Attendance FAQs

What should I do when my child is absent?
Please report student absences to the school office on the day of the absence. If you have not notified us of your child's absence, you will receive a call. Please clear the absence by emailing our attendance clerk.  Leave your name and relationship to the student, the student's name and grade, a call-back number, and the reason for the absence. 

What if I need to take my child out of school? What is a Contract for Independent Study?


We have noticed a recent increase of families requesting independent study contacts. Unfortunately due to staffing vacancies, we are unable to process requests for independent study contracts at this time. We are coordinating with the SDUSD Human Resources Department to address this shortage. Parents of students who plan to be absent from school for an extended period of time are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher directly. Please use this link to view our contact list:

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

A Contract for Independent Study (CIS) is a pre-arranged agreement of academic work students will complete during their absence. Follow this link to review our policy, learn who qualifies for a CIS, and the point of contact for requesting a contract.

The attendance clerk will coordinate the collection of academic assignments from all teachers and notify the parent when the packet is ready. Students will be expected to complete the work during the absence. Upon returning to school, students will turn in the completed the work to the appropriate classroom teacher. Teachers will grade the work and submit the grade and work samples to the attendance office. If criteria are met, the student’s absences will be converted to excused. If the criteria are not met, then the absences will continue to be unexcused.

What is district policy regarding attendance?
School attendance is required by law. Education Code section 48200 of the State of California requires every child between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age to attend school every day and on time. Studies prove that student attendance increases student achievement.

Parents/guardians are responsible for their child’s school attendance and must notify the school if their child is not in school and why. Acceptable reasons for excused absences are listed below. Absences due to activities such as babysitting, accompanying parents on errands and attending concerts or sporting events are unexcused.

Absences from school for five or more days may be excused if a parent requests a Contract for Independent Study at least one week prior to absence. The child must complete the contract within the set timeline. After any absence, students must report to the appropriate school office to obtain readmission before returning to class.

No student shall have his/her grade reduced or lose credit for an excused absence. A student with an excused absence will be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence. Upon satisfactory completion of the assignment or test, within a reasonable period of time, the student will be given full credit. Tests and assignments will be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the student missed during the absence. (Education Code Section 48205)

What is an excused absence?
A student will be excused from school when the absence is:

  • Due to personal illness
  • Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer
  • For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic services rendered
  • Pupils enrolled in grades 7-12 may be excused from school for the purpose of obtaining confidential medical services without the consent of the pupil’s parents
  • For attending the funeral service of an immediate family member. The allowed absence is for one day if the service is in California and three days if outside California.
  • Due to the illness or medical appointment during school of a child who the student is the custodial parent
  • For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, a court appearance, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a religious holiday or ceremony, attendance at a religious retreat or attendance at an employment conference when the student’s absence has a written request from the parent and approval by the principal or a designated representative.

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

What is the policy on tardies?

Students late to school three times in a semester are assigned an after school detention for each third tardy. Tardiness to any period is very disruptive to your child’s routine and negatively impacts his/her school experience. Please assist us in meeting your child’s educational needs by making sure your child is in class before the bell rings. The school day begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. 

 I have difficulty getting my child to school on time, what should I do?

    • Q: My student is late to school because I forgot to wake up my child. A: A 10 year old student is old enough to wake themselves up. Do not allow your child to use a smart phone as an alarm clock. See below for more information.
    •  Q: My child has difficulty waking up in the morning. A: Follow these steps:
      •  Make sure your child goes to bed at a reasonable hour. The average recommended bedtime for our students is between 8:30 and 9:00 AM.
      •  Do not allow your child to use or recharge electronic devices in their room. This includes computers, smart phones, televisions, and gaming devices. Insomnia can be caused by the fact most students are unable to manage their usage of electronic devices.
      •  Provide your student with a traditional alarm clock and teach them how to use it. Provide consequences for not waking up on time.
    •  Q: My child is late to school because I have to drive to Dana and we experience traffic. A: Determine how long it takes to travel from your home to Dana, add 15 minutes to this time, and subtract it from 8:00 AM. Set this as the departure time from your home and communicate this fact to your child. Assign your child a consequence if they are unprepared to leave at this time.
    •  Q: I need help. Who can I contact? A: Please contact your child’s counselor.

Can I serve detention for my child?

Sometimes we are asked if the parent can serve the detention for their child because they believe it is their fault the child is late to school on a regular basis. It is true it takes a family effort to reinforce being on time to school, but adults are not allowed to serve after school detention. We have services available to families who need assistance with this topic. Please contact your child's counselor for more information.

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