HABITS OF GOOD ATTENDANCE
What is the difference between an excused and an unexcused absence? Under state law, an absence is considered “excused” only for these reasons: 1. student illness 2. death in the student’s immediate family (one day is excused if funeral is conducted in California, and three days are excused if service is conducted outside California) 3. for purpose of having medical, dental, vision or chiropractic services rendered 4. observation of a religious holiday or ceremony 5. court appearance (documentation must be provided and have the student’s name on it)
All other reasons for absences are considered inexcusable by California state law. If you have a special circumstance and are unsure whether it will be excused, please talk to your school’s principal for clarification.
My student is sick. Shouldn’t my child stay home? The health and safety of our students is the highest priority. If your child has a fever, is vomiting or has other severe symptoms, your child is too sick to come to school. Parents are allowed to excuse up to 10 days without verification of illness from a medical professional. If you bring your child to see a doctor, make sure to obtain a doctor’s note stating the date seen, any additional days they recommend your child stay home and the diagnosis. Upon your child’s return to school, provide the documentation to the front office (not to teachers), and these absences will be recorded as verified and will not take away from the 10 parent-verified days.
What about a family emergency? If the car breaks down, or there’s a relative in the hospital, is that an excused absence? According to state law, family emergencies are not considered excusable absences.
Transportation is an issue for my family. What can I do? Regional Transit bus passes are available at our San Juan Central enrollment facility. Some San Juan Unified schools have established safe-walking clubs and similar initiatives to assist children and families who walk to and from school. To find out whether your school has started such an initiative, or to find out how you can start your own, talk to your school principal.
Reporting Absences If a student will be absent or tardy, parents or guardians should call the school attendance number before school begins that day. Communication must include the following: notification date, student's full name, teacher's name(s), grade, date(s) of absence, reason for absence, and name and relationship of person notifying the school. Absences not cleared within five school days will be recorded as a "cut" truancy.
What is chronic absenteeism? Chronic absenteeism is defined as a student who misses 10 percent or more of a school year for any reason. But you don’t have to reach that level to raise red flags. Students absent without a valid excuse for three full or partial days in one school year, or who are tardy more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse on three occasions in a school year, are considered truants under state law.