Students are required to be in regular attendance at school. All children are to be in their classrooms at 7:45 a.m. A student is considered tardy if he/she arrives after the bell rings. If a child is habitually tardy, he/she will make up the same after school. A student is considered truant if he/she is tardy more than 30 minutes. Parent contacts are made for those students with excessive unexcused absences and tardies.

When a child is absent because of illness or for any other reason, parents/guardians are asked to inform the school by emailing our Attendance Assistant, Stephanie Palacios at spalacios or calling (619-605-4700, ext 3022) the cause of the child's absence or send a note to the teacher the first day the child returns to school. In the case of illness, the nature of the illness must be stated. State law requires that we know the type of illness.

If you know in advance that your child/children will be out of school for personal business, please contact the school and make arrangements for an Independent Study Contract. This enables students to keep up with their classmates and prevents them from falling behind in their work while they are out. It also provides uninterrupted funding for the site and school district. The reason for verification is that the district is penalized financially ($27.00) per day for each student who is not physically present or on an Independent Study Contract. (See below for more information.)

Daily Attendance Matters

Students are expected to attend school every day. Children who miss school miss out on opportunities to learn, build lasting friendships, and 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 Calculating ADA page.

Student Attendance Laws

All children between 6 and 18 years of age 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

The only absences that are excused as mandated by the State of California are those due to illness, medical or dental appointments, funeral services and bereavement, court appearances, family emergencies, Independent Study Contracts (if completed), 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.

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 and make arrangements for a short-term Contract for Independent Study (CIS) for the absence period. Academic assignments will then be given to the student to complete during the absence. When the student returns and turns in the successfully completed assignments, he/she will be given credit for the missed days. For attendance purposes, they 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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