What Every Parent Should Know About The Truancy Process
First & Second Unexcused Absences or Tardies
The first two times student is absent without an excuse or is tardy in excess of 30 minutes.
*School should call student’s home and speak to guardian about the absence or tardy.
Third Unexcused Absence or Tardy
*The law requires that a First Notification of Truancy be (1) provided to guardian, and (2) reported to the attendance supervisor or superintendent.
*All additional truancies must be reported to attendance personnel as well.
Fourth Unexcused Absence or Tardy
*The law requires a Second Notification of Truancy be provided to the district attendance supervisor or superintendent.
*Guardian notification is not required but is recommended.
Fifth Unexcused Absence or Tardy
*A Third Notification of Truancy must be provided to the attendance supervisor.
*The district is required to make a conscientious effort to meet with guardian.
If district complies with all above steps, the student is deemed a “habitual truant.”
Five-Plus Unexcused Absences: SARB
After the Third Notification of Truancy, a student may be referred to a School Attendance Review Board (SARB), a multi-agency board that must include representatives from school districts, child welfare and attendance, and local health care personnel.
To identify and address barrier(s) to school attendance, a SARB should:
*Identify available community resources (e.g. mental health or social service agencies);
*Provide referrals for families to receive services;
*Ensure school has completed available interventions prior to SARB referral;
*Document steps already taken to identify students and refer to appropriate resources;
*Follow up on each case to ensure necessary services were received; and
*Involve family in developing solutions that work for the family.
Guardians must comply with SARB instructions and commit to improving attendance. If they fail to comply, they may be referred to the District Attorney.
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 and school was actually taught in the regular day schools of the district, exclusive of Saturdays and Sundays."
AFTER SARB INTERVENTIONS
Two options - Attendance Improves or SARB may refer the parent to the District Attorney (DA) for prosecution if the DA has adequate record of the school district’s compliance. Student may be cited under 601 W&I.
Onsite Intervention Options
Three to Five Absences: SART
Through a School Attendance Review Team (SART), Student Success Team (SST), or “pre-SARB” meeting, districts may:
*Conduct a home visit;
*Hold a meeting with guardian;
*Determine the cause of the truancy;
*Connect families with needed services;
*Sign a contract with guardian committing to stick to an attendance plan.