Regular school attendance is important if a child is to achieve his or her full potential. We urge you to make an extra effort to ensure that your pupil attends school EVERY DAY.California Code of Regulations, Section 421 and Education Code, Section 48205: Upon verification by a school official or physician, a pupil may be excused from school attendance due to his or her illness, quarantine, medical appointment (including dental and optometric), to attend the funeral services of a member of his or her immediate family, or to serve on jury duty.When the pupil’s absence has been requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative, a pupil may also be excused from school for justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion, attendance at religious retreats, or attendance at an employment conference. Attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.California Education Code, Section 48980 (j): A pupil absent from school for the above reasons, shall have no grade reduced/loss of credit and 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 amount of time, shall be given full credit. The teacher of any class from which a pupil is absent shall determine what assignments the pupil shall make up and in what period of time the pupil shall complete such assignments. The tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the test and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.California Education Code, Section 48260: Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 29-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 attendance supervisor or to the Superintendent of the school district.
Excused Absencesa) Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:
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 therefore. The teacher of the class from which a pupil is absent shall determine which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.
- Due to his or her illness.
- Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.
- For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic services rendered.
- 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 California.
- For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by law.
- Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent.
- 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, attendance at an employment conference, or attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization when the pupil's absence is 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.
- For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.
- For the purpose of spending time with a member of the pupil's immediate family, who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in EC § 49701,and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from, deployment to a combat zone or combat support position. Absences granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be granted for a period of time to be determined at the discretion of the superintendent of the school district.
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 therein to “employee” shall be deemed to be references to “pupil.”
Regular school attendance is important if a child is to achieve his or her full potential. We urge you to make an extra effort to ensure that your student establishes a regular attendance pattern. Please refer to the Glendale Unified School District Information for Parents and Students booklet.
Parents: You must clear any unexcused absence for your child within THREE daysClearance ProceduresWhen a student is absent, the parent/guardian must call their student(s) school and leave a message on the attendance tape. For High School level Clearances - Only telephone calls are accepted to clear absences. Written notes are not accepted. Written notes are however, accepted for Elementary School level Clearances though calls to their student(s) school with a corresponding message left on the attendance tape is recommended.Please call your student(s) school at your first opportunity in order to clear absences, leaving the following information: Student’s name, ID#, date of absence(s), reason, and your name and relationship to the student.Absences not cleared within three days will automatically become Truancies. The school’s automatic dialing system will call home on all absences that have not been cleared. Saturday detention or other consequences may be assigned for truancies, but, more importantly, your student misses out on valuable instructional time.
Permission to Leave School
Students who have appointments and must leave campus during the day must get a permit to leave campus from their student center prior to leaving. Parents must call the student center directly (in advance) and notify the school. Any student who becomes ill during the day must check out through the health office. Failure to follow the appropriate procedures may be considered a truancy. Parents may not excuse this type of absence.
Public school districts in California receive their funding from the state of California based on the actual number of students who are present for classes, not on the district’s enrollment. Districts are not paid for students who are absent, no matter whether an absence is excused or unexcused. Apart from lost funding, absent students are a disruption to teachers' lesson plans and slowdown other students in the learning process. Obviously, some absences are unavoidable and excusable. The Glendale Unified School District urges parents 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 portion, of the school day. The district also asks that travel or other absences be avoided during the time school is in session. The better a student’s attendance rate, the more a student will learn. The school calendar is designed to minimize problems for families who plan vacations around traditional holiday periods,and thereby minimize student absences. Following an absence, the school must have received a phone call from a parent/guardian. 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 phone call from home are recorded as unexcused.
The parent/guardian should receive an automated phone call when their child has been marked "absent" for a class or a whole school day. Don't assume that the computer has dialed your phone number in error. If you receive a truant notification by phone, you should inquire about the absence with your student and if so inclined, call your child's school and discuss the absence.
Progressive Discipline Policy
The primary purpose of a school is to ensure that students have the opportunity to develop to their full potential personally, academically, socially, and physically. This development can best take place in an environment which protects students’ rights. To achieve our goal, appropriate behavior must be maintained in the classroom and on the campus at all times. In an effort to create an environment conducive to learning, students are expected to respect themselves and others, exercise self-discipline, and display acceptable forms of behavior. GUSD is committed to creating an atmosphere of reasonable, firm, and positive discipline to help develop acceptable behavior, concern for others, and mutual respect.
Truancies (unexcused absences)
- Students are expected to attend all classes unless excused by a parent or guardian. To excuse a student, the parent/guardian must call their student(s) school attendance office. All absences must be cleared within three days or they automatically become a truant.
- A truancy is defined as the failure of a student to attend class without a valid excuse or a student leaving class without the teacher’s permission.
- Teachers notify the administrator through email or phone call of students who are habitually truant so that appropriate measures can be taken. Administrators will provide a consequence to all students for truancies. The administrator will notify the parent or guardian of any and all actions taken.
- Students who are habitually truant from school (ten or more times per class) can have their schedules adjusted or may be considered for continuation school. NOTE: Habitual truants in one or more classes will result in a “U” citizenship grade and depending on the school, may be restricted from participating in student activities.
- Parents are encouraged to phone their student(s) school attendance office between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to check or address their student’s attendance issues.
Students who continue to be truant will be referred to the Glendale Unified School District’s School Attendance Review Board (SARB) for further action.Late - All students are expected to be in their seats or at their work stations before the tardy bell rings.
- Tardy Policy - Student must be in their seat, workstations or assigned areas (as defined by the teacher), and prepared to do work for class at the beginning of the period. If a student is tardy 30 minutes or more to class, on three separate occasions, the student will be reported a shaving one absence (e.g. 3 tardies of 30 minutes or more = 1 absence. Parents/Guardians are notified via Black Board Connect for all tardies and absences.
- If a student is more than 30 minutes tardy, he/she is considered truant and will make up the truancy by teacher assigned (supervised) detention.
- Students who are habitually Late/Tardy (10 or more times per class) will be assigned progressive discipline as administrator deems appropriate. They can also have their schedules adjusted, be referred to the S. A. R. B, or may be considered for transfer to continuation school. NOTE: Continual tardiness in class will result in a “U” in citizenship grade and depending on the school, may be restricted from participating in student activities.
- Late is defined as when a student arrives after the opening bell through minute 29. Tardy is defined as when a student arrives after minute 30 through the ending bell. Consequences for both are treated the same.
18 Days of "Unexcused" Absences, qualify a student to become designated as a "Habitual Truant" and as such, one whom the School District Administration begins to process, right away, for SART (Student Attendance Review Team) and eventually SARBs if student’s Truancy problems persist. The School District Administration does, as a preventative measure, conduct an intervention SART meeting well before the SART Hearing, to curb the student's negative attendance practices, but as a formality, the "18 Day Mark" is the District’s official "Truancy Tipping-Point."
Parents are notified of a Student’s truancies through a series of 4 Truancy Letters which the District has a practice of sending, on a monthly basis, to Parents concerning their student's attendance. They are our "3 Day" - "5 to 9 Day" - "10 to 14 Day" and finally our "18 Day" Absence Letters.
Our "18 Day Letters" incorporate the Absent/Excused/Illness/Other/Truancy delimiters and codes.
If there is any doubt as to the legitimacy of the illness of student, then that can become a factor for the truancy designation to be revised and trigger for Truancy Letters from the District or even necessitate SART Meeting at the school's request.
For an absence to be considered an "Excused Illness Absence," proper documentation from a physician or school nurse must be provided and on file at the Student’s school site, hence why students are initially marked "I" for Illness instead of "A" for Absent, which subsequently (3 days later) automatically convert into "U" for Unexcused Absences, if proper medical documentation or reasoning is not provided to the Attendance Clerk.
STUDENT ATTENDANCE PROBLEM INTERVENTION SYSTEM
Once a student hits a critical "Habitual Truant" Unexcused Absence mark, (the threshold for which can be anywhere between 5 to 15 days of absences and is dependent on and at the discretion of the individual school site) the school will conduct, either a phone conference call or physical meeting with the parent. This Parental Notification(via phone, standard letter or email) contact will be initiated by the school, requesting that the parent avail themselves to discuss their student's attendance issues. This would be within the First Phase of the Student Attendance Problem Intervention System.
The Second would be initiated if student continues to have attendance problems. At the moment the student reaches the "18 Days of Unexcused Absences Mark" the District sends out its "18 Day Unexcused Absence Letter" alerting parents that their student is in the "Attendance Truancy Danger Zone". If the problem persists, from beyond that point and 5 more days of Truancies are accumulated, a SART meeting is required. During this SART Meeting, both Student and Parent are asked to physically come in to discuss the reasons for their attendance problems and sign a contract, affirming that 5 more Unexcused Days of Absences from beyond that point will automatically qualify them for a SART Hearing.
SART: Informal hearing at the school with student, parent, school site administrator, and Office of Education Services representative. Cum files are thoroughly studied for indicators to the source of the problem, negative habits are confronted. No stone is left unturned or influencing issue not confronted. Tasks and responsibilities for all parties are identified and assigned. A contract is signed and monitored.
The Third action is the SARB Hearing, where both Student and Parent(s) are asked to physically come in to the District Office for a hearing before representatives from School District Administration, the Student’s School, the District Attorney’s office, Law Enforcement, the Department of Public Social Services, the Department of Children and Family Services and other Community Service or Counseling Organizations to discuss the reasons for their attendance problems and sign a contract, affirming that if student’s attendance problems persist, they may become subject to District Attorney Mediation or Juvenile Hall Placement.
SARB: Formal hearing at the Board of Education with representatives from the sheriffs and police departments, probation, courts, and the schools. A contract is signed and monitored. SARB is intended to assist students in solving their problems and to divert them away from the juvenile justice system. SARB must exhaust all resources at the community level, including school programs, public and private services. All resources must be tapped prior to requesting that a petition be filed on behalf of a minor.
So, say a student has 2 unexcused absences. If they are absent, without a valid excuse, one more day, he/she and his/her parents will receive a "3 Day Letter" from the District. If he/she is absent again 2 days later without valid reasoning, they will receive a "5 Day Letter" and so on and so forth until they receive an "18 Day Letter" from the District, at which point the more personal and punitive truancy intervention measures are initiated.
Parents/Guardians who have any questions or concerns related to any aspect of the attendance information shared here are encouraged to contact Educational Services, Dr. Ilin Magran (818) 241-3111 x1500 or e-mail Dr. Ilin Magran.