Attendance Policy

The number one indicator of student success is attendance.  It is important that attendance policies and procedures are clear to parents and students. The information contained in this document is intended to clarify attendance policies and procedures of all schools in the District. CUSD Board Policy (BP)/Administration Regulation (AR) and Education Code (Ed Code) references are noted.  Students between the ages of 6 and 18 years must attend school (Ed Code 48200). Our goal is to give every student the opportunity to live up to his or her potential.  We can only succeed  if we see our students daily.

What is an excused absence by law? (Education Code 48205, CUSD AR 5113)

California state law requires that students attend school regularly and states that it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to see that their children attend school on the days/hours that school is in session. A student’s absence shall be excused for the following reasons:
  • Personal Illness  
  •  Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer
  • Medical, dental, optometry, or chiropractic appointment
  • Attendance at funeral services for a member of the student's immediate family
  • Jury duty in the manner provided by law
  • Illness or medical appointment of a child to whom the student is the custodial parent
  • Upon advance written request by the parent/guardian and the approval of the principal or designee, justifiable personal reasons
  • Service as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Elections Code 12302
  • To spend time with an 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
  • Attendance at a naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen
  • Participation in religious exercises or to receive moral and religious instruction at the student's place of worship or other suitable  place away from school
  • Work in the entertainment or allied industry
  • Participation with a nonprofit performing arts organization in a performance for a public school audience
  • Other reasons authorized at the discretion of the principal or designee based on the student's specific circumstances

What is an unexcused absence?

Any absence not identified above is unexcused.  Many parents are unaware that “going out of town” with their children during school days is an unexcused absence and will result in a truancy letter and possibly an appearance at the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) (Ed Code 48263).  Please plan trips during holidays and school breaks.

What are the acceptable methods to clear/verify an absence? (Education Code 46012, CUSD AR 5113)

When students who have been absent return to school, they must present a satisfactory explanation verifying the reason for the absence within five (5) school days. The following methods may be used to clear/verify student absences:

1. Written note, fax, email, or voice mail from parent/guardian or parent representative.

2. Conversation, in person or by telephone, between the verifying employee and the student's parent/guardian or parent representative.

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

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 request a note from the medical office to confirm the time of the appointment.

b. If a student shows a pattern of chronic absenteeism due to illness, district staff may require physician verification of any further student absences.

What is truancy? (Education Code 48260)

“A pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, shall be classified as a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.”