Attendance & Absences
Attendance at School
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.
A student can be considered absent if he or she misses all or part of the school day, including late arrival and early pick-up. Under Texas law, a student in all learning environments (In-Person, At-Home remote learning, Virtual, and Virtual Plus) must be present in each class for at least 90% of the days a class is offered. Students who don’t meet this requirement, regardless of the reason for the absence or whether excused/unexcused, will lose credit in the class. Completion of a plan determined by the principal or campus attendance committee will be required to restore credit.
Under Texas law, a student who experiences more than 3 unexcused absences (full or partial day) in a four week period or 10 unexcused absences (full or partial day) in a 6 month period, may be referred to the court for truancy. This includes unexcused late arrivals and early pick-up. Charges may also be filed against the parent in these circumstances.
Virtual Learning Attendance:
At Home Learning and Virtual/Virtual Plus learning require daily engagement per class expectations for the student to be considered present.
What steps do I take if my child is absent?
Approval for planned absences should be requested from the campus at least one week in advance to ensure they are excused. Pre-planned absences on STAAR, EOC, or other state testing days will not be excused.
If your child will be absent for illness or another, unplanned reason, contact your campus attendance clerk by phone or email that day to notify the school of the absence.
Parents should provide a note, documenting the reason for the absence, to the school immediately upon the child’s return, and not later than three days after the absence. If the child was seen by a health care provider, a note from that individual is always preferred. If the student was present PART of the school day and missed the remainder for a health care appointment, a note from that provider should be given to the school within 3 days. In this circumstance, the time away from school is NOT considered an absence.
If a student is absent for four or more consecutive days for illness, a note from a health care provider is required to excuse the absence.
The district will accept parent notes to excuse an illness, personal, or pre-approved absence for no more than 10 full or partial day absences during the school year. Any additional absences will require a note from a health care provider or documentation of an absence exempt from compulsory attendance, in order to be excused.
It is important to take all required steps to ensure an absence will be excused. Unless the absence is for a statutorily allowed reason under compulsory attendance laws, the district is not required to excuse any absence, even if the parent provides a note explaining the absence. Unexcused absences are considered truancy and the grade for makeup work after an unexcused absence shall be zero. [See Board Policy EIA Local]
TCHS Attendance Procedures
Should a student be required to leave school for a medical appointment, please send a note to school with your student that morning or call your student’s attendance clerk. Notes must have your signature and a phone number where you can be reached. It is difficult to have your student ready when we only have a short notice, therefore the likelihood that you may be late to the appointment is increased with little or no advance notice. All appointments should be scheduled outside of school hours when possible. Please bring a medical note from the doctor’s office for all medical appointments upon return. Appointments for personal business are unexcused.
Students that become ill during the day must be dismissed through the nurse.
Please call the student’s attendance clerk as soon as you become aware of an absence, but NO LATER THAN THE DAY OF THE ABSENCE. Voicemail is available 24 hours per day and this is truly the best way to report the absence. Clerks will not call parents back unless requested to do so or if the clerk needs additional information. Phones are not answered prior to 8:30 a.m. as we are busy admitting students to class. Send a note to school with your child on the day they return to school. This note should contain your signature and a phone number where you can be reached. Students are required to report to the attendance office between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:10 a.m. for an admit slip following an absence. Students not in class before the tardy bell rings due to getting an admit are considered to have an unexcused tardy. Admits are to be obtained before school begins.
Arriving Late to School
Please check in with attendance at the attendance window to receive an admit to class.
During COVID we suggest ALL notes should be either emailed or faxed. If you have a medical appointment, please have the medical office directly fax us the note to 972-350-9336. You may also scan and email the note to your attendance clerk.
Student pickup process during COVID: Please call or email in advance when your student needs to leave early so we may have ample time to get them released from class.
If a student is tardy to any class, they will have to report to the Tardy Table located in the Attendance office.
Tardies are defined as:
- 1-9 minutes is an unexcused tardy
- 10-20 minutes is an excessive tardy that will result in disciplinary action.
- 21 plus minutes is considered an absence.
Driver’s License Verification (TEA forms)
Students sign up for these in the attendance office, and they are required for any student age 16-18 wishing to obtain or renew a Texas driver’s license. Forms are available after school for students signing up prior to noon. They are available the following day for requests made afternoon.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) requires a Verification of Enrollment (VOE) for any student applying for an instruction permit and/or a driver’s license under the age of 18. To submit a request for a Verification of Enrollment (VOE), please email or call the attendance office in advance.
**Please allow 24 hours to process the request**
Juniors and Seniors are permitted two college visits per school year. Students must obtain a college visit form from their assistant principals' office. This form must be submitted to the assistant principal no less than three days before the planned trip. Upon approval, the assistant principal will give the student the signed form for teachers and attendance. Upon return, the student must bring verification of their visit to the attendance office from the college.
Incorrect Personal Information
Should you notice when looking in Esembler that email addresses or contact phone numbers are incorrect, send your student to the attendance or registrar’s office to obtain a form for update.