Student Absences Excused Absences: State law and school guidelines governing attendance require that excused absences pertain to illnesses, medical appointments, funerals of immediate family members, and school sponsored trips. Parents or guardians of students who are absent from school for any reason are required to provide a written note signed by the parent/guardian, an e-mail, or phone call to the attendance clerk stating the reason for the absence. Notes verifying student absences may be given to the classroom teacher or turned in to our attendance clerk in the main office. Notes regarding student absences must be turned in to the school within 3 days of returning to school or the absence will be unexcused.
For student safety reasons, we request that you call or e-mail our attendance clerk to inform us of absences as early in the day as possible. The school will attempt to call you to verify the safety of your child, if we do not hear from you by 10:00.
Being present each day is important to student learning. We understand that sometimes absences are unavoidable and when making a request for a planned absence, please consider that absent students miss experiences and instruction that cannot be fully recaptured. The district will accept parent notes to excuse an illness, personal, or pre-approved absence for no more than 8 full or partial day absences during the school year. No more than 6 of these absences may occur in a semester. 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.
Unless the absence is for illness (within the guidelines above) or a medical appointment, pre-approval by the campus principal is required to ensure the absences will be excused. The following will be considered for approval: the above guidelines, total absences including those excused with a doctor’s note, grades, academic progress, and any extenuating circumstances. A student must be in attendance at least 90% of the time to earn credit in a class. Absences will NOT be approved during state mandated assessments.
If an absence is unexcused, the student will earn a zero for any assignments or assessments missed.
LISD grading guidelines allow one day for each excused day absent to make up work unless other prior arrangements are approved by the teacher. Students may talk with teachers in advance of their absence about work that will be missed, but teachers are not required to provide the work until the student returns.
The parent or student should bring the completed form the campus attendance clerk at least one week in advance.
Health Care Appointments: A student whose absence is excused for an appointment with a health care professional shall not be penalized for the absence, if the student commences classes or returns to school on the same day of the appointment and brings a note from the health care professional verifying the appointment.
Religious Holy Days: If a student is absent due to the observance of religious holy days, the student shall not be penalized for the absence. Excused days include days of travel to or from a site where the student will observe the holy days. Excused days for travel shall be limited to not more than one day for travel to and one day for travel from the site of the observance.
Personal Illness: When a student’s absence for personal illness exceeds three consecutive days, the principal or attendance committee may require that the student present a statement from a physician or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s extended absence from school as a condition of classifying the absence as one for which there are extenuating circumstances. A valid medical excuse should give the date and time of the medical appointment and provide exact dates that the student must be absent from school. For students returning to school with medical restrictions, the note should contain a beginning and ending date for the restrictions and give specific orders regarding restricted activities. If a student has established a questionable pattern of absences, the principal or attendance committee may require that a student present a physician’s 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. A medical excuse may be obtained by bringing the student to the nurse’s office at Prairie Trail for examination when a doctor’s visit is not possible. Students must be in attendance 90% of the days that school is offered to be eligible for promotion to the next grade.
Tardies: Excessive tardiness is considered missing part of a school day under Texas law. A student’s parent or guardian will be given written notice when a student has had four tardies. If tardiness continues, parents will be given notice a second time by the assistant principal. If tardiness continues an attendance committee meeting will be scheduled to assist in solving the problem and corrective and preventative measures will be implemented at school. When tardiness rises to the level of truancy, a complaint may be filed as permitted by law.
A new addition to district policy is in regards to perfect attendance and tardies. Unexcused late arrivals to school now impact perfect attendance. Each campus has discretion on whether or not to excuse a tardy. Excused late arrivals to school will NOT impact perfect attendance. Tardies during the school day will NOT impact perfect attendance. It is important that your expectations on excused/unexcused are clear and coding for late arrivals is done correctly.