A Basic Right and a Legal Duty
Attending school between the ages of 6 and 18 is not only a basic right of every person, but also a legal obligation. By law, parents are responsible for their children being in school every day during the school year. Compulsory school attendance laws provide all children of certain ages with the benefits of regular schooling, with certain exceptions:
- Exemptions: Children may be exempted from attending school, at the request of their parents, for various extenuating circumstances defined by state law. (Ed. Code 48410)
- Exclusion: The Board of Education can exclude from school attendance children with "filthy or vicious" habits, those suffering from infectious or contagious diseases and those affected by physical or mental conditions inimical to the welfare of other children. (Ed. Code 48211 and 48212)
Research shows a high correlation between regular attendance and positive academic achievement. We expect all students to be in school every day on time, and to attend all scheduled classes and the required activities. It is extremely important that parents send a note of excuse whenever their child is absent from school. Failure to do so will not only cause an unexcused absence, but will also affect the student's grades. The note of excuse should include the following:
- Name of the student
- Date(s) of the absence
- Reason for the absence
- Signature of the parent or guardian
Excused absences are those due to: Student’s illness, medical, optical or dental appointments, funeral of immediate family members, religious holidays and mandatory court appearances. Students will have the opportunity to make up work missed for all excused absences. Excessive excused absences may require written verification by a medical doctor.
What Absences Are Excused
A pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:
- Due to his or her illness.
- Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.
- For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometrist, or chiropractic services rendered.
- For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of his or her immediate family, so long as the absence is not more than one day if the service is conducted in California and not more than three days if the service is conducted outside California.
- For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by law.
- Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent.
- For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion, attendance at religious retreats, or attendance at an employment conference, when the pupil's absence has been requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board.
- For purposes of this section, attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.
Make-up Work After Student Absence
Education Code 48205. Pupils absent from school for any excusable reason shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests. The test and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the test and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence. Education Code 48913. The teacher of any class from which a pupil is suspended may require the suspended pupil to complete any assignments and tests missed during the suspension. However, teachers are not required to provide make-up work to suspended students.
School Attendance Review Board (SARB)
Students who are truant or whose attendance is irregular shall be referred to the district School Attendance Review Board (SARB) for appropriate action.