All students (unless exempted by law) are required to attend school full time from the ages of 6 to 18. Education Code 48200 defines compulsory attendance:

Each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years not exempted under the provisions of this Chapter or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 48400) is subject to compulsory full-time education. Each person subject to compulsory full-time education and each person subject to compulsory continuation education not exempted under the provisions of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 48400) shall attend the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes and for the full time designated as the length of the school day by the governing board of the school district in which the residency of either the parent or legal guardian is located and each parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of the pupil shall send the pupil to the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes and for the full time designated as the length of the school day by the governing board of the school district in which the residence of either the parent or legal guardian is located.

Unless otherwise provided for in this code, a pupil shall not be enrolled for less than the minimum school day established by law.

Enforcing Compulsory Attendance Law

Enforcement of compulsory attendance law is both a requirement of every school agency and promotes a progressive and successful educational program for each pupil. Effective enforcement requires knowledge of individual roles and responsibilities, procedures to identify and correct attendance problems and programs to encourage good attendance.


Governing boards, administrators, teachers and parents have various roles and responsibilities in compulsory attendance, for example:

  • Governing Board: Adopts district policies on full-time attendance (ref. Education code Section 48200), defines justifiable personal absence (ref. Education code Section 48205) and identifies reasonable methods to verify absences due to illness or quarantine (ref. Title 5 CCR 421)

  • Administrators: Carry out board policy, supelvise enrollment and attendance procedures and conduct investigations for any complaint regarding truancy laws

  • Teachers: Take attendance in accordance with approved attendance system and report on absences

  • Parents, Guardians and Caregivers: Ensure their children comply with compulsory attendance law by compelling the child to attend schocl or by providing a valid excuse when absent


Education Code Section 48205 permits a pupil to be excused from school under certain circumstances:

(a) Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:

1 Due to his or her illness.

2 Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.

3 For the purpose of having medical, dental, Optometrical, or chiropractic services rendered.

4 For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of his or her immediate family, so long as the absence is not more than one day if the service is conducted in California and not more than three days if the service is conducted outside California.

5 For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by law.

6 Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hour of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent.

7 For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at religious retreats, attendance at an employment conference, or attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization when the pupil's absence is requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board.

8 For the purpose of serving as a member of a peecinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.

(b) A pupil absent from school under this section shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit therefore. The teacher of the class from which a pupil is absent shall determine which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.

(c) For purposes of this section. attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.

(d) Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be absences in computing average daily attendance and shall not generate state apportionment payments.

(e) "Immediate family" as used in this section, has the same meaning as that set forth in Section 45194, except that references therein to "employee" shall be deemed to be references to "pupil."


  1. Accept notes to excuse absences with an E or UN. Do not limit the time period to 10 days. Generally speaking, the absence should be cleared within the semester in which it occurs. Those absences that occur toward the end of the first Semester should be followed up on with vigor to avoid lagging into the next semester. Robert Rodriguez will provide dates for a final report of excuses.

  2. Accept phone messages from a parent to excuse an absence. The message that goes out to parents regarding their child's absence tells them to call or send a note regarding the absence.

  3. MKHS and AHS will require studenls to get a "quick readmit" upon returning to school. SGHS will continue their current readmit practice. Elementary Schools will continue to follow procedures at their school sites.

  4. Attendance Clerks will follow-up on students who have not provided docmentation of an absence as per dates for attendance accounting from Robert Rodriquez. (These will
    be forthcoming).

  5. A reminder about the codes:

E = Excused (note/call from parent usually re illness; not to exceed I 0 days within a school year)

UN = Unexcused with a Note (note/call from parent but has exceeded I 0 days of excused absences in the school year, or an unexcused reason such as extended holiday break.)

V = Verified (Doctor note, therapy, court documents ... )

For state reporting purposes, truancy is defined as three or more all day "U" codes. We want to use this code only for students who are legitimately "truant", not for those who just did not bring a note.


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