Why is school attendance so important?
- Children who miss too many days in kindergarten and first grade can struggle academically in later years and often have trouble mastering reading by the end of third grade.
- By middle and high school, absenteeism is a leading warning sign that a student will drop out of high school.
- Nearly 67% of course failures are attributed to low attendance.
- Students are considered chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
- Attendance is a top indicator of being on track for graduation and for college and career readiness.
- Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
Teachers carefully plan each day for their students. One of the most successful elements of learning is regular, on-time attendance at school. If at all possible, please schedule appointments outside of school hours, and schedule family trips during school breaks. If a student is absent from school, a parent/guardian must contact the office to report the absence as soon as possible; please review our absence reporting guidelines below.
Attendance is taken immediately upon entering the classroom at the start of the day. If a student's absence has not been reported by a parent/guardian, a phone call home asking for the reason for the student's absence will be made. After a reasonable number of attempts to reach a parent/guardian have been made, unverified absences will be coded as unexcused.
Late students should report directly to the office for a late slip. Parents should not escort late students to class.
Excessive absences and late arrivals, whether excused or unexcused, will generate letters inviting parents/guardians and their child(ren) to meet with school staff to discuss how we can best support the family in guaranteeing regular, on-time attendance at school.
Your child should stay home if they:
- Have a fever of 100.4 or higher without medication
- Have had more than one episode of vomiting or diarrhea
- Are unable to participate in school due to:
- Being excessively tired
- An extreme lack of appetite
- Frequently coughing or sneezing
- Severe sore throat, especially if the sore throat is accompanied by a headache, stomachache, or rash. If your child has these symptoms, call your doctor. The child may have strep throat without a fever.
- Rashes that are itchy and scaly; your child should be evaluated by a doctor before coming to school.
- Yellow or green discharge from eyes, ears, nose or any other part of the body.
- Pink eye (red, puffy, itchy eyes); your child must be cleared by a doctor before coming to school.
- Keep your child home until his/her fever has been gone for 24 hours without medication.
- Keep your child home for 24 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
- Keep your child home for 24 hours after the first dose of antibiotics.
Folsom Cordova Unified School District allows the student’s parent/guardian to excuse up to 10 absent days without verification of illness from a medical professional. Absences after 10 days will be recorded as unexcused unless verification from a medical professional is provided. Verification from a medical provider for an absence due to an illness or medical appointment can be accepted at any time, will be recorded as verified, and will not take away from the 10-day parent excused limit; the doctor's note must be specific, listing the exact date(s) of the student's medically related absence(s).
COVID related absences are subject to specific guidelines. If your child has been exposed to or has tested positive for COVID, please contact our health clerk at 916-294-9140 x240120 for current quarantine protocols.
For symptoms not caused by illness (e.g., seasonal allergies), please provide a doctor’s note stating that your child is not contagious and it is safe for him/her to return to school.
A student shall be considered truant if they have been absent from school for a full day or tardy in excess of 30 minutes three times during one school year without a valid excuse; see information below regarding excused/unexcused absences. Written notices of truancy are required by law. Parents will receive a truancy letter (Truancy Letter 1) when their student has accumulated 3 unexcused absences. Additional truancy letters are sent when a student accumulates 6 (Truancy Letter 2) and 9 (Truancy Letter 3) unexcused absences. Upon receiving Truancy Letter 2, parents will be asked to meet with school staff to discuss how we can best support the family in guaranteeing regular, on-time attendance at school. Students who continue to be truant or chronically absent, may be referred to a school attendance review board (SARB). Please note: school administration may conduct a parent meeting to discuss attendance concerns at any time.
Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more of the school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date, regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused.
- Illness, including an absence for the benefit of the pupil’s mental or behavioral health.
- Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health office.
- Medical, dental, optometry, chiropractic, or mental health services.
- Attendance at funeral services for an immediate family member, 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.
- For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of the pupil’s religion, attendance at a religious retreat, attendance at an employment conference, or 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 established by the governing board of the school district.
- For the purpose of spending time with a member of the student's family who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in Section 49701, and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from, deployment to a combat zone or combat support position.
- For the purpose of attending the pupil’s naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen.
- For the purpose of participating in a cultural ceremony or event.
- For other reasons that are within the discretion of school administrators and, based on the facts of the pupil's circumstances, are deemed to constitute a valid excuse.
- Out of town
- Family vacation
- Car trouble
- Inclement weather/poor air quality, unless approved by the district
- Any illness/medical appointment other than the student's illness/medical appointment
- Unverified absences
Click on the following link for information and resources that define truancy and truancy penalties and other related information: CA Dept of Education - Truancy
Reporting an Absence
Student absences must be reported as soon as possible. To report an absence you can:
- Fill out a Google Form: Google Absence Form
- Call 916-294-9140 and press "1" for the attendance line.
- Email the school clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include the following information when reporting an absence:
- Student's first and last name
- Teacher's name
- Date of absence
- Reason for absence (illness, medical appointment, funeral, out of town, etc)
- Your name and relationship to the student
Independent Study Agreements
Please plan vacations and family trips during school holidays. Pulling students out of school causes disruption to their learning and can be very challenging for our staff.
If an Independent Study is needed, please visit the Gold Ridge office at least 10 school days prior to the leave of absence to fill out an Independent Study Agreement. Independent Study is available for students who will be absent for 3-14 consecutive school days.
Assigned Independent Study work must be turned in upon the student's scheduled return to school. Independent Study work not turned in on the student’s scheduled day back will void the agreement, resulting in no attendance credit. Fully completed work turned in on time will result in full attendance credit. Partially completed work turned in on time will result in partial attendance credit.
- Independent Study Agreements will not be issued during the first two weeks and the last two weeks of the school year. Students not present at school during these times will be disenrolled. Students will need to be reenrolled upon their return, and there is no guarantee that a spot will be available.
- Students are only allowed a maximum of 14 days of Independent Study each year. Students who are absent longer than 14 consecutive school days due to travel (or 14 cumulative school days if multiple Independent Study Agreements are issued) will be disenrolled. Students will need to be reenrolled upon their return, and there is no guarantee that a spot will be available.
Call or visit the school office for detailed information regarding Independent Study Agreements: 916-294-9140.
Remember, you must contact the school office to request an Independent Study Agreement at least 10 days prior to your student's planned leave of absence.