Truancy Frequently Asked Attendance Questions
What do I do if my child has to be absent from school?
When sickness or other obligation necessitates an absence, a note signed by the parent/guardian explaining the reason for the absence is required. If a student fails to submit a note, the absence will be considered unexcused. Dallas ISD encourages students to submit an excuse note within three days of the student's return to school.
It is very important to send a note because the absence will be unexcused if a parent/guardian fails to provide a note within the semester in which the absence occurred. Unexcused absences are what triggers the warning letters regarding violation of truancy laws and can lead to truancy court proceedings with Dallas County.
Click here to download a blank excuse note (optional).
How to Submit an Excuse Note:
According to Dallas ISD Policy, parents should turn in an excuse note to the school attendance office within three days of returning to school.
An acceptable excuse note may be submitted within the current semester.
Excuse notes must include:
A written statement giving the date and reason for the absence(s)
Parent phone number
What types of absences may be excused?
- Child’s illness or injury
- Family emergency with administration approval
- Death of a family member
- Doctor or dental appointments that cannot be scheduled before or after school hours
- Religious holy days
- Court appearances
*Please note: If a student is absent, parents should always submit an excuse note to the main office when the student returns to school. Excuse notes should have student's name, grade, date of absence, reason, and parent's signature. Click here to download a blank excuse/absence note (optional).
What is the parent/guardian's responsibility?
We are sure you are aware of how important it is that your child receive a quality education. However, you may be unaware that under the laws of the State of Texas it is your duty as the parent/guardian to monitor your child’s attendance and make sure he/she attends school each and every day, for the full instructional day. This also includes ensuring the student arrives arrives to school on time, attends each class period and avoid as much as possible early releases/pick-ups from school unless there is an extreme emergency.
When a student is absent from school Parents/Guardians should submit a written explanation, also known as an excuse note, to the school. This should be done within three school days following the student's return to school. However, Dallas ISD will accept an excuse note within the semester the absence occurred.
Click here to download a blank excuse note (optional).
For information on how to monitor your child's attendance, grades and etc. click here for parent portal.
What is the school/district's responsibility regarding school attendance?
Automated phone calls will be placed to parents/guardians notifying them when a student has been marked absent. It is the parent's or guardian's responsibility to ensure that he/she provides current and up to date contact information to the school.
The school district will also provide attendance information on your child's report card for parents to monitor their student's school attendance. For up-to-the minute attendance information parents/guardians can view their student's attendance record via Parent Portal. Click here for information regarding Parent Portal.
If a student has been absent without excuse on three days or parts of days within a four week period, the school district shall issue a warning notice to inform the parent, (A) of their duty to monitor the student’s school attendance and require the student to attend school (B) the student is subject to truancy prevention measures in addition to other statutory requirements in existence and a request for a conference between school officials and the parents will be made to discuss the absences.
Further, if your student is absent without excuse on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six month period in the same school year, the district may file truancy court proceedings on parents/guardians and/or the student for violation of the Texas Compulsory Attendance Law.
What are the laws governing school attendance?
The Texas State Compulsory Attendance Law, Section 25.085, requires all enrolled students to attend school on time, all day, every day school is in session.
Violation of the law occurs when students get unexcused voluntary absences for 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period. The Dallas Independent School District requires an explanation note to excuse an absence. Parents/Guardians will receive a warning letter from the school when a student has been absent without an excuse three times for any part of the day in a four-week period.
Students who violate the law may receive a referral(s) for court proceedings against the parent/guardian and/or student to enforce the law. Students over the age of nineteen may be withdrawn by the school for excessive unexcused absences.
What should I do if I received a notice/letter regarding my child's attendance?
If you receive a notice, take steps to avoid future unexcused absences, complete the parent and student program identified in the notice, and conference with campus staff to understand how the absences occurred.
What if there is an error with my child's attendance?
If you have any concerns regarding the accuracy of your student's attendance, please contact the school's attendance office.
What is the General Attendance Agreement Pledge?
The General Attendance Agreement (GAAP) Pledge was distributed to all parents at the beginning of the school year and it outlines the district’s expectations for attendance. It is also an attendance improvement plan that is activated when a student misses school, without excuse, 3 days or parts of days in a four-week period. Parents will be notified when the GAAP has been activated. Otherwise, the contract remains inactive.
The Dallas Independent School District is deeply committed to partnering with parents to ensure the success of our students. We sincerely hope that attendance does not become an issue for any student or parent. Thus, we use the GAAP as a prevention measure early on, before unexcused absences become a truancy issue.
If a student misses school, without excuse, for 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period, Texas State law requires school districts to file court proceedings on the parents/guardians and/or the student.
- Beginning of the Year Eng
- Beginning of the Year Span
- Elementary and Middle School GAAP-Span
- Elementary and Middle School GAAP-English
- High School GAAP-English
- High School GAAP-Spanish
What are Truancy Prevention Measures?
Truancy Prevention Measures are meaningful interventions aimed at addressing the root cause for a student’s unexcused absences. State law mandates parent and student participation. Examples of TPM interventions include:
- Attendance improvement plan/contract
- Parent/student conference
- Parent/student educational meetings and programs
- Community-based services