Benavides ISD believes every student is valuable. Regular school attendance is essential for any future endeavor. We encourage our students to attend school regularly and make the best of his/her educational experience.
Our main goal is to educate students, parents, and the community about the value of attendance. Attendance matters each and every day! We support our students in achieving academic excellence with regular school attendance.
Attending school daily is essential for a student to make the most of his or her education and reach their full potential in life. Students who miss class miss out on learning. When it comes to student performance, every day counts. Therefore, the student and parent should make every effort to avoid unnecessary absences.
Every absence – in any grade, excused or not – can impact a child’s academic achievement. Students who miss 18 or more days in a school year – just 10% - are considered chronically absent, which can hurt their academic achievement and put them at-risk of dropping out. Statistics show that students who attend school regularly are more likely than students who are chronically absent to:
- Graduate and go on to college
- Score higher on standardized tests
- Learn to read well by the 3rd grade
- Be more engaged in school, feel better about themselves and are less likely to be depressed
- Build good habits for school and life
- Break the cycle of poverty
The Campus Attendance team strives to work with students and parents to improve daily attendance, which increases student success. Texas Law requires that a student between the ages of 6 and 18 attend school and students absent without valid excuses will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance laws, making them subject to disciplinary action.
The attendance procedure followed by the District Attendance team is:
- Campus Warning Letter is sent at 3 unexcused absences to the student’s address to notify parents of the absences and possible consequences.
- A Truancy Intervention Hearing (TIH) is scheduled if unexcused absences continue to accumulate. A home visit is made by school personnel to deliver the notification.
- At the TIH, the absences are discussed and a Truancy Contract may be signed by the student, parent and attendance team member. This meeting addresses the state attendance laws, impact on the student’s grades and discipline and provides information on social services. The goal of this intervention is to prevent a court filing.
· If a parent needs to reschedule a TIH, contact the Student Services office.
· If a student does not attend the TIH, an attempted phone call or campus or home visit is made. It is IMPORTANT that parent contact information is provided to the school and up to date.
- If unexcused absences continue in violation of the Truancy Contract, a Court Filing will occur. Texas Law requires school districts to file on a student or parent when the student misses 10 or more days or parts of days within a 6-month period of time without a valid excuse. The options for filing include:
· Failure to Attend School for students ages 12-17 in Justice of the Peace Court and/or
· Parent Contributing to Non-Attendance for all parents/guardians in Justice of the Peace Court and/or
· Truancy for students ages 10-16 in Juvenile Court, County Court at Law
The goal of a court filing is not to punish the student and parent – it is to improve school attendance and student success. Parents can view their student’s attendance and grades through the Parent Portal .
in Texas Schools
Good attendance is important for many reasons. Your child receives the maximum benefit of education by being in school every day, and numerous studies show a strong link between academic performance and consistent attendance. Because attendance is so critical for the quality of your child’s education, Texas has a compulsory attendance law.
State law requires children to attend school each day that instruction is provided. The law applies to children ages 6–19. If you voluntarily enroll your child in prekindergarten or kindergarten before age 6, school attendance laws apply to your child, too. A person who voluntarily enrolls in or attends school after turning 19 is also required to attend for the entire period of the program of instruction.
The following are a few exceptions:
- Children who are enrolled in a private or parochial school
- Children who are home-schooled
- Students who are 17 years old and enrolled in a GED (high school equivalency) program
- Students who are 17 years old and have received a high school diploma or GED certificate
Most other students of Texas public schools must comply with the compulsory attendance law.
Absences excused by law
Although perfect attendance is the goal, it’s not always possible. School districts are required to excuse a student’s absence for reasons listed in state law, such as to:
- Observe a religious holy day
- Attend a required court appearance
- Serve as an election clerk
- Attend a healthcare appointment
The Texas Education Code describes these reasons in greater detail and lists additional statutorily excused absences.
Absences excused by district
Your school district has its own criteria for determining what else is considered an excused absence. Generally, an absence may qualify as excused in cases of:
- Personal illness
- Death of an immediate family member
- Medical treatment
Both the child and parent are responsible for unexcused absences. Yes, even if your child is 16 years old and skips class without you knowing, you are considered responsible!
After too many unexcused absences, the school is required to notify the parent. A compulsory attendance notification will be sent to the parent if a student has unexcused absences on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period or three days or parts of days during a four-week period. Notice it says “parts of days.” This means that leaving school early, or arriving excessively late in the day, even if the child attended for some of the day, may count as an absence.
The compulsory attendance letter gives the parent notice that the student has accumulated too many unexcused absences and gives the parent a chance to correct the child’s attendance record.
A student with excessive absences may also be subject to truancy prevention measures. These measures may include a behavior improvement plan, school-based community service, or a referral to counseling, mediation, or teen court. A student who is between the ages of 12 to 18 may also be referred to a truancy court within 10 school days of the student's tenth unexcused absence. In addition, parents may be criminally charged or fined if their child continues to miss school.