September 2, 2015
Dear EPISD Parents,
The El Paso Independent School District believes that all studentsshould have the opportunity to obtain a well-rounded educationalexperience that includes outstanding academic opportunities and the manyextracurricular experiences available. This will continue to be theDistrict’s goal for our students.
The Districthas been advised by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that the state lawrequiring at least 90 percent attendance by students to receive creditfor a class applies to any student absence from the classroom duringregular class activities. We have adjusted our procedures according tothis requirement and have put into place a series of procedures tosafeguard students, teachers, and the school regarding attendance andcourse credit.
This letterserves as a guide for clarifying questions you may have regardingpolicies FEC (Local) and FEC (Regulation) requirements regarding the 90percent attendance rule and ensuring that students make up any workmissed due to absences caused by participation in extracurricularactivities. We realize that this is a departure from previouspractice, particularly in recording attendance for studentsparticipating in school-related activities (i.e. athletics, fine arts,student government, JROTC, etc.). We wish to reassure parents andstudents that participation in school-related activities will not placeany additional burden on students other than doing any required classwork as has been the normal practice in the past.
Thefollowing is our plan to encourage students to participate inextracurricular activities while staying in compliance with the law:
1. If astudent misses a class for any reason, including participation in schoolevents, the student must make up any work missed at that time. Studentswho participate in school-sponsored activities have almost always madeup missed work, even before this new rule, because make up work helpsstudents maintain their grades by not falling behind in classes andthis, in turn, keep students eligible to participate. This has rarelybeen a problem in the past since most sponsors and coaches understandtheir academic responsibilities and monitor students to ensurecompliance and eligibility.
2. Ifa class is participating in an outside activity together (i.e. fieldtrips), there is no absence recorded for that class and no additionalwork other than what the teacher assigns based on the group activity. However, if the field trip causes an absence in another class/subjectwith a different teacher, that does count as an absence for the otherclass as per the 90 percent rule and any work missed must be made up anddocumented.
3. Oncemake up work has been completed, the primary burden is on the teachersto submit documentation to the principal and intervention teamsto provide proof that the student made up the work. This informationwill then be submitted to the appropriate school committee for review.
4. Undernormal circumstances, school activities with work already completed willfall under the "Extenuating Circumstances" category and will receiveapproval by the campus for credit, thus relieving the student of anyfurther responsibility for that absence.
5. Theabsence will, however, still be recorded for the student for classesmissed for activities where the whole class is not involved. This isrequired by TEA.
6. Theresult of this process is that the student can safely participate in theactivity, submit required work, receive credit for the period, andensure that their grade and attendance status in the school are incompliance. The student will be in no danger of losing credit, failing,or suffering any other consequence.
7. Absencesdue to participation in school-sponsored activities, while subject tothe 90 percent rule for attendance and make up work purposes, will notbe counted against a student for the calculation of campus PerfectAttendance Awards. Students who miss class for these activities willstill be eligible to receive these campus awards.
EPISD willcontinue to strongly encourage our students to participate inschool-sponsored activities, athletics, and events. We apologize forany inconvenience cause by these requirements, but the District isobligated to abide by all state attendance laws. We ask your cooperationin encouraging your children to continue participation, to make up anywork due to absences (as they have always done), and to join the El PasoISD in guaranteeing them a full and rewarding experience in ourschools.
Letter in PDF format: Attendance Rule.pdf