Every minute counts during a school day and regular and punctual attendance in school is essential to a student’s success. Absence from school is one of the greatest contributing factors to unsatisfactory schoolwork. Pupils are required by law and Education Code 48260 to attend school punctually and regularly: Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education who is absent from school without valid excuse three days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without valid excuse on three occasions in one school year is considered truant and may be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district. It is the legal responsibility of parents or guardians to see that their school-aged children attend school every day for the entire day, unless they have a valid excuse. Under the law, a child may be legally excused from attending school or for being tardy only for the following reasons: 1) illness, 2) medical or dental appointment for the student only, 3) death in the family, and 4) religious observance. All other absences are unexcused.
Regular attendance at school is important for every scholar for the following reasons:
- Students need to be in class to learn and develop social relationships with peers and adults.
- The teaching-learning process builds on lessons previously taught.
- Lessons often involve hands-on activities which cannot be duplicated with paper and pencil assignments outside of class.
- Scholars develop the habits of good attendance and punctuality for future careers.
- School funding is dependent on scholar attendance.
The State of California has a compulsory education law. This law states that scholars are required to attend school punctually and regularly.
- Excused Absence: Absence for causes listed in the State Educational Code are: illness, medical, dental, and optometry appointments. For any type of doctor’s appointment, please bring a doctor’s note. Students that have a morning or afternoon doctor appointment are required to come to school for the portion of the day that the scholar is not at the doctor’s office. (Example: Scholars that have morning appointments must come to school after the appointment, and scholars having afternoon appointments, must come to school for the morning).
***Per TUSD Board Policy BP-5113-R, if a child has more than 10 excused absences, the office will require a doctor's note to excuse an absence.
- Unexcused Absence: Absences for any reason other than those listed above (includes family vacations and athletic events). Truancy that is intentional is a violation of state attendance laws. These absences, regardless of advanced notice, will trigger attendance violation letters after the third unexcused absence. The purpose of the letter is to keep parents informed of the State of California compulsory education law.
- Emergency Trips: Students may be placed on an “Independent Study” when it is necessary for them to be away from school because of emergency trips. In order to meet your child’s educational needs, contact the school office at least ten days prior to absence for approval. This will allow for teachers time to adequately prepare lessons for your child’s Independent Study. Independent Study is valid for not less than 5 consecutive school days at a time, and no more than 10 total days in a school year. Work is provided the last day of attendance and due the day the child returns to school. Actual attendance credit is determined once completed work is received by the school. PLEASE NOTE: Independent Studies will not be authorized the last two (2) weeks of the school year.
- Reporting Absences: Parents must send a note, e-mail, or call the school office to report your child’s absence. The note should include the date(s) absence and reason for the scholar’s absence. Parents must report an absence within 3-5 days by reporting the child’s name, grade, reason for the absence and your relationship to the child, one of the following ways:
- Call the school office: 714-730-7536
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send a written note to school
- Tardies: Scholars arriving late to school or leaving school early 30 minutes and/or more will be considered truant if there is not a medical reason (see excused absences). Scholars arriving late to school 30 minutes or more must be signed in by a parent. Students leaving school more than 30 minutes prior to dismissal time (if not a medical reason), qualifies as an unexcused tardy.
CONSEQUENCES FOR TRUANCY OR ABSENCE: On the student’s first day back to school after an absence, the student must bring a signed written note from his/her parent/guardian which lists the date of absence and specific reason for the absence. In lieu of a written note, a parent/guardian may call the school office or e-mail the school secretary.
After 3 unexcused absences -----> Truancy letter will be sent home
After 6 unexcused absences -----> 2nd Truancy letter will be sent home & Request for parent conference
After 9 unexcused absences-----> 3rd Truancy letter will be sent home & Possible SARB referral
Scholars who have excessive absences/tardies may be referred to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB).
Please remember that consistent attendance (including being on time to school) is critically important to your child’s education. Please refrain from scheduling vacations while school is in session.
EARLY RELEASE OF STUDENTS: If a student needs to leave school early for any reason, a parent/guardian must come to the office and sign the student out. Removing children from school early is disruptive to the academic environment and to the learning of all the children in the class. Early release for a medical or dental appointment is excused as long as a note from the doctor or dentist is provided. Only adults who are listed on the child’s emergency card will be allowed to sign out a student.