Attendance

ATTENDANCE SERVICES
Attendance Office: 820-8860


Welcome to the AHHS attendance page. Please take time to read through as the attendance page has recently been updated (August 2017).

Good attendance is vital to the success of every student. As such, please try to limit absences to sickness, medical appointments, or family emergencies. If your student has a regularly scheduled appointment, like an orthodontist visit, try not to schedule it during the same class every week or month unless your child has a non-credit class like study hall. Those can add up and hamper academic success. Additionally, being late to class by more than 10 minutes is considered an absence. The state of Texas is very clear about absences. It categorizes every absence as either excused or unexcused. All absences can negatively impact academic success.


In addition to the detrimental impact on academic success, there are two main categories of consequences that can result from excessive absences: (1) the loss of course credit for graduation and (2) formal truancy charges. Regarding the loss of course credit, if a student misses a class more than nine times per semester, he or she will not receive credit unless the excessive absences are made up (see below). This is true whether the absence is excused or unexcused. Regarding formal truancy charges, excessive absences can become a legal issue for the parent and the student (see below). The explanation of how Alamo Heights High School deals with each is spelled out below. For more information click on the following link:

http://www.mytexaspublicschool.org/Documents/MTPS_Attendance.aspx

Checking In and Out of Class


Occasionally, students must check out during the day as well as check in after school starts. Please use the following to ensure that your student is accounted for correctly.   

1) The parent may call or send a note with the student to get a blue dismissal slip. The absence will not be excused until written documentation is received.

2) Students returning to school must check in with the attendance office prior to returning to class. If they are returning the same day from a medical appointment, it is necessary to bring the medical document. All others will need a note from the parent.

3) After students sign in through the attendance office, they will be entered into the attendance system with the time of return. Teachers will be able to see what time the student arrived back at school.

4) All other students who are not in their scheduled classes due to being elsewhere on campus will need notification from the adult in charge. For example, if the student has an appointment in the counseling office, the student will need to check with the attendance office to make sure the reason for the absence was noted.  

Excused Absences (fyi - These count towards exam exemptions)


The key to success is when there is open communication between school and parents. In the interest of safety, it is important for school officials to know where students are at all times. When students are absent, please ensure that the school is aware. Excused absences are very important as they allow students to make up work that is missed without penalty. Here is the process for excusing an absence.
  1. When a student is absent, the attendance office needs written documentation.  The following documentation will be accepted:

    1. A note written by the parent or guardian or

    2. An email sent from the address of the parent or guardian which is on file in Home Access Center (HAC) to hsattendance@ahisd.net or

    3. Written documentation from a health professional.

  2. The documentation must be received no later than five (5) school days after the absence. All AHISD campuses follow this “five day” rule.     

  3. If a student needs to leave during the day, he or she is required to check out through the attendance office.  While a phone call to the attendance office (210) 820-8860 from the parent or guardian is sufficient to get them out of class, the absence will remain unexcused until the attendance office receives written documentation.  Having the student bring a note before school expedites this situation, so we encourage bringing a note ahead of time.  

  4. Absences totalling more than nine (9) per semester (excused or unexcused) will cause the student to lose credit for that class unless hours are made up (see below).

  5. Please note that if a student has a pattern of frequently missing class time, school officials may require written documentation from a health professional in order to excuse an absence.  If and when that occurs, the absence will remain unexcused until the documentation is received.

Unexcused Absences (fyi - These count towards exam exemptions)


An unexcused absence is any day or partial day with an absence from a class (or classes) that has not been excused. For example, being late to first period for more than ten (10) minutes counts as one day with an unexcused absence. Another example is when a student fails to go to third period, stays on campus, and then goes to his or her fourth period class. This is still an unexcused absence.  
  1. When unexcused absences occur, a student may not be eligible to receive credit for assignments that were taken on that day. For example, if a quiz was taken on a Wednesday and the student had an unexcused absence that day during that period, the student may receive a zero for the assignment without the possibility of making it up. Likewise, if a student has an unexcused absence on the day a paper or project is due, the student may not be allowed to turn it in for credit.  

  2. State law requires compulsory student attendance, and schools are charged with enforcing attendance, using the tools at its disposal, including the filing of civil charges on students and possible criminal charges on parents when the student accumulates 10 or more unexcused absences in a 6 month period. This is cumulative for the entire school year, independent of semesters. There is not a reset when the semester changes.  In order to curtail or even eliminate filings of truancy charges, the Municipal Court of the City of San Antonio requests that districts make every effort to handle the truancy issue before sending it to the court. Therefore, in partnership with the Municipal Court, AHISD has developed the procedures listed below.  

Periodically, the attendance office runs reports for the administrators in charge of dealing with truancy. Procedures for mitigating and responding to truancy are as follows:

    1. When a student has accumulated at least three (3) days with an unexcused absence, a warning letter will be mailed home.  

    2. If unexcused absences continue, the parent will be mailed a notice and the student will be required to make up the time by attending 4 full hours of Saturday School (8 a.m. to noon in the high school cafeteria).

    3. If unexcused absences continue, the student will be assigned more time in Saturday School, and the student and the parent’s information will be submitted to the court.  The court will issue a notice to attend a judicial forum where representatives from the court and the campus will present information about compulsory attendance and requirements by the law. Failure to attend typically triggers the next step. The Judicial Forums are usually held in the AHHS auditorium during the school day.

    4. If unexcused absences continue after the judicial forum notice, a school consequence may be issued and the student and the parent’s information will be submitted to the court.  The court will issue an order to appear in court for mediation.  During mediation, the student and parent will meet with the presiding judge and discuss the student’s future and the student’s court ordered requirements.

    5. If after mediation the student continues to have unexcused absences, the campus shall file formal charges in court.  A subpoena to appear in court shall be issued to the student and parent by the court.  


Make Up Hours

Excessive Absences Puts Students at Risk of  Losing Course Credit

Students who miss more than 9 times in a semester for a particular class will be denied credit for the class regardless of whether the absences were excused or unexcused.  However, if students make up the hours by the established deadline, credit can be reinstated. Beginning with the second nine weeks in the fall and the third nine weeks in the spring, the attendance office runs a report of absences, both excused and unexcused. Students who have one or more classes with ten (10) absences or more, will receive a notice from the attendance office that they must make up hours.  A notice is not sent home to parents. Instead, we encourage parents to use HAC to monitor attendance, including if their child has accumulated ten (10) or more absences in a class.  When the student receives the notice, he or she should obtain a Make Up Hours sheet (also known as the “green sheet”) from the attendance office and begin making up hours.  Hours can be made up by working with a teacher on something academic before school, at lunch, or after school.  The student can also voluntarily attend Saturday School and work on homework there.  If a student recognizes earlier than the report is issued that make up hours will be needed, a student may obtain a make-up hour sheet sooner.  

Home Access Center

All students and parents have access to HAC.  We strongly recommend that you check your account regularly to ensure that your attendance is accurate.

Questions

If at any point you have questions, please start by talking with the attendance office. Be proactive, rather than reactive.




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