Truancy is Against the Law
California Education Code 48260: A student is considered truant if he/she is absent without a valid excuse 3 full days in one school year OR tardy or absent for more than any 30 minute period during the school year, or any combination thereof.
What is Habitual Truancy?
California Education Code 48262: Once a student is declared a truant, a student becomes a "habitual truant" when another unexcused absence OR unexcused tardy in excess of 30 minutes occurs. Students who are determined to be habitually truant may be referred to the Simi Valley Police Department for citation and prosecution by the office of the county District Attorney.
What charges and penalties may be filed against the student?
- Education Code section 48262 infractions may be filed against a student truant from full-time public school.
- Penalties against the student may include: a fine, community service hours, revocation of work permit, and suspension or revocation of driving privileges (age 13 to 18).
What charges may be filed against the parent(s)/guardians?
- Education Code section 48200 infractions may be filed against a parent/guardian of a student truant from full-time public school.
- Penal Code section 272 may be filed against a parent/guardian in cases of enabling or promoting truancy contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The Board of Education authorizes teachers of secondary students to issue a failing grade to any student who accrues a total of seven unexcused absences/truancies in any single class during a semester (BP 5121- January, 1996). Make-up work will not be accepted from students who are truant.
Rights of Students Over the Age of 18
California Education Code states that 18-year-old students have the right to verify their own absences and sign any necessary school documents. In order to do this, a student and his parent/guardian must complete a "Rights of Eighteen" form which is available in the Attendance Office. Eighteen-year-old students should be cautioned that while they may exercise this right, they must also accept responsibilities for absences and adherence to all other school rules.
A Message from the Principal
Consistent student attendance in high school is important. Many school districts are going to great lengths to boost attendance and the Simi Valley Unified School District is no different. Simi Valley High School is committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure that students attend school on time and every day.
Good attendance is crucial to student academic success and to forming important life-long habits and self-discipline. We would like your cooperation in making sure that attendance is accurately and efficiently recorded.
John C. Baxter, Principal
Early Release from School
If it is necessary for your student to leave school early for an appointment, you must fax (805-520-6198) or send a SIGNED note with the student stating the time that the student is to be released and the reason. Please include a telephone number where you can be reached for verification. This note must be turned in to the Attendance Office by 9:00 a.m. After note verification, the student will be issued an off-campus pass.
The only other way to release your student from campus early is to come to the office personally to pick him/her up. Identification will be required.
Students will not be released from a parent phone call. Students who leave campus without school permission will be marked truant and will be subject to discipline.
Please note that Simi Valley High School is a closed campus including lunchtime. Only seniors who have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) OR have met or exceeded one or more standards on CAASPP in their junior year, have no serious behavior issues, and minimal tardies and absences may be issued a lunch pass upon parent and administrator approval. Lunch passes are only for the lunch period. If a student is not returning, a parent must call the Attendance Office prior to the 5th period that day. The Attendance Office will not be able to clear this absence if this procedure is not followed.
Students are to use their sport pass only for attending/participating in the sports activity assigned by the card. If the student is not attending the sport activity due to illness or medical appointment, a regular off-campus pass must be obtained from the office.
Administration Office Hours
7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Attendance Office Hours
7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Counseling Office Hours
7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
ASB, Athletics & Student Store Hours 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
ATTENDANCE OFFICE HOURS
7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Phone: (805) 577-1400, Extension 6721 or 6722.
Voicemail is available on these lines.
Attendance Policy and Procedure
In implementing the Board of Education’s Attendance Policy (BP 5110) the following steps must be taken:
When students who have been absent return to school, they must present a written note from a parent or guardian to the Attendance Office. Clearly printed notes are helpful and must contain the following:
• Name of your student
• Date of absence
• Reason for absence
• Parent/guardian signature
• Telephone number where a parent/guardian can be reached to verify the note.
Telephone calls from parents/guardians will also be accepted during the school day to clear absences. Please call the school’s Attendance Office at (805) 577-1400, Extension 6721 or 6722, to clear the absences.
Students have five school days from the first day of absence to clear their absences with the Attendance Office. After five days, all uncleared absences will be recorded as truancies. Teachers are not required to give make-up work to students who have not cleared an absence.
Students with excused absences are permitted to make up any work or tests that were missed. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain the assignments, complete the work and turn it in on time. A student must make up all work according to the make up policy provided in each teacher’s Classroom Management Plan unless definite arrangements have been made in advance. Students who miss class by participating in school activities are expected to get assignments and make arrangements with each teacher before missing class.
Please be aware of the different categories of absences:
Justified (Excused) Absences
• Medical, dental, or appointment relating to physical needs.
• Death in the immediate family
• Quarantine or immunization
• Entertainment industry (proper documentation required).
Personal business with verified parent explanation and under the following circumstances:
• Appearance at School Attendance Review Board (SARB) meetings.
• Attendance at events sponsored by the school or organizations/groups approved in advance by the principal or principal’s designee.
• Observance of a religious holiday, ceremony or retreat (retreat not to exceed four hours per semester).
• Caring for an ill child if the student is the custodial parent.
• Other exceptional circumstances approved by the principal or designee.
Personal Business (Unexcused) Absences
All other reasons for absences are considered unexcused. Examples of these absences are: student overslept; had a flat tire; had to take care of personal or family business; family vacations; etc... Please be aware that an unexcused absence is not the same as a truancy. However, teachers do not have to accept make-up work from students with unexcused absences.
Truancies or excessive tardies may result in the loss of privilege to attend dances and other extracurricular events. In order to remain in good standing, students must have no more than ten period tardies and/or no more than two period truancies per quarter.