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Landmark Middle School

School Policies » Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy
Each person in California between the ages of 6 and 18 years, who is not legally exempt, is subject to compulsory school attendance. Each parent or guardian has the responsibility to send students to school for the full time of the school day as designated by the Board of Education. (EC 48200) A written excuse shall be submitted by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or designee in alignment with uniform standards established by the Board of Education.(EC 48205) A major goal of the District is the improvement of attendance. While the district cannot guarantee that “learning will occur just because a child is in school,” it can guarantee that learning will not take place if the child is absent. There is a strong correlation between attendance and learning. Good attendance generally leads to improved learning.

Parents or guardians will be given three days to provide the school with documentation for a student’s absence. A student can be declared a truant on the third
unexcused absence. After three days, all unverified absences will be converted to unexcused. Exceptions for absences must be approved by a school administrator. Students with excused absences, as specified, shall receive full credit for all assignments and tests missed that can be reasonably provided and completed, with no grade reduced or academic credit lost. (EC 48980)

Any student subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education 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, is a truant and shall be reported to the district’s attendance supervisor or to the Superintendent of the school district. Irregular attendance will be defined as absent from school for five (5) or more days out of twenty (20) school days or a pattern of irregular attendance. (EC 48260, 48263)

Moreno Valley Unified School District urges parents/guardians to make sure their children attend school regularly and to schedule medical and other appointments so that a student misses none, or only a small part of the school day. The District also requests that travel or other absences be avoided during the time school is in session. The higher the student’s daily attendance rate, the more a student will learn and the greater the amount of funding that the District will receive from the state for classroom instruction and academic programs.

Following an absence, a student is required to bring a written excuse from home when returning to school. Illnesses and doctor and dental appointments are considered excused absences. Children should not be sent to school when they are not feeling well. Absences without a written excuse are recorded as unexcused.

The school calendar is designed to minimize problems for families that plan vacations around traditional holiday periods, thereby minimizing student absences.

(a) Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:

1. Due to his or her illness.

2. Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.

3. For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic services rendered.

4. For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of his or her immediate family, so long as the absence is not more than one day if the service is conducted in California and not more than three days if the service is conducted outside of California.

5. For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by law.

6. Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent.

7. For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion, attendance at religious retreats, or attendance at an employment conference, or attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a non-profit organization when the pupil’s absence has been requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board.

8. For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.

(b) A pupil absent from school under this section shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit. The teacher of any class from which a pupil is absent shall determine the tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.

(c) For purposes of this section, attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.

(d) Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be absences in computing average daily attendance and shall not generate state apportionment payments.

(e) “Immediate family,” as used in this section, has the same meaning as that set forth in Section 45194, except that references there into “employee” shall be deemed to be references to “pupil.”

Parent volunteers may be used to contact parents regarding student attendance. Those parents who wish to be contacted only by a school official must inform the school principal in writing.

Students, with the written consent of their parent or guardian, may be excused from school in order to participate in religious exercises or instruction. Each student must attend school at least the minimum day for his grade level. No student shall be excused from school for more than four days in any school month. (EC 46014)

Any pupil deemed a habitual truant who has been reported as truant three or more times per school year, provided that no pupil shall be deemed an habitual truant unless an appropriate district officer or employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with a parent or guardian of the pupil and the pupil himself, after the filing of either the reports required by Education Code Section 48260 or Section 48261. (EC 48262)

Students who are removed from school or who fail to attend school without a valid reason are considered truant from school (EC 48260). Students, who are removed from school for vacations, travel, or other reasons not approved by the district, and have not made arrangements for independent study or other approved interventions, are considered truant. Students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade who are not in school attendance for eleven consecutive days without an approved excuse or have not made contact with the school during that time will be considered inactive. The school will notify the parent in writing of the absentee problem and the intent to place the student on the inactive list. After the eleventh day and the mailing of the parent notification, the family will not be guaranteed the same track, classroom placement, class schedule, or even school site if school enrollment is impacted. The student will be allowed to reenter the school without going through the registration center unless the student has missed more than 45 consecutive days. The parent may be required to go to the registration center when the site has met its enrollment limit to be placed at an alternate site.

School Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) were created in 1976. The SARB provides intensive guidance and coordinated community services to address the needs of students with attendance and discipline problems. The Moreno Valley SARB is made up of representatives from the district, public agencies, and community at large. SARB members work collaboratively to assess individual circumstances and develop comprehensive interventions. SARB is intended to be a help to students and parents, but it also is part of a progressive process for enforcing compulsory education laws. When students or parents do not comply with directives of SARB, additional steps may be taken, including informal probation, truancy mediation action by the District Attorney, and prosecution in Juvenile Court.