Absence Reporting Procedure
It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to report their student’s absences. Only parents/guardians can excuse a student’s absence. Parents/guardians must call or email the School Office on the first day of absence.
When a child is absent because of illness or for a doctor or dental appointment, call or email the school office (650-856-1672) before 8:15 a.m. on the day of the absence and indicate the reason. If contact is not made, the school requires the returning student bring a note signed by the parent/guardian. In a situation where a health condition begins to impact attendance and learning, a referral to the District Health Services Office may be initiated.
If a student is absent from class for any reason and the absence has not been cleared with the school staff, parents/guardians will receive a call from school staff. Any absence not cleared by the student’s parent/guardian within 72 hours will be treated as an unexcused absence.
Detailed student attendance information is available for parents/guardians to review through the Infinite Campus Parent/Student Portal.
A child may be dismissed early from school only when a telephone call or note to the school office/teacher has indicated the specific reason. The school is not permitted to excuse children for music lessons, scouting, sports, or other extracurricular activities. A child leaving school at a time other than the usual dismissal time must report to the school office and await transportation there, NOT at the curb.
Excused Absences fall into one of two categories:
- Health – Absences due to illness, medical appointments, or quarantine.
- Warranted – These include, but are not limited to the following: (Education Code, 48205)
- Funeral service for member of immediate family members
- Religious Purposes
- Court Appearances
Please see PAUSD AR 5113 for a detailed description of excused absences.
Health Related Absences
The district realizes that students may experience illness or health issues (physical/mental) throughout the year, requiring them to be absent from school. In order to provide appropriate supports to students with situational or chronic health issues, the following procedures apply.
In health related cases, in which the student is absent five (5) consecutive days, a physician’s note is requested in order to excuse the absences. In cases where the student is absent over five (5) days (non-consecutive) or the equivalent of 10% of the semester (after state enrollment date) for health reasons, a physician’s note is requested in order to excuse the absences. Health related absences may not be excused without appropriate medical documentation provided by an authorized health care provider (AR 5113).
Parents/guardians should make every effort to schedule appointments outside of school hours. However, if not possible, parents/guardians are urged to consider varying the times of the day during which health appointments are made in order to avoid missing the same class consistently. If a student must leave during the day for a doctor/dentist appointment, the parent/guardian should come to the school office to sign out the student from school. If a student returns to school the same day, they are required to report to the school office before returning to class to provide verification of the health visit.
Unexcused absences include absences not included above and/or not cleared with your child’s school administration. Absences that do not qualify as excused as defined in Education Code have the potential to accrue toward truancy. Education Code §48260 provides that a student is truant if that student is:
- Absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year, or
- Tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day
- Without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof. (Education Code, 48260, subd. (a)).
We realize there are times families need to travel for various reasons during the school year. However, family trips are not considered excused absences by Education Code §48205. Given that classroom instruction and the interactive dynamic of the classroom experience are irreplaceable, consistent school attendance allows students to fully benefit from the educational experience. Students may be given the opportunity to make up missed work in extraordinary circumstances when a family leave is necessary, such as under emergency situations. Please contact your school principal to discuss your family’s situation.
Children should be at school on time. Arriving after school has started is considered tardy. Teachers submit attendance online within the first few minutes of the school day. If the student arrives after school has started, the student will need to go to the office upon arrival at school so the attendance report can be amended to “tardy” rather than “absent.”
Persistent tardiness is a problem for students, teachers and the classroom routine. When children are late, it causes disruptions and requires teachers to repeat instruction or re-explain directions. This results in a loss of learning time for the entire class. Perhaps most important for children of elementary age, they are learning patterns for life. Being on time and ready to begin the day is an important habit for life. Since parents/guardians are largely responsible for getting children to school on time in elementary school, we ask you to plan a morning routine which ensures that your child arrives at school early.
Students who arrive at school after the second bell has rung at 8:15 and after the teacher has taken the roll, will be sent to the office to get a tardy slip. If the student arrives to school late, it is best to stop at the office and get a Tardy Slip prior to going to class. If tardiness persists: Attendance letters will be mailed home when your child has excessive tardies or unexcused absences. If tardiness still persists, the teacher or principal will confer with the parent/s and student to discuss strategies for getting the student to school on time. If unexcused tardies continue, consequences may include a referral to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB - the District’s disciplinary committee for severe attendance and disciplinary cases). A child in grades K-5 is considered habitually truant after 5 unexcused tardies of 30 minutes or more and/or 5 unexcused absences.