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Student Attendance

Student Attendance Review Board (SARB)

According to the California Department of Education, laws for compulsory education require everyone between the ages of 6-18 to attend school. When students violate these laws and develop a pattern of unexcused absences they create problems for themselves, their schools and their communities.

In all cases, schools will attempt interventions to return the students attendance to a positive state. However, the attendance patterns of some students are so severe that they require more aggressive responses. In 1974 the California State Legislature enacted California Education Code Sections 48320 and 48321, these codes allowed us to utilize all resources available to curb student truancy and divert students from the juvenile justice system.

The goal of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) is to investigate what is at the core of individual truancy issues, to provide resources and support for families where student truancy is a persistent problem, and to provide a path toward success and improved attendance for students who come before the board. In some cases the District's SARB will refer students and their parents to court, where they will be subject to the discretion of the Orange County District Attorney’s Truancy Unit.

Per California Education Code 48400, each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years (not exempted under the provisions of the law) is subject to compulsory full-time education.

Each person subject to compulsory full-time education shall attend the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes and for the full time designated as the length of the schoolday by the governing board of the school district in which the residency of either the parent or legal guardian is located and each parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of the pupil shall send the pupil to the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes and for the full time designated as the length of the schoolday by the governing board of the school district in which the residence of either the parent or legal guardian is located.

Truancy Law
California Education Code 48260

"(a) A pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the schoolday without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, shall be classified as a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), it is the intent of the Legislature that school districts shall not change the method of attendance accounting provided for in existing law and shall not be required to employ period-by-period attendance accounting.

(c) For purposes of this article, a valid excuse includes, but is not limited to, the reasons for which a pupil shall be excused from school pursuant to Sections 48205 and 48225.5 and may include other reasons that are within the discretion of school administrators and, based on the facts of the pupil’s circumstances, are deemed to constitute a valid excuse."

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 432, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2013.)

Habitual Truant
California Education Code: 48260

"Any pupil is deemed an habitual truant who has been reported as a truant three or more times per school year, provided that no pupil shall be deemed an habitual truant unless an appropriate district officer or employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with a parent or guardian of the pupil and the pupil himself, after the filing of either of the reports required by Section 48260 or Section 48261. For purposes of this section, a conscientious effort means attempting to communicate with the parents of the pupil at least once using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include electronic mail or a telephone call."

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 724, Sec. 22. Effective October 19, 2010.)

Contact Us

Angela Allen-Hess
Coordinator, Child Welfare & Attendance