State Truancy Law

 on the  

September 29, 2015 

Dear Byron Nelson High School Parents/Guardians,

Byron Nelson High School recognizes the value and importance of school attendance and looks forward to educating your child(ren) during the school year. Our campus and school district have been working to revise attendance procedures so that communication is increased and assistance is given to any family with chronic unexcused absences. As part of our ongoing communication, this letter serves to keep you informed of important changes in attendance beginning this school year.

The 84th Texas Legislature recently 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 With the passage of the new law, former provisions that criminalized a student's truant behavior have been repealed and a new civil process governing truancy proceedings takes effect this school year. The 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, that 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, Byron Nelson High School will enforce the 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.

  • A student 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, the parent/guardian will receive a request to attend a conference with the student for the purpose of addressing truancy prevention measures for students who exhibit attendance issues in order to improve the student's overall attendance. (Texas Education Code 25.087 & 25.0915)

  • 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, students 12 and older may be referred to the prosecutor of the truancy court. At this point, the court could also file a criminal complaint against parents who contribute to the nonattendance of their child, regardless of their child's age. (Texas Education Code 25.093)

Please refer to the Student Handbook and Code of Conduct on the District Website  for additional information. Should you or your student need special assistance, experience extenuating circumstances, or have questions beyond the campus level, you may contact the Executive Director of Secondary Education at 817-215-0080.

Your child's presence in school is a strong indicator of his/her future success. We encourage regular attendance and look forward to a successful school year with your child.

Sincerely,

Ron Myers, Ph.D.

Principal, Byron Nelson High School

 
Please help us educate your child by having them at school each and every day.