Burnet CISD recognizes the value and importance of school attendance and looks forward to educating your children during the 2019-2020 school year. Our district team has been working to revise attendance procedures so that communication is increased and assistance is given to any family struggling with chronic unexcused absences. As part of our ongoing communication, this web site serves to keep you informed of important changes that have been in effect since 2015-2016.
The 84th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 2398, which substantially altered existing truancy laws in Texas. With the passage of the new law, former provisions that criminalized a student's truant behavior have been repealed and a civil process governing truancy proceedings has taken effect. This change means truancy proceedings against students will now be handled in a civil court. The District is required to provide a written warning to parents at the beginning of the school year informing them that if the student is absent from school on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, the parent/guardian may be subject to criminal prosecution and, as mentioned, the student is subject to referral to a truancy court for truant conduct.
Specifically, Burnet CISD will enforce Texas compulsory attendance laws as follows:
- Automated phone calls will be placed to parents or guardians notifying them when a student has been marked absent. It is the parent's or guardian's responsibility to ensure that he/she provides current and up to date contact information to the school.
- All students will be issued a warning notice when attendance records reflect that the student has absences without an excuse on three days or parts of days in a four week period. Further, each campus will request a conference with the student and parent or guardian for the purpose of addressing truancy prevention measures for students who continue to exhibit attendance issues in order to improve the student's overall attendance.
- All students who miss seven days with unexcused absences can receive a home visit or be required to attend a meeting on campus to develop a Truancy Prevention Plan. This Plan is an intervention based plan offered to students as a preventative measure to intervene 1) before students receive a referral to truancy court; 2) to educate students who are experiencing truancy problems about the consequences associated with unexcused absences. In addition, the plan identifies available and appropriate resources for families who are experiencing issues that may be contributing to a student's truancy. The Truancy Prevention Plan is offered to students only once during each school year.
- If a student fails to attend school without an excuse on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six month period in the same school year and those absences have been verified by the campus as unexcused, the student is truant and students and their parents may be referred to truancy court. At this point, the court could also file a criminal complaint against parents who contribute to the nonattendance of their child. Should you or your students need special assistance, experience extenuating circumstances or have additional questions, you may contact your child's Assistant Principal.
- Parents are responsible for notifying the school the day of the absence. If the parent/guardian does not contact the school, they are responsible for making sure that an excuse for the absence is submitted, in writing to the student's attendance office. This must be done the day the student returns to school from the absence. This will ensure that the absence does not remain as unexcused. Also, a student must have a legitimate excuse for arriving late or leaving early from school.
It is also the parent/guardian's responsibility to contact the school immediately if you feel there has been an error in your student's attendance.
Presence in school is a strong indicator of future success. We encourage regular attendance and look forward to a successful school year with your child.