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Excused vs Unexcused Absences

Texas Education Code 25.087  ~  Excused Absences


Absences that are considered EXCUSED (with a parent or doctor's note) under Texas State Law:


When a student is absent, the parent must provide a note that explains the reason for the absence within 3 school days after the student returns to school.  Absence notes must include the students full name, ID number, and the reason for the absence.  The specific reasoning for the absence is needed to appropriately code the absence according to guidelines established in the Texas Education Code.  If no documentation is provided, the absence is considered unexcused. 




  • Religious holy days (festivals, ceremonies, etc. are not excused)
  • Required court appearances
  • Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship or taking part in a United States naturalization oath ceremony (for the student)
  • Service as an election clerk
  • Documented healthcare appointments for the student or a child of the student (a  note from the healthcare provider must be submitted upon the student’s return to campus)
  • Students in the custody of the state
  • Mental Health or therapy appointments
  • Court ordered family visitations, or any other court ordered activity, provided it is not practicable to schedule the student’s participation in the activity outside of school hour
  • Visit with parent or guardian called to duty




  • College visits  Juniors and Seniors Only (2 days per year)
  • Pursuing enlistment in a branch of the US Armed Forces
  • Student serving as a voting or election clerk
  • Student participating in sounding Taps for military honors



Absences that are considered EXCUSED (with a parent or doctor's note) under District Policy:


  • Personal illness of the student


  • Healthcare appointment (doctor, dentist, etc.) with appropriate documentation
    • If a student attends school for a portion of the school day, and attends a healthcare appointment on this same school day AND provides approrpiate documentation, the student will receive credit for attending the whole day.


  • Death of an immediate family member with appropriate documentation


  • School official sent student home from school (Nurse, Counselor, LSSP, Administrator)


  • UIL Activities


  • School-sponsored curricular or extracurricular activities


Parent notes must be turned in or emailed to the school's attendance clerk no later than three school days after the child returns to school. The three-day period begins with the day the student returns to school.





What is an Unexcused Absence?


An unexcused absence is an absence that does not meet state or district guidelines. Unexcused absences also occur when the parent cannot produce any documentation that explains the absence or if the parent presents documentation that does not meet criteria for excused absences.


What is an POD?


A Part of Day Absence, or POD may be defined as 50 minutes or more of lost instructional time throughout the day.  This can occur when a student is late to school or class, when a student leaves school or class early.  Basically, anytime a student misses 50 minutes or more of instructional time a POD has occurred.


Absences that are considered UNEXCUSED:


  • Part of Day Absence (POD) without an accompanying note from a health care provider (this includes arriving more than 49 minutes late or leaving more than 49 minutes early)


  • Being absent without parental consent or knowledge


  • Being absent without written notification from a parent or legal guardian


  • Religious festivals, ceremonies, or other events not celebrated or recognized by the international religious calendar


  • Weddings


  • Graduations not for the student


  • Family reunions


  • Vacations/Cruises


  • International Travels


  • Leaving campus during class or a lunch period without official permission


  • Being in an unauthorized area of the school or campus without permission


  • Willfully refusing to attend school


  • Oversleeping/Alarm failure


  • Needed at home for babysitting, chores, etc.


  • Car trouble


  • Missing the bus


  • Any other absence that is not covered under the law


More information regarding attendance polices can be found in the Texas Education Code and the Denton ISD Student & Parent Handbook.