CECHS Attendance Policy

  • Absences & Course Credit

    The Texas Education Code requires that a student be in attendance for 90% of the days a class is offered during a semester in order to be awarded credit for that class (TEC 25.092). Students with four or more unexcused absences in the Fall semester in any credit course will have their credit withheld, and an asterisk (*) will appear on the student’s report card. A student may be passing the course, but if they have excessive unexcused absences and a resulting asterisk, credit will be withheld. When a student exceeds the unexcused absence limit for any credit class during a semester, an 'NG' will appear in place of the Semester average on the report card. This indicates the student has had credit denied due to the accumulation of an excessive number of unexcused absences. The NG will appear if the student’s unexcused absences exceed 10% of the class meetings. The only way a student can pass if s/he has met the other promotion standards but has unexcused absences exceeding 10%, but less than 25%, of class meetings is to complete a credit appeal as defined and approved by the Principal. Students with absences in excess of 25% of class meetings must retake the course.

    Excused absences do not apply toward any district policies regarding grading or promotion standards.


    Excused Absences

    Students who have been absent or tardy must present a written excuse from the parents or guardian when they return to school. Parents may also email Attendance at: cpenna@houstonisd.org 


    Notes for Absences

    Students returning from an absence must submit the absence excuse note to the Attendance Office within three (3) school days.

    The note from the parent/guardian must specify the exact reason for the absence. Emailed notes must come from the parent's email on file and include the information below.

    Parent/guardian notes should be clearly written and include the following:

    • Absent student’s name and grade level;
    • Date(s) of the absence;
    • Exact reason(s) for the absence;
    • Parent’s name;
    • Parent’s phone number(s);
    • Advocacy teacher;
    • Student ID Number

    Absences of 5 or more consecutive school days must be excused with a Doctor’s note. 


    Unexcused Absences

    An absence for any reason other than those listed above shall be classified as UNEXCUSED. Absences will be considered unexcused if the parent does not send an excuse note within three school days of the absence. If a student does not check out before leaving campus, does not sign in upon late arrival, OR if excuse notes are turned in for a previous grading cycle (6-week period) that has ended, the absence will not be excused.

    A student will be denied credit for a class if the student accumulates four or more unexcused absences in a “block” class within a semester. Students are allowed to make up work missed due to any absence.



    Any unauthorized absence from school will be considered truancy and will be unexcused. Disciplinary action will be taken. This includes any class that is “skipped” during the course of the school day. Truancy may result in loss of credit and may not be appealed.


    Acceptable Reasons for Excused Absences

    Personal Illness

    • Under certain circumstances (such as during lengthy illnesses, or for illnesses that occur during final examinations), the Dean may require a parent/guardian to secure documentation from a physician for 3 to 5 consecutive days of absences prior to excusing absences.

    Death of a Family Member

    Student Health Services and/or Family or Student’s Counseling Therapy Appointments

    • Students should return from any such appointments with official documentation of the visit from the service or office consulted.

    Authorized School-Sponsored Activities

    • A student may be excused for absences resulting from participation in off-campus school related activities. Absences of this nature will be marked as extra- curricular activity absences. However, HISD may not permit students to participate in activities that would result in the student’s absence from any class more than five (5) times a semester.

    Required Court Appearance

    • The Principal shall require the presentation of appropriate court documentation, such as a subpoena, indicating that a student is legally required to appear in court.

    Armed Services Recruitment

    • A student may be excused for armed services recruitment but is required to submit the proper documentation. Students are permitted to participate in these activities up to four (4) times during the school year.


    Any other request for an excused absence must be submitted to the Principal or Dean in writing. These must be provided at least 2 days in advance so that the request can be given proper consideration, in light of state law and HISD board policy.

    Note: Any excused notes submitted to the attendance office are subject to approval per the school administration.


    College Visits

    Juniors and Seniors are allowed two college visits during the Fall and Spring semesters.  When the student returns from the visit, they must bring a letter on college letterhead with the student’s name and date of the visit. The letter should be sent to the Attendance Office no later than three days after the visit.


    Early Dismissal from School  

    If a student needs to leave early, they can bring a note from the parent or guardian to the Attendance Office in the morning before 9:30 A.M. stating that they have permission to leave early due to a medical appointment or other reasons. The Attendance Office will contact the parent and will issue a pass.  If we are not able to contact the parent, then the student will not be able to leave campus. When leaving early, students need to sign out at the Attendance Office in order to be excused.  If a student leaves without signing out, the absence will be considered unexcused.


    Early Student Pick-Up

    If a parent is picking up a student, they must have an ID card, driver's license, or passport. Pick up time stops at 3:00 P.M. every day, so please arrive before that time. Students will not be released if the person who is picking up a student is not in the system. They will be sent to their Dean for approval.


Last Modified on September 14, 2023