The Bastrop ISD school board approved low attendance waiver requests for three days, including the solar eclipse on April 8. If approved, the days of low attendance will not count against the district’s daily average attendance—which is used to determine state funding allocated to Texas districts.

Low attendance waivers allow schools to exclude days due to weather-, safety- or health-related issues. Days such as "senior skip day" do not qualify for the waiver, officials said.

“It basically holds us harmless on those days, and we don't take a hit on those low attendance days,” said Chris Tawater, BISD's director of public information management system and data quality.


The district can waive a maximum of 4,200 approved minutes each academic year.

To qualify for the waiver, schools must see attendance 10 percentage points lower than the average attendance the previous year.

The specifics

Attendance across the district was 54.9% on the day of the eclipse, 37 percentage points lower than this year’s average. The BISD school board approved a waiver request for Red Rock Elementary, Cedar Creek Intermediate and Cedar Creek Middle schools on Jan. 17. These campuses had low attendance rates due to inclement weather.

A request to waive April 29 attendance at Bastrop Intermediate School was also approved. Following a safety threat to the school, it saw an attendance rate of 60.9% compared to last year's rate of 94.2%, “well within that threshold of qualifying for that low attendance waiver,” Tawater said.