Attendance Guidelines

Terry Middle School
Attendance Guidelines

Calling In For Students
The parent or guardian must call the school with the reason for an absence anytime a student is absent. Parents may call the attendance line to report the absence (972) 882-5690 or the office (972) 882-5650. All absences are considered unexcused if a call is not received by 10:00 a.m. Each student is allowed 3 excused parent call-ins or parent written notes per year.* After the third call-in or parent written note, proper documentation must be submitted
to the attendance office in order for the additional absences to be excused.

Excused Absences
Absences are excused if a student attends a doctor/dentist appointment or court date and can provide documentation upon return. Absences are excused for students to attend funerals of family members with funeral documentation (funeral program/letter). If a student will be absent for a religious holy day, contact the school one week in advance.  A letter from the appropriate religious organization must be submitted to the school prior to the absence in order for it to be excused. Students who are home ill are excused if the parent calls in for them on the day of the absence.  Only three call-ins or parent written notes per semester will be excused. If a student is out 3 consecutive days for illness, a doctors note will be required to excuse the absences and to avoid truancy. District policy is to file 10 unexcused absences in a 6 month period.

Unexcused Absences
Going out of town, visiting family, running errands, babysitting, taking vacations, or other “personal†reasons are not considered excused absences. The expectation is that students will be present every day that school is in session. Certain situations arise which require students to miss school. Parents/guardians must contact the school prior to the event to discuss the absences with the attendance principal.  When arriving late (between 8:15 and 8:35), the student must sign in at the tardy table. After 8:35 the student must sign at the office. The student will have an unexcused absence for first period, unless the absence is medical or dental and a doctors note is provided. Parent written notes are accepted, but will be considered one of the 3 allowed excused absences.* For safety reasons, a picture ID will be required when picking up a student. Anytime a student arrives late or leaves early for an appointment, a doctors note will be required to excuse the absence for the classes that were missed.

To report an absence please call 972-882-5690 
Missing school for a doctor/dentist appointment
According to the State of Texas, a student who is in attendance for a portion of the school day and then attends a medical appointment, will be counted present if the student submits a dated doctors note upon his or her return. The absence is marked unexcused until a doctors note is presented. Unexcused absences that accumulate could result in a complaint being filed. Forgery or tampering of doctor/dental notes is a crime and will be prosecuted.

Arriving Late or Leaving Early
Student Illness at School
Absences are not excused for students who leave school early for reasons other than their own medical needs. If a student feels ill, he or she must first go to the clinic for assessment. The nurse will make parent contact and release the student from school. If the nurse does not release the student but the student leaves anyway, the absence will not be excused. A picture ID will be required when picking up a student.

Truancy Laws
According to the State of Texas, children between the ages of six and eighteen are required to attend school each day for the entire period that the schools program of instruction is provided. A student who accumulates ten or more unexcused absences in a six-month period is considered truant by the State of Texas. Students must be present 90% of the time in each individual class to be awarded credit. In compliance with the State of Texas Compulsory
Attendance Law and the 90% law, students not in attendance 90% of the school days will be required to make up time as required by the attendance principal. Truancy warning letters will be sent out on each unexcused absence beginning with the first one and each subsequent absence, to keep you informed of the law and accumulated absences.