Fullerton School District

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1401 W. Valencia Dr.,   Fullerton, CA 92833
Phone: (714) 447-7400 Fax: (714) 447-7414
District Departments » Child Welfare and Attendance » Attendance - Policies & Programs

Attendance - Policies & Programs

The Importance of Attendance:

  • Good attendance helps children do well in school and eventually in the workplace.
  • Attendance matters for school success, starting as early as pre kindergarten, throughout elementary school and beyond.
  • Developing the habit of attendance prepares students for success on the job and in life.
  • School attendance is the strongest predictor of High School Graduation.

What Parents Can Do:

  • Send your child to school every day on time.
  • Don’t let your child miss school without a valid reason. Avoid medical appointments during the school day or vacations when school is in session.
  • Maintain a positive attitude about school and attendance. Children are taught the value of education by the adults in their lives!
  • Create routines and stick to them! Make sure your child goes to bed early, prepare school clothes and supplies the night before and have them ready for school the next day.
  • Contact your school principal if your child is having problems attending school regularly.




Compulsory Attendance Laws:

  • California Education Code 48200: students between the ages of 6 and 18 years are required to attend school full time, unless otherwise exempt.
  • California Education Code 48260: any student who is absent without a valid excuse 3 full days in one school ear or tardy for more than a 30-minute period without a valid excuse or a combination of both is considered a Truant.
  • California Education Code 48263: habitually truant students may be referred to SARB -School Attendance Review Board-.
  • California Education Code 48293: failure to comply with SARB is an infraction and the parent may be fined up to $500.
  • California Penal Code 270.1: if parents allow their children in the K-8th grade to miss 10% or more of the school year; they can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.

CA Education Code 48260 Article 5 Truants


CA Education Code 48293 Article 6 Violations

CA Penal Code 270 Abandonment and Neglect of Children

Attendance Matters!

What is SARB?

The mission of the Attendance Review Board -SARB- is to help students stay in school, attend school regularly and graduate. SARB is a community-based effort to bring together resources to assist families with attendance, truancy and behavior issues. California compulsory education law requires everyone between the ages of six and eighteen years of age to attend school. In 1974, the Legislature enacted California Education Code (EC) Section 48320 to enhance the enforcement of compulsory education laws and to divert students with school attendance or behavior problems from the juvenile justice system until all available resources have been exhausted.


Although the goal of SARBs is to keep students in school  and provide them with a meaningful educational experience, SARBs do have the power, when necessary, to refer students and their parents or legal guardians to court.

What does SARB do for students?

  • Helps the student and parent understand the importance of attendance and the consequences of failing to comply with the law
  • May direct the student and/or family to counseling
  • Can offer parenting classes
  • Possible facilitation of a student transfer to an alternative school or program when necessary
  • May request assistance from other county agencies, as needed
  • Recommends the establishment of needed resources
  • Refers chronic attendance to the District Attorney Truancy Mediation Office for further assistance

What are Excused Absences?

Per Ed Code 48205, a student absent for any of the following reasons is considered “excused” in compliance with the Compulsory Attendance Law:

  • Personal illness
  • Quarantine under the directions of a health professional
  • Personal medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic appointment
  • Funeral services for a member of the immediate family (limited to one day in the state and three days out of state)
  • Personal court appearance (requires verification)
  • Employment in the entertainment industry for a maximum of up to 5 absences per school year
  • Personal reasons, which include, observance of a religious holiday or ceremony, attendance at a religious retreat not to exceed 4 hrs. per semester. Attendance at an employment conference when the student’s absence has been requested in writing by the parent/guardian and approved by the principal at the school site
  • For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code
  • 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
  • Head Lice: a student who is absent because of head lice is counted as “excused” only for 3 days. Any subsequent day(s) after day 3 will be marked as Unexcused

*Parents/guardians should contact the school to verify a student’s absence during the first day of the absence from school or class.  Absences that are not verified within five (5) school days following the student’s return to school should be classified as unexcused.

What are Unexcused Absences?

Any absence for reasons other than those listed under Excused Absences are deemed unexcused.  The following are examples of unexcused absences:

  • Family vacation during school calendar
  • Babysitting younger siblings or taking care of other family members
  • Personal problems or family emergency
  • Funeral service of a non-immediate family
  • Missed bus, no transportation, and car trouble
  • Audition call back
  • Forgot school schedule change
  • Didn’t know there was school or student told parent there was no school
  • Had to go with parent to DMV, court, passport renewal, etc. because there was no one else to bring student to school or pick him up from school
  • Sibling or other family member is sick or has a medical appointment

Did you know about Partial Day Absence including Tardy & Early Removal from School?

Compulsory attendance law and policy require school districts to record every tardy of less than 30 minutes or more than 30 minutes and any early removal from school, including, but not limited to, those regarding personal medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic appointments. This record is listed in the attendance log for the student. If a student leaves early, his/her attendance log will be coded appropriately indicating whether it was excused or unexcused. This is also true regarding tardiness to school. Habitual tardiness or early removal from school that is unexcused may result in interventions by the school site or District Office to improve this behavior.

*Remember that students can make up an absence by attending Saturday School, please check the Saturday School calendar at your school site!

Our school sites offer a whole range of exciting activities for Saturday School!