Attendance and Tardy Policies

  • All school policies at Mills High School are in accordance with the SMUHSD Board Policies and SMUHSD’s Parent Rights and Responsibilities outlined at

    Attendance & Tardy Policies 

    Mills High School Attendance Policy

    All students in grades 9, 10, and 11 will be enrolled for a six or seven period day. Students in grade 12 shall be enrolled for a minimum of five instructional periods each day, but are encouraged to take more than five periods for college preparation. All students who are enrolled in the community college system shall be enrolled on the high school campus for a minimum of five instructional periods each school day for the fall semester and five instructional periods for the spring semester.

    Attendance in school is mandatory for all students under the age of 18. Illness, quarantine, medical, optometric, dental services, the funeral of members of a student's immediate family (as defined in Education Code 45194), jury duty, and observance of religious holiday or ceremony are the only legal reasons for a student to be absent from school.

    Parent/Guardian Responsibility

    Students are expected to clear an absence within two school days after they return to school. Absences must be cleared by a parent/guardian phone call or a note explaining the absence. Absences not cleared after two school days will be considered truancy unless approved by an administrator. The school may initiate contact with the parent/guardian if the absence is not cleared. Attendance codes cannot be changed in the attendance system after 20 days.

    The parent/guardian and student should make every effort to schedule non-school appointments outside school hours. If this is unavoidable, the student must bring a parent/guardian note or have the parent/guardian call the Attendance Office at a minimum of two hours in advance to obtain a “Permit to Leave” prior to departure. Students leaving without a “Permit to Leave” form will be considered truant.

    To Clear an Absence

    Please follow one of these three steps to clear a student absence:

    1. On any day your student is absent, notify the Attendance Office by phone at (650) 558-2508 or (650) 558-2509 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
    2. Submit a written note in ink, including student name and ID number, days, and dates of absence, reason, and signature. The note must include the writer’s relationship to the student plus the home, work, and/or cell telephone numbers. This is to be submitted to the Attendance Office on the day of the student’s return to school before the start of school and during break or lunch. 
    3. On any day your student is absent, notify the Attendance Office using the Online Absence Reporting Form in: English Chinese Spanish

    The parent/guardian of an 18-year old student is expected to follow the same attendance procedures regarding notes and telephone calls.

    Excused Absences per California Educational Code Section 48205

    A pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:

    1. Due to illness.
    2. Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.
    3. For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic services rendered.
    4. For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of an 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. (Must be approved in advance.)
    6. Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent. 
    7. Due to an appearance in court.
    8. Due to observance of a holiday or ceremony of religion or attendance at a religious retreat.  (Not to exceed four hours per semester; must be approved in advance at least one day prior to requested release.)
    9. Due to attendance at an employment conference. (Must be approved in advance.)
    10. Due to need to secure proper immunization. (No more than 5 days.).
    11. Due to 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 establish by the governing board.
    12. For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.


    Note: 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.  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.

    Unexcused Absences

    A student is truant when the absence is not excused. The teacher is not obligated to permit the makeup of missed work for unexcused absences. A truant student’s grade may be affected by work missed during the truancy.

    Students may not participate in any school activity or athletic contest if he/she has been truant from school during any portion of the day.

    EC Section 48260 (a): Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days or tardy or absent more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, is a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or the superintendent of the school district.

    A Three Tier Truancy Process is in place at Mills High School. Tier One includes a written notice of truancy sent home and a meeting between the administration and the student. Tier Two includes a second written notice of truancy, a mandatory meeting with the parent/guardian, student and administration, and a signed attendance contract. Tier Three includes a third written notice of truancy and a referral to the district SARB panel for review. At the SARB meeting, the parent/guardian, student, a school representative and the district discuss appropriate interventions and placement. 

    Excessive absences due to illness will result in a written notice of Chronic Illness and require doctor verification for future illnesses.

    Tardy Policy

    We continue to evaluate and adjust our tardy policy over the course of the school year and beyond. The policy may change during the year. Updates will be available on our school website and will be sent by email to all families and students.

    • 1st Tardy: Teacher records and administers class consequence
    • 2nd Tardy: Teacher records and calls or emails home notifying parent of second tardy
    • 3rd Tardy: Teacher records and can refer student to dean

    What constitutes an Unexcused Tardy?
    Oversleeping, not locating teacher, taking a sibling to another school, talking to friends, missing the bus, going to the locker, and so on.

    Please Note: West Parking Lot doors are locked at 8:15 am. All students arriving after that time must enter the building through the front doors on Murchison Dr.