CUSD Attendance Policy
For every child to be successful, s/he must be healthy and attend school regularly. It is our desire to be supportive and work collaboratively to help you with your child’s educational success. In partnership with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, we want to inform you of your responsibilities and the codes that apply to compulsory education.
Attendance Policies and Regulations
View the full Student Attendance Policies and Regulations
- First Day of School
- Excused Absences
- Absences Due to Student Illness
- Absences for Religious Exercises or Holidays
- Unexcused Absences/Truancy
- Absences Due to Family Travel and Vacations
- Short-Term Independent Study During Travel
- Report of Absence Form and Short-Term Independent Study Request Procedures
Students are expected to be in attendance on the first day of school. If a student is absent on the first day of school, the parent/guardian must contact the school as soon as possible to report the reason for the absence. Extended family vacation/travel is considered an unexcused absence.
A student shall be excused from school for justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service of an immediate family member, observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion, attendance at religious retreats, or attendance at an employment conference, when the pupil’s absence has been 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.
A student with an excused absence from school shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion, shall be given full credit. The teacher of any class from which a pupil is absent shall determine, pursuant to the regulations of the governing board of the school district, what assignments the pupil shall make up and in what period of time the pupil shall complete those assignments. The tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.
Attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester. See “Absences for Religious Exercises or Holidays” below.
Absences due to illness, including a doctor's appointment during the school day, may be considered verified in the following ways:
- Physician's verification via note, email, or fax (within 5 days of the absence in order to be marked verified)
- School Nurse/Principal's exchange with parent/guardian via a phone conversation, on-site visit, email or written note
- A visit to the student's home by the Principal/School Nurse or any other investigative method which establishes the fact that the student was absent for the reasons stated
Students are encouraged to always bring a physician's note when possible if an appointment interferes with any part of a school day.
When a student has had seven absences or tardies (late arrival of 30 minutes or more) for illness, which were not verified in the ways listed above, further absences or tardies for illness may require verification by a physician or qualified medical personnel (see number 1). Failure to provide verification may result in unexcused subsequent absences.
Student absence for religious instruction or participation in religious exercises may be considered excused. In order to receive an excused absence for participation in a religious exercise or holiday, an advance written request by the parent/guardian must be submitted to the school site. Failure to provide the advance written request will result in your child receiving an unexcused absence.
Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education who is absent from school without valid excuse three full school days in one year or tardy or absent for more than a 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 and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district. (Education Code 48260)
A student who is habitually truant, irregular in school attendance, or habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school may be referred to, and required to attend a school attendance review board (SARB) program, a truancy mediation program established by the district attorney or the probation officer, or a comparable program deemed acceptable by the district’s attendance supervisor. (Education Code 48263, 28364.5)
- The potential effects of unexcused absences are:
- Student report cards may be noted as incomplete
- Student grades may be affected
- Students will not be allowed to “make-up” missed assignments
- Truancy notification letters are sent to families as unexcused absences are accumulated
- A truancy letter will be sent when your child accrues three (3) unexcused absences of 30 minutes or more in a school year
- A habitual truancy letter will be sent when your child accrues five (5) unexcused absences of 30 minutes or more in a school year
- Required attendance at either a District’s Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) meeting or a mediation meeting with the Santa Clara County District Attorney and District staff once your child accrues ten (10) unexcused absences of 30 minutes or more in a school year.
- Failure to comply with the law and education codes (EC 48205, 48260, 48262) may result in an infraction or a misdemeanor.
The District does not support the practice of taking trips/vacations on school days. Absences due to family trips are unexcused unless the absence is pre-arranged and a short-term independent study contract has been approved by the school principal. The District will not hold a student’s seat at a school after a ten-day absence, with or without a Short-term independent study contract, without pre-approval due to extenuating circumstances. The Student Assignment Office will work with families upon their return to confirm residency and school assignment when an absence is more than ten days and is not pre-approved.
Short-Term Independent Study During Travel
Parents may request a Short-Term Independent Study provided the student will return to school at least five (5) days prior to the last day of school. Such absences are unexcused unless it is prearranged and a short-term independent study contract has been approved by the school principal. Requests for Short-Term Independent Study will be evaluated by the school principal on a case-by-case basis after consideration of the criteria set forth below:
- Requests must be made at least ten (10) school days in advance of the planned absence
- The student must be in attendance at their assigned school for at least three (3) weeks prior to the commencement of the independent study
- Absences for this purpose must be for a minimum of five (5) consecutive school days and a maximum of ten (10) consecutive school days per school year and shall not occur during the Spring assessment period
- The student has not been declared habitually truant, receiving five (5) unexcused absences of 30 minutes or more in a school year
- The student possesses the necessary motivation, commitment, organizational skills, and academic skills to complete the work assigned
Student assignments under short-term independent study contracts are due on the first school day immediately following the student's return to school.
- A Report of Absence form should be filled out by the parent/guardian for any planned student absences. The school will work with parents to determine if the planned student absence is considered an excused or unexcused absence. Report of Absence forms are available here: English | Chinese | Hebrew | Japanese | Spanish.
- The Report of Absence form will be filed in the student’s cumulative file.
- At least ten (10) school days prior to the start of the absence, the parent/guardian may request a short-term independent study in the school site office by completing their portion of the Short-Term Independent Study Agreement. Short-Term Independent Study Agreements are available in all school offices.
- The secretary will inform the parent/guardian that the principal will review the request for a short-term independent study and has the right to deny this request. The parent will be notified within 48 hours only if the short-term independent study is denied.
- Once the principal has reviewed the Short-Term Independent Study Agreement and signed the approval, it will be given to the classroom teacher for a signature.
- The signed and completed independent study will be available to be picked up the last day of school before the absence is to begin.
- If the student is absent on the last day of school before the contract begins (whether excused or unexcused) the work will be available to be picked up for the student in the office between lunch and the end of the day. Work will not be faxed or sent to the student; it must be picked up in person by the parent/guardian.
- Independent Study work must be turned in on the day the student returns to school in order to be graded and calculated for attendance purposes.
- Report card grades may be affected due to incomplete Independent Study work.