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]
MHS9 Attendance Procedures
Please refer to the Attendance Section of the online Student Handbook for complete rules and guidelines. The Student Handbook can be found by visiting Marcus 9 website, mhs9.lisd.net, under the “Resources”, "For Parents & Students".
If your child is absent from school, a parent should call the morning of the absence. A parent must follow up by sending a signed note no later than the third day after the absence to get it excused. Unexcused absences will result in a “zero” for that day in each missed class. Faxed parent notes may be accepted to excuse an absence.
If the student visited a medical professional (doctor/dentist, etc.) while they were out, the doctor’s note should be provided to the clerk upon their return. By presenting this medical note, it will help keep a student from loss of credit for too many absences. Effective with the 2014-2015 school year, all-day medical absences DO NOT automatically exempt a student from loss of credit; a partial-day absence – with a medical note – will not count towards loss of credit.
A parent may request homework assignments on the second day of absence by calling the attendance clerk before 10:00 a.m. Most assignments can be found on SchoolWeb for each teacher. Instructions were given out the first day of class in most cases. You are also welcome to email the teachers directly for the quickest response time. All email addresses are listed on the MHS9 website.
Late Arrival/Early Release
Any time a student comes in late or leaves early, they MUST sign-in/out with the attendance clerk. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action. Students are NOT ALLOWED TO USE THEIR CELL PHONES TO CONTACT A PARENT IF THEY ARE ILL. STUDENTS MUST GO THROUGH THE NURSE IF THEY BECOME ILL AT SCHOOL. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action.
When your child has an appointment, send a parent note that morning. Upon receiving the parent note, a pass will be issued to the student for leaving at the designated time meeting you in front of the school or driving to the appointment. If you did not send a note with your child, come into the Front Office to sign them out. Allow plenty of time before your appointment to give us time to get the student out of class. Calls will be accepted for appointments made the same day. It is extremely difficult to get students once they have gone to an athletic class that may be at another location off-campus. PLANNING AHEAD IS CRUCIAL TO HELP YOU MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT ON TIME!
Parent/Guardian Sign Out Form
ACCORDING TO STATE LAW, WE ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A NOTE ON FILE SIGNED BY A PARENT/GUARDIAN WHENEVER A STUDENT LEAVES THE CAMPUS FOR ANY REASON. THE REASON MUST MEET STATE GUIDELINES FOR IT TO BE EXCUSED. Email or call the front office for form
Verification of Enrollment (V.O.E. Form)
The student should sign up for the V.O.E. form in the front office in the morning. Attendance clerk researches student’s attendance (must be in compliance with the 90% T.E.A. guidelines). Student picks up the form after school from attendance clerk – student must sign the form in front of the attendance clerk.