The Governing Board believes that regular attendance plays an important role in student achievement. The Board shall work with parents/guardians and students to ensure their compliance with all state attendance laws, and may use appropriate legal means to correct problems of chronic absence or truancy.
(cf. 5112.1 - Exemptions from Attendance)
(cf. 5112.2 - Exclusions from Attendance)
(cf. 5113.1 - Chronic Absence and Truancy)
Tips for Parents
Help Your Child Succeed in School by building the habit of good attendance early. School success goes hand in hand with good attendance! The following are some tips for parents:
- Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
- Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
- Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required shots.
- Introduce your child to her teachers and classmates before school starts to help her transition.
- Don’t let your child stay home unless she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
- If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make her feel comfortable and excited about learning.
- Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
- Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
Key Terms and Definitions
Chronic absence means your child has missed 10% or more of the school year for any reason to date or 10 days of school! Students who are chronically absent demonstrate lower academic achievement levels than their classmates who attend school every day.
Excused and Unexcused Absences
When your child is absent, you have two school days to excuse the absence. After five days, the absence becomes an unexcused absence. If your child is too ill to attend school, be sure to call your child’s school every day of the absence.
With permission of the teacher and principal, a child may do short-term independent study for 5-15 days during the school year. A contract must be signed in advance.
Due Process Disciplinary action will be preceded by an investigation, a conference between the principal and student, in which the student shall be informed of the reason for the suspension, the evidence against him, and be given the opportunity to present his or her defense. Parent/Guardian will be notified via their school administrator of any expulsion or suspension offenses involving their children.
(BP 5144.1-Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)
(AR 5144.1-Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)
Attendance Frequently Asked Questions
What is required for an excused absence?
A written statement or phone call from a parent/guardian is required for:
Death in the immediate family
Medical/dental appointments for student
Advance written request is required from parent or guardian for:
Who is referred to SARB?
A: Families whose student exhibits irregular school attendance which has not been resolved by interventions or home contact, and/or students whose serious behavior problems have not been resolved by school efforts.
What does SARB do for children and families?
A: Recommend changes in the student’s program.
- Direct the student and/or family to counseling.
- Secure resources for parent education and/or child care.
- Arrange for tutoring when needed.
- Facilitate transfer to a different school when necessary.
- Link families to community resources.
Can special education students be referred?
A: Yes. The IEP Team must determine that attendance is not part of the student’s disability and that it is an appropriate referral. The IEP must be current.
What can I do to improve my child’s attendance?
A: Make your child’s attendance in school a top priority! If your child is sick and is running a fever, they must stay home. Make doctor’s or dentist appointments outside the school day, if possible. Make plans for trips or vacations during regular school breaks, holidays, and vacations.
Why do I have to report my child’s absence?
A: The Education Code of the State of California requires attendance in school under compulsory attendance laws. “Each person between the ages of 6 and 18 is subject to compulsory full-time education.” (EC 48200). If you report your child’s absence within a reasonable amount of time, your child will be given the opportunity to complete assignments and tests given during the period of absence.
Can a kindergarten student be cited for truancy?
A: Yes, if the student is age six (6) or above. Only students of compulsory school age can be cited for truancy and compulsory school age begins at age six (6).
Can siblings be referred to SARB at the same time?
A: Yes, but separate referrals must be made. It is an opportunity to address the needs of the family because school attendance is frequently a family problem.
What are the responsibilities of school personnel when they discover that a child is unable to attend school due to the lack of necessary food and/or clothing?
A: Whenever school personnel charged with overseeing attendance discovers that any child of compulsory school age is unable to attend school due to the lack of necessary clothing or food, the case must be reported to an Administrator or Child, Welfare, and Attendance Office.
What if my child refuses to attend school?
A: Consider the following:
- Whether your child is afraid to attend school or is being bullied
- Whether your child is progressing normally in an academic setting or could use tutoring or an alternative setting to learn
- Whether medical, mental, or emotional issues are preventing your child from being able to attend school
- Whether your child’s behavior suggests he/she is abusing drugs or alcohol or even using tobacco
What happens if my child misses school due to a family trip?
A: Taking your child out of town for any reason that is not approved in advance by the principal is considered an unexcused absence and truancy procedures will be followed.
A Helpful Link Regarding Attendance: http://www.attendanceworks.org/