• Duarte Unified School District monitors attendance closely because research has shown that regular attendance is vital for the success of children in school. 

    Our goal is to have all children present in school every day and on time. Our District’s policy is that we may require verification of absences due to illness or if a child has missed school.  Even excused absences that cause children to miss significant amounts of school can cause them to fall behind in class.

    California Compulsory Attendance Laws: Education Code 48200 states that all children between the ages of 6 and 18 are subject to compulsory full-time education, unless otherwise exempted.   California law states that absences are excused only if the child is ill or there is an excuse which meets the requirements of Education Code Section 48205, 48225.5 or 48260(c). Education Code Section 48260 defines a truant as a student who has missed more than 30 minutes on three days without a valid excuse in one school year.

    Irregular Attendance: Education Code 48403, 54690 and 48432.5. A student who is not at school every day and on time; increased tardies and absences, etc. Could be excessive excused absences. Part of definition of an at-risk student.
    Chronic Absentee:  Any student who has missed more than 10% (18 days) of instructional days, for any reason (excused or unexcused).
    Severely Chronic: Any student who has missed 20% (36 days) or more of instructional days, for any reason (excused or unexcused).

    Student Absence Procedures: Excusable absences are defined in Education Codes 48260 (c), 48205 and 48225.5.  Upon return to school students must bring in a note the day they return and submit it to the attendance office prior to the start of school.  The note should include the following: Student name and ID number, grade, date, the period(s) they were absent (if all day then put down all day), the reason for their absence, and parent/guardian signature. 

    Multiple truancies can result in an additional attendance contract with the school, the county and possible loss of extra-curricular privileges.

    Off Campus During School Hours: In order for a student to be allowed to leave prior to the end of the school day, the school office must be notified.  If there is a planned appointment during the school day, students must bring a note to the attendance office at the beginning of the school day.  The note must be from their parent or guardian indicating the Student’s name, ID number, parent signature, and reason for the off campus pass.  If a student leaves campus without notifying the attendance office or being released from the health office they may be considered truant.  This cannot be corrected with a note on their return.

    Family/Parent Trips: Students are strongly discouraged from taking family trips during school days. This is not considered an excusable absence unless proof of family emergency is provided.  If the attendance office is not notified, the absence will be marked truant or unexcused.  Teachers are not required to allow students to make up work in this situation. Students could receive a “0” for the work they miss which will have a negative effect on their academic performance.

     Unexcused Absences/Truancies: Teachers are not required to allow students to make up work for unexcused absences/truancies which will have a negative effect on their academic performance. This will result in a “0” grade for the work they missed during an unexcused absence or truancy.

    Truant: Education Code 48260(a). A student is truant if he/she is absent or tardy by more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse on 3 days in a school year. 
    Habitual Truant: Education Code 48262. A student is habitually truant when he/she is absent without a valid excuse for 5 days during the school year.
    Chronic Truancy: Education Code 48263.6. A student is chronically truant if he/she is absent without a valid excuse for at least 10% (18 days) of the school year. 
     How Attendance is County for Online Learning
    Online classes have two components:  (1) Synchronous: Real-time instruction with live teacher/class interactions and (2) Asynchronous: Online lessons without real-time interaction (email, pre-recorded video lessons, learning tasks that students complete on their own).   Students must be present for both synchronous and asynchronous lessons.  A student’s online presence will be marked either (a) present or absent: synchronous, and/or (b) present or absent: asynchronous.
    Students missing 3 days per week or 60% of their weekly lessons may be deemed truant and the school will reach out to the student/parent either by phone or electronic communication to verify the reasons for the student’s absence and to work with the family to re-engage the student to his/her online education.
    Education Code Section 48260 – Any pupil subject to 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 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. Under California Compulsory Education law, parents must compel the attendance of the pupil at school or online instruction.
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    California Education Code (E.C.) Section 48260.5 states:
    (1) That the pupil is truant.
    (2)  That the parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the pupil at school.
    (3)  That parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290).
    (4)  That alternative educational programs are available in the school district.
    (5)  That the parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the pupil's truancy. (6)That the pupil may be subject to prosecution under Section 48264.
    (6) That the pupil may be subject to prosecution under Section 48264.