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Attendance

Daily Attendance Matters

Students are expected to attend school every day. Children who miss school also miss opportunities to learn, to build lasting friendships, and to develop the skills and attitudes needed to become good citizens and valued employees. There is a clear connection between student attendance and student performance in school. This is especially true for English learners in terms of their gains on the English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics portions of the California Standards Tests (CST).

Student absences also affect school budgets. Schools and school districts get a significant amount of their funding based upon the number of students who actually attend school each day. This is called Average Daily Attendance (ADA). Potential losses in ADA revenue affect all students because they can lead to budget cuts affecting a variety of programs, as well as individual schools. To learn more, visit the district's Attendance Matters page.

Student Attendance Laws

All children 6-18 years old are required by California's Education Code to attend school, and their parents have a legal responsibility to ensure their child's attendance. The law also states that a student's refusal to attend school regularly can result in referral to the community-based School Attendance Review Board (SARB) , Juvenile Probation or the Juvenile Court System. Additionally, parents who fail to compel their child's attendance may face criminal prosecution and penalties.

Excused/Unexcused Absences

As mandated by the state of California, absences are excused only when due to illness, medical or dental appointments, funeral services and bereavement, court appearances, family emergencies, Independent Study Contracts (if completed; see below), or religious holidays or ceremonies.

Unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, those due to oversleeping, transportation issues, going on vacation or similar situations.

For guidance on when to keep your child home from school due to illness, see the Student Health page.

Truancies

Students are considered truant if one or more of the following occurs:

  • The student is absent from school without a valid excuse for three or more days.
  • The student is tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three or more occasions. This includes leaving school early without approval.

Habitual truancy may be reported to SARB. Your support in sending your child to school on time every day is greatly appreciated.

Please note the "warning" bell rings at 7:58 a.m., and the "enter classrooms" bell rings at 8 a.m. See the Daily Schedule for more information.

If Your Child Must Be Absent

Planned Absence in Excess of Five Days

If your child will be absent from school for five or more days, please contact the school office at least one week ahead to make arrangements for a short-term Contract for Independent Study (CIS). Academic assignments will then be given to the student to complete during the absence. When the student returns and submits successfully the completed assignments, s/he will be given credit for the missed days. For attendance purposes, these will not be considered unexcused absences. Without the contract, however, the absence would be unexcused.

Independent study contracts are not available for students receiving special education support.

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