When it comes to school, students who miss school... miss out. Attendance boosts student achievement improves the quality of your child's educational experience, and it prepares them for college, good careers, and successful adulthood.

For every day of school missed, it takes two or more days for a student to catch up. Except in the case of illness, many school absences can be avoided with a little extra effort.

- from AISD Attendance Office

Every Day Counts

Small Middle School is proud of its teachers and staff; academies and clubs; and overall, welcoming and inclusive culture. We are always trying to improve our approaches to attendance management as a top priority for Small and Austin ISD. It is our goal to work with students, families, and the community to ensure regular school attendance and improve academic achievement.

What happens when a student misses one day of school, for any reason?

  • A student must work twice as hard for the next day to catch up on missed information and missed homework. The U.S. Department of Education maintains that for every missed day of school, it takes a student two days to catch up. 
  • A teacher loses class time by having to teach one student something the entire class was taught the day before, which then affects lesson plans for the next day. This impacts the entire class, not just the absent student. Now multiply this by a class of 25 over the course of a year and it impacts even the highest achievers.
  •  A school loses funding from the State. This could affect the ability to purchase supplies for the classroom, such as textbooks and updated computer software. Multiply this by 500 students, and it could mean the difference between hiring or laying off staff, buying new equipment, or funding a new program.

 Parents: No matter how old your children are, families play an important role in making sure their students are in school on time and every day.

Compulsory Attendance Law

State law (Texas Education Code Section 25.085) requires that all students at least 6 years of age and not yet 19 attend school each day. Compulsory attendance also applies to students who are younger than six who have been voluntarily enrolled in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten. FEA: Compulsory Attendance policy 

State law provides that if a student is absent from school without parental consent for any portion of the school day for three days in a four-week period or for ten or more days in a six-month period, the student and/or the student’s parent or legal guardian are subject to civil prosecution by the truancy court. In the event the student fails to obey the order issued by the civil courts, the student may also be referred to a juvenile court, which will determine whether the students should be adjudicated delinquent and referred for supervision by the juvenile probation authorities. 

Per the compulsory attendance law verbiage, “parts of days”, this means that leaving school early or arriving after school begins (tardy), even if the child attended some of the day, may count against the student. Acceptable reasons for an excused tardy are the same as an excused absence.

90% Rule

In order to receive credit or a final grade for a class, a student is required to attend class 90 percent of the days class is offered regardless of whether the student's absences are excused [see FEA] or unexcused. As a District of Innovation, Austin ISD does have a benefit of exemption to the 90% Rule: The District has the ability to exercise local discretion in awarding credit to students who successfully complete course objectives.

Picking your student up early???

  • The quickest way to get have your kiddo waiting for you is to utilize our Student Early Pickup Request form. Our office staff will monitor our live attendance pick up sheet and ensure that your child is waiting for you- or en route- upon your arrival.
  • In the instance of unplanned appointments or emergencies, please call our front office at 512-841-6700 and we will work quickly to find your child. 
  • In the spirit of keeping it old school (no pun intended), you can always send a hand written note in with your child. They will need to come straight to the office before class to receive a permit to leave school for the designated time of school checkout.

***Please always bring in your identification when checking out your student(s). 

***If you are needing to have someone over the age of 18 retrieve your child who is not on their official 'pick up list', please send an email from your address used at the time of registration to with the person's full name as well as YOUR driver's license and explicit permission for a ONE-TIME pick up of your student. (a Docusign will need to be completed to permanently have them added to their account) 


How does the district notify the parents/guardians and students regarding absences?

Parents and guardians are notified of absences through:

  • school progress reports
  • report cards
  • warning letters
  • SchoolMessenger phone calls

My student was counted absent or tardy by the classroom teacher. What should my student do?

Human error, temporary classroom displacement, and other simple mistakes occur in the process of role- taking and initiating classroom instruction. Have your student contact the teacher for the period they were marked absent. The teacher will reach out to Mrs. Reding to make the correction in a timely manner.