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Handbook: Attendance


Reporting Absences to the School

Good academic performance usually depends on regular attendance. Poor attendance usually results in poor academic performance, and in most cases, the student who attends class regularly and tries will pass the course. Absenteeism on a large scale slows down the rate of instruction and interferes with the entire teaching-learning process.

State law requires students to attend school daily during each full academic year until they reach the age of 18 or until they graduate.

If a student must miss school, a parent or guardian should contact the attendance office on the morning of the absence before 9:00 AM.

Attendance Office: 214.780.3723 or 214.780.3710

If the parent calls the school to excuse the studentÂ’s absence because of illness, no note is necessary unless the student saw a doctor on the day of the absence. However, the student must still get an admit slip for an excused absence in the Attendance Office in order to make up work missed during the absence.

Minimum Required Attendance

To receive credit in a class, a student must attend at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered. Students should not construe this limit to mean that he/she has 9 “free” absences in each class before penalty.

By state law and School District policy, a student who attends fewer than 90 percent of the days the class is offered cannot receive credit for the class unless the Attendance Review Committee finds that the absences are the result of extenuating circumstances. When a student is denied credit due to lack of attendance:

  • the student may be assigned to ISS.
  • the student is ineligible to receive a TEA attendance form which is necessary for driver's license and renewal.
  • The student must repeat the course in order to get credit toward graduation.

On the first day a student returns to school after an absence, a student must bring a note to the attendance office signed by the parent that describes the reason for the absence, the date and time missed, and a telephone number for verification; a note signed by the student, even with the parent's permission, will be considered a forgery.

After an excused absence, the attendance office will give the student a make-up verification sheet that the student must show to the teachers to be allowed to make up work in each class.

An absence may also be excused with a telephone call from a parent. Failure to excuse an absence on the day the student returns to school will cause the absence to be coded as unexcused with no make-up work privileges. The student has three days from the date of his/her return to school to get a make-up verification slip from the Attendance Office to show the teacher in order to excuse the absence.

If work is made up or completed as required by the attendance committee, the District will accept the following as extenuating circumstances for the purpose of granting credit for a class:

  • Board-approved extracurricular activity or public performance, subject to established limitations.
  • Required screening, diagnosis, and treatment for Medicaid-eligible students.
  • Documented health care appointment, if the student begins classes or returns to school on the same day as the appointment. Original documentation from a medical facility must include the name of the doctor or facility, an authorized original signature, and the specific dates and times for which the student is to be excused.
  • Juvenile Court proceeding documented by a probation officer.
  • Absence required by state or local welfare authorities.
  • Temporary absence resulting from any cause acceptable to the Principal, including personal illness, or an illness or death in the immediate family.

If the faculty Attendance Review Committee finds that there are not extenuating circumstances for the absence or if the student does not meet the conditions set by the committee to earn or regain credit, the student will not receive credit for the class. If a petition for credit is denied, the student or parent may appeal the decision by submitting a written request with full information and supporting documentation to the Principal within 30 days of the end of the semester.

TEA Forms

Students under the age of eighteen who have not graduated from high school must be currently enrolled in school and meet minimum attendance requirements in order to be licensed to operate a motor vehicle in the State of Texas. A form to verify enrollment and attendance is required in order for a student to obtain or to renew a driverÂ’s license.

In order to qualify for a TEA form, students must not have more than 10% absences in any class in the semester immediately preceding the application for the form. Students with more than 10% unexcused absences are ineligible to receive the required form until the completion of a full semester with acceptable attendance.

Excused Absences

Absences in these categories result in full make-up privileges.

  • Extenuating Circumstances: Defined under Minimum Required Attendance.
  • Religious Holiday: A student shall be excused for the purpose of observing holy days, including traveling for that purpose, if before the absence the parent, guardian, or person having custody or control of the student submits a written request for the excused absence. Tex. Educ. Code § 25.087.
  • School-Related Absences: In accordance with the provision of the Texas Education Code (TEC), the number of times that a school district may allow a student to miss a class for extracurricular participation during a school year shall be determined by the school district Board of Trustees. Student involvement overlaps among clubs, sports, and other organizations, so students should remain aware of the total number of school-related absences. They must not have more than ten (10) school-related absences in any given class per year. Students will have their school-related absences certified by the coach of their sport or by their sponsor prior to competition at the district level.
  • College Visitations: Juniors and Seniors are allowed four days of college visitations per year. These visits are considered separate from the excused or unexcused Senior exempt policy. The student must inform the Attendance Office prior to missing school to visit a college or university. It will be the responsibility of the student to return with verification of the college visit on the college or university letterhead stationery.

Students are required to do all work missed as a result of the absence, and full credit will be given for all assignments. Even though a student is given the opportunity to make up work missed by excused absences, it is impossible for him or her to regain the full benefit of the regular class; therefore, absences should occur only when absolutely necessary. Students who plan to be absent for school-sponsored events, scheduled medical appointments, or seniors and juniors who are making college visits, must turn in assignments prior to the absence or make prior arrangements with their teachers for make-up work. The amount of time allowed for completion of make-up work will be left to the individual teacher.

The burden of responsibility for completing makeup work rests with the student.

Unexcused Absences

Unexcused Absences with Make-Up Privileges of Major Grades

Although normally no credit is given for make up of work missed during an unexcused absence, a student may make up a major grade for credit if the absence fits within the following categories and provides a distinct educational benefit for the student:

  • College Visitations: All such absences beyond four days per year. College visitations may NOT be tied to a social or recreational event at the college or university.
  • Participation in non-school activities, such as trips for educational purposes that are pre-approved, club athletic team trips, etc.

Students are expected to make prior arrangements for make-up work. For unexcused absences which do not require disciplinary action, major tests will be permitted at a time and place designated by the school.

Unexcused Absences with No Make-Up Privileges

Except as noted above, there are no make-up privileges for work missed due to unexcused absences. Therefore, students will receive a 0 for any assignments during an unexcused absence. Students have a right to access such assignments, but no credit will be awarded for this make-up work.

Absences for family trips taken for pleasure or recreational purposes will be denied make up privileges.


Central High School regards punctuality as essential to student success and to the smooth operation of the school. Persistent tardiness to school or to the individual classes causes distractions and interruptions to classroom which are detrimental to the individual student and to the class as a whole.

All students must report to the Attendance Office and sign in any time they enter the building after their first class has started.

Each group of three (3) unexcused tardies to a given class within each six weeks period equals one unexcused absence in that particular class.

Every student is expected to be in the class when the tardy bell rings at the beginning of each period. Teachers should end class at the bell. Students are considered absent if they enter class after fifteen minutes of the period have passed or if they leave before the last 15 minutes of class. The absence will be counted against the 90% minimum required attendance law, which may be reviewed by the Attendance Review Committee. Students are subject to disciplinary action for excessive tardiness.

Leaving School During the Day

When students arrive on campus, they are considered in attendance for the entire day under the supervision of the school and may not leave the campus without authorization from campus administration. Students who leave for any reason without proper authorization and/or without signing out through the Attendance Office will be considered nonattending.

No student may leave the campus without checking out through the office.

A student planning to leave school during the day must bring a written request from a parent. The request should give a reason, time of departure and time for return, doctor's name and telephone number if applicable. All notes for dismissal should be brought to the Attendance Office before 8:05 a.m. on the day of the appointment.

  • Without a note from home, a student will not be permitted to leave school unless a parent comes in person to the Attendance Office and requests the dismissal of the student at a specific time. Students may not be dismissed by a phone call from the parent except in the case of an emergency.
  • In case of school illness, the student must check out through the Clinic. The student is permitted to leave only if contact with parent or specified alternate adult is made.
  • If a student returns within the time stated on the written request from the parent, an additional written excuse is not necessary.

Leaving the school campus without permission at any time after arrival is considered a Code of Conduct violation, and the student is subject to disciplinary action for nonattendance.

Absences for Extracurricular or Other Activities

By district policy, students are not permitted to participate in any school-related activities, on or off campus, which will require or allow them to be absent from class in any course more than ten (10) times during the school year.

By district policy, a student may not be permitted to miss a scheduled academic class to practice for an unrelated extracurricular activity.


Students who are absent from school for any class or for the full day without permission from their parents or the school are considered nonattending and are subject to disciplinary action. Students who leave campus without signing out through the Attendance Office will also be considered nonattending.

If the student is absent without an excuse for 10 or more days or parts of days in a six-month period,

  1. the student's parent is subject to prosecution under section 25.093; and
  2. the student is subject to prosecution under section 25.094.

An offense under sections 25.093 and 25.094 is a class C misdemeanor and is subject to fine of $25.00 to $500.00 per day for each absence.

Attendance Review Committee

State law requires each campus to appoint an attendance committee to hear petitions for class credit by students who have been in attendance fewer than 90% of the days each class is offered. This committee, composed of classroom teachers, counselors, and administrators, is required to review the records of all students whose attendance is less than 90% of the days a class is offered and to determine whether or not circumstances were truly extenuating that would justify awarding credit as well as the method(s) by which the student would regain credit.

It is the studentÂ’s responsibility to present appropriate documentation of extenuating circumstances when requested by the Attendance Review Committee.


When a student returns to school, he should check with his teachers before school concerning the work missed. If a student is absent for one day only and a test was announced prior to the day he was absent, he will be expected to take the test on the day he returns.

In case of prolonged absence, it may be necessary to ask that the teachers prepare special assignments that may be worked on while one is recuperating from an illness. Such requests should be made by e-mailing or calling the voice mail of the teachers involved. Parents should give the teachers the dates for which assignments are needed. A two day notice is required after which assignments may be picked up in G104. It should be kept in mind that, while teachers are glad to send needed assignments, requests for assignments that the student has already been given result in confusion and additional work on the teacher.



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