptions. Excused absences are still absences.

0 absences = 2 Exemption Tickets

1-2 absences = 1 Exemption Ticket

Preliminary lists of students who qualify for an exemption will be posted at least two days prior to the administration of final exams.  Students are encouraged to check the list even if they are certain that everything is correct.  With nearly 940 students, mistakes can happen.  We certainly want every student to receive the benefits they have earned.

Students who are entitled to an exemption will have an "exemption ticket" printed for them. They will be issued this ticket at a designated time prior to the exam date. Students must report to the assigned final exam and present the exemption ticket to be excused from taking that test. A student may choose to take this exam and apply the grade to his/her semester average only if it improves the grade. Students must attend the assigned exam period, even if they are exempt. A lost ticket results in a lost exemption (no replacements). Exemptions may not be "carried over" from one semester to the next. Students must be enrolled a minimum of fifteen weeks of the semester to be eligible for semester exam exemption tickets.