California State Law requires all children between the ages of six and eighteen years to attend school daily. Education Code section 48200 states that no student is permitted to leave school at recess or any other time before the regular hour of closing without the approval of the school principal or designee. Violations of this code section will be considered truancies.
Any full-time or continuing-education student who is absent from school without a valid excuse for 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, is a truant (Education Code 48260).
Parents of elementary school and middle school students are expected to notify the school office at least one-half hour prior to the beginning of school. Notification of a child’s absence is required for each day that the student is not in attendance.
At the high school level, parents should send a note with their student on the day of the student’s return. The note should include an explanation for the student’s absence.
According to EC Section 48205, a student can be excused from school when the absence is
- Personal Illness
- Medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic services
- Funeral services for a member of the immediate family
- Observation of a religious holiday, or other justifiable personal reasons.
- Jury Duty
- Quarantine under the direction of a health officer
- Medical appointment for a child, if the student is a custodial parent
- For the purpose of spending time with a member of the pupil’s immediate family who is an active duty member of the uniformed services
- Serving as a member of a precinct board for an election
- Attending his/her own naturalization ceremony
- Participation in a cultural ceremony or event
- Authorized at the discretion of a school administrator, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 48260.
Student Attendance Review Team (SART)
After a student is identified as “truant,” the school will mail a letter to the parent or guardian informing them of the student’s attendance situation. Should the problem persist, an additional letter will be sent followed by a meeting of the School Attendance Review Team (SART). In addition to school personnel, this meeting requires that the student and the parent/guardian must be present. Failure to comply with the direction of SART will result in the student’s referral to the School Attendance Review Board.
Student Attendance Review Board (SARB)
Although voluntary compliance with mandatory school attendance laws is expected, the Placentia – Yorba Linda Unified School District has teamed with local law enforcement agencies to form the District’s School Attendance Review Board, or (SARB). This board is committed to identifying solutions to a student's poor attendance while actively enforcing state laws relating to school attendance. The District’s School Attendance Review Board meets monthly in order to intervene with students that are defined as habitual truants.
This collaborative effort of the District and law enforcement in the SARB process has proven to be an effective tool in correcting the troublesome problem of truancy. Students that fail to comply with the directives of this Board are referred to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
The Placentia - Yorba Linda Unified School utilizes the SARB process as the last effort in a series of measures aimed at correcting a student’s unacceptable school attendance. It is hoped that all students would voluntarily comply with school attendance laws.