Parents are responsible for a child’s attendance from the age 6 until age 18 (Education Code 48200). Students shall be classified as truant if absent from school without a valid excuse 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. Such students shall be reported to the Superintendent or designee. (Education Code 48260).
Effective January 1, 2011 Penal Code 270.1 became State Law – A parent or guardian of a pupil of six years of age or more who is in kindergarten or any grades 1 to 8, inclusive, and who is subject to compulsory full-time education or compulsory continuation education, whose child is a chronic truant as defined in Section 28263.6 of the California Education Code, who has failed to reasonably supervise and encourage the pupil’s school attendance, and who has been offered language accessible support services to address the pupil’s truancy, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ( $2,000 ) or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. Truancies may result in a pupil being subject to suspension, restrictions, or delay of the pupil’s driving privilege pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the California Vehicle Code.
Local Law Enforcement and Child Protective Services may be contacted. As this student’s parent/guardian you are obligated by law to compel the attendance of your child at school until she/he has reached the age of 18 or has graduated.
230.8. (a) (1) No employer who employs 25 or more employees working at the same location shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee who is a parent, guardian, or grandparent having custody, of one or more children in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, or attending a licensed child day care facility, for taking off up to 40 hours each year, not exceeding eight hours in any calendar month of the year, to participate in activities of the school or licensed child day care facility of any of his or her children, if the employee, prior to taking the time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer of the planned absence of the employee.
A student's absence shall be excused for the following reasons:
Method of Verification
When students who have been absent return to school, they shall present a satisfactory explanation verifying the reason for the absence. The following methods may be used to verify student absences:
An attendance supervisor or designee, peace officer, or school administrator or designee may arrest or assume temporary custody, during school hours, of any minor student found away from his/her home who is absent from school without a valid excuse. Any person so arresting or assuming temporary custody shall deliver the student and make reports in accordance with Education Code 48265 and 48266. (Education Code 48264)
Upon receiving a complaint from any person that a parent/guardian has violated the state compulsory education laws contained in Education Code 48200-48341, the Board of Education or district attendance supervisor shall make a full and impartial investigation of all charges. If it appears upon investigation that the parent/guardian has violated these laws, the Superintendent or designee shall refer such parent/guardian to the school attendance review board.
Strategies for Addressing Truancy
The following steps shall be implemented based on the number of truancies committed by the student:
The parent/guardian of a student classified as a truant shall be notified of the following: (Education Code 48260.5)
Upon his/her first truancy, a student may be given a written warning by a peace officer. A record of this warning may be kept at school for not less than two years or until the student graduates or transfers from the school. If the student transfers, the record may be forwarded to the new school. (Education Code 48264.5)
Upon a student's first truancy, the student may be required to attend makeup classes on one day of a weekend pursuant to Education Code 37223. (Education Code 48264.5)
Any student who has once been reported as a truant shall again be reported to the Superintendent or designee as a truant if he/she is absent from school without valid excuse one or more days or is tardy on one or more days. (Education Code 48261)
Upon his/her second truancy within the same school year, a student may be assigned to an after-school or weekend study program within the county. If the student fails to successfully complete this study program, he/she shall be subject to item #3 below. (Education Code 48264.5)
In addition, an appropriate district staff member shall make every effort to hold at least one conference with the student and parent/guardian and may discuss resources available for achieving regular school attendance.
Upon his/her third truancy within the same school year, a student shall be classified as a habitual truant. (Education Code 48262, 48264.5)
Students who are habitual truants, irregular in school attendance, or habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school may be referred to, and required to attend, a school attendance review board, a truancy mediation program established by the district attorney or the probation officer, or a comparable program deemed acceptable by the district's attendance supervisor. (Education Code 48263, 48264.5)
Upon making a referral to a school attendance review board or the probation department, the Superintendent or designee shall provide the student and parent/guardian, in writing, the name and address of the school attendance review board or probation department and the reason for the referral. This notice shall indicate that the student and parent/guardian shall be required, along with the district staff person making the referral, to meet with the school attendance review board or probation officer to consider a proper disposition of the referral. (Education Code 48263)
If the student does not successfully complete the truancy mediation program or other similar program, he/she shall be subject to item #4 below. (Education Code 48264.5)
Upon his/her fourth truancy within the same school year, the student shall be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. (Education Code 48264.5; Welfare and Institutions Code 601)
If a student has been judged by the county juvenile court to be a habitual truant, the Superintendent or designee shall inform the juvenile court and the student's probation or parole officer whenever that student is truant one or more days or tardy on one or more days without a valid excuse in the same or succeeding school year, or is habitually insubordinate or disorderly at school. The juvenile court and probation or parole officer shall be so notified within 10 days of the violation. (Education Code 48267)
The Superintendent or designee shall gather and transmit to the County Superintendent of Schools the number of referrals and types of referrals made to the school attendance review board and the number of requests for petitions made to the juvenile court. (Education Code 48273)
Impact Upon Grading Policy
General Procedures Regarding Attendance Policy