Compulsory Attendance

Attendance is critical for a number of reasons. Cox Elementary is dedicated to serving students and supports our attendance policy. If your child is not here they are missing instruction and discussions that cannot be replicated. It is also a huge factor in our state accountability system. When our attendance falls below a certain percentage for the year, it actually hurts our A-F ratings.

General Information:  

A student’s attendance record encompasses all absences: excused full days or parts of days, as well as, unexcused full days or parts of school days.   

Under Texas Education Code 25.094, a student is in violation of the Compulsory Attendance law if the student accrues excessive unexcused absences for full days or parts of school days. Tardiness is considered part of the school day. Leaving school early is also considered part of the school day. It is the responsibility of the parent to monitor their child’s attendance. Under Texas Education Code 25.093, a parent is subject to prosecution when his/her child fails to attend school regularly.

Under NISD policy and Texas Education Code 25.092, a student must attend at least 90 percent of the school year.  If your child has unexcused absences for ten percent of school days in a 30-day period (3 days), you will receive a letter requesting a conference with the school attendance officer.  If your child misses ten percent or more school days (18 excused and/or unexcused absences) a required attendance committee meeting may be held at the end of the school year to determine whether your child will be promoted or retained. ALL non-school related absences, except those exemptions allowed by law, are counted toward the 90% requirement and both excused and unexcused are taken into account.

Absence Procedures

Notification of Absences:

When your child is sick (running a fever or is vomiting or has diarrhea) or there is a family emergency and your child must miss school, please call the office to let us know.  This courtesy, however, does not take the place of the required written and signed parent note or email upon your child’s return.  You may email our front office staff.

  • All notes, (parent, healthcare professional, etc.) must be returned within three (3) days of an absence.  Notes submitted after the third day will not be accepted.

  • If after three days, a note is not submitted, the absence will be documented/reported as an unexcused absence.   

  • Please note:  If a student establishes a questionable pattern of absences, the campus attendance committee may also require a physician’s or clinic’s statement of illness after a single day’s absence.  The campus attendance committee may make the decision to no longer accept parent notes if deemed appropriate.


  • Students will be considered tardy if they are not in the building when the bell rings at 7:40am excluding health care visits with proper documentation). Tardies are unexcused and are part of a student’s attendance record.  When a student is tardy, this is recorded as an unexcused absence for part of a school day.    

Late Arrival due to Health Care Visit:

  • If your child arrives at school after 7:40am due to a visit to a healthcare professional, the visit must be supported by a document/note from the health care professional to prevent counting as tardy.  It will be coded as a Medical (M) reason and though it will affect possible perfect attendance for your child, it will not be counted against your child’s attendance for truancy purposes.  This documentation of absence must be submitted within 3 school days of absence to the front office/data clerk.   

Personal Illness:

  • When a student’s absence for personal illness exceeds four (4) successive days, a statement from a physician or health clinic verifying the illness or other condition requiring the student’s extended absence from school is required (note: the school nurse is available to verify an illness on the day of the absence).  

  • If you did not take your child to the doctor, a note from the doctor’s office or clinic stating that you discussed symptoms with them and they advised you to stay home for a certain number of days would be sufficient.  

Leaving School Early

  • In order for a "leave early" to be considered excused, one of the following conditions must be present:

    • Student is checked out to go to a doctor's appointment (a doctor's note verifying the student's appointment must be received within 3 days upon return to school - please note: a sibling's doctor appointment would not excuse the student)

    • Student is sent home by the nurse due to illness

    • Checking a student out to attend a funeral

Absence due to a funeral:  

  • If a student is absent due to attending a funeral, a copy of the funeral program or obituary may be requested upon return to school, in order for that absence to be considered excused.  NISD policy allows up to 3 consecutive days to be excused due to a funeral (allowing 2 days for travel, if needed, and 1 day for the funeral).  If a student is absent more than 3 consecutive days for a funeral, the 4th day and subsequent days will be coded unexcused.

Non-school related trips and vacations

  • We understand there are extenuating family circumstances, such as illness or death in the family, requiring students to be away from school.

  • We strongly discourage students being absent for the purpose of vacations.  

  • Parents shall submit a written form to let us know in advance, stating the dates and circumstances surrounding the vacation or trip.  These absences will be considered unexcused.

Make-up work for Planned Absences

  • Students will be able to make up work from any absence. They will have the number of days absent plus 1 day in order to make up their work. The teacher reserves the right to have students complete any graded work within the school day.

Notifying Parents of Unexcused Absences

In an effort to communicate a student's record of all unexcused absences (full days or parts of school days), NISD employs proactive measures such as phone calls and written notifications.   

When a student has accrued 3 unexcused absences within a 30 day period, a letter will be sent home to parents requesting a conference with Dr. Garretson, the assistant principal. Parents will be asked to meet with the assistant principal and complete an attendance contract. If absences continue to persist, the district attendance counselor will be contacted to work with families in order to improve attendance.

The state requires that students attend school a minimum of 90% of the school days. Any student who exceeds this number of meetings is subject to retention. An attendance committee will meet with the parents to determine if the student has mastered the needed skills to be promoted to the next grade level.

The purpose of contacting the parent or guardian that receives a letter is to explain the letter and answer any questions they may have.  The conversation is also documented and any extenuating circumstances are noted.  This communication is shared with the truancy facilitator should absences continue and guides the decision to request truancy citations.    

We hope to work as partners in teaching your child the important life skills of punctuality and attendance.  If you have questions, please talk with your child’s teacher or contact the school office at 817-698-7200.  

Attendance information is also available on NISD’s website at