Helping Students 

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Providing public education for over 100 years, Brownsville Independent School District (ISD) has a rich history of excellence.

Every Brownsville ISD high school student can graduate with up to two years of college credit resulting in an associate degree — or enter the workforce with an industry-based certification. Military readiness programs give another option for students considering the military after graduation.

Over the years, the amount of scholarship dollars granted to graduating seniors from Brownsville ISD has totaled millions.

Students can best take advantage of the programs offered through Brownsville ISD by committing to excellent school attendance. However, special circumstances may create absences that prevent students from achieving the required instructional time.

As per the Texas Education Agency (TEA), students must be in attendance 90 percent of the time. Students with less than 90 percent attendance are subject to loss of credit in the course(s) where excessive absences have occurred. Even if a student passes the course, credit loss may occur if their absences exceed the limit.

Pupil Services is an essential department of Brownsville ISD, ensuring the academic success of each child through increased student attendance.

According to the Director of Pupil Services, Randy Park, “Curriculum is the heart of the school, but attendance is the blood that flows through [it].”

Park, who has been the Director of Pupil Services for the past 10 years, spoke about the importance of The Optional Flexible School Day Program (OFSDP).

“[The program] allows kids who have lost credit due to excessive absences to regain the lost instruction, [and] to regain the credit,” he said.

OFSDP provides students an instructional period on a Saturday and/or before or after school Monday through Thursday to make up credit. Students may opt for OFSDP summer sessions as well.

“Some campuses have it two days a week, and then on Saturday. Some campuses have it just on Saturday. [The schedule] is left up to campus administration,” Park said.

Along with an opportunity to regain credit, students make up their attendance records.

For every four hours (240 minutes) of time committed to the OFSDP, students can regain one full day of attendance.

“[Students] need to be in school, but [The Optional Flexible School Day Program] affords an option for those [with special] circumstances by giving them a flexible schedule,” Park said.

According to Park, the best way for parents to get involved in student attendance is to monitor their child(ren) closely.

Attendance limits for students are as follows:

  • Elementary students: 18 days of absences per year
  • Middle School students: eight days of absences first semester; 10 days of absences second semester
  • Early College High School students: eight days of absences first semester; 10 days of absences second semester.

All districts in Texas must excuse absences for the following reasons:

  • Religious Holy Days
  • Court Appearances
  • Citizenship Proceedings
  • Election Clerks
  • Health Care Appointments
  • Campus Visits
  • Military
  • Military Enlistment
  • Obtaining a Driver’s License or Learner Permit

To best communicate with parents and families, The Brownsville Herald publishes helpful information and legal issues regarding student attendance.

Parents and students interested in participating in The Optional Flexible School Day Program should contact their campus administration. Information such as the district calendar, attendance guidelines, and the pupil services department page can be found on bisd.us.

Jillian Cameron