Victoria West High School

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2019-20 Questions and Answers for Parents: Attendance for Credit Rule (A.K.A. 90% Rule)

The State of Texas requires that all students at least 6 years of age and not yet 19 attend school until they obtain a diploma.  Therefore, if you receive an Attendance Warning Letter from the Victoria ISD, here are some answers to some questions you may have:

What does this letter mean?

According to the Texas Education Code, Sec. 25.092 MINIMUM ATTENDANCE FOR CLASS CREDIT OR FINAL GRADE, a student in 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.  High school students must earn credits towards their diploma; middle school and elementary students must receive a final grade in classes to determine if the child will be promoted or retained.

Which absences count?

All absences, including school-related, excused, and unexcused are included in the 90% calculation.  This rule applies to all classes even if your child has passing grades. What about school-related absences like sports or academic competition?

These activities do count towards the 90% rule, and in order to remain eligible to compete, students must maintain passing grades.  VISD coaches and sponsors know how important it is for students to maintain good grades.  Check with your child's coach or sponsor for plans on making sure student-participants are making up any work missed due to absences for school related activities. If your child makes up missed assignments and is passing the class, the school related absence will become an extenuating circumstance and will not result in denial of credit or end of year grade.

What can I do to help?

Here are ways that you can help to make sure that your child earns the credit/final grade that they deserve:

Don't leave Attendance to Chance -- It is important to keep in close communication with the school to ensure that your child's attendance record is in excellent condition. Get to know the Attendance Clerk, Student Success Facilitator, Assistant Principal, and Principal.  Review your child's attendance record and absence codes as often as possible.

Check for accuracy -- Ensure that your written excuses are submitted to and received by the school attendance office.

Use the VISD Parent Portal -- A good way to keep track of your child's attendance record is to sign up for the VISD Parent Portal. Using any internet connection, even on your smart phone, you can have access to your child's attendance (including absence-codes- excused or unexcused) and grades in real time. Information for doing so is found on the VISD website under "Parent Gradebook."

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late -- As soon as you notice a problem with attendance or you receive a letter and don't recognize the absence dates listed, contact the school immediately. 

Attend Parent-School Conferences -- Pay special attention to any Attendance Warning or Notice Letters you receive and be sure to be an active part of attendance intervention planning for your child. If your child is absent for any reason, including extra-curricular activities (such as sports, band, cheerleading, stock show, academic meets, etc.) be sure he/she does the make-up work. Make-up work is the key to keeping high grades, eligibility for extracurricular activities, and class credit/final grade that might otherwise be lost due to the 90% rule.

What is the school doing to help my child earn credit/final grade?

Every 3 weeks, all schools run attendance reports to identify students who might be in danger of losing credit/final grade because of absences. We notify parents/guardians of absences using school progress reports, report cards and warning letters which are sent by U.S. mail. We monitor our students who have incurred additional absences and meet with both students and parents to develop plans that help students with avoiding future absences and to verify that they are completing requirements for making up work and class time missed.

What happens if my child loses credit/final grade due to the 90% rule?

If your child loses credit/final grade due to the 90% rule but has been present more than 75% of the days a class is offered, the campus principal can approve a plan (Principal's Plan) to allow your child to have credits/final grade reinstated. This plan can include:

  • Complete all makeup work and/or additional assignments as specified by the principal or teacher
  • Attend tutorial sessions as scheduled
  • Maintain the appropriate attendance standards for the rest of the semester
  • Attending a flexible school day program   
  • Take an examination to earn credit; and/or
  • Attend summer school

What happens if my child still loses credit?

 If your child loses credit/final grade due to not following the Principal's Plan or being present less than 75% of the days a class is offered, you may request an Attendance Review Committee meeting. This committee will review attendance information, extenuating circumstances and other information to decide whether or not credit/final grade will be granted.