03: Attendance Policy & Procedures
Victory Life Academy considers good attendance habits a key part of the educational process. Research, as well as common sense, suggests better academic achievement for students who attend school regularly. In addition, punctuality and dependability are important traits to develop regardless of one’s lifetime pursuits.
The Texas Compulsory Attendance Law requires that schools offer 75,600 minutes of school each year. VLA encourages parents and students to be diligent in adhering to the letter of the law as well as the spirit of the school attendance policy. The legal ages for compulsory school attendance are between the ages of 6 through the academic year in which the student becomes 16 years of age. There are legal and legitimate reasons for being absent, and parents should submit written excuses to the attendance officer who is responsible for monitoring and implementing attendance laws and policy.
Parent Notification: If a student is absent on any given day, parents are requested to notify the attendance office of this fact before 9:00 a.m. by phoning 325.641.2223 or email us at Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org. Students who incur more than 10 non-valid absences during a semester may lose credit for that semester. When the sixth (6th) absence has occurred, the school may notify the parents, either by U.S. Mail, documented telephone call, or documented personal contact, that the student may not receive credit or may be retained.
Responsibility for make-up work lies with the student. The student is to go to the teacher to request assignments when returning to class and is responsible to turn them in on time. One day is allowed for each day absent.
Excused Absences: Absences will be excused for the following reasons:
- Serious illness – extended absence (more than three consecutive days) due to illness may also require a doctor’s permit to enter class. An absence may be investigated by administration or an appropriate designee.
- Death in the family – family meaning kinship within the second-degree consanguinity (blood relative) or the first-degree affinity (relative of marriage).
- Weather or road conditions making travel dangerous.
- Other causes acceptable to administration. Approved school-sponsored activities will not count as an absence.
- Students may be excused for the following reasons, providing they have not, in the opinion of administration, had excessive absences and are maintaining acceptable grades:
- Aptitude and Achievement testing by outside agencies
- Non-school instruction
- Non-school clubs, youth, or other organizations’ activities
- Court subpoenas
Un-excused Absences: Absences with approval of a parent or guardian that are not listed under reasons for being excused will be un-excused. Examples: babysitting, vacations, working, or other personal reasons. Assignments missed during un-excused absences may not be made up without permission from the teacher. In order to make up missed work, students taking outside trips with parents must have advanced permission from the school and teacher concerning assignments) unless it is a family emergency.
VLA follows the State of Texas requirements for attendance. A compulsory attendance notification will be sent to the parent if a student has unexcused absences on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period or three days or parts of days during a four-week period.
State law requires schoolchildren to attend school each day that instruction is provided. The law applies to children ages 6–18. If you voluntarily enroll your child in Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten before age 6, school attendance laws apply to your child, too.
There are legal and legitimate reasons for being absent, and parents should submit written excuses to school principals or other administrative designees who are responsible for monitoring and implementing attendance laws and policy.
Victory Life Academy complies with this law. Notification will be given to the parent/guardian when a student is in jeopardy of being reported to the district attorney. This will be either by certified mail or a documented phone call when the student has been absent one less of the maximum stated above.
Truancy means absence from school or class without knowledge and consent of parent or guardian and administration. Truancy is also an un-excused absence from school for all or part of a school day. Class work missed because of truancy may not be made up and may result in failure to earn a passing grade or possible removal from class for cutting. A student incurring an un-excused absence for truancy will be required to do work for that day as assigned by the teacher. No grade will be given for this make-up work.
Absences During Suspension: Absences occurring because of truancy or during the time that a student is suspended from school by the administration shall be considered un-excused.
Students are not counted absent due to in-school suspension and will be required to complete all assignments in order to receive credit. Any absences from school during in-school suspensions may require the student to serve additional days, until the required amount of suspension time has been served.
Unusual Absences: Excused absences for unusual opportunities which are difficult to schedule during the regular school vacations may be considered on an individual basis by the administration, provided the following criteria are met:
- Written advance notice of the dates and duration of the absence is submitted to the administration 48 hours prior to an absence of one or more days.
- The student assumes full responsibility for obtaining all assignments prior to the absence.
- All make-up work is submitted to the teacher within two days of the student’s return, unless otherwise approved by the attendance officer.
- In the opinion of the attendance officer, the student has not already incurred excessive absences and this absence will not jeopardize the student’s academic performance.
- In the opinion of the attendance officer, such absences will not cause undue hardship on teachers or be disruptive of the normal flow of exams, grading periods, etc.
- In the event the student is unable to return on the date specified prior to the absence, the attendance officer must be notified on or before that date and must grant excuse for the extended absence. Otherwise, the extended absence will not be excused. Work missed during the extended absence should be made up within three days after the student returns.
Partial Day Absences:
- Elementary students who arrive after 7:50 a.m. and before 11:30 a.m. are considered tardy.
- Elementary students who arrive after 11:30 a.m. are considered absent for the day.
- Elementary students, who leave school before 11:30 a.m. and do not return that day, are considered absent for the day.
- Middle school and high school – Absences/tardies are recorded for each period of the day. Students who are late to a class but arrive before it is half over are counted tardy. Arrival to a class after it is half over is counted as an absence for that class period.
Early Departure Procedure: Parent or authorized guardian must contact the school office. The parent/guardian must sign-out on the designated form listing:
- Student’s name (printed)
- Reason for student leaving early
- Time of departure
- Parent or guardian signature.
Exceptions: Students who are employed or concurrently enrolled at another institution will be allowed to leave during the school day and return for later classes.
- Students attending college concurrently or on a work program may sign themselves out at the time pre-approved by the admissions officer and must sign in upon return to school.
- Students who drive and have a legitimate reason to leave campus during the school day (i.e., doctor appointment, etc.) may sign themselves out, providing a note from their parent/guardian giving approval has been submitted. The student may then sign themselves back in upon return to campus.
- Seniors with pre-approved alternative schedules may sign themselves out through the appropriate office.
- High school students remaining on campus all day will be required to enroll in an elective class or as a teacher’s aide during periods where they are not enrolled in course work.
Re-admit Policy: If a student is absent on a given day, upon returning to school he/she must bring a note to the school office stating the following:
- Reason for the absence
- Date of the absence
- Signature of parent or guardian
The only allowable excuse for a student’s being tardy is a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment, providing a doctor’s note is submitted to the attendance office within 24 hours of the tardy.
No other reason for tardiness will be accepted unless specifically approved through the attendance officer. It is the attendance officer’s discretion to excuse a tardy, but the parent/guardian must submit, in writing, within 24 hours of the tardy the reason the student was late to school. The school reserves the right to accept or reject any reason(s) other than a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment given for tardiness. Three occurrences of un-excused tardiness shall count as one un-excused absence, and parents will be notified when this occurs. Habitual tardiness may result in excessive absences which could lead to loss of credit or retention.
Class-to-Class Tardies: Excessive tardies may be subject to a disciplinary process.