Annual Notifications to Parents - English - Page 2

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● General Absences

Children cannot learn if they are not in school. Children learn early about being on time and not missing school. For students 6 to 18 years old, daily school attendance is compulsory. Daily school attendance improves student achievement. Teach your child to be on time and that school attendance is an important family value.

It is also important that you know the state only awards funding to school districts for actual attendance. The state no longer funds districts for the excused absences listed below. Always review the school calendar and plan activities and vacations during days off. No pupil whose attendance is excused shall have grades or academic credit lost if assignments and tests can be reasonably completed.

Other attendance reports, such as truancy, still rely on excused and unexcused absences. There are legal consequences if your child misses too much school. You must send a note and/or phone the school within 72 hours to clear any excusable absences. Parents/Guardians have the right to be notified on a timely basis if their child is absent from school without permission. Unexcused absences result in a recorded truancy.

  1. Notwithstanding E.C. 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, optometric, 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 hours 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 a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of the pupil’s religion, 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 any student 16 years old or older, with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, for the purposes of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Sec. 12302 of the Elections Code.
    9. For the purpose of spending time with a member of the pupil’s immediate family, who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in Section 49701, and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from, deployment to a combat zone or combat support position. Absences granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be granted for a period of time to be determined at the discretion of the superintendent of the school district.
    10. For the purpose of attending the pupil’s naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen.
    11. Participation in religious instruction or exercises in accordance with district policy.
  2. 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 thereof. The teacher of any class from which a pupil is absent shall determine the tests and assignments, which shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.
  3. For purposes of this section, attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.
  4. Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be absences in computing average daily attendance and shall not generate state apportionment payments.
  5. "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." [EC 46014, 48205]

● Attendance Options

The governing board annually reviews attendance options including how students may attend a district school outside their attendance area (intra-district transfer). This district has non-arbitrary rules explaining how students may apply, be accepted or denied intra-district transfer. Many districts, by agreement, also allow the transfer of students from or to other districts (inter-district transfer). Victims of bullying or violence are given preference in inter-district transfers. In some cases, the district must provide transportation. Students attending “persistently dangerous” schools can transfer and enroll in a safe school. Districts cannot prevent children of active military from changing districts, as long as the district chosen agrees to accept them. Upon enrollment or transfer, principals are urged to check missing children information. Further information about residency, attendance options, special program options, etc. will be provided by the California Department of Education. [EC 46600, 48204, 48206.3, 48300, 48301, 48306, 48980, 49068, 51101; 20 USC 7912]

Interdistrict Attendance

The Governing Board recognizes that parents/guardians of students who reside within the geographic boundaries of one district may, for a variety of reasons, desire to enroll their children in a school in another district.

Interdistrict Attendance Permits

The Board may enter into an agreement with any other school district, for a term not to exceed five school years, for the interdistrict attendance of students who are residents of the districts.

The agreement shall specify the terms and conditions under which interdistrict attendance shall be permitted or denied. It also may contain standards agreed to by both districts for reapplication and/or revocation of the student's permit.

Upon receiving a permit for transfer into the district that has been approved by the student's district of residence, or upon receiving a written request from the parent/guardian of a district student who wishes to enroll in another district, the Superintendent or designee shall review the request and may approve or deny the permit subject to the terms and conditions of the interdistrict attendance agreement.


The district shall not provide transportation to students with an interdistrict attendance permit. [BP 5117 January 2018; EC 41020, 46600-46611, 48204, 48300-48317, 48350-48361, 48900, 48915, 48915.1, 48918, 48980, 52317; CA Constitution, Article 1, Section 31]

Intradistrict Attendance

The Governing Board desires to provide enrollment options that meet the diverse needs and interests of district students and parents/guardians, while also maximizing the efficient use of district facilities. The Superintendent or designee shall establish procedures for the selection and transfer of students among district schools in accordance with law, Board policy, and administrative regulation.

The parents/guardians of any student who resides within district boundaries may apply to enroll their child in any district school, regardless of the location of their residence within the district.

Enrollment Priorities

No student currently residing within a school's attendance area shall be displaced by another student transferring from outside the attendance area.

Parents/guardians of a student displaced from a school because of a change in school attendance boundaries may apply for an intradistrict transfer and will be given first priority in the lottery procedures pending space availability. The priority will be given only in the school year in which the boundary change took place.

The Superintendent or designee shall grant priority to any district student to attend another district school, including a charter school, outside of his/her attendance area as follows:

  1. Any student enrolled in a district school designated by the California Department of Education as "persistently dangerous"
  2. Any student who is a victim of a violent crime while on school grounds
  3. Upon a finding that special circumstances exist that might be harmful or dangerous to the student in the current attendance area. Special circumstances include, but are not limited to, threats of bodily harm or threats to the emotional stability of the student. Any such student may transfer to a district school that is at capacity and otherwise closed to transfers. To grant priority under these circumstances, the Superintendent or designee has discretion to grant transfer and must have received either:
    1. A written statement from a representative of an appropriate state or local agency, including, but not necessarily limited to, a law enforcement official, social worker, or a properly licensed or registered professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or marriage and family therapist.
    2. A court order, including a temporary restraining order and injunction.
  4. Any sibling of a student already in attendance in that school shall receive priority.
  5. Students attending school in the district on an interdistrict permit whom apply for an interdistrict transfer will be prioritized after intradistrict applications.

Application and Selection Process

In order to ensure that priorities for enrollment in district schools are implemented in accordance with law, applications for intradistrict open enrollment and interdistrict transfer shall be submitted between April 1st and May 1st of the school year preceding the school year for which the transfer is requested.

The Superintendent or designee shall calculate each school's capacity in a nonarbitrary manner using student enrollment and available space.

Except for priorities listed above, the Superintendent or designee shall use a random, unbiased selection process to determine who shall be admitted whenever the school receives admission requests that are in excess of the school's capacity.

Enrollment decisions shall not be based on a student's academic or athletic performance, except that existing entrance criteria for specialized schools or programs may be used provided that the criteria are uniformly applied to all applicants. Academic performance may be used to determine eligibility for, or placement in, programs for gifted and talented students.


Except as required for students who transferred out of a Title I program improvement school, the district shall not be obligated to provide transportation for students who attend school outside their attendance area.

It is the intent of the Governing Board that students will continue at the selected site until the student matriculates, the student no longer meets residency requirements, the parent/guardian or district chooses to enroll the student in a different school within district boundaries, or for programmatic reasons such as IEP requirements, behavioral adjustment, or violation of permit conditions regarding conduct, scholarship or attendance. Once enrolled, a student shall not have to apply for readmission. [BP 5116.1 July 2018; EC 200, 35160.5, 35291, 35351; 5 CCR 11992-11994]

● Attendance Where Caregiver Resides

If your child lives in the home of a caregiving adult, as defined by law, or a foster home your child may attend the school district in which that residence is located. Execution of an affidavit under penalty of perjury pursuant to the Family Code by the caregiving adult is required to determine that your child lives in the caregiver’s home. [EC 48204(a), 48980(h); FC 6550-6552]

● Attendance in District in Which Parent/Guardian is Employed

The district may, but is not required to accept a transfer student whose parent/guardian resides outside the boundaries of the school district but is employed and lives with the student at the place of his/her employment within the boundaries of the school district for a minimum of three days during the school week; or a student whose parent/guardian physically works within the boundaries of the school district for a minimum of 10 hours during the school week. [EC 48204(7), 48980(i)]

● Enrollment of Homeless or Foster Youth

Foster and homeless children living in the District shall be permitted to attend a school in the District unless they: 1) stay enrolled at their school of origin outside the District, 2) their IEP indicates attendance elsewhere, or 3) the parent or guardian, with knowledge of all options, declares in writing otherwise. They also have rights to immediate enrollment in school, site and program attendance, and free after school programs. [EC 48204, 48850-48859, 48645.3, 51225.1, 56055; 5 CCR 4622; WIC 361, 726]

● Individualized Instruction

You must notify the school if your child has a temporary disability and cannot attend regular classrooms. The District will provide instruction in the home or in a hospital or other residential health facility if the student meets the District residency requirement. If your temporarily disabled child is located outside your school district, notify both the district where you reside and where the child is located. [EC 48206.3, 48207, 48208, 48980(b)]

● Leaving School at Lunch Time

“The governing board of the Arcadia Unified School District, pursuant to Section 44808.5 of the Education Code, has decided to permit pupils enrolled at Arcadia High School to leave the school grounds during the lunch period. Neither the school district nor any officer or employee thereof shall be liable for the conduct or safety of any pupil during such time as the pupil has left the school grounds pursuant to this section.” The district permits students in grade 12 this privilege. Students are responsible for following the district rules and the law. Students in grades K through 11 may not leave campus. [BP 5112.5; EC 44808.5]

● Minimum Days/Pupil Free Staff Development Days

If your child will be affected by minimum days or staff development days, you will receive at least one month’s notice. The dates that were known at press time are printed in the calendar in this booklet. [EC 48980(c)]

● Parental consequences for non-attendance

Any parent or guardian who fails to ensure their student’s attendance may be guilty of an infraction and can be punished as follows: $100 for first conviction; $250 for second conviction; $500 for third conviction; Rather than a fine a parent or guardian may be placed in parent education or counseling program; $1,000 for willful violation of a court order directing that student must be enrolled in school or program. [EC 48293]

● Truancy

The state defines three levels of truancy, each carrying more severe penalties for both the student and the parents or guardians. The three are truant, chronic truant and habitual truant.

Truant: A student is truant after missing three days of school or three 30-minute periods without a valid excuse.

Habitual Truant: If a student is truant three or more times in a school year and an effort is made to meet with parents, then the student is a habitual truant.

Chronic Truant: A chronically truant student has missed 10 percent or more school days in a school year.

Interventions: Students who are habitually truant, miss a lot of school or disorderly can be referred to a student attendance review board (SARB), a district attorney mediation program, or the county probation department. Through these programs the student can be given guidance to meet special needs for improving attendance or improving school behavior. The goal is to intervene before a student enters the juvenile justice system or drops out.

Student Penalties: First truancy may result in a one-day weekend class. Second truancy may be a written warning from a peace officer that remains in the student’s records. Third truancy may result in assignment to an after-school or weekend program, a SARB, a probation officer, or district attorney program. A fourth truancy may result in a chance to improve attendance, but may also result in the student being placed within the jurisdiction of, and as a ward of the juvenile court. Other actions may include required community service, payment of a fine of $100, attend a truancy mediation program, and loss of driving privileges. A finding of truancy may be handled through available community services.

Parent Penalties: In Education Code; first conviction – up to $100 fine; second conviction – up to $200 fine; third – up to $500 fine. In Penal Code; parents of elementary students who are chronic truants face a fine up to $2,000; imprisonment up to one year; or both. They may also be scheduled to meet regularly with district staff and/or referred for help. It is recommended that the parent or guardian attend classes at school with the student for one day. [EC 48260, 48260.5, 48261, 48262, 48263, 48263.5, 48263.6, 48264.5, 48291, 48293, 48320; PC 270.1, 830.1; WIC 256, 258, 601, 601.3; VC 13202.7]

● Notice of Alternative Schools

California state law authorizes all school districts to provide for alternative schools. Section 58500 of the Education Code defines alternative school as a school or separate class group within a school which is operated in a manner designed to: (a) Maximize the opportunity for students to develop the positive values of self-reliance, initiative, kindness, spontaneity, resourcefulness, courage, creativity, responsibility, and joy. (b) Recognize that the best learning takes place when the student learns because of his desire to learn. (c) Maintain a learning situation maximizing student self-motivation and encouraging the student in his own time to follow his own interests. These interests may be conceived by him totally and independently or may result in whole or in part from a presentation by his teachers of choices of learning projects. (d) Maximize the opportunity for teachers, parents and students to cooperatively develop the learning process and its subject matter. This opportunity shall be a continuous, permanent process. (e) Maximize the opportunity for the students, teachers, and parents to continuously react to the changing world, including but not limited to the community in which the school is located.

In the event any parent, pupil, or teacher is interested in further information concerning alternative schools, the county superintendent of schools, the administrative office of this district, and the principal's office in each attendance unit have copies of the law available for your information. This law particularly authorizes interested persons to request the governing board of the district to establish alternative school programs in each district. [EC 58501]


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