FAQ about attendance for staff and community

  • If a student hands me a note about an absence, what should I do?
    If possible have the student go directly to the office to hand the note in. In the AIP office we are receiving hundreds of calls from parents stating that they are sending notes with their children and are confused why they are still receiving truancy letters. The AIP team is now encouraging parents to communicate with the school via telephone or in person instead.

    What is ADA?
    ADA = Average Daily Attendance. For each unit of ADA calculated, the district receives an apportionment amount from the State. Approximately 90 percent of our school district general purpose revenue is derived from student attendance.
    ADA is computed by taking the number of days the student actually attended and dividing it by the number of school days for the P2 reporting period (approximately a 9 month period beginning the first day of school).

    If the absences are excused does the school still receive ADA?
    The school district no longer receives funding when students miss school for an illness or doctor verified absence (excusable absence).
    Excused absence or unexcused absence (truancy) = no funding.

    If I provide homework packets for a student who will be missing several days of school, will the absence be excused?
    No. If the student will be missing school for a reason such as a vacation, it will still be coded as an unexcused absence even if you provide work for the family to take home. However, if the family knows two weeks in advance that they will miss 5 or more days, they may request to have an independent study contract from the vice principal or principal.
    If the independent study is granted and the student turns in all the homework packets for each day, all of the days will be coded as excused and the school days will contribute to ADA. ADA credit will not be given unless assigned and dated agreement is in effect on or before the days of absence.

    Requests to accommodate a short term absence are made on an individual basis by the vice principal or principal.
     
    What is chronic absenteeism?
    Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more of the school year regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused.
    For a 180 day school year that would equal 18 school days.

    What can I do if a student isn’t coming to school?
    A: Teachers should report any chronic absenteeism concerns with the V.P., Principal or Counselor, depending on who addresses the attendance issues at your school site. They will either hold a Truancy Conference at the school or refer to the Attendance Improvement Program.
    What happens if a family has been referred to SARB, and the student continues to be truant? If you are concerned about a violation of SARB directives please contact the AIP/SARB office.
    In the cases where none of the requirements apply, please continue to come up with creative ways to engage these students and provide incentive for positive attendance. The AIP/SARB office may be contacted to follow-up with the family in regards to the resources that the family was provided with.
     
    What is the policy for dropping a truant student?
    After 10 school days you may send the "15-day drop letter." On the 15th day, if there is no communication from the family and it is suspected they have moved out of the school boundaries, you may disenroll the student.
     
    When should I advise a family obtain a Chronic Illness Form?
    If you notice that the student is missing school at least 1-2 times per month for a serious health condition, the Chronic Illness Form may be of support to the family.

    What are TRU letters and when are they sent?
    The school district is required by law to mail out written notification of truancies.

    TRU 1: is sent with the student has 3 full or partial days of unexcused absences (codes C, X, Y), including tardies over 30 minutes (codes B).

    TRU 2: is sent with the student has 6 full or partial days of unexcused absences (codes C, X, Y), including tardies over 30 minutes (codes B).

    TRU 3: is sent with the student has 9 full or partial days of unexcused absences (codes C, X, Y), including tardies over 30 minutes (codes B).

    Other attendance letters the parent may receive (these are not truancy letters):
    Child Welfare and Attendance Letter (CWA) is a broad warning to the parent/guardian that their child has had many illnesses. The CWA letter is sent when parents have used all 10 illness parent verified (E) days.
     
    When can I refer a family to SARB?
    After the student (ages 6-18) qualifies for a TRU 3 letter (received 9 or more truancies) within the current school year and a school-site intervention has occurred or been attempted. Ed Code 48262 requires a "conscientious effort" to hold a parent conference, either in person or by telephone. If a parent does not show for a conference or has not responded to phone messages, the standard required by law has been met.

    Are tardies considered truancy?
    There are three different kinds of tardies:
    T-tardy: is coded when students are less than 30 mins late. T-tardys are not considered to be truancy.
    B-tardy: is coded when students are more than 30 mins late. B-tardys are considered to be truancy
    L-tardy: is coded when a student is late for an excusable reason determined by California State Law. It is an excusable tardy.
    Examples:
    The student had a doctor’s appointment, they were sick but now feeling better, the bus was late etc.
    L-tardys are not to be coded for unexcused reasons such as: the car broke down, family emergency, the parent was sick, etc. (whether the parent reported why they were tardy or not, it does not mean it is an excusable reason by law).

    Will there still be SARB conferences?
    Yes, the AIP/SARB Team will continue to support the schools with the highest level of intervention at the school district level.
     
    What kind of support can my school expect from AIP?
    The Attendance Improvement Program’s school community workers and intervention specialist work directly with students and their families and collaborate with schools sites to increase daily attendance and encourage student engagement. In partnership with the student’s school, AIP provides information, resources, and referral to families, empowering them to achieve consistent school attendance, support their student’s academic success, and improve the family-school connection.
     
    Our program’s philosophy is Keeping Students Connected. •family support •home visits •parent education •attendance record reviews •advocacy •referrals to community resources
    •promotion of positive communication between school and home •assistance with health care concerns •school consults •truancy presentations

    What is the head lice policy?
    Three (3) consecutive school days may be granted as excused absences for a student with lice. Weekends are not factored into the count of days for coding excused absences. A one-time extension may be granted by an administrator for a first-time case and with regular communication between the parent and school. These absences would be coded as V for staff verified and will not count toward the student's 10 illness parent verified (E) days. Future absences due to lice for this student would be coded as unexcused.

    Board Policy 5000/AR 5141.33: Excluded students may return to school when recommended treatment procedures have been used and when re-examination by the school designee shows that all pest and the majority of nits have been removed.
     
     
    What is a realistic attendance goal for my school?
    An overall attendance percentage rate increase by 1 percent for the next three school years – which will ultimately align with the superintendent’s goal of 98 percent for each school.

    Why is the AIP staff targeting their work with first-, sixth-, seventh- and ninth-graders at the beginning of the school year?
    Specific universal focus will be given to first-grade, seventh-grade and ninth-grade students. All are considered significant transition years for students. First-graders are a focus because they are in their first year under the compulsory attendance laws. Seventh and ninth graders are a focus because these are significant transition years into new instructional settings and high risk students have a greater probability of success if they are connected to their school. These transitional students who received a Truancy Letter 3 in the previous school year will be identified for an intervention by the AIP staff.
Last Modified on February 14, 2018