Attendance/Absences & Tardy Policy
State Law and UME Prep’s Attendance Policy
Texas Compulsory Attendance Law
The state compulsory attendance law requires that a student between the ages of six and 19 must attend school any applicable accelerated instruction programs and school-required tutorial sessions unless the student is otherwise legally exempted or excused. UME Prep staff must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student absent from school without permission from any class, from required special programs, or from required tutorials will be considered “truant” and subject to disciplinary action.
Students enrolled in prekindergarten and/or kindergarten are required to attend school and are subject to compulsory attendance requirements as long as they remain enrolled.
A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 19th birthday is required to attend each school day. If a student 19 years of age or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester, UME Prep may revoke the student’s enrollment, except that UME Prep may not revoke the enrollment on a day on which the student is physically present at school. The student’s presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing. Prior to revoking the student’s enrollment, the school shall issue a warning letter to the student after the third unexcused absence stating that the student’s enrollment may be revoked for the remainder of the school year if the student has more than five unexcused absences in a semester. As an alternative to revoking enrollment, UME Prep may impose a behavior improvement plan.
Notice to Parents: Under Texas Education Code § 25.095(a), you are hereby notified that if a student is absent from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, the student’s parent is subject to prosecution under Texas Education Code § 25.093; and the student is subject to referral to a truancy court for truant conduct under Texas Family Code § 65.003(a).
UME Prep shall notify a student’s parent if the student has been absent from school, without excuse, on three days or parts of days within a four-week period. The notice will inform the parent that it is the parent’s duty to monitor the student’s school attendance and require the student to attend school; the student is subject to truancy prevention measures under Texas Education Code § 25.0915; and that a conference between school officials and the parent is needed to discuss the absences.
Attendance for Credit or Final Grade
To receive credit or a final grade in a class, a student must attend at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered. These days include both excused and unexcused absences. A student who attends fewer than 90 percent of the days the class is offered may be referred to the Attendance Review Committee to determine whether the absences were due to extenuating circumstances and how the student may regain credit or earn a final grade. At UME Prep, 90% attendance is equivalent to no more than 18 absences a year for a 5-day a week class, 11 absences for a 3-day a week class, and 7 absences for a 2-day a week class.
State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences if the student makes up all work. These exemptions can include the following:
- Religious holy days
- Required court appearances
- Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship
- Service as an election clerk
- Documented health-care appointments.
Student must submit a note from the health-care provider within three days of a student’s return to campus if it was a medically related absence.
When a scholar must be absent from school, the scholar —upon returning to school—must bring a note signed by a parent or physician that describes the reason for the absence. Notes from a parent or physician must be received in the attendance office within 3 days of the absence to be accepted. Absences can negatively impact the scholar’s work ethic grade, impose academic penalties, cause the scholar to lose credit for the affected class (as described below), or subject him or her to other disciplinary actions, up to and including dismissal from or inability to re-enroll in the academy. Notes may also be submitted via email to [email protected] Families requiring extended absences should submit the request to the Attendance Clerk who will bring them to the attention of the Administration which in turn will determine the status of such request on a case by case basis.
Attendance is taken each period of the school day and is recorded for the state each day at 10:00am. State funding is based on daily attendance figures, thus being on time to school is of the utmost importance!
If an absence is unavoidable, a parent/guardian should email UME Prep at [email protected] , or call the appropriate school office before 9:00 a.m. on the date of the absence with the reason for the scholar’s absence. The numbers for the campus offices are as follows: Dallas campus, 214-445-6243; Duncanville campus, 972-296-0084; and Mansfield campus, 214-545-0900. Please provide scholar name, date, grade level in the subject line is sufficient. Example: Johnny Student, 3rd Grade, Absent Sept. 4 – Illness.
Absence from Class for Co-curricular Activities
Missing class in order to participate in a school sponsored co-curricular activity is not considered an absence, although scholars are still responsible for making up any work missed due to participation in the activity in accordance with school guidelines governing make-up work.
Consequences of Absences
Scholars are tardy if they are on campus but not completely inside their assigned classroom when the tardy bell rings signaling the beginning of the relevant class. A scholar who is more than 15 minutes late for a class is considered absent from that class rather than tardy. Tardiness will not be excused for reasons of tiredness, traffic, or errands. Scholars will receive consequences for unexcused tardiness. Scholars who arrive tardy must obtain a tardy pass from the office before attending the relevant class. Since tardies interfere with the school’s ability to create a safe and orderly environment conducive to learning, tardies are treated as misconduct and will be addressed guided by the following framework.
Consequences of Tardies
See handbook pages 29-32 for additional information.