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Tamalpais Union HSD |  BP  5113.1  Students

Chronic Absenteeism And Truancy   

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The Board of Education believes that excessive student absenteeism and tardiness, whether caused by excused or unexcused absences, may be an early warning sign of poor academic achievement and may put students at risk of dropping out of school. The Board desires to ensure that all students attend school in accordance with the state's compulsory education law and take full advantage of educational opportunities provided by the district.

(cf. 5113 - Absences and Excuses)

The Superintendent or designee shall establish a system to accurately track and monitor student attendance, including methods to identify students classified as chronic absentees and truants, as defined in law and administrative regulation and to identify patterns of absence throughout the district. He/she shall provide the Board with data on school attendance, chronic absence, and truancy rates for all district students, for each school, and for each numerically significant student group as defined in Education Code (52052). Such data shall be disaggregated and used in the development of annual goals and specific actions for student attendance and engagement and for inclusion in the district's local control and accountability plan and other applicable school and district plans.

The Superintendent or designee shall develop strategies that enable early outreach to students as soon as they show signs of poor attendance, focus on prevention of attendance problems, which may include, but are not limited to, efforts to provide a safe and positive school environment, relevant and engaging learning experiences, school activities that help develop students' feelings of connectedness with the school, school-based health services, and incentives and rewards to recognize students who achieve excellent attendance or demonstrate significant improvement in attendance.

(cf. 5131 - Conduct)

(cf. 5131.2 - Bullying)

(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)

(cf. 5141.6 - School Health Services)

(cf. 5145.3 - Nondiscrimination/Harassment)

The Superintendent or designee shall work with students and parents/guardians to identify factors contributing to chronic absence and truancy. Based on this needs assessment, the Superintendent or designee shall collaborate with community agencies, including, but not limited to, child welfare services, law enforcement, courts, and/or public health care agencies, to ensure that alternative educational programs and nutrition, healthcare, and other support services are available for students and families and to intervene as necessary when students have serious attendance problems.

As required by law, habitually truant students shall be referred to a school attendance review board (SARB), a truancy mediation program operated by the county's district attorney or probation officer, and/or a juvenile court.

School Attendance Review Board

The Board shall appoint members to the district's SARB, who may include, but are not limited to, a parent/guardian as well as representatives of the district; county probation department; county welfare department; county office of education; law enforcement agencies; community-based youth service centers; school guidance personnel; child welfare and attendance personnel; school or county health care personnel; school, county, or community mental health personnel; the county district attorney's office; and the county public defender's office. (Education Code 48321)

The district's SARB shall operate in accordance with Education Code 48320-48325 and procedures established by the Superintendent or designee.

The Superintendent or designee shall regularly analyze data on student absences to identify patterns of absence district-wide and by school, grade level, and student population. Such data shall be used to identify common barriers to attendance, prioritize resources for intervention, and monitor progress over time. The Superintendent or designee shall periodically report this information to the Board for purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of strategies implemented to reduce chronic absence and truancy and making changes as needed. As appropriate, the Superintendent or designee shall also provide this information to key school staff and community agency partners to engage them in program evaluation and improvement.

Students' grades shall not be lowered due exclusively to absences or tardies.

A student's truancy, tardiness, or other absence from school shall not be the basis for an out-of-school suspension or expulsion. Alternative disciplinary strategies and positive reinforcement for attendance shall be used whenever possible.

(cf. 5144 - Discipline)

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

Legal Reference:


1740 Employment of personnel to supervise attendance (county superintendent)

37223 Weekend classes

41601 Reports of average daily attendance

46000 Records (attendance)

46010-46014 Absences

46110-46119 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)

48225.5 Work permits, entertainment and allied industries

48240-48246 Supervisors of attendance

48260-48273 Truants

48290-48296 Failure to comply; complaints against parents

48320-48325 School attendance review boards

48340-48341 Improvement of student attendance

48400-48403 Compulsory continuation education

48900 Suspension and expulsion

49067 Unexcused absences as cause of failing grade

60901 Chronic absence


54950-54963 The Ralph M. Brown Act


270.1 Chronic truancy; parent/guardian misdemeanor

272 Parent/guardian duty to supervise and control minor child; criminal liability for truancy

830.1 Peace officers


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


601-601.4 Habitually truant minors

11253.5 Compulsory school attendance


306 Explanation of absence

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


L.A. v. Superior Court of San Diego County, (2012) 209 Cal.App.4th 976

Management Resources:


Improving Student Achievement by Addressing Chronic Absence, Policy Brief, December 2010


School Attendance Review Board Handbook, 2012

School Attendance Improvement Handbook, 2000



Attendance Works:

California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance:

California Department of Education:

California Healthy Kids Survey:

California School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey System:



adopted: June 23, 1998 Larkspur, California

revised: January 23, 2018