Attendance Policy

Reporting/Verifying Absences

If your student is absent (or tardy beyond 30 minutes) from school, the parent or guardian is obligated to report the absence or tardy to the school site.  In order to ensure the safety of your child, we are asking parents and guardians to report all absences immediately - this will support our efforts in reporting timely and accurate information back to you regarding your child's whereabouts. 

Please report absences immediately by calling our attendance line the morning of the absence. All absences must be verified within 5 days by direct phone call or note signed by a parent/guardian and delivered to the attendance clerk. After 5 days, all absences will be coded as unexcused. EACH day of absence must be called in and verified. 

If your student is out sick for more than (3) days, a doctor's note will be required upon return to school.

 Attendance Clerk: Ms. Idette Gonzalez (619) 605-1900 ext. 3012

* For COVID-19 info and self-reporting, please visit our Nursing & Wellness website*


Excused Absences 

Our attendance policy (in accordance with Ed. Code48205) stipulates that absences can only be excused for the following reasons:

  • Personal or Illness 
  • Quarantine under the direction of a country or city health official
  • Medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic services in which students can present a note from parent/ guardian, or evidence of appointment 
  • Attendance of funeral service for a member of the IMMEDIATE family 
  • Jury duty in the manner provided by the law
  • Pupil is the custodial parent of a child who is ill or has a medical appointment 
  • Exclusion for failure to present evidence of immunization
  • Exclusion from school because the student is either a carrier of a contagious disease or not immunized from a contagious disease 
  • Upon written request of the Parent/ Guardian, prior approval of the Principal or designee and pursuant to Board policy, a student's absence may be excused for additional reasons. 


Our attendance policy (in accordance with Ed. Code48205) stipulates that tardies can only be excused for the reasons listed in #1 above. Therefore, an unexcused tardy is the same as an unexcused absence.

Early Leave (blue slip)

Students who plan to leave campus for a medical or court appointment must follow proper procedures or risk being marked truant. Students are required to bring a note signed by a parent to the attendance office.  A pass will be issued to the student’s classroom or office before their leave time. They may then be signed out by the parent, someone on their emergency card or someone with written permission. Any student leaving campus must report to the office FIRST. 

When a student has had more than 5 consecutive days or 14 total EXCUSED absences in a school year, any further absences for illness must be verified by a physician with a doctor’s note or they will be unexcused (CCR 5, 421).


Unexcused Absences

Any absence, for any reason other than those listed above in #1 under Excused Absences, is considered unexcused. An excused absence that is not properly reported (or verified by doctor’s note if needed) within 5 days will be considered unexcused.


Unexcused Absences/Truancy: Education Code Section 48260 states “Any pupil subject to full time education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three (3) days or tardy without a valid excuse in excess of 30 minutes on each of more than three (3) days in any one school year is a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or the superintendent of the district.”  


  • This classification and referral helps emphasize the importance of school attendance and is intended to minimize interference with instruction.


An excused absence that is not properly reported or verified within 5 days will be marked unexcused. A student’s grade may be negatively affected by unexcused absences (BP 5113, 5121). 

Parents are expected to schedule medical and court appointments outside the instructional day. When scheduling an appointment during school hours is unavoidable, students must follow proper procedures or risk being marked truant. Any student leaving campus must report to the office FIRST. Students are required to be signed out by the parent when being picked up for outside appointments.  


Students are considered to be present and not tardy when they are physically inside their classroom. Parents should be aware that by law, students are considered truant when they have any combination of 3 unexcused absences or tardies over 30 minutes (EC 48260).

Elementary School Start Times:

Nipaquay Elementary- Class Begins 7:45am

Independent Contracts for Study

Parents should be aware that five or more absences in a grading period may have a significant negative effect on a student’s academic progress. Therefore, students who will miss five or more consecutive days for reasons other than illness are encouraged to complete an Independent Contract for Study in lieu of attending school.


To be eligible for independent study, parents must send a written request to the school site administration at least 5 days prior to the planned absence outlining the dates and reasons for the request. If approved, the student must have each teacher sign the appropriate documentation, prior to leaving for independent study.


All work must be submitted on or by the return date on the Independent Study contract.  All work is to be turned into the front office, not the teacher.  It is extremely important that students have regular attendance until the end of the school year. This is particularly so during the last few weeks of the final semester when end-year assessments are administered, the results of which are critical to completing student report cards and in ascertaining progress on Strategic Planning SMART goals. No independent contracts will be issued after May 31.

Please give administration and classroom teachers as much notice as possible to prepare work for the Independent Contract for Study.

Truancy/School Attendance Review

The San Diego County Office of Child Welfare and Human Services describes “Soft Truancy” as an attendance pattern that includes any combination of the following that exceed 10% of instructional days: tardies, absences, incomplete Independent Contract for Study, withdrawing a student prior to the conclusion of the school day, etc. “Soft Truancies” often lead to more serious attendance problems if not addressed. By law, students are considered truant when they have any combination of 3 unexcused absences or tardies over 30 minutes (EC 48260).

In addition to the reporting requirement, the law states that the school district must notify the parent or guardian of a truancy by the most cost-effective method possible, and that the notification must include specific information related to the student's unexcused absence.

If the attendance pattern continues and after a student has been reported as a truant three or more times, he/she will be referred to the Student Attendance Review Team regarding the excessive absences and/or tardies. In addition, the school district must attempt to meet with the student and a parent or guardian.

The law further requires that after a student has been reported as a truant three or more times in one school year and after an appropriate school employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one meeting with the parent and the student, the student is deemed a habitual truant.  Please review the sample letter (Third Letter/Habitual Truant) 

The CA Child Welfare and Attendance service have revised the reporting and recording of student attendance in an attempt to prevent chronic absenteeism. A "chronic absentee" has been defined in California Education Code (EC) Section 60901(c)(1) as "a pupil who is absent on 10 percent or more of the school days in the school year when the total number of days a pupil is absent is divided by the total number of days the pupil is enrolled.”

We believe that parents, students, and all school personnel must be involved in the consistent, timely, and accurate reporting of pupil attendance. We strive to maximize students’ instructional time in school, as such, our students are expected to arrive at school on time, every day.

Each student and parent is responsible for understanding and complying with the policy. Any questions about this policy should be directed to the Site Principal Michael Goodbody, Elementary School Assistant Claudia Alvarado or Attendance Clerk Idette Gonzalez.

Check out these helpful links: 

- Attendance Matters Solutions

- Attendance Matters Resources

- School Attendance Review Process

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