Student Handbook Excerpts

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    ABSENCES/ATTENDANCE

    Regular school attendance is essential for a student to make the most of his or her education—to benefit from teacher-led and school activities, to build each day’s learning on the previous day’s, 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 the required presence of school-aged children in school, e.g., compulsory attendance, the other with how a child’s attendance affects the award of a student’s final grade or course credit—are of special interest to students and parents.

     

    Leaving School during the Day (Irving ISD Schools are Considered Closed Campuses)

    A student planning to leave school during the day must, upon arrival at school, provide the attendance clerk in charge a note from his/her parent/guardian, requesting that the student be 17 dismissed at the time specified in the note. If the student fails to bring a note, the attendance clerk may call the parent/guardian to get verbal permission to release the student. The parent must send a note or email no later than five days following the absence in order to excuse it. The student will be allowed to leave at the designated time after signing out on the attendance register. If previous arrangements have not been made, the attendance clerk or school administrator will contact his/her parent(s)/guardian before the student is permitted to leave. In case of an illness, students must check out through the clinic and attendance office. If a student leaves school grounds without permission, they will be considered truant. All Irving ISD campuses are considered closed campuses during school hours (bell to bell), including lunch periods.

     

    FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE - All Grade Levels

     School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student absent without permission from school; from any class; from required special programs, such as additional special instruction, termed “accelerated instruction” by the state; or from required tutorials will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance law and subject to disciplinary action. A court of law may also impose penalties against both the student and his or her parents if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school. A complaint against the parent may be filed in court if the student:

     

    • Is absent without excuse from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six month period in the same school year.

     

    If a student age 12 through age 17 violates the compulsory attendance law, both the parent and student could be charged with a civil offense. [See policy FEA(LEGAL).]

     

    Attendance for Credit or Final Grade (Kindergarten through Grade 12)

    To receive credit or a final grade in a class, a student in kindergarten–grade 12 must attend at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered. When a student’s attendance drops below 90 percent but remains at least at 75 percent of the days the class is offered, the student may earn credit for the class or a final grade by completing a plan approved by the principal. This plan must provide for the student to meet the instructional requirements of the class as determined by the principal.

     

    Documentation after an Absence/Reporting an Absence (All Grade Levels)

    When a student is absent from school, the student—upon arrival or return 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 unless the student is 18 or older or is an emancipated minor under state law. When a student is absent, the parent must telephone or email the school as early as possible that day to inform the attendance clerk of the absence.

     

    • Student calls are not acceptable.
    • The parent/guardian should communicate in writing or via email with the teacher or school administrator the reason for student absence(s) no later than five days after the student returns to school.
    • The student will be issued an admission slip.
    • The district may investigate any case in which an excused absence is requested.
    • If the student arrives after first period, the excuse should be presented when the student checks in at the attendance office and the attendance clerk will issue an admit slip.
    • Students should present the slip to each teacher for his/her signature.

     

    The campus attendance clerk will document in its attendance records for the student whether the absence is considered by the district to be excused or unexcused upon receiving the proper documentation. Please note that, unless the absence is for a statutorily allowed reason under compulsory attendance laws, the district is not required to excuse any absence, even if the parent provides a note explaining the absence.

     

    Doctor’s Note after an Absence for Illness (All Grade Levels)

    Upon return to school, a student absent for more than three consecutive days because of a personal illness must bring a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s extended absence from school. Otherwise, the student’s absence may be considered unexcused and, if so, would be considered to be in violation of compulsory attendance laws. Should the student develop a questionable pattern of absences, the principal or attendance committee may require a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s absence from school in order to determine whether the absence or absences will be excused or unexcused. [See policy FEC(LOCAL).]

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