We would like to inform you of some changes to the AISD attendance practice that will affect all of the students in our district. These changes are meant to bring AISD into compliance with the existing law, Texas Education Code 25.092. A majority of our students will not notice a difference in the way we calculate attendance records, calculate final grades or award credits, however there are some changes in the way that absences are counted. It is very important to note that the changes in procedure, which are outlined below, will take effect immediately.
TEC 25.092 reads “…any grade level from kindergarten through grade 12 may not be given credit or a final grade for a class unless the student is in attendance for at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered.”
Previously the only absence reasons that were considered for the denial of credit/final course grades were UNX (Unexcused Absence) and IM (Immunizations, non-compliant). Beginning with the Fall 2015 semester, the following absence codes will also be considered in denying credit:
Absence Code Description
DI Documented Illness
HSS Home School Suspension
IM Immunizations, non-compliant
MU Made Up
OTH Other Circumstances
UNX Unexcused Absence
While there are several additions, we anticipate that the change to include Documented Illness (DI) will have the greatest effect on our students. DI is coded when a student is absent because of illness and turns in documentation (from a parent) of the absence within 48 hours. Please remember that family trips, vacations, and attendance at non-school sponsored events are examples of Unexcused Absences (UNX).
No other Attendance Codes will affect the decision to award credit. The most common codes not considered when denying credit include:
Absence Code Description
UT Unexcused Tardy
FLD Field Trip
UIL University Interscholastic League
HD Holy Day
VST College Visit
ISS In School Suspension
*Medical (MED) is coded when a student is temporarily absent as a result of a documented appointment with a healthcare professional during regular school hours, if the student commences classes or returns to school on the same day of the appointment. Please note that the student must be attendance for at least a portion of the day in order for the absence to be coded as MED.
When a student’s attendance drops below 90% but remains at least 75% of the days the class is offered, the student may earn credit for the class or a final grade by making up absences as approved by the Principal. Murchison students will have the opportunity to make up hours by attending Saturday School or tutoring on campus. Each absence that needs to be made up will require 1 hour served. All absences must be cleared within 30 days following the end of the semester in which the credit was denied, however you should not wait until the end of the semester to take care of your absences. Saturday School and tutoring opportunities are more limited as the semesters draw to a close.
Because the number of days a specific course is offered varies it is not possible to give an exact number of what 90% attendance looks like (some courses are offered daily, others rotating on our AB schedule, and our semesters are different lengths). For example, 4 or 5 absences could fall below 90% depending on the schedule. If a student enrolls in Austin ISD mid-semester, their attendance percentages will be calculated based on their total days of enrollment in that course.
If a student fails to successfully make up absences, or when a student’s attendance drops below 75% of the days the class is offered, the student may request award of credit or a final grade from the Attendance Review Committee through the student’s Assistant Principal. There will be an asterisk (*) on report cards by the attendance totals for a specific course in which the attendance is less than 90%. These will first appear on the 2nd Six Week Report Card. It is the student/parent’s responsibility to initiate any appeal to regain credit.
We know that you may have specific questions about your student and their specific situation. You may check your student’s current attendance online through the Parent Cloud. Questions about making up absences should be directed to your student’s Assistant Principal. Thank you for your patience as we implement this new practice in order to comply with State law.