Frequently Asked Questions- Attendance

What do I have to do if my child is going to be absent from school?

Please email the attendance office at [email protected]. You must leave your student's name, the reason for the absence, the date of the absence and your name to verify that it was a parent/guardian verifying the absence.  

What does it mean to "verify" my student's absence?

When a student is absent, a parent/guardian is required to call or email the attendance office in order to validate the reason for the student's absence.  This process is called "Absence verification".

What happens after I have emailed about my student's absence?

The attendance office will then mark your student's attendance record with an "Excused" or "Unexcused" absence according to the Education Code and District policies.

What happens if I forget to call regarding my student's absence on the day of their absence?

Each absence from school must be reported to the Attendance Office by a parent/guardian within 72 hours, as required by California State law.  All unverified absences are considered unexcused and will be marked as truancies until we hear from a parent/guardian.

What is considered an excused absence?

By law [Ed. Code 48205], excused absences are:

Illness (for a fever 100 degrees or more, your child must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school)
Medical and dental appointments
Death in the family
Specific religious reasons
Required appearance in court

How many excused absences can my student have in one school year?

While we know students do become ill and are unable to attend school, the average number of days missed due to illness is three (3) per school year.

What if my student's absences do not fall under any of the excused absences categories?

State law [Ed. Code 48260-48273] is very specific about these types of absences.  A student who is absent from school for reasons other than those listed above will be marked "unexcused" for the day.  These types of absences are considered "truancies" after three (3) unexcused absences.

I thought "truancy" indicated that a student skipped/ditched school.  Why would my student be considered "truant" if I called to verify the absence?

In accordance with Educational Code of the State of California [Ed. Code 48260-48273], any student who is absent from school for three (3) days or more without a valid excuse, or tardy in excess of 30 minutes or more without a valid excuse is "truant". Tardies are only excused by parent/guardian verification for illness, medical note for appointments.

What about coming in late (tardy) or leaving early for an appointment?

A student that is late to school in excess of 30 minutes during a school day, must be accompanied into the Check-in Station by a parent/guardian, a doctor's note, or a parent may leave a message on the attendance voicemail line or email stating the reason for the tardiness.  Without a valid reason, the student is considered "truant".  

What can I do if my student needs to be out of school for a length of time?

If your student must go out of town for 3-14 days, you may request a Short-term Independent Study Agreement.  Please contact the attendance office at least 5 business days prior to the planned time out.  This will allow time for the agreement to be completed/signed by all of your student's teachers, as well as the student and parent/guardian. 

Why is attendance so important?

Regular attendance is vital to a student's success in school.  A student misses social interaction and direct instruction from their teachers, even though written work can be made up.  Any day or hour absent is a missed learning opportunity.  Attendance is a key predictor of a student's future success in school and future work endeavors. 

Does the school receive funds when a student is absent?

Schools do not receive funding, including for excused reason such as illness.  This law went into effect in 1998.  Any absence is a loss of revenue as well as instructional opportunities for the student.

How  do schools/districts receive revenue for attendance?

The State of California funds attendance, not absences.  That is why schools in California are funded on Average Daily Attendance (ADA).  ADA is the primary funding source for all schools/school districts in California.

If my student is absent, how can they make up missed homework?

Please have your student communicate with their teachers regarding how to make up missed work.  In addition, teachers post assignments to their websites or Google Classroom.

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