The Governing Board believes that excessive student absenteeism and tardiness, whether caused by excused or unexcused absences, may be an early warning sign of poor academic achievement and may put students at risk of dropping out of school. The Board desires to ensure that all students attend school in accordance with the state's compulsory education law and take full advantage of educational opportunities provided by the district.

The Superintendent or designee shall establish a system to accurately track and monitor student attendance, including methods to identify students classified as chronic absentees and truants, as defined in law and administrative regulation.

To encourage school attendance, the Superintendent or designee shall develop strategies that focus on prevention and early intervention of attendance problems. Preventive strategies may include efforts to provide a safe and positive school environment, relevant and engaging learning experiences, and school activities that help develop students' feelings of connectedness with the schools. The Superintendent or designee also may provide incentives and rewards to recognize students who achieve excellent attendance or demonstrate significant improvement in attendance.

The Superintendent or designee shall work with students and parents/guardians to identify factors contributing to chronic absence and truancy. Based on this needs assessment, he/she shall collaborate with community agencies, including, but not limited to, child welfare services, law enforcement, courts, and/or public health care agencies, to ensure that alternative educational programs and nutrition, health care, and other support services are available for students and families and to intervene as necessary when students have serious attendance problems.

As required by law, habitually truant students shall be referred to a school attendance review board (SARB), a truancy mediation program operated by the county's district attorney or probation officer, and/or a juvenile court.

The Superintendent or designee shall regularly analyze data on student absence to identify patterns of absence districtwide and by school, grade level, and student population. Such data shall be used to identify common barriers to attendance, prioritize resources for intervention, and monitor progress over time. The Superintendent or designee shall periodically report this information to the Board for purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of strategies implemented to reduce chronic absence and truancy and making changes as needed. As appropriate, the Superintendent or designee also shall provide this information to key school staff and community agency partners to engage them in program evaluation and improvement.

School Attendance Review Board

The Board shall appoint members of the district's SARB, who may include, but are not be limited to, a parent/guardian as well as representatives of the district, county probation department, county welfare department, county office of education, law enforcement agencies, community-based youth service centers, school guidance personnel, child welfare and attendance personnel, and school or county health care personnel. (Education Code 48321)

The district's SARB shall operate in accordance with Education Code 48320-48325 and procedures established by the Superintendent or designee.

Legal Reference:

Education Code
1740 Employment of personnel to supervise attendance (county superintendent)
37223 Weekend classes
41601 Reports of average daily attendance
46000 Records (attendance)
46010-46014 Absences
46110-46119 Attendance in kindergarten and elementary schools
46140-46147 Attendance in junior high and high schools
48200-48208 Children ages 6-18 (compulsory full-time attendance)
48240-48246 Supervisors of attendance
48260-48273 Truants
48290-48296 Failure to comply; complaints against parents
48320-48325 School attendance review boards
48340-48341 Improvement of student attendance
48400-48403 Compulsory continuation education
49067 Unexcused absences as cause of failing grade
60901 Chronic absence

Government Code
54950-54963 The Ralph M. Brown Act

Penal Code
270.1 Chronic truancy; parent/guardian misdemeanor
272 Parent/guardian duty to supervise and control minor child; criminal liability for truancy
830.1 Peace officers

Vehicle Code
13202.7 Driving privileges; minors; suspension or delay for habitual truancy

Welfare and Institutions Code
601-601.4 Habitually truant minors
11253.5 Compulsory school attendance

Code of Regulations, Title 5
306 Explanation of absence
420-421 Record of verification of absence due to illness and other causes

First Reading: 5/11/11

Governing Board Adoption: 6/8/11

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