Whenever your child is absent from school for a partial or full day, please call our office at 619-283-5924, preferably between the hours of 8-8:40 a.m., or as early in the day as possible. This will save us from disturbing you later at work or at home. When leaving a message, we require the following information:
- the date of absence,
- the student’s full name,
- the parent/guardian’s full name,
- reason for the absence
- and phone number where you can be reached if further verification is necessary.
Send a note the day before if you know your child will be absent, or send a note with your child when he/she returns to school if the absence has not been cleared. The school cannot accept a phone call from the student. A parent or responsible adult listed on the enrollment card must clear all student absences.
One of the most important factors impacting learning is regular attendance at school. Parents can be of great assistance by monitoring their student attendance, being sure that he/she attends school unless an illness arises. Please, do not schedule daily trips or vacations during school days. Even though your child may be an excellent student, such absences have an adverse effect on his/her school experience. If it is not possible for you to schedule a family trip during a school vacation, please see heading titled Contract for Independent Study below.
Please try to schedule all personal and medical appointments after school hours. The school district has several days available for scheduling appointments – holidays and minimum days. Personal appointments are unexcused. The only absences that are excused as mandated by the state of California are: illness, medical appointments, bereavement, Study Contracts (if complete), and family emergencies.
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.
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.
Contract for Independent Study – 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, parents must notify the school a minimum of one week in advance to 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 without approval from the IEP team.