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Mountain View-Los Altos Union HSD |  BP  5113  Students

Absences And Excuses   

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(School Attendance and Tardy Policy)

Absences

An "unexcused absence" is an absence in excess of a 30-minute period occurring in a given class. Students may not exceed 14 absences across their entire schedule. A full day, unexcused absence counts as 5, 6, or 7 absences (depending on how many classes a student carries) toward the total of 14. On the 15th unexcused absence, students may be referred to an alternative educational program/site pursuant to the district's involuntary transfer policy (AR/OP 5113).

Points to Remember:

1. Unexcused absences will be counted across a student's entire schedule.

2. Parents and students will receive telephone calls and mailed warnings as absences accumulate.

3. At the 10th unexcused period absence, there will be a mandatory parent conference with the student's Assistant Principal. This conference will be scheduled to occur the morning after the family is contacted by the school.

4. At the student/parent conference, consequences for continued cutting are discussed and the student is assigned Saturday School. An attendance contract will also be signed at this meeting. Failure to attend Saturday School may result in transfer to an alternative educational program/site.

5. Unexcused absences in a given class may result in an "F" grade in that class.

6. Students are not entitled to make up assignments and tests missed due to unexcused absences or to receive credit for such work.

Tardies

An "unexcused tardy" is defined as absence from class from the time the bell rings until up to 30 minutes of a class period. Students may not exceed 19 unexcused tardies across their entire schedule. On the 20th unexcused tardy, students may be referred to an alternative educational program/site pursuant to the district's involuntary transfer policy.

Points to Remember:

1. Unexcused tardies will be counted across a student's entire schedule. An unexcused tardy is absence from class from when the bell rings until up to 30 minutes of a class period.

2. At the 15th unexcused tardy, there will be a mandatory parent conference with the student's Assistant Principal. This conference will be scheduled to occur the morning after the family is contacted by the school.

3. At the student/parent conference, consequences for continued tardiness are discussed and the student is assigned to Saturday School. A contract will also be signed at this meeting. Failure to attend Saturday School may result in transfer to an alternative educational program/site pursuant to the district's involuntary transfer policy.

Definitions Of Terms

Excused - Illness, quarantine, health appointments (medical, dental, and optometry), religious holiday observances, death in the immediate family or serving on jury duty are the only legal reasons to be absent from school. School-initiated activities that cause a student to miss a class are also considered "excused absences."

Unexcused - "Cuts" or other absences not classified as excused in the paragraph above are designated as "unexcused absences." Unexcused absences will be counted across a student's entire schedule; e.g. if a student has one unexcused absence in second period, two in third, and one in sixth, that equals four unexcused absences.

Truancy - A truant is defined as any student who is absent from school without a valid excuse for three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30 minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof. (Education Code 48260) A truant will be reported to the Associate Superintendent in charge of Educational Services.

Upon a student's initial classification as a truant, the district will notify the student's parent or guardian of the following:

1. Student is a truant

2. Parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the student at school

3. Parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution

4. Alternative educational programs are available in the district

5. Parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the student's truancy

6. Student/parent may be subject to prosecution

7. Student may be subject to suspension, restriction or delay of driving privileges

8. It is recommended that parent or guardian accompany the student to the school and attend classes with the student for one day.

Any student who has been reported as a truant and who is again absent from school without valid excuse one or more days, or tardy, or absent from class for more than 30 minutes on one or more days, will again be reported as a truant to the Associate Superintendent in charge of Educational Services.

Any student is deemed a habitual truant who has been reported as a truant three or more times per school year, as long as an appropriate district officer or employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with a parent or guardian or the student and the student himself, after the filing of the reports.

Reporting Absences

Parents are required to call the attendance office the day their student is absent. When parents do not call within 2 school days, the absences are counted as unexcused. The school will not accept late phone calls or notes. Parents must call the attendance office. Messages may also be left in Spanish and Vietnamese. Calls can be made 24 hours a day to the "Attendance 24-hour line".

Grade Penalty

Students may receive a failing grade in a class if they accumulate 15 or more unexcused absences in that class.

Involuntary Transfers to Alternative Programs/Sites

A student may be transferred involuntarily to an alternative program or site for any one of the following reasons:

1. Credit deficiency

2. Truancy

3. Violations of the school's attendance policy - A student with 15 or more "unexcused absences" or 20 or more "unexcused tardies" as defined in OP 5113, may be transferred to a community school, continuation school, or any other alternative program or site, deemed appropriate by school/district officials

4. Failure to attend Saturday School

5. Violations of Ed Code 48900/48915

Involuntary transfer to an alternative program/site shall be imposed only when other means have failed to bring about student improvement and the decision to transfer must be in writing and must state the facts and reasons for the decision.

Prior to being transferred to a continuation school, written notice must be given to the student and student's parent or guardian informing them of the opportunity to request a meeting with a designee of the district superintendent prior to the transfer. At the meeting, the pupil or parent/guardian will be informed of the specific facts and reasons for the proposed transfer and will have the opportunity to inspect all documents relied upon, question any evidence and witnesses presented and present evidence on the student's behalf. The student may designate one or more representatives and witnesses to be present with him or her at the meeting.

None of the persons involved in the final decision to make an involuntary transfer of a student to a continuation school shall be a member of the staff of the school in which the student is enrolled at the time that the decision is made. The involuntary transfer decision must indicate whether the decision is subject to periodic review and the procedure. No involuntary transfer to a continuation school shall extend beyond the end of the semester following the semester during which the acts leading directly to the involuntary transfer occurred unless the Governing Board adopts a procedure for yearly review of the involuntary transfer at the request of the student or student's parent or guardian.

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

1740 Employment of personnel to supervise attendance (county superintendent)

2550-2558.6 Computation of revenue limits

37201 School month

37223 Weekend classes

41601 Reports of average daily attendance

42238-42250.1 Apportionments

46000 Records (attendance)

46010-46014 Absences

46100-46119 Attendance in kindergarten and elementary schools

46140-46147 Attendance in junior high and high schools

48200-48208 Children ages 6-18 (compulsory full-time attendance)

48210-48216 Exclusions from attendance

48240-48246 Supervisors of attendance

48260-48273 Truants

48292 Filing complaint against parent

48320-48324 School attendance review boards

48340-48341 Improvement of student attendance

49067 Unexcused absences as cause of failing grade

ELECTIONS CODE

12302 Student participation on precinct boards

FAMILY CODE

6920-6929 Consent by minor

VEHICLE CODE

13202.7 Driving privileges; minors; suspension or delay for habitual truancy

WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE

601-601.4 Habitually truant minors

11253.5 Compulsory school attendance

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

306 Explanation of absence

420-421 Record of verification of absence due to illness and other causes

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

66 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 245, 249 (1983)

COURT DECISIONS

American Academy of Pediatrics et al v. Lungren et al (1997) 16 Cal.4th 307

Management Resources:

CDE MANAGEMENT ADVISORIES

0114.98 School Attendance and CalWORKS, Management Bulletin 98-01

CSBA ADVISORIES

0520.97 Welfare Reform and Requirements for School Attendance

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

Policy MOUNTAIN VIEW-LOS ALTOS UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: May 14, 1997 Mountain View, California

revised: August 26, 2002