The Attendance Control Office is designed to inform Cedar Hill Independent School District administrators, staff and community about Truancy Laws. As an addition to the Data Management Department, Attendance Control handles Attendance Zoning questions regarding students campus locations, all Failure to Attend School and Parents Contributing to Truancy filings due to excessive unexcused absences, provide home visits for Residency Check Requests, and district Truancy & Dropout Prevention efforts.
Often administrators are confronted with complex issues for Truancy. It becomes the responsibility of the school to find solutions for attendance problems; however we do provide assistance. Litigation should be the final option to remedy truancy issues after the campus has done all they can to remedy the issues and have documented the process used.
What Parents Should know:
Student success starts with good attendance. The U.S. Department of Education reports that for every missed day of school, it takes a student two days to catch up since he/she must make up missed learning and catch up with new learning at the same time.
Regular attendance has been linked to higher achievement, stronger bonds to the school and community, lower rates of delinquent and high risk behavior, and increased participation in higher education. This means students, you not only have to be in the building on time, but in your classroom everyday on time... uCount!
Compulsory attendance applies to students who are at least six years old as of September 1 of the applicable school year. The law requires a student to attend public school until the student’s 18th birthday.
Compulsory attendance applies to certain extended-year programs, tutorial classes, accelerated reading instruction programs, accelerated instruction programs, basic skills programs, and summer programs for students subject to certain disciplinary removals. It also applies to students below the age for compulsory attendance during any period that the student is voluntarily enrolled in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten.
A person who voluntarily enrolls in or attends school after the person’s 18th birthday is required to attend each school day for the entire period the program of instruction for which the student is enrolled is offered. If the person has more than five unexcused absences in a semester, the school district may revoke the person’s enrollment for the remainder of the school year.
What is Truancy?
If the student has been absent 3 times in thirty days or parts of days (meaning class periods) within a four-week period, or 10 or more days or parts of days in a six-month period the student is considered truant by state laws.
What can happen and what are the consequences?
A parent can be charged with Contributing to Non-Attendance. A student can be charged with Failure to Attend School. Both charges are Class C Misdemeanors, and will be prosecuted in court. The parent can be fined up to $500.00 for each day that the student has an unexcused absence. The judge can also place the student and parent on court supervision. While on court supervision, the student may be ordered to attend counseling for anger control or drug and alcohol abuse (if needed), self-esteem/leadership workshops, and/or work/job training. As you can see this affects not just the student, but the student and the entire family.
What do you need to do to obtain Perfect Attendance Recognition?
- Remember it is your responsibility to be in school ever day and every day be on time
- If you have an Excused Absence make sure the documentation from parent/guardian and/or doctor is returned to the Attendance Office as soon as you return. (You have three days to get your documentation to the Attendance Clerk/Office.)
- If you feel you need a “Boost” (encouragement) or know someone who needs a “Boost” remember www.Boost-Up.com. This is where you can go to give encouragement and receive encouragement from other students around the United States, or even set up a wake-up call.
What can you expect from faculty and staff?
Plenty of “Boosts”! We are all here to continuously encourage you to keep going and never give up. If you do not give up, you will make it to your goal.
Parents/students, you have plenty of people here in CHISD rooting for your success in attending school/classes daily and being on time. For more information about Texas Laws, access the Texas Legislature Homepage. If you have additional questions, see the Cedar Hill ISD Board Policy.