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Attendance Questions that Parents Have

Attendance FAQ’s for Pinole Middle School for 2012-2013

1. What do I have to do if my child is going to be absent from school?

Please call the attendance office at (510) 231-1436 x 26302. You
must leave your child’s name, the reason for the absence, the date of the
absence and your name to verify that it was a parent/guardian that is verifying
the absence. Or, you may send a note upon your child’s return to school.

2. What does it mean to“verify”my child’s absence?

When a student is absent, parents are required to call/send a note
to the attendance department in order to validate the reason for the child’s
absence. We call this process: Absence Verification.

3. What happens after I have called in my child’s absence?

The attendance clerk will then proceed to mark your child’s
attendance record with an “Excused” or “Unexcused” absence according to Ed.
Code and District policies.

4. What happens if I forget to call my child’s absence on the day of his/her absence?

You may call to verify your child’s absence up to 5 days after
your child has been absent. Absences that are not verified within the time
allowed will be considered unexcused absences. After our attendance month
accounting cycle closes. Unexcused absences due to no-verification cannot be
overwritten or changed

5. What is considered an Excused Absence?

By law [EC § 48205], excused absences are: illness (fever 100° or
more, your child must be fever free for twenty four hours before returning to
school], persistent runny nose with yellow-green mucous discharge, rashes
[unless there is a note from your physician stating that your child is not
contagious], vomiting [If your child is sent home vomiting he/she needs to be
vomit free for twenty four hours before returning to school], diarrhea [If your
child is sent home from school with diarrhea he/she needs to be diarrhea free
for twenty four hours before returning to school], medical/dental appointments
(doctor’s note required for verification), death in the family, specific
religious reasons, required appearance in court, and exclusion from school for
contagious disease.

6. How many Excused Absences can my child have in one school year?

While we know students do become ill and are unable to attend
school, theaveragenumber of days missed due to illness is 3 (three)
per school year.

7. What if my child’s absences do not fall under any of the Excused Absences categories?

State law [EC § 48260-48273] is very specific about these types of
absences. A student who is absent from school without a valid excuse will be
marked “unexcused” for the day. These types of absences are also called

8. I thought “truancy” indicated that a child skipped/ditched school.
Why would my child be considered “Truant” if I have called to verify the absence?

In accordance with Education Code of the State of California [EC §
48260-48273], any pupil who is absent from school for 3 days or more without a
valid excuse, or tardy in excess of 30 minutes or more (Tardies are only
excused with a parent note for illness, doctor/dental note for appointments),is
“truant”. E.g., student cuts 1st period on 3 separate days or student cuts one
period for 2 days and is absent for one full day.

9. What about coming in late (tardy) or leaving early for an appointment?

According to State Law [EC § 48260-48273] a student that is absent
from school in excess of 30 minutes during a school day is also considered
“truant.”Compulsory Education Lawtherefore, requires a student to
attend afullday every day!

10. What is the process for a child with more than 3 unexcused absences/Tardies?

You will receive a letter from the school upon the 3rd (third) and
the consequently upon the sixth absence/truancy. On the second letter (6th
absence/truancy) you will be asked to attend a SART meeting. You may also be
required to attend an informational meeting with the Principal. Additional
unexcused absences will result in a referral to theSchool Attendance Review
and possible referral to the District Attorney for prosecution.

11. What can I do if my child needs to be out of school for a length of time?

If your child must go out of town for five or more days, you may
request that your child is signed up for an Independent Study Agreement. Please
note that teachers need at least one week’s notice in order to prepare
materials without interrupting their instructional time.

12. Why is attendance such a big issue?

Regularattendance is vital to student’s
success in school. The student, who is frequently absent, misses social
interaction and direct instruction from his/her teachers even though written
work can be made up. Any day or hour absent is a missed learning opportunity.
Attendance is a key predictor of dropouts. Dropouts create economic loss and
jeopardize future work force since only 31% of dropouts keep a job more than a
year. Also school loses funding for each absence, regardless of the reason;
including illness or excused absences.

13. I thought schools got “paid” when kids are out ill/”excused”?

Schools do NOT receive funding even if the absence is excused.
This law went into effect in 1998. Any absence is a loss of revenue as well as
instructional opportunities

14. How much revenue is really lost due to attendance?

The State of California funds attendance not absences. That is why
schools in California are funded on Average Daily Attendance (ADA). ADA is the
primary funding source for all schools/school districts in California.

15. What about homework, if my child is absent can I request homework to be sent home?

Students are given the opportunity to makeup schoolwork missed due
to illness or a valid excused absence upon their return. As a general policy, a
student is allowed 1(one) day to complete make-up work for each day of excused
absence from school.  This year many of the teachers will be posting work to this website
so there will be an opportunity to get the work there and turn it in per policy.