Attendance Information

kids in classroom raising handsSchool attendance is required by law (CA Ed Code 48200). Parents/guardians of children between the ages of six and eighteen years-of-age are responsible for sending their children to school every day and on time. When students attend class regularly and on time, opportunities for successful learning increase; consequently, the importance of regular on-time attendance cannot be overemphasized.


Chronic Absence

Recently, there has been a growing interest regarding attendance data and the impact this has on student success. Now as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, Section 111(h)(1)(C)(viii)), districts are required to submit chronic absenteeism data through the California Department of Education’s California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). Students are identified as chronically absent when they have missed 10% or more days for both excused and unexcused absences in relation to the total days enrolled for any given school year.

In an effort to partner with parent(s)/guardian(s) regarding chronically absent students, schools may request information as to why students are missing so many days of excused and/or unexcused absences. School nurses may ask parent(s)/guardian(s) to sign a release of information for the students’ attending physician in an effort to best support the students’ medical needs at school to the extent possible.

Additionally, parent(s)/guardian(s) and students may be placed on a Student Attendance Review Team (SART) contract as a means of intervention to support positive attendance.

If attendance continues to be irregular, the student may be referred to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB). See “Truancy” information below.

Truancy

In accordance with the California Department of Education, the school is mandated to notify a student’s parent/guardian if that student’s attendance record shows any combination of the following:

  • Three unexcused absences
  • Three unexcused tardies (each over thirty minutes)
  • Three unexcused early dismissals without valid excuse (each more than 30-minutes)

According to California Education Code 48260, the student must legally be classified as truant if the attendance record reflects three or more unexcused absences/tardies/early dismissals as described. The parent/guardian receives notification of their student’s truancy status by letter. This formal communication includes language required by code. Should the student accrue additional unexcused absences/tardies/early dismissals, subsequent notification will be sent. It is important for the parent/guardian to contact the school as soon as possible upon receipt of a truancy letter to discuss attendance concerns.

If poor attendance continues to be a concern, the principal may refer the student to the District’s School Attendance Review Board (SARB). The SARB panel, made up of district staff and representatives from community agencies, addresses the needs of students with irregular attendance and/or behavior problems that could not be resolved at the school level. Both the student and the parent(s)/guardian(s) are required to attend SARB meetings. Every effort is made to resolve the attendance and/or behavior issues at the SARB meeting in order to avoid possible referral to District Attorney Mediation and/or juvenile court.

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