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Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is important for your child’s education.  Children are not only required to attend school unless they are ill, but the school loses money if a child is absent from school for any reason.

California Laws about School Attendance

Attending school is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 – 18. Per California Education Code §48260, any student who is absent from school without a valid excuse for three full days is truant. Any student who is tardy or absent for any 30-minute period during the school day, without a valid excuse on three occasions during one school year, is classified as truant

Students who become truant are subject to penalties that can include suspension of driving privileges, arrest, and even prosecution. Penalties against parents apply when any parent or guardian fails to compel the student to attend school. The penalties against parents in Education Code §48293 become progressively severe. Parents can be prosecuted, fined, and even imprisoned. 

While legal penalties can apply to the parents of chronically truant students, PUSD’s approach is to first help and support the family. PUSD offers alternative educational programs and support for students and families who are having trouble getting to school.  

Truants may be referred to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB), a district and juvenile court entity that can mandate intensive guidance to meet the special needs of students with school attendance problems. These interventions are designed to divert students with serious attendance and behavioral problems from the juvenile justice system and to reduce the number of students who drop out of school.

Absence Definitions

Excused Absence
Dentist, doctor, funeral in immediate family, illness, and documented court appearance.

Explained Absence
Funerals other than immediate family if previously cleared through the office, out-of-town with parent’s permission, needed at home due to illness on family, religious holidays, and off-campus when approved by counselor.

Unexcused Absence, Explained
Missed bus, car trouble, needed at home due to illness, suspension, home detention, and some other absence not specified.

Cutting indicates truancy, and absence without acceptable reason with or without parent consent. Cuts will be given if student leaves school without obtaining an off-campus permit. 

Off Campus Permit
Students are not to leave campus from the time they arrive at school until the school day is over, unless they have an off-campus permit.

Absence Due to School Related Activity
Activity slips are required to clear absences from class for special school activities. This notice should be given 24 hours prior to the activity.

Notification of Absence

If your child will be absent, please call the attendance line at (626) 396-5730 option 3 as soon as possible on the first day of the absence.  If you know your child will be absent in advance, please call the attendance line.  If you cannot call, please submit a signed note to your child’s teacher to be delivered to the office with the child’s name, date(s) of, and reason for absence or fill out an attendance form (English | Spanish) (also available in the office) within three (3) days of your child’s return to school.

Extended Absence

If you know your child will be absent for five (5) or more consecutive school days, please complete an Independent Study Plan with your child’s teacher.  Completing this form will ensure that your child will not fall behind while s/he is out of school and also enables the school district to receive funding for the days your child is absent.  An Independent Study Plan form can be obtained from your child’s teacher or the office.


Students arriving late to school miss learning time and disrupt the learning of others.  If your child arrives at school after the second bell rings at 8:45am, s/he should report to the office for a tardy (yellow) slip before proceeding to class.  Hamilton appreciates your help in encouraging daily and timely school attendance.

Early Release Procedure

In the event that you need to pick up your child before the end of the school day, please notify your child’s teacher in advance.  When you arrive at school, please buzz the front office.  You will need to sign your child out (Siblings under 18 years of age will not be allowed to sign out a student).  Please also be sure to have your photo identification with you. 

Children will only be released to parents, legal guardians, or persons listed on the Emergency Card.  For other arrangements, written permission must be sent to the office by the parent/guardian.