What is an Attendance Contract?

What is an Attendance Contract?
Learn About Attendance Contracts

The State of California allows districts to offer students a chance to earn credit for attendance for a longer, but still temporary, absence under certain conditions.  It’s called an Independent Study Contract and has a number of rules that we must follow for it to be a valid contract according to the State. 

Notification: The attendance office must be notified a minimum of six (6) days in advance of the planned absence.  The office must have one (1) day to prepare the contract and the teachers are required by their employment contract to have five (5) days notice.  If the attendance office is not given enough notification, a contract may be denied. 

The Contract: The contract is a signed agreement by the parent and student to complete the work assigned by the teacher during the student’s absence.  The school is not allowed to give the assigned work ahead of time to the parent/student.  The work must be completed during the dates the student is absent.  After the parent and student complete the contact, it goes to the counselor for approval.  Once approved, teachers are notified of the contract.  Teachers are not required to provide work for an Independent Study Contract.  A minimum of four (4) teachers must provide work for a contract to be viable.  

Length of Absence: A contract can not be created for an absence shorter than 5 days.  

The Assigned Work: A student on contract must complete the work during their absence.  If the work is completed on paper, the student must sign and date each page - front and back. 

After the Absence: Upon the student’s first day back at school after the absence, the student must return the completed work to the attendance office, not the teacher.  The attendance office will distribute the work to the teachers.  The teachers will review the work, assign credit, and notify the attendance office of the percentage of credit assigned..  

Credit for Attendance: According to the percentage of credit the teacher has designated, the attendance office will change the attendance codes in PowerSchool.  If the student did not complete the assigned work, the student will not be given credit for attendance.  If the reason for the absence would be considered unexcused, teachers are not required to give the student work or any additional time.  

Credit for Grades: Once the assigned work is returned, the teachers will grade the work.  Please note that if the student did not complete the assigned work while on contract and the absence would be considered unexcused (vacation), the teacher is not required to give the student work for those days and may not allow the work to be turned in late.

Students with Special Education Services:  Please check with your student’s case manager prior to requesting an Independent Study Contract.  A student with an IEP will not be provided service during the absence, therefore, it is necessary for the team to include the information in the student’s IEP.  An Independent Study Contract will not be created for a student without this information in the IEP.

Contact Person: Maria Pimentel-Yap, mpimentel-yap, 858-302-3000, ext 3021

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