Student Attendance

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Every minute counts

Help our students be their best. When we reduce chronic absence we improve graduation rates, increase academic achievement and give young people the best chance at success in their adult life. 

Why is it important that students are in school regularly? Research shows that school attendance is a strong indicator of success. It's about students learning what they need to know, belonging to the school community, and being part of the team that is preparing them with good habits for high school.

Regular school attendance is required by the state law, and is included in the District’s Local Control Accountability plan (LCAP) and reported in the California School Dashboard. State law requires MVWSD to notify parents whose students are truant or chronically absent. The state, county, and district are monitoring attendance, both excused and unexcused absences because the goal is for students to be in school as often as possible. Our schools’ goals are a 97% attendance rate.

What’s an Excused vs. Not Excused absence? Illness, doctor’s appointments, bereavement, and certain religious exercises are excused absences. Please see MVWSD board policy for the full list. All other reasons are not considered excused.

Are Vacations / Travel Excused? Unfortunately, family vacations or travel is not excused – even when you inform your teacher or the office. This comes to a surprise for parents. We appreciate you letting us know so that you will not receive a call from the auto-dialer asking you to verify the absence.

My student is in school most of the time, so that’s ok, right?
Most parents are aware of what it means for a child to be truant from school. However, there is a new push through the state of California to reduce the numbers of students who are “chronically absent.” Students who are chronic absent typically attend school fairly regularly, but miss a few days here and there, which really add up and affect their learning. It's important to know both excused or unexcused absences count toward chronic absenteeism.

Chronically absent students have been absent (either excused or unexcused) for 10% of the time that school has been in session. For example, if your student has been absent 2 days before Sept. 15, he is chronically absent. If your student has been absent 5 days before Oct. 20, she is chronically absent. An average of 2 days absent a month means a student is chronically absent.

The District is now required to track this data and report it to the state. MVWSD will contact parents when students reach concerning absence levels. If not remedied, chronically absent students and their families may be referred to the District’s Student Attendance Review Board, in a process similar to how truancy is handled. MVWSD is bound by law to report and handle chronic absences in this manner.

What if my student’s absence isn’t avoidable? When a student is going to be absent between 5-15 days, you may request an independent study contract (ISC) from our school secretary. This contract allows your student to be absent from school AND receive credit for attendance. The work must be fully completed and turned in upon return to receive full credit. Please ask your school for more information.

When do parents get truancy/chronic absence letters? California law requires MVWSD to notify parents after three unexcused absences and/ or tardies over 30 minutes. Any three unexcused absences and/ or tardies over 30 minutes means a child is truant. MVWSD will send parents letters about chronically absent students at regular intervals after students are absent 10% of the time school is in session.

Why do parents get truancy/chronic absence letters? These letters are intended to inform parents of the law as it relates to school attendance. This is a district-wide effort, and all families across the district receive letters when students have had three or more unexcused absences (truancy) or have missed 10% of the time school has been in session (chronically absent). These letters also inform parents of next steps and any resources or procedures in place to help their family get their child to school regularly.

Click on the links to find more detailed information regarding attendance, tardies, and reporting absences.  (Absences & Excuses - AR 5113BP 5113,  Attendance
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