GENERAL RULE Students who are at least six years of age, or who have been previously enrolled in first grade, and who have not yet reached their eighteenth birthday shall attend school for the entire period the program is offered, unless exempted as indicated below. Students enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten shall attend school.
STUDENTS 18 AND OVER A person who voluntarily enrolls in school or voluntarily attends school after the person's eighteenth birthday shall attend school each school day for the entire period the program of instruction is offered. The District may revoke for the remainder of the school year the enrollment of a person who has more than five unexcused absences in a semester. A person whose enrollment is revoked for exceeding this limit may be considered an unauthorized person on school grounds for the purposes of Education Code 37.107 regarding trespassing.
ACCELERATED / COMPENSATORY PROGRAMS A student must also attend:
An extended-year program for which the student is eligible that is provided by the District for students identified as likely not to be promoted to the next grade level or tutorial classes required by the District under Education Code 29.084 [see EHBC];
An accelerated reading instruction program to which the student has been assigned under Education Code 28.006(g) [see EKC];
An accelerated instruction program to which the student is assigned under Education Code 28.0211 [see EIE];
A basic skills program to which the student is assigned under Education Code 29.086 [see EHBC]; or
A summer program provided:
To a student placed in in-school suspension or other alternative setting, other than a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP), who has been offered the opportunity to complete each course in which the student was enrolled at the time of removal. [See FO]
To a student removed to a DAEP who has been offered an opportunity to complete coursework, before the beginning of the next school year. [See FOCA]
Education Code 25.085
EXEMPTIONS Students who meet one or more of the following conditions shall be exempt from compulsory attendance requirements:
The student is at least 17 years of age and has been issued a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
PRIVATE OR HOME SCHOOL
The student attends a private or parochial school that includes in its course a study of good citizenship.
A student in a home school shall be exempt from compulsory attendance if he or she is pursuing in good faith a curriculum consisting of books, workbooks, other written materials (including those that appear on an electronic screen of either a computer or video tape monitor), or any combination of these. The curriculum shall be designed to meet basic education goals of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and a study of good citizenship. TEA v. Leeper, 893 S.W.2d 432 (Tex. 1994)
SPECIAL EDUCATION - NONDISTRICT PLACEMENT
The student is eligible to participate in the District's special education program under Education Code 29.003 and cannot be appropriately served by the resident district.
The student has a temporary and remediable physical or mental condition that renders attendance infeasible and the student has a certificate from a qualified physician that specifies the condition, indicates the prescribed treatment, and covers the anticipated time of absence needed for receiving and recuperating from remedial treatment.
EXPULSION - NO JJAEP
The student has been expelled in accordance with legal requirements in a district that does not participate in a mandatory juvenile justice alternative education program. [See FOD]
17-YEAR-OLD IN GED COURSE
The student is at least 17 years old, is attending a course of instruction to prepare for the high school equivalency examinations, and:
Has the permission of the student's parent or guardian to attend the course;
Is required by court order to attend the course;
Has established a residence separate and apart from the student's parent, guardian, or other person having lawful control of the student; or
Is homeless as defined by 42 U.S.C. 11302.
HIGH SCHOOL REPLACEMENT PROGRAMS
The student is enrolled in the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities or Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science.
16-YEAR-OLD IN GED PROGRAM OR JOB CORPS
The student is at least 16 years old and is attending a course of instruction to prepare for the high school equivalency examinations, if:
The student is recommended to take the course by a public agency that has supervision or custody of the student under a court order; or
The student is enrolled in a Job Corps training program under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, 29 U.S.C. 2801.
The student is specifically exempted under another law. Education Code 25.086
EXCUSED ABSENCES A person required to attend school may be excused for temporary absence resulting from any cause acceptable to the teacher, principal, or superintendent of the school in which the person is enrolled.
The District shall excuse a student from attending school for the purpose of observing religious holy days, including traveling for that purpose. Excused days for travel shall be limited to not more than one day for travel to and one day for travel from the site where the student will observe the religious holy days.
The District shall excuse a student for temporary absence resulting from health-care professionals if that student commences classes or returns to school on the same day of the appointment.
A student who is excused for the observance of a religious holy day or for a temporary medical absence shall be allowed a reasonable time to make up school work missed on those days. If the student satisfactorily completes the work, the days of absence shall be counted as days of compulsory attendance. The student shall not be penalized for the absence.
Education Code 25.087; 19 TAC 129.21 [See FEB]
NOTICES TO PARENTS
The District shall notify a student's parent in writing at the beginning of the school year that, 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 on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period, the student's parent is subject to prosecution under Education Code 25.093, and the student is subject to prosecution under Education Code 25.094 or to referral to a juvenile court in a county with a population less than 100,000.
NOTICE OF ABSENCES
The District shall notify a student's parent if the student has been absent from school, without excuse under Education Code 25.087, on three days or parts of days within a four-week period. The notice must:
Inform the parent that:
It is the parent's duty to monitor the student's school attendance and require the student to attend school, and
The parent is subject to prosecution under Education Code 25.093; and
Request a conference between school officials and the parent to discuss the absences.
The fact that a parent did not receive the notices described above is not a defense to prosecution for the parent's failure to require a child to attend school nor for the student's failure to attend school.
Education Code 25.095
If a warning notice is issued, a parent or person standing in parental relation with criminal negligence fails to require the child to attend school as required by law, and the child has absences for the amount of time specified under Education Code 25.094, the attendance officer [see FED] or other appropriate school official shall file a complaint against him or her in an appropriate court, as permitted under Education Code 25.093.
AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE - PARENT
It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that one or more of the absences required to be proven was excused by a school official or should be excused by the court. A decision by the court to excuse an absence for this purpose does not affect the ability of the District to determine whether to excuse the absence for another purpose.
Education Code 25.093
A student who is required to attend school under the compulsory attendance laws and fails to attend school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year or on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period may be prosecuted for nonattendance in:
The constitutional county court of the county in which the individual resides or in which the school is located, if the county has a population of two million or more;
The justice court of any precinct in the county in which the student resides;
The justice court of any precinct in the county in which the school is located;
The municipal court in the municipality in which the child resides; or
The municipal court in the municipality in which the school is located.
Education Code 25.094(a), (b)
CONDUCT IN NEED OF SUPERVISION
Conduct indicating a need for supervision includes the absence of a child on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year or on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period from school. Family Code 51.03(b)(2)
AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE - STUDENT
It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for nonattendance or to an allegation of conduct in need of supervision that one or more of the absences required to be proven were excused by a school official or by the court or that one or more of the absences were involuntary, but only if there is an insufficient number of unexcused or voluntary absences remaining to constitute an offense.
A decision by the court to excuse an absence for this purpose does not affect the ability of the District to determine whether to excuse the absence for another purpose.
Education Code 25.094(f), (g); Family Code 51.03(d)
DISTRICT COMPLAINT OR REFERRAL If a student fails to attend school without excuse on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, the District shall within seven school days of the student's last absence:
File a complaint against the student or the student's parent or both in a county, justice, or municipal court for an offense under Education Code 25.093 or 25.094, as appropriate, or refer the student to a juvenile court in a county with a population of less than 100,000; or
Refer the student to a juvenile court for conduct indicating a need for supervision under Family Code 51.03(b)(2).
A court shall dismiss a complaint or referral by the District that does not comply with these requirements.
The District may take the actions listed above if a student fails to attend school without excuse on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period, but does not fail to attend school for the time specified above.
Education Code 25.0951
DATE ISSUED: 08/16/2005
This online presentation of your district's policy is an electronic representation of TASB's record of the district's currently adopted policy manual. It does not reflect updating activities in progress. The official, authoritative manual is available for inspection in the office of the Superintendent. [See BF (LOCAL) for further information.]