Texas School Fails Third Grader With Known Special Needs After Passing Acedemics Holding Her Back Missing School For Doc
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Shame for Texas school district
There is nothing that most parents would not do for their children, that is a given. Sometimes parents do have the control of their children as they believe. One family has been fighting for their 8 year old special needs child in the small town of Clyde, Texas. As if suffering from a genetic disorder is not tough enough, now the family has been trying to settle this issue before it finds the way up the ladder to the next step. The child did well and performed sufficiently when her grades were passing. The message this entire affair speaks volumes for the educators.
The main question is not how many days a child is absent, it is how much the child receives from the educational process. Public education does provide more than just facts and figure that build the foundation of childhood. Socialization skills, coping skills, communication skills, and even the first stones throw that bridges together a work ethic show the importance of proper attendance. While all of that has been said, a child’s health supersedes whether they are absent or not. When we say no child is left behind, how can a child that passed all classes be held back? Even with a 66% attendance record when they require doctor’s care, the answer is legally they cannot.
According to the Student Handbook of 2014-2015 provided by the Clyde school district:
Compulsory Attendance State law requires that a student between the ages of six and 18 attend school, as well as any applicable accelerated instruction program, extended year program, or tutorial session, unless the student is otherwise excused from attendance or legally exempt. A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 18th birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year. If a student 18 or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester the district may revoke the student’s enrollment. The student’s presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing. [See policy FEA.] A student in grades 3–8 will be required to attend any assigned accelerated instruction program, which may occur before or after school or during the summer, if the student does not meet the passing standards on the state assessment for his or her grade level and applicable subject area.
The follow up section:
Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences if the student makes up all work. These include the following activities and events:
• Religious holy days;
• Required court appearances;
• Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship; •
Service as an election clerk; and
• Documented health-care appointments, including absences for recognized services for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. A note from the health-care provider must be submitted upon the student’s return to campus.
The fact alone that a child with special needs either suffers from physical or behavioral problems or often both: they should be treated by those that are prepared for the students. Papers provided by the family clearly shows a lack of proper record keeping by the school officials, the committee that met to decide the outcome of student that was absent by documented appointments necessary and if the school acted appropriately. The committee did meet and as of 6/9/2015 at 9pm EST she is to repeat the third grade. Not only did the child pass each of her courses, but she also passed the STARR test required by Texas Law.
Today I placed calls school, the schools Superintendent Keith Sharnhors, and the Texas Education Agency(TEA). Sharnhors did return my call. He did formally state the district does follow the TEA Attendance Policy. The TEA provided me with some knowledge of requirements regarding their policies.
Under §25.087(b)(2), a school district must excuse a temporary absence for the purpose of an appointment with a health care professional for the student or the student's child if the student comes to school the day of the appointment, either before or after the appointment. With the loss of recess and an early start of 6:50 am, how much does the kid need to suffer? At the end of the day a child takes on failure neither because of her effort nor her grades, rather because she required doctor’s care. Morally it is reprehensible and legally wrong.
I wonder if they realize what their children do and here in the small town of Clyde. They have elected officials that are not playing by the rules. Maybe in the next election different people may run and make things right.
I do want to personally thank Ms. Lauren Callahan for her time and assistance. I also wanted to thank Superintendent Keith Sharnhors for returning my call. I do appreciate it is a tough situation for anyone dedicated to educate the next generation.
References: Student Handbook of 2014-2015 released by Clyde CISD
To the Administrator Addressed letter released by TEA