Texas Compulsory Attendance Law
Texas Compulsory Attendance Law:
The state compulsory attendance law requires that a student between the ages of six and 19 must attend school and school-required tutorial sessions unless the student is otherwise legally exempted or excused. Gateway staff must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student absent from school without permission from any class, from required special programs, or from required tutorials will be considered "truant" and subject to disciplinary action.
A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 19th birthday is required to attend each school day. If a student 19 years of age or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester, Gateway may revoke the student's enrollment, except that Gateway may not revoke the enrollment on a day on which the student is physically present at school. The student's presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing. Prior to revoking the student's enrollment, Gateway shall issue a warning letter to the student, after the third unexcused absence, stating that the student's enrollment may be revoked for the remainder of the school year if the student has more than five unexcused absences in a semester. As an alternative to revoking enrollment, Gateway may impose a behavior improvement plan.
Notice to Parents:
Under Texas Education Code § 25.095(a), you are hereby notified that if a student is absent from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, the student's parent is subject to prosecution under Texas Education Code § 25.093; and the student is subject to referral to a truancy court for truant conduct under Texas Family Code § 65.003(a).
Gateway shall notify a student's parent if the student has been absent from school, without excuse, on three days or parts of days within a four-week period. The notice will inform the parent that it is the parent's duty to monitor the student's school attendance and require the student to attend school; the student is subject to truancy prevention measures under Texas Education Code § 25.0915; and that a conference between school officials and the parent is needed to discuss the absences.
State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences if the student makes up all work. These include the following activities and events:
- Religious holy days.
- Required court appearances.
- Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship.
- Service as an election clerk.
- Documented health-care appointments for the student or a child of the student, including absences for recognized services for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. If a student returns to school the same day or attends part of the day prior to a doctor's appointment and then presents a doctor's note verifying the appointment, the absence is excused and the student is counted present. Students should be picked up and signed out for early dismissal in the office. We cannot call your student from the classroom until you are in the front office signing them out.
- Mental health or therapy appointments for students in the conservatorship (custody) of the state.
- Court-ordered family visitations or any other court-ordered activity provided when it is not practicable to schedule the student's participation in the activity outside of school hours.
A junior or senior student may also be absent for up to two days per school year for purposes of visiting a college or university, so long as the student obtains permission for the visit from the Head of School, follows the School's procedures to verify the visit, and makes up any work missed due to the absence.
A student may also be absent for up to two days in a school year for service as an early voting clerk, provided the student receives approval from the Head of School prior to the absence and informs his or teachers of the absence.
Absences of up to five days will be excused for a student to visit with a parent, stepparent, stepparent, or legal guardian who has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or immediately returned from certain deployments.
For religious holy days, required court appearances, activities related to obtaining citizenship, and service an election clerk, one day of travel to the site and one day of travel from the site shall also be excused by the School.
The only additional excused absences are for personal illness, death in the immediate family (parent, sibling, grandparent, or member of the immediate household), a school-related absence or an absence approved in advance by the Head of School due to extenuating circumstances.
Any absence not listed above or approved in advance by the Head of School due to extenuating circumstances will be considered an unexcused absence.