School Attendance Matters

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A parent’s high expectations can make a positive difference in their child’s academic success. Another basic, yet important way to make a difference in a child’s education is to make sure he or she attends school regularly and on time. 

Children don’t do as well in school when they frequently miss a portion or all of a school day. Parents can help their children succeed in school by understanding how schools define absences. An unexcused absence occurs when a child misses school for reasons not accepted by the school. Unacceptable reasons could include staying home to take care of or visit with family members, oversleeping, missing the school bus, going on a family vacation, or arriving at school or class so late that the student is no longer counted as tardy. 

School officials realize that children may have valid reasons to be absent. Parents must provide an excuse note to the school for any absence to be excused. Some excusable absences might include instances where the child is too sick to attend school, a family member has died, a doctor or dental appointment cannot be scheduled before or after school hours, or a religious holiday falls on a school day. 

When your child is absent for a valid reason, follow these steps:

  1. Contact the school office as early as possible to notify the school of your child’s absence.
  2. Write a note that explains the absence and provide your child’s name, ID number, grade level, the reason for the absence, and the dates your child missed.
  3. Contact your child’s classroom teacher for homework assignments. Make arrangements to pick up needed books or supplies. You may also have a sibling or friend bring your child’s class assignments home. 

The Dallas ISD Parent Services department is available to help parents navigate the attendance process. For more information, visit dallasisd.org/attendance.

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