Vista USD | BP 5113 Students
Absences And Excuses
Schools are required to enforce Compulsory Education Law. When children do not attend school punctually or are absent the entire school day, the reason must be identified and recorded as either excused or unexcused. Classroom teachers will record the students either absent or tardy and school attendance personnel will verify the reason why the student is absent or tardy.
Verification of student absences may be made by district school employees only. This includes a school or public health nurse, an attendance supervisor, a district employed physician, a principal, a teacher or any other district employees assigned to make such verification.
Absence from school shall be allowed only for: personal illness or injury, quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer, medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic services rendered, attendance at the funeral services for a member of the "immediate family", jury duty in the manner provided by law, student who is custodial parent of a child who is ill or has a medical appointment during school, exclusion for failure to present evidence of immunization, exclusion from school because student is either the carrier of a contagious disease or not immunized for a contagious disease.
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)
Students shall not be absent from school without their parents/guardians' knowledge or consent.
Parents/guardians shall notify the school within 72 hours of the last day of the student's absence. (72 hours equals three days).
1. Absences remaining unverified for three or more days after the student's return to school will be considered truant or unexcused.
a. Less than three unverified absences are considered UNEXCUSED.
b. Three or more unverified absences are considered TRUANT.
On the first day of a student's absence and on each subsequent day of absence, parents/guardians must present a satisfactory explanation, verifying the reason for absence. The verification may be made in conversation or in a signed note.
1. Required documentation should include all of the following elements: full name of student, date(s) of absence, specific reason of absence, name and/or identify (i.e. mother or father) of person providing the information, name and signature of person/employee making/logging the verification, date the verification was made.
2. Any student with 10 excused absences, verified by phone calls, will be required to provide a written explanation for any/all future absences. This verification must be written by the appropriate professional on his/her letterhead, addressing the medical, legal or bereavement reason(s).
The Board of Education shall allow students to be absent for religious instruction or participation in religious exercises or instruction away from school property. Such absences shall be considered excused absences subject to the following:
1. The student shall attend at least the minimum school day.
2. The student shall be excused for no more than four school days per month.
3. The principal has received prior written consent from the parent/guardian.
Upon written request by a student's parent/guardian and with the principal or designee's approval, a student may be excused from school in order to observe a holiday or ceremony of the student's religion, or to attend a religious retreat. Such absences shall be considered excused absences pursuant to applicable law.
Unexcused absences from class exceeding 10 days in a school semester may be sufficient reason for a teacher to assign the student a failing grade for the class. The teacher may assign a failing grade in such cases.
The student and parent/guardian shall be notified of each unexcused absence. The student and parent/guardian shall be given five days to explain the absence. If the absence is not verified as an excusable absence, it shall be recorded as unexcused, together with the reason for the absence as given by the parent/guardian and the date when the explanation was given. The name of the person receiving any oral explanation of the absence shall also be recorded.
If a student receives a failing grade because of unexcused absences exceeding the above maximum, school records shall specify that the grade was given because of excessive unexcused absences.
1740 Employment of personnel to supervise attendance (county superintendent)
37201 School month
37223 Weekend classes
41601 Reports of average daily attendance
46000 Records (attendance)
48292 Filing complaint against parent
49067 Unexcused absences as cause of failing grade
49701 Provisions of the interstate compact on educational opportunities for military children
12302 Student participation on precinct boards
13202.7 Driving privileges; minors; suspension or delay for habitual truancy
WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE
11253.5 Compulsory school attendance
CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5
306 Explanation of absence
ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS
87 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 168 (2004)
66 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 244 (1983)
American Academy of Pediatrics et al v. Lungren et al (1997) 16 Cal.4th 307
Improving Student Achievement by Addressing Chronic Absence, Policy Brief, December 2010
Policy VISTA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
adopted: November 20, 2014 Vista, California