Ennis High School Attendance Procedures
Regular school attendance is essential for the student to make the most of his or her education, to benefit from teacher-led activities, to build each day’s learning on that of the previous day, 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. Two state laws, one dealing with compulsory attendance, the other with attendance of course credit, are of special interest to students and parents.
Ennis High School requires that a student must be in attendance at least 95% of the allotted number of school days. A student must not miss a total of 5 days per semester, totaling 10 days for the year. Students who are in attendance less than 95% may be subject to being retained unless the attendance committee finds that the absences are the result of extenuating circumstances.
In determining whether there were extenuating circumstances for the absences, the attendance committee will use the following guidelines:
- All absences, except those for religious holy days and documented health care appointments for which routine make-up work has been completed, will be reviewed.
- For a student transferring into the District after school begins, including a migrant student, only those absences after enrollment will be considered.
- In reaching consensus about a student’s absences, the committee will attempt to ensure that its decision is in the best interest of the student.
- The committee will consider whether the absences were for reasons which the student or the student’s parent could not exercise any control.
- The committee will consider the acceptability and authenticity of documentation expressing reasons for the student’s absences.
- The committee will consider the extent to which the student has completed all assignments, mastered the TAKS, and maintained passing grades in the course or subject.
- The student, parent, or other representative will be given an opportunity to present any information to the committee about the absences and to talk about ways to earn or regain credit.
If credit is lost because of excessive absences, the attendance committee will decide how the student may regain credit.
When a student must be absent from school, the student – upon returning to school – must bring a note, signed by the parent that describes the reason for the absence. A note signed by the student, even with the parent’s permission, will not be accepted.
The state compulsory attendance law requires that a student between the ages of 6 and 18 must attend school and District-required tutorial sessions unless the student is otherwise legally exempted or excused. A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her eighteenth birthday is required to attend each school day. However, if a student 18 or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester, the District may revoke the student’s enrollment. The student’s presence on school property is then unauthorized and may be considered trespass.
School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student, absent from school without permission from any class, will be considered truant and subject to disciplinary action.
Notes from medical professionals will be accepted as an excused absence. Notes written by parents requesting an excused absence will be limited to 10 total days per year. If the total number of days exceeds 10, the student must have a doctor’s note to maintain an excused absence or must see the school nurse to decide if the student should stay at school or go home.
Additional excused absences are as follows:
- Personal sickness, sickness or death in the immediate family, quarantine, severe weather or road conditions making travel dangerous or any other reason acceptable to the administration.
- Days of suspension. Students will receive full credit on work assigned during suspension.
- Participating in court proceedings.
- Migrant students’ last enrollment or early withdrawal.
- Late enrollment of a student under the Texas Youth Commission.
- Doctor or dental appointment with verification. State law does not penalize a student who has a doctor or dental appointment. Instead of an absence on the student’s records, “medical” is recorded. The following procedures need to be followed:
- If a student attends school for a portion of the day, signs out for a doctor/dental appointment, signs back in after the appointment, and provides documentation from the doctor/dentist, no absence is made on student’s record.
- If a student has an early morning doctor/dental appointment, signs in late to school, with documentation from the doctor/dentist, and attends school for the rest of the day, no absence is made on the student’s record.
- If a student attends school all morning, after the lunch periods and signs out for a doctor/dentist appointment, and brings documentation to the office upon his/her return to school the next day, no absence is marked on the student’s record.
If You Have to be Absent
The parent must call the High School between 7:45 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on the main number (972-872-3500). The reason for the student absence is to be given to the administrator taking the call, and the administrator will determine if it can count as an excused absence.
- The parent should call on the day of the absence and each day the student is absent.
- Parents who do not have a telephone must provide the school with a means of communicating with them (ex: work, neighbor, relative phone number, etc.)
- Parents who do not have access to any phone should send a note explaining the reason for the absence.
- If a student is more than 20 minutes late to any class, he/she will be counted absent for the period.
- If a student becomes ill or has to leave the school campus for any reason during the school day, the parent must sign them out in the main office. Failure to sign out through the office will result in the absence being marked “unexcused” and the student may be considered truant from school.
RELEASE OF STUDENTS FROM SCHOOL
Because class time is important, doctor’s appointments should be scheduled, if possible, at times when the student will not miss instructional time.
A student will not be released from school at times other than regular dismissal hours except with permission from the principal or designee and according to the campus sign-out procedures. PARENTS OR GUARDIANS MUST SIGN THE STUDENT OUT IN THE OFFICE BEFORE LEAVING SCHOOL. Unless the principal has granted approval because of extenuating circumstances, a student will not regularly be released before the end of the instructional day. Students will not be permitted to leave school with individuals who are not recorded on the pupil registration form (PEIMS) and without a photo ID card.
A student who will need to leave school during the day for any reason must bring a note from his or her parent that morning. A student who becomes ill during the school day should, with the teacher’s permission, report to the school nurse. The nurse will decide whether or not the student should be sent home and will notify the student’s parent.
Truancy may also result in assessment of penalties by a court of law against both the student and his or her parents. Warning letters will be mailed for every 3rd, 5th, and 7th absence. A complaint against the parent may be filed in the appropriate court if the student:
- Is absent from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six month period in the same school year, or
- Is absent on three or more days or parts of days within a four week period.
If a student fails to attend without excuse on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six month period in the same school year, a school:
- can file a complaint against the student or the student’s parent or both in a county, justice, or municipal court for an offense under Section 25.093 or 25.094.
- can refer the student to a juvenile court or conduct indicting a need for supervision under Section 51.03(b) (2) Family Code.
Students will be given an unexcused absence for truancy or any other invalid reason. Punishment will be assessed to students who are found to be truant from school. Continued truancy will result in filing a complaint with the juvenile authorities.