At HISD, missing more than 10 percent (or 17 days) of school a year can lead to a student not receiving a grade or being retained, but more importantly, it represents lost time in the classroom and a lost opportunity to learn. For complete details on HISD’s attendance policy, please see HISD Attendance Policy.
What to do if your child is absent or tardy
Students who have been absent or tardy must present a written excuse from the parents or guardian when they return to school. Excuses for absences and tardies are:
- personal illness
- sickness or death in the family
- weather or road conditions making travel dangerous
- participation in school activities with permission of the principal
- juvenile court proceeding documented by a probation officer
- approved college visitation
- or "any other cause acceptable to teacher, principal, or superintendent"
Written excuses should be in the school's possession no later than three school days after the date of the absence or tardy. The three-day period begins with the day the student returns to school.
Are tardies absences?
Students must be present at least 35 minutes of the class period (or 60 minutes of a 90-minute class period) in order to be considered in attendance unless they are participating on a field trip or other activity approved by the principal.
Unexcused tardies arenotconverted to unexcused absences. Tardies are a disciplinary issue.
Making up work after being absent
Studentsmustbe given the opportunity to make up work missed due to all absences. Reasonable time frames for the completion of assignments must be established. Please contact your child’s school for more information.
Daily absence exemptions
A student is absent if he is not actually in school at the time attendance is taken. This includes students who complete assignments at home unless the student qualifies for one of the following exemptions:
- The student is participating in an activity which is approved by the local school board and is under the direction of a professional staff member of the school district or an adjunct staff member who:
- has a minimum of a bachelor's degree; and
- is eligible for participation in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
- The student is a Medicaid-eligible child participating in the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Programs (EPSDT). Students may be excused for up to one day at a time without loss of daily attendance.
- The student is observing religious holy days when it is required of their faith that they be absent from school.. A written request for the absence, in advance, is not required but is encouraged. A school districtmustexcuse an absence to observe a religious holy day. 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 holy days. The principal may elect to excuse additional travel days, but the student would be considered to be absent for the additional travel days for attendance accounting purposes. School districts are required to provide make-up work , along with adequate time to complete it, to students who have been excused to observe religious holy days.
- The student is temporarily absent due to an appointment with a health care professional. A note from the health care professional is required to excuse the absense.
- The student is participating in a mentorship approved by district personnel to serve as one or more of the advanced measures needed to complete the Distinguished Achievement Program.
All students in HISD are expected to be in attendance in all their classes to pass their courses. To make that expectation clear to students and their parents, HISD, as allowed by the state, has a more stringent policy which requires that a student enrolled in a school with:
- a conventional 18-week per semester schedule may not have more than four unexcused absences per semester term to receive class credit;
- a 9-week accelerated block schedule may not have more than two unexcused absences per term to receive class credit; or
- an 18-week per semester every-other-day block schedule may not have more than two unexcused absences per term to receive class credit. (This includes middle school students enrolled in semester credit and semester noncredit courses.)
Students leaving campus
According to HISD board policy, no student under 18 years of age may leave campus during school hours for any reason without prior approval in writing or by documented phone call from the student’s parent or guardian. This applies to lunch, extracurricular activities, field trips, and any other activity supervised by campus or district personnel. Such excuses must be approved by the principal or principal’s designee