As district and school leaders explore ways to mitigate learning loss related to the COVID-19 crisis, parents are reminded that regular school attendance is vital to ensure students master the skills required for academic success. The opposite is also true—students who do not attend school regularly miss essential instruction possibly resulting in learning loss and other negative consequences, including retention and penalties related to truancy.
Texas state law requires students to attend 90% of scheduled class days to receive a course grade at the elementary level or credit for a class at the secondary level. Board policy requires that parents be informed in writing when their student’s attendance falls below 90% of the days a class is offered. Schools are calling homes now and the district is preparing letters to notify parents of students who have excessive absences.
There are two levels of notification. When a student misses 5% of the required school days, the district first sends a warning letter notifying parents the student may be in danger of denial of course grade or credit if the absenteeism continues. In addition, to try to improve attendance, schools schedule conferences with parents. When a student misses 10% of the required school days, the district sends a second letter. The violation letter requires the parent to contact the school to schedule a conference with the attendance administrator to work out an attendance plan to avoid the student being denied their grade or credit.
This year, possibly due to family struggles related to the COVID crisis, many students are missing excessive school days. Parents are advised to pay close attention to their child’s school attendance and to actively review their student’s attendance record via Parent Portal. Parent Portal login information and assistance is available at every district campus.
Right now, schools are attempting to contact parents of students with excessive absences to ensure parents receive these important warning and violation letters. Parents who know or suspect their child has missed classes should immediately contact their school or go here for instructions to download the letters.
Dallas ISD wants to help every student succeed. In the current health crisis, school administrators realize there may be good reasons why students miss class. Schools want to work with parents to find solutions to excessive absences. Parents are urged to call their school for assistance. The district’s Parent Services page features FAQs and detailed information about attendance requirements and truancy.