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Centralia Elementary School District

Attendance Counts

ATTENDANCE PHILOSOPHY

Centralia School District believes that it is imperative that students attend school for the purpose of maintaining and improving upon their academic success. Regular school attendance aids in developing the pro-social attitudes of dependability and responsibility. Additionally, school districts receive funding based upon students' average daily attendance. Thank you for helping us ensure the regular, on-time attendance of your children at school.

California law states that absences are excused only if the child is ill or there is an excuse which meets the requirements of the California Education Code Section 48205. Even excused absences that cause your child to miss significant amounts of school can cause your child to fall behind in class.
 
Education Code Section 48260 (a) A pupil subject to compulsory full time education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, shall be classified as a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.
 
Please carefully read the sections pertaining to attendance in the Notice to Parents/Guardians Rights and Responsibilities for the 2013-14 School Year. Our District’s policy is that we may require verification of absences by a school official or physician if absences for health reasons appear excessive. Please be aware that going “out of town” when school is in session with your child is an unexcused absence. Also, familiarize yourself with your child’s school calendar so you may avoid scheduling family trips and appointments during school time. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your school principal.

Parents are responsible for the regular and punctual attendance of their children. We encourage parents to schedule appointments outside of regular school hours if at all possible.

What can parents do to prevent attendance problems?
  • Stress with your child the importance of regular school attendance.
  • Teach your child to be on time for school each day.
  • Maintain reasonable and regular bedtime hours on school nights.
  • Schedule doctor/dentist appointments before or after school hours.
  • Bring your child to school before and/or after daytime doctor appointments.
  • Plan family vacations when your child is on vacation.
 
ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES

WHEN A CHILD IS ABSENT

When a student is absent from school, the parent/legal guardian is required to notify the school office on the day of the absence. There are several ways parents can notify the school of the reason for an absence:
  • Call the office at your child’s school prior to 10:00 a.m. Follow the automated phone prompt and press 1. Be prepared to leave a voice mail message with the following information: name of person reporting the absence and relationship to the student, student name, teacher name, date(s) of absence, reason for absence.
  • Send an absence note when your child returns to school. Include name of person reporting the absence and relationship to the student, student name, teacher name, date(s) of absence, reason for absence.
 
To assist our schools with attendance accounting procedures, we ask that all absences be cleared within ONE WEEK. Absences cannot be cleared after the end of each school month. Any uncleared absences will be changed to unexcused at the end of each month.

If a child is enrolled in the school Child Care program, it is the parent's responsibility to call Child Care to inform them of the absence. Centralia School District uses an automated phone calling system to notify parents of students who are not in school. Therefore, it is vital that you maintain current phone number information in the school office throughout the year.

ATTENDANCE CORRECTIONS

Parents/legal guardians who feel that an error has been made in the recording of their student’s attendance should contact their student’s teacher immediately to discuss the situation. IF CORRECTIONS ARE NOT MADE WITHIN THE SCHOOL MONTH, ANY UNVERIFIED ABSENCES WILL BE CONSIDERED UNEXCUSED. Due to state attendance accounting regulations, corrections cannot be made after the end of each school month.

MAXIMUM NUMBER OF ABSENCES

Parents must notify the school office if they have a child who has an injury or a serious illness which requires an absence of ten days or more so that the child is not dis-enrolled. Eligible children may be placed on home or hospital teaching. Such a student shall not have those days counted in the cumulative total of absences. Where there is a problem, the home and school must work together to improve attendance.

Children who may be absent for five to ten days as a result of a family emergency may be eligible for participation in Independent Study. Independent Study must be pre-approved by the teacher and principal with prior notice. Contact your child’s principal if you anticipate the need to apply for Independent Study. Restrictions apply.

EXCUSED ABSENCES

The classroom teacher will monitor a student’s attendance and will notify the site principal after ten excused absences. The Principal shall convene the School Attendance Review Team to review the data and determine next steps. Such steps can include meeting with the student, conferencing with the parent and placing the student on an attendance contract. In extreme cases, parents run the risk of being referred to the District Student Attendance Review Board. Schools will be providing an “Excessive Excused” letter to parents of children who have missed 10% or more of the school year during each grading period.

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

The school office will generate absence notification letters for students who have accumulated three and six unexcused absences in a given period. The Principal shall convene the School Attendance Review Team to review school attendance data and take steps to address unexcused absences. Such steps can include meeting with the student, conferencing with the parent and placing the student on an attendance contract. In extreme cases, parents run the risk of being referred to the District Student Attendance Review Board.

Students on either Interdistrict or Intradistrict transfers run the risk of having their transfer revoked as a result of excessive absences or tardies/lates for unexcused or excused absences/tardies/lates.

LATE ARRIVALS & EARLY DISMISSALS

LATE ARRIVAL

Any student arriving late (30 minutes or more) to school must check in through the school office before reporting to class. Students will be given a late pass identifying the reason they are arriving late.
 
EC Section 48260 (a) A pupil subject to compulsory full time education who is… tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year… shall be classified as a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.
 
EARLY RELEASE PROCEDURES

Parents who plan to take their children out of school early should report to the office to check their student out early. Early pick-ups should be limited to family emergencies or doctor appointments. Removing a student from class before the end of school can cause a disruption to the instructional program for the entire class. Teacher often provide end of day announcements or review homework prior to dismissal. It is important that students attend to the last 15 minutes of the day. Parents must pick up students directly from the office, not the classroom.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE INCENTIVE PLAN

Schools are encouraged to provide recognition for improved/perfect attendance.