Excused Absences

EC 46014, 48205, 48980(a) and (i); (BP 5113)
Each person between the ages of 6 and 18 is subject to compulsory full-time education, unless exempted by law. In order for an absence to be excused, the reason(s) for such absence must meet the criteria specified under EC 48205 (see full text below). It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the school office of any absences or tardies in written or verbal form within the timeframe prescribed by the school. Written notes should include the student’s name, date(s) of absence, reason for absence, and parent’s signature and daytime contact number. A doctor’s note may be requested by the principal or designee when a student has had more than 10 absences in the school year due to illness. Absences not cleared will remain unverified.
EC 48205. (a) Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:
(1) Due to the pupil’s 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 the pupil’s 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, including absences to care for a sick child for which the school shall not require a note from a doctor.
(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 the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 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) Authorized at the discretion of a school administrator, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 48260.
(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 therefor. 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, means the parent or guardian, brother or sister, grandparent, or any other relative living in the household of the pupil.

Additionally, a student, with written parent consent, may be excused from school to participate in religious exercises or to receive moral and religious instruction at their place of worship or other suitable place away from school property designated by the religious group, church, or denomination. The student must attend school at least the minimum school day and cannot be excused from school for such purpose on more than four days per school month.

It is important for parents and students to understand that writing a note verifying an absence or a tardy does not
excuse an absence. Absences are excused only if they meet the criteria listed under EC 48205. Absences that are
not excused shall be marked unexcused in the student’s records.

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