Truancy: Types of Absences
There are four (4) types of school related absences.
- Failing to enroll in school: The state requires parents and guardians to enroll their children ages six to 17 on or before the first day of the school year or within three days of moving to the Dallas ISD boundaries (unless otherwise in compliance with the compulsory school attendance laws). Days of non-enrollment may be considered as unexcused days. Parents and guardians of Pre-K and Kindergarten students electing to enroll their child must follow all of the same rules and regulations including daily compulsory attendance. Attendance is mandatory!
- Missing a full school day with parental authorization: Dallas ISD usually accepts a written note signed by a parent/guardian to excuse an absence due to illness if the note is submitted within three days of the child’s return to school. If the student is absent for more than five consecutive days, has missed ten or more days in a six-week grading period, or if the student has a questionable pattern of attendance, the school may require a medical note. Parents have three school days after the child has returned to school to submit the written excuse note. After three days, the absence will be considered unexcused. The written excuse note must state a reason for the child’s absence that is acceptable to the superintendent, principal, and teacher and attendance officer for the absence to be excused.
- Missing full or partial days of school away from the school building without authorization: This is more likely to happen in middle and high school when students choose skip a day of school, arrive late to school or leave the school building at lunch or before the end of the school day. Even if a child is in attendance for part of the day, they may accumulate partial day unexcused absences for the individual class periods they did not attend. Senior skip day is always an unexcused absence.
- Missing some classes but not all: This is also more likely to happen in middle and high school when students choose not to go to an individual class or arrive to class so late they are no longer considered tardy. A tardy begins as soon as the tardy bell rings at which time the student is expected to be inside the classroom. All students are expected to be present in the classroom for at least 90% of the class to receive credit. If the student arrives too late to be counted tardy, he/she may be considered absent without excuse. Dallas ISD considers all students to be present for every class period until the teacher records the student as absent or tardy.
Please remember that it is very important that your child attends school regularly; a day absent is a day lost.