Compulsory Attendance
State law requires that a student between the ages of 6 and 18 attend school, as well as any
applicable accelerated instruction program, extended year program, or tutorial session, unless the
student is otherwise excused from attendance or legally exempt.

A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 18th birthday is required to attend
each school day until the end of the school year. If a student 18 or older has more than five
unexcused absences in a semester the district may revoke the student’s enrollment. The student’s
presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered
trespassing. [See policy FEA.]

Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance
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:

  • Required court appearances;
  • Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship;
  • Serve as an election clerk; and
  • Documented health-care appointments, including absences for recognized services for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. A note from the health-care provider must be submitted upon the student’s return to campus.

In addition, a junior or senior student’s absence of up to two days related to visiting a college or
university will be considered an exemption, provided the student receives approval from the
campus principal, follows the campus procedures to verify such a visit, and makes up any work

Failure to Comply with Compulsory Attendance
School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law.
A student absent without permission from school; from any class; from required special
programs, such as additional special instruction, termed “accelerated instruction” by the state; or
from required tutorials will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance law and
subject to disciplinary action.

A court of law may also impose penalties against both the student and his or her parents if a
school-aged student is deliberately not attending school. A complaint against the parent may be
filed in court if the student:

  • Is absent from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, or
  • Is absent on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period.

If a student age 12 through age 16 violates the compulsory attendance law, both the parent and
student could be charged with a criminal offense.

If a student is age 17 or older, the student may be subject to penalties as a result of the student’s
violation of the state compulsory attendance law.

Parent’s Note after an Absence
When a student must be absent from school, the student—upon returning to school—must bring
a note signed by the parent that describes the reason for the absence, this must be received in 5 days after the student returns to school. A note signed by the student, even with the parent’s permission, will not be accepted. Nine parent notes are accepted per semester, any absences following this must be medical or will be coded unexcused.

If a student chooses to contact the parents directly and bypass the school nurse, any absence accrued will be unexcused.

Doctor’s Note after an Absence for Illness
Upon return to school, a student absent for more than 3 consecutive days because of a personal
illness must bring a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that
caused the student’s extended absence from school.
Should the student develop a questionable pattern of absences, the principal or attendance
committee may require a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or
condition that caused the student’s absence from school.

Excuse can be sent via fax at 361-241-4258 or electronically to: JoAnne DeLuna ( or Cynthia Benavidez (