We know that when students feel safe and connected to school, attendance goes up and absenteeism goes down. Our school sites are focusing on building position relationships with all students to help create campus cultures where students choose to be at school because they feel connected, and safe when they are there. Regular and punctual school attendance of students is expected, encouraged, and as necessary, enforced. School attendance is an area of mutual cooperation between the school, the parents and the student. For more information on supporting overall wellness ideas you can view the PUSD Wellness Resource Page.
We realize some absences are unavoidable due to illness. Absences due to illness and medical appointments are considered excused absences as long at the school receives a phone call and/or documentation from a parent or guardian cleaning the absence within 72 hours the occurrence. Failure to excuse the absence results may result in notification of Truancy letters, a School Attendance Review Team (SART) meeting with a Child Welfare and Attendance Specialist and school staff, or a referral to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB).
Additionally, we strongly encourage that families plan vacations on scheduled school breaks. Please refer to our Annual Calendar and Short Term Independent Study Contracts for specific procedures, if you anticipate your child missing school for a duration of 5-10 school days.
For shorter anticipated absences of 1-4 days, there is a "Pre-Approved Absence" Form", allowable in for specific situations, that may be submitted to the School Principal for approval.
California Attendance Requirements and Truancy California State law only allows for a few excused absences, which are outlined in Administrative Regulation (AR) 5113, which is linked here. All other absences are considered unexcused, per state law, even if a parent calls to report their child's absence. Any tardy over 30 minutes, except for medical reasons, is also unexcused. If at student has three (3) unexcused absences and/or three (3) unexcused 30 minute or more tardies in a given school year, the student is considered truant and the the student's parent/guardian will receive a truancy notification letter. For easier reference of Truancy notification the chart below outlines the process.
|3 instances* of unexcused absence||1st Re-Engagement/Truancy Letter|
|2 additional instances* of unexcused absence(5 total instances)||2nd Re-Engagement/Truancy Letter|
|2 additional instances* of unexcused absence(7 total instances)||3rd Re-Engagement/Truancy Letter (Designated at Habitually Truant by the State)|
Excessive Excused Letters
|7 instances* of excused absence||1st Excessive Excused Letter|
|7 additional instances* of excused absences(14 total instances)||2nd Excessive Excused Letter|
*Instance = any absence that is between 1 period through 1 full school day OR being tardy (late) to school of 30 minutes or more.
We believe that with guidance and support all students can reach their greatest potential.
School Attendance Review Team (SART)
Students who are alert and ready to learn in school each day make the most of the learning opportunities offered to them. Attending school regularly starting in the early grades is critical to gaining the social, emotional, and academic skills needed to succeed. The main objective of the Student Attendance Review Team (SART) is to understand the reasons why students, at the school site level, are not attending school and to connect students and families to school and community resources to address these absence concerns. Once the student is considered a habitual truant (3rd Truancy Letter), or has an excessive number of absences for illness, the student will be referred to a PUSD Child Welfare and Attendance Specialist who will arrange for a Student Attendance Review Team (SART) Meeting.
- SART members may consist of School Administrator, Child Welfare and Attendance, student, parent, school counselor, teacher, and any other specified staff.
- A corrective action plan will be developed with parental input.
- The student will again be directed to attend all classes unless excused for legal reason.
When the school has exhausted all resources and a student's attendance has not improved, then a family may be referred to a School Attendance Review Board (SARB) hearing.
School Attendance Review Board (SARB)
After a SART meeting occurred at the school site level and attendance has not improved, a family can be referred to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) hearing.The SARB Chairperson will schedule a hearing before a panel and the student and parent/guardian are required to attend.The School Attendance Review Board addresses chronic attendance and truancy problems. The mission of the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) is to help students stay in school, attend school regularly and graduate. SARB is a community-based effort to bring together resources to assist families with attendance and truancy issues.
At a SARB hearing, students and their parents will meet with a panel that may consist of a:
- SARB Chairperson
- Child Welfare and Attendance Specialist
- School Administrator
- School Social Worker
- School Counselor
- School District Health staff
- School Resource Officer
- Community Mental Health Providers
Failure to comply with SARB recommendations and interventions may result in a further referral to the Alameda County District Attorney’s office for legal action. SARB hearings are conducted by school districts throughout California and records are transferred between districts when students relocate to a new school.