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Petaluma City Schools |  AR  5113  Students

Absences And Excuses   

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Excused Absences

A student's absence shall be excused for the following reasons:

1. Personal illness (Education Code 48205)

2. Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer (Education Code 48205)

(cf. 5112.2 - Exclusions from Attendance)

3. Medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic appointments (Education Code 48205)

4. Attendance at funeral services for a member of the immediate family shall be limited to one day if the service is conducted in California or three days if the service is conducted out of state. (Education Code 48205)

"Immediate family" shall be defined as mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, son/son-in-law, daughter/ daughter-in-law, brother, sister or any relative living in the student's immediate household. (Education Code 45194, 48205)

5. Jury duty in the manner provided by law (Education Code 48205)

6. The illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child to whom the student is the custodial parent (Education Code 48205)

(cf. 5146 - Married/Pregnant/Parenting Students)

7. Upon advance written request by the parent/guardian and the approval of the principal or designee, justifiable personal reasons including but not limited to: (Education Code 48205)

a. Appearance in court

b. Attendance at a funeral service

c. Observation of a holiday or ceremony of his/her religion

d. Attendance at religious retreats not to exceed four hours per semester

e. Attendance at an employment conference

f. Attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization

8. Service as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Elections Code 12302 (Education Code 48205)

(cf. 6142.3 - Civic Education)

9. Participation in religious instruction or to receive moral and religious instruction in accordance with district policy: (Education Code 46014)

a. In such instances, the student shall attend at least the minimum school day

b. The student shall be excused for this purpose on no more than four days per school month

(cf. 6141.2 - Recognition of Religious Beliefs and Customs)

Method of Verification

When students who have been absent return to school, they shall present a satisfactory explanation verifying the reason for the absence. Absences shall be verified by the student's parent/guardian, other person having control of the minor, or the student if age 18 or older. (Education Code 46012; 5 CCR 306)

The following methods may be used to verify student absences:

1. Written note fax or email from parent/guardian, parent representative.

2. Conversation, in person or by telephone, between the verifying employee and the student's parent/guardian or parent representative. The employee shall subsequently record the following:

a. Name of student

b. Name of parent/guardian or parent representative

c. Name of verifying employee

d. Date(s) of absence

e. Reason for absence

3. Visit to the student's home by the verifying employee, or any other reasonable method, which establishes the fact that the student was absent for the reasons stated. The employee shall document the verification and include the information specified in item #2above.

4. Physician's verification

a. When excusing students for confidential medical services or verifying such appointments, district staff shall not ask the purpose of such appointments but may contact a medical office to confirm the time of the appointment.

b. When a student has had 14 absences in the school year for illness verified by methods listed in #1-3 above, any further absences for illness must be verified by a physician.

Students seeking confidential medical services who contact school staff (teacher, counselor, administrator, coach, etc.) will be encouraged to discuss this matter with their parents/guardians and shall be referred to the school nurse.

The school nurse will ask the student to consider contacting their family physician and will provide authorization for a student to be excused from school for confidential medical services.


approved: January 12, 1979 Petaluma, California

revised: August 17, 2004

revised: April 8, 2008