Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a child who, at the time a leave of absence is to begin, will be between the ages of 16 and 18, inclusive, may take a leave of absence from compulsory continuation education classes or, if exempted pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 48410, from the school that the child attends, for a period of up to two semesters, if all the following conditions are satisfied:
(a) The school district governing board adopts a written policy to allow student leaves of absence consistent with this section.
(b) The purpose of the leave is supervised travel, study, training, or work not available to the student under another education option.
(c) A written agreement is entered into that is signed by the child, the child's parent or guardian, the principal or administrative officer of the school that the child would otherwise attend, a classroom teacher familiar with the child's academic progress selected by the child, and the district supervisor of child welfare and attendance, and that provides for all of the following:
(1) The purpose of the leave.
(2) The length of time the child will be on leave.
(3) A meeting between or contact with the child and a school official designated in the agreement at least once a month while the child is on leave.
(4) A statement incorporating the provisions contained in subdivision (b).
(d) The child shall be entitled to return to school at any time. No child who takes a leave of absence shall be penalized from completing his or her academic requirements within a time period equal to that of classmates who did not take a leave of absence, plus a period of time equal to the leave of absence. However, when a child reenrolls at any time other than the beginning of a semester, the school shall not be required to give makeup sessions during that semester for the classes that the child has missed.
(e) A leave of absence may be extended for an additional semester upon approval by all parties to the written agreement and the local school attendance review board.
(f) No leave of absence may be taken that would continue past the end of the school year in which the leave is taken.
(g) If the student does not contact the designated school official as stipulated in the written agreement, the leave of absence shall be nullified.
Any party to the written agreement may nullify the written agreement for cause at any time.
(h) No more than 1 percent of the students enrolled and in attendance at each school shall be permitted to take a leave of absence during each academic year.
(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 21, Sec. 1.)