Attendance, Early Release, & Tardies

Everyday CountsNeed to Report An Absence? Please call the Attendance Office 858-302-3000.

Early Release? - Send note with student to Attendance Office before school starts.

California Education Code 48200 requires full-time student attendance for all children between ages 6 and 18.

Absences - When a student is absent, the student's parent/guardian must call, email, or send a note to the Attendance Office.  The district's automated phone message system will make automated phone calls and send automated emails when students are absent or tardy.  If a parent/guardian does not inform the school of the reason for the absence after five (5) days, the absence turns into an unexcused absence.

Excused Absences - We greatly appreciate it when a parent/guardian contacts the school to inform us of about a student's absence.  Sometimes, the absence is recorded as unexcused as the reason given does not meet the guidelines prescribed by State law.  

California Education Code states the parameters of what constitutes an excused absence and are used to calculate funding for schools.  When a student is unexcused, the school does not receive funding for that day.  More importantly, when students are not in the classroom they lose out on opportunities to receive direct instruction from the teacher, ask questions, and confer with their peers.  In addition, when a student has an unexcused absence, the teacher is not required to provide school work for the day of that absence.  For details regarding district and state attendance policies, please check the Facts for Parents booklet sent home at the beginning of the school year or the district's website,

A student will be excused from school when the absence is due to:

  • Personal illness or injury
  • Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer
  • Having medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic services rendered
  • Obtaining confidential medical services without the consent of the student’s parents or guardians (according to Title X law and regulations)
  • Attending the funeral service of an immediate family member; one day if the service is in California and three days if outside of California
  • Jury duty in the manner provided for by law
  • Illness or medical appointment during school of a child whose custodial parent is the student
  • Spending time with an immediate family member who is an active-duty member of the uniformed services and who has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support position.
  • Participation in the entertainment industry as noted under Education Code. Students with these work permits may be excused for a period of not more than five consecutive days, with a maximum of five absences per year.
  • Justifiable personal reasons include, but are not limited to, a court appearance, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a religious holiday or ceremony, attendance at a religious retreat, or attendance at an employment conference when the student’s absence has a written request from the parent and approval by the principal or a designated representative. 
  • California law defines members of the “immediate family” as the mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, or spouse of the student, and son, daughter, brother, or sister of the student, or any relative living in the immediate household of the student.

Excessive Absences - Students who have multiple absences whether they are excused or unexcused will be monitored.  Parents/guardians may receive letters informing them of excessive absents/truancy.  Students who have excessive absences may have interventions such as individual conferences, parent/student conferences, and home visits to problem solve with the family.  It is also possible the student will enter into a process called Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) which may lead to court intervention if absences continue to be a problem.

Doctor Appointments, Early Dismissal - A parent/guardian may request an early dismissal for a student.  In order to minimize classroom interruptions, please send a note in with your child.  The student brings the note to the Attendance Office before school and we will be able to give the student a pass to leave at that time.  The person who is picking up the student must be listed on the enrollment card as having permission and has picture ID.  The person will sign the student out at the front office. 

If you are unable to write a note due to an emergency, please call as soon as possible with a minimum of 120 minutes ahead of time.  It may take up to 30 minutes to retrieve the student from a classroom, especially from PE class. 

Any student leaving campus early without a blue release slip is considered truant.  

Extended Absences/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.  Extended trips/personal leaves are discouraged during the school year.  Contracts are only available for five or more days. 

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 (ex: 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


Letters for Excessive Absences - The district has a set schedule of when letters are mailed home regarding absences they consider to be more than normal.  A student's attendance record may be viewed through PowerSchool Portal.  The Attendance Office will be able to help anyone who has a question or concern.

Tardies and Truancies - All students are expected to be in class when the bell rings.  Students who are tardy will not be admitted to class without a tardy slip from the Attendance Office.  If a student is tardy or truant, he/she may receive consequences such as lunch intervention or in-school suspension.  In an effort to notify parents, an automated phone call will be made.

Unexcused Absences - An unexcused absence is when the reason provided for a student's absence does not qualify for the excused code under the California Education Code.  In addition, any absence that remains unverified by the parent/guardian turns into an unexcused absence after five (5) days.  Teachers do not have to provide work to a student for any day that is an unexcused absence.  If a student does not complete the work provided under a Independent Study Contract, those days for that extended absence will also turn into unexcused absences.

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