Regular attendance and class participation are an integral part of our students' learning experience and together determine student success. Aragon High School is committed to cultivating exemplary attendance habits. Attendance in school is mandatory for all students under the age of 18. By definition:
- A student is tardy when he/she is less than 30 minutes tardy to a single scheduled class period.
- A student is absent when he/she is more than 30 minutes tardy or is not present during a scheduled class period.
A student is truant when he/she is absent from class without school and parent/guardian knowledge or permission, or when he/she leaves class or school campus without permission before the class or school day is officially over. All unverified absences will be considered truant after 2 school days.
The following are legally excused absences as defined by the California Education Code 48260, 48261,48262, 48913
- Medical, Dental, Optometrical, Chiropractic Appointments
- Jury Duty
- Justifiable Personal Reasons: parents must submit an advance written request and receive the approval of the principal. The Education Code defines justifiable personal reasons as funeral attendance, court appearance, religious holiday or ceremony observance, religious retreats, some pre-approved, work-related conferences, service on an elections precinct board, and/or participation in religious instruction of no more than one hour per week. (Education Code: 48205)
WHAT TO INCLUDE WHEN REPORTING AN ABSENCE:
Reporting any absence in the three ways listed above must include: 1. the students legal name; 2. The dates/periods of the absence; 3. the reason for the absence. When stating the reason, please be as specific as possible so the absence is coded correctly. For example, stating the reason for your child’s absence is that he has an appointment if very different from stating the reason is because he has a doctor or dentist appointment. The general unspecified appointment is coded an “N” and therefore unexcused, while the medical appointment is coded an “I” and is excused according to the state criteria.
WHEN TO REPORT AN ABSENCE:
Parent/Guardian Responsibility: Parents are expected to clear a student’s absence on the day the student is absent. Absences must be cleared only by a parent/guardian phone call to the Attendance Office at 650-558-2909 within 48 hours of the absence. After this period, an absence cannot be cleared and can affect a student’s overall grade in a class and participation in extracurricular activities. This policy applies to tardies as well.
Absences not cleared by the parent/guardian within 48 hours of the absence will be considered a permanent cut/truancy absence.
Parent/guardians and students should make every effort to schedule non-school appointments outside school hours. If this is unavoidable, the student must have the parent/guardian call the Attendance Office at 558-2909 to obtain a “Permit to Leave” prior to departure. Students who leave campus without a “Permit to Leave” will receive a permanent cut/truancy absence – even if a parent calls to clear the absence afterward. A “cut” is identified by a “T” on a student’s attendance record. Students are responsible for any missed work/assignments.
Attendance Codes in Aeries:
Students and parents are advised to check Aeries often to check for the accuracy of each student’s attendance. This is even more important in the event that they receive a call from the Attendance Office indicating that the student has been marked absent for one or more periods in a day. Please call the attendance office immediately if there are any incorrect entries in your student’s attendance record.
- A - Activity
- B - 30+ Minutes Tardy
- G - Religious
- I - Illness
- L - Tardy
- M - Tardy Excused
- N - Unexcused Absence
- S - Suspended
- T - Truant (Cut)
- U - Unverified
- X - Excused
- Y - ATS/Alternative to Suspension Program
Verified quarantine, medical, dental, or optometry services are defined by state law as excused absences. Students are permitted to make up all work missed.
Absences for the funeral of a student's immediate family or court mandated appearances may be excused upon proper verification. These absences are considered excused and warranted. Students are permitted to make up all work missed if the absence is excused.
Religious released time:
Pupils with the consent of their parents or guardians, through phone call to the Attendance Office, may be excused from school in order to participate in religious or moral exercises and instruction as provide by the Education Code. Students are permitted to make-up all work missed.
When a student is suspended, a reasonable effort will be made to contact the parent/guardian in person or by phone. A suspended student is not permitted to be on any district campus or attend any school event in the district. Police may be contacted. Upon request, the teacher may provide assignments to students on suspension; however, giving credit for these assignments is at the teacher’s discretion (Ed. Code 48913). Students who are suspended may not attend or participate in school-related events for 10 calendar days from the date of return from the suspension. If the incident occurs at a school dance, the student may not attend the next AHS school dance.
Alternative to Suspension:
As a district and a school, we are exploring additional interventions and options to the suspension process. Students assigned to an Alternative to Suspension (ATS) program will be removed from their regular classes on campus for one day to attend a program focused on assisting students to identify unhealthy behaviors and reflect on how to behave in a more positive and healthy manner. Students missing class to attend an ATS assignment will be able to make up any work missed.
Unexcused Absences & Truancies: Ed. Code 48260, 48261, 48262, 48913
An unexcused absence is any absence that does not fall under the excused absences listed above (illness, medical excuse, religious holidays, court mandated appearance, or funeral of a close family member). A truant (or cut) is an absence that occurred without office notification.
- A student will receive a cut/truancy when the absence is not cleared. A cut/truancy is marked as a “T” on a student’s attendance report.
- No credit is allowed for work missed as a result of a cut/truancy or unexcused absence.
- A student’s grade may be severely affected by work missed due to a cut/truancy or unexcused absence.
- Cutting/truant students are not allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities for that same day.
NOTE: Once a student has arrived on campus, he/she may not leave campus except with a permit to leave from the attendance office. Students leaving campus prior to checking out of the attendance office will be marked as a ’CUT’.
Unexcused / Truant periods are CUMULATIVE for the school year.
One or more periods unexcused or cut/truant per day
7 or more periods unexcused or cut/truant
Friday or Saturday Work Study and parent contact
T1: 14 or more periods unexcused or cut/truant
Friday or Saturday Work Study, Truancy Letter #1, possible loss of extracurricular activities.
T2: 21 or more periods unexcused or cut/truant
Truancy Letter #2, Required parent meeting, placement on Attendance Contract, possible loss of extracurricular activities.
T3: 35 or more periods unexcused or cut/truant
Truancy Letter #3, Referral to SMUHSD Student Attendance Review Board, potential move to another school or academic program.
Failure to serve detentions for cutting/truancy will earn Friday or Saturday Work Study. Failure to serve Friday or Saturday Work Study may result in an alternative suspension and/or a behavior and attendance contract.
Notification of a Planned Absence Form
Absences which do not fall into one of California’s excused absence categories, including college visits, must be pre-approved by submitting a Request for a Planned Absence Form to their Assistant Principal for approval at least two weeks prior to the absence date being requested. Completed Requests for a Planned Absence Forms should be submitted by the parents/guardians of a student by either emailing the form to the Attendance Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or dropping the form off in person at the Attendance Office in Building A.
Students and parents should speak with their assistant principal and their school counselor concerning absences that will extend between 5 and 10 school days. For absences that extend longer than 2 weeks, parents are advised to speak with students' school counselor so that proper accommodations can be made and work provided. Medical documentation may be required for extended absences due to illness. Students who accumulate 10 absences due to illness may be required to submit a doctor’s note to excuse illness absences for the remainder of the school year.
- Students are tardy if they are not in their classroom seat when the last bell rings or if they arrive late without a pass.
- No credit is allowed for work missed when a student is tardy from class.
- Students are late for PE if they are not in the locker room when the last bell begins to ring and if they are not present when the instructor commences roll call.
- Students have 48 hours to clear a tardy. After this time, the tardy becomes part of the student’s permanent record and cannot be cleared, except by administration.
- The number of tardies is based on a student’s attendance record. Serving detentions and FWS does not remove tardies or cuts/truancies from a student’s record. Parents may clear tardies or cuts/truancies within 48 hours of the date posted only if there is a clerical error.
Offense - Per semester
5 or more unexcused tardies during a semester
Student Tardy Notice & Warning
10 or more unexcused tardies in a semester
Detention, Persistent Tardy Letter to parents, possible loss of extracurricular activities for the semester
15 or more unexcused tardies in a semester
Friday or Saturday Work Study, Attendance Contract, parent meeting, and potential loss of extracurricular activities.