BEAUMONT - According to Beaumont ISD, missing two or three school days a month, can translate into serious learning issues for a child.
September is Attendance Awareness Month and Beaumont ISD has a goal to keep at least 97 percent of its students in school each day.
According to the latest numbers from the district, the percent of attendance sits at 94 percent.
“Attendance and school performance are directly related,” said Senecia Saveat, assistant director of student services for Beaumont ISD.
She said simply attending class is the first step to success – “make-up” work won't cut it.
“They still need that peer to peer interaction and that teacher-led instruction,” said Saveat.
When truancy law changed last year, the state placed more responsibility on districts to work with parents and students on attendance issues.
“There are some situations in some cases where the challenges that the student or the parent is having, they can't be legally penalized for that,” said Saveat.
State law said if a student's truancy is due to pregnancy, being in a foster program, homelessness, or being the principal income earner in the family, the district cannot refer the student to truancy court.
However, if none of these reasons exist, and a child is absent for ten or more days in six months, the district can pursue criminal prosecution against the parent.
Attendance officer David Robinson said each class counts.
“Each class represents a full day of instruction,” said Robinson. “Therefore, you have to be there at first period, because on the 21st minute you're considered absent rather than tardy."
Beaumont ISD said chronic absence determined as missing at least two days a month can lead to sixth graders failing courses or ninth graders dropping out of school.
“We want the parents to know we accept the relationship between the district and the parents as partners in their student's education,” said Saveat.
Beaumont ISD said parents can always access their child's attendance record at the district's self-serve website at the top of bmtisd.com.
(© 2016 KBMT)