• ATTENDANCE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
     
    Guidelines
     
    Unless prior notification was provided to the attendance clerk, all parents/guardians are to call the attendance office at 694- 6568 between 7:30 a. m. and 10:00 a. m. each day the student is absent. If no phone call is received by 10:00 a. m., the school will call the local home number listed on the enrollment card.

    If no phone call/notification is received before 10:00 a.m. on the day of the absence, TEA requires that a written note must accompany the student back to school for this absence to be excused.

    UPON RETURNING TO SCHOOL, STUDENTS WILL HAVE THREE (3) CLASS DAYS TO PRESENT A NOTE TO THE ATTENDANCE CLERK IN ORDER FOR THE ABSENCE TO BE CHANGED FROM UNEXCUSED TO EXCUSED. THE NOTE MUST INCLUDE STUDENT NAME, GRADE, and ALL CONSECUTIVE DATE (S) OF ABSENCE, PARENT/GUARDIAN FULL NAME AND SIGNATURE. IF NO NOTE IS RECEIVED IN THE ALLOTTED THREE DAYS, THE ABSENCE WILL REMAIN UNEXCUSED.

    It is required by the state that the attendance clerk receive a doctor’s note for absences exceeding three (3) consecutive days. If a doctor’s note is not presented, absences exceeding the three days will be considered unexcused and the school is required to notify the Hill County Truancy Officer.

    Policy

    The Whitney I.S.D. recognizes the high correlation between student absences and student failures, and we realize that extenuating circumstances may arise where a student is unable to be present the required 90% per semester. The Whitney School Board has established guidelines, subject to rules adopted by the State Board of Education, and has adopted policies establishing alternative ways for students to make up the required work and regain credit for excessive absences. Students who go over the limit of 19 days or periods of absences will be required to attend Saturday School, which begins the 1st Saturday after Spring Break. This is mandatory for promotion to the next grade level.
     
     
    Requesting Homework
     
    Parent/guardian may request homework if the student is absent for three (3) or more days. Request must be made before 10:00 a.m. and work can be picked up in the front office after 3:30 p.m.

    Absences: Doctor Notes Required
     
    After an Absence for Illness:  Upon returning to school, a student absent for more than three (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.

    Due to Head Lice:  Please be advised: W.I.S.D. operates under a Nit Free (Head Lice) Policy. This means that after examination by the school nurse, if a student is found to have even one nit in the hair, he/she will be immediately excluded from attending classes. Please shampoo with the appropriate medicated shampoo and remove all nits (lice eggs).

    If your child is sent home due to this problem, they must return to the nurse between 7:30 – 8:00 the next day for re-examination by the nurse before being allowed to return to classes. Absences for Pediculosis (Head Lice) will be excused for one (1) day of treatment only and any absences exceeding that will be listed as unexcused.

    Excused Absence 

    Generally, an absence is excused under the following guidelines:

    1. Student illness
    2. Health care appointments** (see Medical Absences)
    3. Serious parent illness
    4. Death in the family* (Immediate family members OR grandparents only)
    5. Unavoidable legal affairs (bring in a note from court or a lawyer)
    6. Prior approval by principal

    It is Middle School policy that: after five (5) parent notes in one semester, your school principal will require only medical/dental notes to excuse an absence.

    If your child within the last 10 hours of time:

    1. has a temperature over 100 degrees or has had a temperature of 100 or higher,
    2. is vomiting or has vomited,
    3. has diarrhea or has had diarrhea,
    4. has a rash or has had a rash other than poison ivy or poison oak, or
    5. has impetigo or has had impetigo,
    6. PLEASE KEEP HIM/HER AT HOME.

    All prescription drugs, as well as non-prescription drugs, must be in their original container. The written request for administration of these must contain the following information: student’s name, name of drug, amount of dosage, time drug is to be given, and the parent’s signature. There shall be no more than one medication per properly labeled container.

    All medications will be stored and dispensed in the school nurse's office. The principal must approve any exception. No student may have prescription or non-prescription drugs in his/her possession on school grounds during school hours. If your student/child has the need of a doctor prescribed inhaler, they will be allowed to carry them in their backpacks and with them to P.E./Athletics. An appropriate medical form from the nurse’s office must be completed and a demonstration of the student’s ability to properly use the inhaler is required before students may be allowed to have their inhaler in their possession. Under no circumstance will sharing of inhalers be tolerated.

    Medical Absences

    A student must be in class for at least 20 minutes to be counted present. If a student is counted present in at least one (1) of their classes of the school day and is signed out by a parent/guardian to seek medical attention during the same day, a medical absence will be entered for the student if they bring a written note from a licensed health care provider for that same day. A Medical Absence can be for only one (1) day at a time, unless the process is repeated every single day that the student is absent. If a student does not return for several days, only the day they were at school and saw the doctor will be considered MEDICAL. All subsequent days will be regularly excused absences, as long as the student provides a written note within three days of returning and note is signed by a parent/guardian, or doctor’s note specifies number of days until student may return to school. Medical Absences do not count against the limit of 19 per year. 

    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 excludes cases in which the parent called to report the absence, the student signed out of school early, or the student was sent home by the school nurse. These notes must be turned into the attendance office within
    the first three (3) days
    of the students return to school. You must get an admit slip to be admitted to your first period class even if you have no note. Forged notes or lying about an absence will result in disciplinary action.

     

    Unexcused Absences: Unexcused absences are considered truancy and will be reported. The student has 48 hours to make up the missed work outside of regular school time and will receive a reduced grade for work turned in (highest grade will be a 70). If the student fails to make up the work in the allotted time, the student will receive a zero.

    Warning Letters

    Parents and guardians will be notified by standard form letter of the number of absences a student has accrued. These letters are automatically generated from the computer accounting program that is used by the school. This procedure is used to keep both the parent/guardian and student informed and aware of his/her absences to date. It is required by state that the attendance clerk also notify the truancy officer regarding three (3) or more unexcused absences. This could result in the parent/guardian and student incurring fines as assessed by law. Letters will be mailed as follows:

    1st Warning Letter – 5 unexcused and/or excused absences in a semester
    2nd Warning Letter –  9 unexcused and/or excused absences in a semester
    4 Week Truancy Letter – 4 unexcused abs. in a 4 week period/also reported to truancy officer
    6 Month Truancy Letter – 10 unexcused abs. in a six month period/also reported to truancy officer

    Saturday School Letter: Letters will be sent when student accrues 19 unexcused and/or excused absences for the year. Students that move in to our district will have attendance from prior school added to our attendance. Letters will be mailed home informing parents/guardian’s of student’s need to attend Saturday school to make-up time required by the state.

    Procedure for Leaving Campus

    Good attendance and academic achievement have a direct correlation; however, emergencies sometimes require that a student be dismissed from school early. Any student needing to leave campus during the day must bring a note from a parent or guardian stating the reason for early dismissal. The student should bring the note to the attendance clerk at the beginning of the day and an early release form will be issued. Parents/guardians may also call the attendance office at 694-6568 to inform the attendance clerk of early dismissal needs. Parent/guardian must come to the attendance office and sign the student out of school.

    Students leaving without a permit or being signed out by parent/guardian will be considered TRUANT. The police will be called and disciplinary action will occur.

    Procedures for Returning to School

    Following an absence, students are to report to the attendance office with a note signed by the parent/guardian. Students may come to the attendance office between the hours of 7:30 – 8:00 a.m. to receive their admit slip.

    Please do not wait until the first bell has sounded to get your admit slip. The attendance clerk will read the note and issue an excused or unexcused admit slip. If no note is received during the first three days of returning, student will be deemed unexcused. Students will present their admit slip to each teacher for his/her signature or initials. The last teacher of the day will collect the admit slip and hang it on the door for pick up. The admit slip MUST be returned to the office at the end of the day.

    Tardies To School:  ANY LATE ARRIVAL TO SCHOOL MUST BE SIGNED IN AT THE ATTENDANCE OFFICE.

    Students arriving at school later than 8:15 a.m. are considered ABSENT for 1st period. To be considered an excused tardy, a parent/guardian must have notified the school prior to 7:45 a.m. that the student will be late, and a set time for arrival will be agreed upon. (If electricity goes out, these reports will be verified with the electric company). Any arrival time later than the agreed upon time will be an unexcused tardy. Oversleeping, (parent/guardian or student) will not be excused. Excuses such as flat tire, car trouble, etc. will be left to the discretion of an administrator.

    To Class: Students are considered absent if NOT present in the classroom when the tardy bell rings. Students are considered tardy to class if NOT in his/her seat when the tardy bell rings or if they enter the classroom after the bell without a pass or admit slip.

    Discipline for Tardies

    Two (2) unexcused tardies to school or class will result in a lunch detention. Three (3) unexcused tardies to school or same class in a six-weeks period will result in a full day of ISS.