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School Attendance and Truancy

School Attendance – Every Day Counts!

Every Day Counts in a child's education. Every day a student misses school, he/she gets more than two days behind because he/she must make up missed learning and catch up with new learning at the same time. Every day a student is in school he/she increases his/her learning opportunities. Every day a student goes to school, he/she learns a little more about responsibility.  Every day counts toward funding for school supplies, too. A new law has changed the way schools receive state funding. Schools can no longer receive money for excused absences. Schools now receive funding only for students who are actually in class. Everyday a student misses school, even for excused absences, the school loses about $35.09 in income, the equivalent of about three library books.

As you are aware, compulsory daily school attendance is a requirement for all students ages 6-18. Our Superintendent, Parvin Ahmadi, along with all District staff, is committed to continuing academic improvement in all of our schools. Daily school attendance fosters improvement in student achievement and the District needs your support in making sure children come to school on a regular basis. Additionally, when a student misses school, excused or unexcused, the District loses approximately $35.09 per day for each absence. Although our attendance rate for the district was 96% in 2006-07, the 4% of the students who did not attend school totaled $2,203,596 in lost revenue.

The California Education Code 48205 defines school absences as either excused or non-excused. Excused absences are generally unavoidable and include the following:

  • Illness
  • Funeral services for immediate family
  • Quarantine Medical/dental/eye appointments

The parent/guardian of the student must send a note and/or phone the school to clear any of these excusable absences. Please see the student handbook for the policy regarding making up school work and assignments missed because of an excused absence.  Failure to clear excused absences will result in a recorded truancy on the student's permanent record.

Non-excused absences are usually avoidable and include some of the following examples:

  • Vacation
  • Parent requiring student to perform childcare
  • Student's birthday
  • Family changing residence within school district
  • Visiting relatives
  • Car trouble
  • Shopping
  • Oversleeping

Vacations should be scheduled to coincide with the District's instructional calendar. Typically make-up work is not accepted for unexcused absences. However, short-term Independent Study may be arranged for students that will be absent from regular instruction for a minimum of three (3) consecutive instructional days (Board Policy 6158).  A request for Independent Study should be submitted ten school days prior to the absence, and the Principal has the right to deny a short-term Independent Study agreement. If approved, the work must be completed and turned in on the assigned due date or when the student returns to school, whichever is first.

The district will send a formal letter to the parents/guardians of students who accumulate three days of unexcused absences, numerous unexcused class periods, or numerous tardies. This letter will inform the family of a potential declaration of truancy on the child's record according to Education Code 48260. Students with excessive absences may be required to submit a doctor's note.

One of the Castro Valley Unified School District's goals is to improve student attendance. We appreciate your assistance in this goal since Every Day Counts towards your child's continued academic success.