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Sweetwater Un HSD |  AR  5113  Students

Absences And Excuses   

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Attendance/Classroom Participation

The Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of regular school attendance and believes that parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver(s) and students must be encouraged to assume their responsibility.

The board believes that:

1. Classroom participation is an integral part of the learning experiences provided to students in the district schools. To the extent the failure to attend a class results in a student not attaining certain prescribed minimum academic standards, this failure would properly be reflected in the grade the student receives.

2. Student absences may not be used exclusively to determine student grades.

3. Academic performance can and should be evaluated in part on the quality of individual participation in planned classroom activities designed for adult-student or student-student interaction. Therefore, teachers are to include and document student participation in planned classroom learning activities as part of the criteria for determining and reporting student progress.

4. Reasonable opportunities shall be provided to students who are absent from classes, except truancies, to make up that portion of work missed that can reasonably be replicated.

5. Upon request of parent(s)/guardian(s) or the student, if 18 years of age or older, a student, expecting to be absent from class for a reason deemed acceptable by the principal or his/her designee and/or the student's respective teachers, may arrange with his/her teachers for planned, independent learning activities that will make up some work which he/she will be missing.

6. At the discretion of the teacher, reasonable opportunities may be provided students who are truant to make up that portion of work missed.

Definitions

In accordance with Board policy, student absences are to be categorized as excused, unknown, or truant in accordance with the following guidelines:

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 appointment (Education Code 48205)

4. Attendance at funeral services for a member of the immediate family, which shall be limited to one day if 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. Bereavement for an immediate family member

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

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

f. Attendance at an employment conference

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

h. Other reasons requested in writing by the parent/guardian and considered legitimate by the principal or his/her designee

(1) Such absences shall have prior approval of the principal or his/her designee. Students who contemplate absence for reasons other than those listed above, should request projected absence be excused by presenting a note from their parent/guardian to indicate approval or disapproval or disapproval with reasons for disapproval if the request is denied.

(2) A request from a parent/guardian that a student's absence be excused shall not be granted if the principal or his/her designee believe that such approval would be educationally harmful to the student or set a poor example in matters of school attendance for the student or other students.

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. To spend time with his/her immediate family member who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in Education Code 49701, and has been called to duty for deployment to a combat zone or a combat support position or is on leave from or has immediately returned from such deployment (Education Code 48205)

(cf. 6173.2 - Education of Children of Military Families)

10. Participation in religious exercises 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)

11. For the purpose of attending the pupil's naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen (Education Code 48205)

Any absence for reasons other than those listed in paragraphs above shall be considered unexcused.

Method of Verification

When students who have been absent return to school, he/she 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. Completed Verification of Absence Form, number 7204-B-61 (blue slip), a written note, fax, email, or voice mail from parent/guardian, parent representative, or student if 18 or older.

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 #2 above.

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 full day 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. This verification must be written by the appropriate professional on his/her letterhead.

5. Absences due to illness or quarantine generally shall be verified by the school nurse. However, any of the following may verify such absences if the situation warrants.

a. Principal or his/her designee

b. Doctor

c. Supervisor of Attendance

d. Superintendent or his/her designee

6. Parent/guardian shall notify the school within 30 calendar days of the student's absences.

a. Absences remaining unknown for 30 calendar days after the student's return to school will be considered truant or unexcused.

(1) Less than three unknown absences are considered unexcused.

(2) Three or more unknown absences are considered truant.

Implementing Board Policy on Student Attendance

In implementing Board policy on student attendance, responsibility shall be assumed as follows:

1. Principals or his/her designee are responsible for:

a. Developing and disseminating to student's parents/guardians and staff, school attendance procedures which are consistent with Board policy 5113.

b. Overseeing the checking and reporting of daily attendance for each class.

c. Monitoring and investigating chronic absenteeism.

d. Impressing upon students and parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver(s) the value of necessity of regular attendance.

2. Teachers are responsible for:

Communicating to students and parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver(s) are to be made aware of the importance of regular classroom attendance and that failure to attend classes regularly may be reflected in the grades the student receives.

a. Providing students the opportunity to make up work missed during absences, except truancies.

(1) A teacher may provide students the opportunity to make up work missed because of truancy.

(2) Students shall be permitted to complete all assignments and tests missed during absences which can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion, shall be given full credit for their work.

(3) The teacher of any class from which a student is absent shall determine what assignments and/or tests the student shall make up and in what period of time the student shall complete such assignments.

(4) Tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, tests and assignments which the student missed during his/her absence.

b. Communicating with students and parent(s)/guardian(s), at appropriate intervals and in accordance with the grading procedure of the site, instances in which poor attendance is adversely affecting student academic performance to the extent that a failing grade may result.

c. Taking attendance at the beginning/end of each class period. Teachers will use the beginning of the class to mark those students that were absent or tardy. At the end of the class, they should mark any additional changes (e.g. tardies). Clicking on "Save" marks the section as being submitted. Teachers can make modifications to the attendance until the end of business day.

d. Ensuring that attendance is recorded daily for each of their classes. Teachers need to check that attendance is submitted for all classes by the end of each school day.

e. Following up on Incomplete Attendance: On a daily basis, the attendance technician will generate an Incomplete Attendance report for the prior day. This report reflects attendance that was not submitted by the teacher. The attendance technician emails the teacher and copies the administrator/coordinator overseeing attendance. The teacher provides the attendance technician with the Attendance Roster report and the attendance for the students in the courses that were not submitted. The attendance technician has the access to correct/update attendance based on the updated documentation provided by the teacher.

f. Following up on Single Period Present Attendance report: On a weekly basis, the attendance technician will generate a Single Period Present Attendance report. The attendance technician will provide to the teacher a Single Period Attendance Verification form for any student who is recorded as present for only one period in a day. The teacher will check that the student was either Present or Not Present in that class and sign and return the form to the attendance technician. If the student was actually absent, the attendance technician will correct the recorded attendance value by changing the attendance code to absent. This will be filed in the student's attendance file for verification purposes.

g. Verifying and approving that attendance has been recorded correctly. A printout of the Class Attendance Register is given to the teacher weekly to verify and approve that attendance has been recorded correctly. The report parameter is based on the previous week's attendance. The Class Attendance Register forms are printed out from Information Technology Operations every Monday. The reports are delivered to the site by inter-office mail on Tuesday, and are distributed by the attendance technician. The teacher will verify the attendance by signing and returning the signed form to their attendance technician by Thursday. The Class Attendance Register forms are maintained at the site for the current year and the previous three years (required record retention).

3. Attendance technicians are responsible for:

a. Assisting teachers in making corrections on the students' attendance for previous school days.

b. Ensuring that the student information system reflects the correct bell schedule. Working in conjunction with the assistant principal/coordinator in charge of the bell schedule(s). All changes must be reflected in the student information system to properly account for attendance.

c. Adjusting information in the student information system based on daily call out slips (blue slips), and filing all blue slips in the student's attendance folder. Examples of uses of blue slips are if a student has to leave early for an appointment, when a student is called into the office, or when a parent/guardian calls in to report a student absence.

d. Monitoring that all teachers are submitting attendance on a daily basis. The attendance technician will generate an Incomplete Attendance report for the prior day. This report reflects attendance that was not submitted by the teacher. The attendance technician emails the teacher and copies the administrator/coordinator overseeing attendance. The teacher provides the attendance technician with the Attendance Roster report and the attendance for the students in the class periods that were not submitted. The attendance technician has the access to correct/update attendance based on the updated documentation provided by the teacher.

e. Verifying the absences marked by the teacher on a daily basis. By default, the absences marked by teachers are classified as unknown absences. The attendance technician will verify with the parent/guardian as to why the student was absent and update the attendance code appropriately.

f. Generating the Single Period Present attendance report on a weekly basis. The attendance technician will provide to the teacher a Single Period Attendance Verification form for any student who is recorded as present for only one period in a day. The teacher will check that the student was either present or not present in the class and sign and return the form to the attendance technician. If the student was actually absent, the attendance technician will correct the recorded attendance value by changing the attendance code to absent. The Single Period Attendance Verification form will be filed in the student's attendance file for verification purposes.

g. Distributing and collecting signed Class Attendance Register reports. The Class Attendance Register reports are generated weekly from Information Technology Operations and sent via inter-district mail. The forms are printed each Monday and delivered to the site office. On Tuesday, the attendance technician will distribute to the teachers. The teacher will verify the attendance by signing and returning the signed form to their attendance technician by Thursday. The Class Attendance Register reports are maintained at the site for the current year and the previous three years (required record retention).

4. Administrators and attendance coordinators are responsible for:

a. Monitoring and assisting the teachers and attendance technicians to ensure that attendance is accounted for daily.

b. Ensuring that the teachers are submitting/saving their attendance on a daily basis. Administrators are responsible for identifying the repeat offenders and resolving the issue.

c. Making sure that the Class Attendance Register reports are being collected, verified, and maintained by the attendance technician.

d. Overseeing the distribution, collection and verification of the Single Period Attendance Verification form.

5. Students are responsible for:

a. Regular attendance.

b. Clearing absences in accordance with established procedures.

c. Requesting make-up work following an absence:

(1) Assignments must be requested within two days following return from absence.

(2) Assignment must be completed within a period of time equal to the length of absence.

Regulation SWEETWATER UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

approved: November 17, 2008 Chula Vista, California

revised: May 5, 2015

revised: May 30, 2018