School attendance is compulsory under state law. Regular attendance is essential to a child’s learning. Please call our absence voice mail or email on the first day of a child’s absence (537-1832, push “1”) or firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have not already contacted us by phone, you need to send us a note explaining the absence on the day your child returns to school. We are funded by the state on the basis of each child’s attendance and only accrue funding on the day s/he is here. Students are only excused for the following reasons: illness, medical/dental appointment, or death or funeral of an immediate family member. All other reasons are denoted as unexcused. Please avoid absences as much as possible. Contact your child’s teacher, in advance, for an independent study contract (for five (5) consecutive days or more) in case of unavoidable absences.
According to Education Code 48260, any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, is a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor. Any student who is absent from school without a valid excuse for ten percent or more of the school days in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date, is deemed a chronic truant.
Truancy Interventions (unexcused absences)
- 3 absences - 1st Truancy Letter - serves as a reminder to the parent/guardian to address the student’s attendance issues and to avoid possible future truancy. (Student/parent conference may be required at middle and high school)
- Truancy issues may lead to ineligibility for extracurricular activities i.e. dances, sporting events, field trips, and proms.
- 6 absences - 2nd Truancy Letter - Student Attendance Review Team (SART) Meeting with the Principal or Assistant Principal, Counselor, Parent, and Student (Attendance Contract)
- 9 absences - 3rd Truancy Letter - Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) Meeting at the District Office. This is a truancy mediation program mediated by the county's district attorney or probation officer, and/or a juvenile court. Also in attendance are the Student Resource Officer (SRO), District Personnel, School Administrator, Parent, and Student.
- Excessive excused absences – after 11 excused absences for illness, a doctor’s note is required for every subsequent absence. When there is no doctor’s note, the absence becomes unexcused and truancy letters will be generated.
Independent Study Contracts
In order to maximize student achievement and social/emotional growth and in accordance with California Education Code, it is expected that students will attend school every day. However, family situations do arise which necessitate emergency travel. When these rare situations arise, families may arrange a Short Term Independent Study Contract with the school. These contracts are appropriate for unavoidable emergency absence of no fewer than 5 consecutive school days. Independent study for family vacations or leisure travel that can occur during schools breaks is strongly discouraged, since independent study cannot replicate the classroom instructional experience.
A completed Short Term Independent Study Contract must be submitted to the main office or attendance office, signed by a parent/guardian 10 school days prior to the absence (depending upon school site requirements). The contract must include the dates of absences, return to school date, and reason for the request. The absence duration should be as brief as possible, as absences of more than a few days will negatively impact student learning. All requests must be approved by site administration. Parents should pick up all assigned work on the last day of attendance prior to the trip. Once the student returns to school, all completed work must be turned into the House Office or Attendance Office before the student returns to class. If the student does not complete all assigned work, future requests may be denied. Independent Study contracts at the end of the school year must be completed no later than fifteen school days prior to the last day of school. Independent Study contracts cannot be established during the first 10 days of the school year.
Note: If a student on an IEP is requesting a Short Term Independent Study Contract, the Program Specialist must be notified immediately so that appropriate IEP documentation can be determined.
Tardy students must report to the office for a tardy slip before reporting to class. Parents will be contacted in the case of excessive tardies. With our youngest children, we find that tardiness is often the fault of the parent, not the child. We urge all parents to strive for promptness so that each child may start off his/her day at school on a positive note.