• Attendance

    To report or excuse a student absence,
    please call 458-3418


    ATTENDANCE

    Students are required to attend classes in accordance with compulsory full-time education laws (Education Code 48200). Categories for attendance accountability include the following:

    A. Excused (Absences must be excused within 24 hours. Call 458-3418)

    An excused absence is defined under Board Policy 5113. The teacher is to allow a student to make up the work missed during absences, to the degree it is possible for such work to be completed. An excused absence shall be granted for the following reasons:

    1. Personal illness

    2. Quarantine under city or county direction

    3. Medical, dental, optometry, or chiropractic services. Students are strongly urged to make parental consent for confidential medical services (EC 46010.1).

    4. Attending funeral services of an immediate family member (limited to one day if funeral is in California , three days if the service is conducted outside California. ).

    5. Exclusion for not having been properly immunized; such absence excused for not more than five school days.

    6. Jury duty.

    7. Participation in religious instruction or exercises in accordance with district policy.

    8. Serving as a member of a precinct board for an election. (Election Code Section 12302)

    The school may request medical verification when the student has ten or more medically excused absences per year. The school is required to document verification of the reason for an absence. In addition to a note or call, a school employee may visit the student’s home or use any other reasonable method to establish the fact that the student was actually absent for the reason stated (Administrative Regulation 5113).

    B. Warranted

    According to BP/AR 5113, a warranted absence must be requested in writing at least two days prior to the absence, must be approved by a site administrator, and, unless otherwise designated below, signed by the teachers of the classes missed. Any absence that isn’t requested in advance and in writing will be considered unexcused and will count toward loss of credit in classes. Prior approval may be waived by the principal or designee only under exceptional, unanticipated circumstances. The administrator will consider student attendance patterns, current academic performance and previous requests when approving a request for a warranted absence.

    The teacher of any class from which the student is absent shall determine, pursuant to the regulations of the Board of the school district, what assignments the student shall make up and in what period of time the student shall complete such assignments. The tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments which the student missed during the absence.

    A warranted absence may be requested for justifiable personal reasons, including but not limited to the following:

    1. Appearance in court.

    2. Attendance at a funeral service for an aunt, uncle or cousin, or a person other than a member of the student’s immediate family.

    3. Observation of a holiday or ceremony of his/her religion (requires signature of principal or designee only, not signatures of student’s teachers). Absence for personal, individual religious celebrations or ceremonies (e.g., Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation, etc.) shall be limited to one day and may be warranted only for members of the immediate family.

    4. Attendance at religious retreats for no more than four hours during a semester.

    5. Employment conference or interview.

    6. College visits (limit of three days per year).

    7. Bereavement beyond excused absence days.

    8. Tending to an illness or a medical appointment of a student’s custodial child during school hours.

    9. Outdoor Education, or other educational programs sponsored by the school, district or county.

    10. Partial day absences caused by circumstances beyond the student’s control (bus breakdowns, highway flooding, etc.). These absences require approval by the principal or designee within one school day of the student’s return to school.

    11. Other justifiable personal reasons authorized by the school.

    FAMILY TRIPS AND VACATIONS WILL NOT BE WARRANTED UNDER THIS POLICY. Parents/guardians are encouraged to plan family trips and vacations outside of the school year.

    C. Unexcused

    According to AR 5113, students may not make up work missed during an unexcused absence. Unexcused absences will lead to loss of credit under school credit loss policies (see Section E below). Unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. Oversleeping, car trouble, missing a ride, etc.

    2. Cutting class or school.

    3. Any absence which is not cleared within one day after the student returns to school.

    4. Extended weekends or family vacations.

    5. Detainment in juvenile hall.

    6. Suspensions are unexcused absences and count toward the loss of credit.

    D. Suspensions

    Suspensions are unexcused absences and count toward the loss of credit. However, work missed due to a suspension may be made up. The teacher from any class from which a student is suspended shall provide to the student all assignments and tests the student would otherwise miss while suspended. The teacher may require the suspended student to complete any assignments and tests missed during the suspension (AR 5144, EC 48913).

    E. Loss of Credit for Excessive Unexcused Absences

    The staff and parent community of Drake High School are sending out a clear message about attendance expectations. The underlying philosophy behind the attendance policy is that maximum learning and achievement can occur only when students establish regular attendance and participation in their classes. The Drake High School attendance policy, authorized by the Board in September of 1993, attaches credits to time/participation in class. A student in any class may lose one semester unit for five unexcused absences in that class. Loss of credit in courses required for graduation necessitates retaking the course or enrolling in the Summer School One Credit Redemption Program. Beyond the loss of one credit due to excessive absences, students run the risk of failing and, therefore, receiving no credit. (See Section G below.) Second semester seniors need to be particularly mindful of this.

    A student losing credit due to excessive unexcused absences may not be eligible for a parking permit the following semester.

    If a student is in danger of losing credit, written notice to the parent/guardian shall be sent, which will provide an opportunity for a conference, during which the student or parent shall have an opportunity to explain the absences.

    All credits lost due to poor attendance must be made up prior to the fall semester of the senior year. If a student loses a credit and is unable to make up lost credit during the senior year, the student will not graduate in June. A senior behind in credits for graduation will be able to make up the lost credit during the following Summer School.

    F. Appeals

    A student or parent/guardian may appeal loss of credit by written letter to an assistant principal. Within 30 days of the written appeal, the assistant principal shall convene a committee comprised of at least two district administrators or members of the local School Attendance Review Board in order to determine a judgment on the appeal. The committee shall sustain or deny the appeal, and its decision shall be final.

    G. Grade Reduction for Unexcused Absences

    According to BP/AR 5113, a teacher may lower a student’s grade, or assign a failing grade, if there are four or more unexcused absences. The student’s record will indicate that the failing grade was assigned due to excessive absences (Ed. Code 49067). If the student is in danger of failing for excessive unexcused absences, the teacher shall send written notice to the parent/guardian, which will provide an opportunity for a conference with the parent or student, during which the student or parent shall have an opportunity to explain the absences. Schools shall treat block or extended class periods as one period for grade reduction purposes. Warranted absences will not be cause for grade reduction or failures under this policy section.

    A grade may be reduced to an F on the basis of unexcused absences only (tardies are not included), and only if the student has accumulated four or more unexcused absences. Otherwise, a grade may be reduced to no lower than a D-.

    UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

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    -1*

    An unexcused absence is any absence from

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    -1

    -1*

    a class which has not been cleared by the

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    Attendance Office within 24 hours.

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    -1*

    D

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    -1*

    Example of grade reduction: A 1/3 grade

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    -1*

    reduction would reduce a B+ to a B.

    E

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    -1*

    S

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    -1*

    * = Loss of one credit.

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    -1*

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    -1

    -1*

    H. Attendance Procedures

    Students who have been absent must have their absence(s) cleared on or before the day of return. Students must also obtain a “Return to Class” pass from the Attendance Office and present it to the teacher when returning to class.

    Absences not cleared on the day of return will be recorded as unexcused (Board Policy 5113). Parents are therefore urged to call the attendance office (458-3418) every day of the student’s absence. This procedure will guarantee that absences are accurately cleared and will enable teachers to issue make-up work and support students who are legitimately absent.

    If a student becomes ill or injured while at school, he/she is to report to the school health technician or the attendance secretary, who will immediately notify his/her parent or guardian and make arrangements for a Permit to Leave School, if necessary. Any student who leaves school without clearing through the Attendance Office or health technician will be considered unexcused.

    In the event parents are out of the area and cannot be reached for medical or emergency reasons, they must contact the Attendance Office, providing the duration of the absence and the name, address and telephone number of the person(s) responsible for the care of their student(s) while they are away.

    Students are expected to make routine medical appointments after school hours; in the event this is not possible, parents or guardians must phone or send a note to the Attendance Office before students may leave the school grounds. If a student leaves campus without checking out with the Attendance Clerk, the absence is considered a cut and cannot be excused.

    A student is considered tardy when he/she is not in the classroom ready to work when the second bell has rung. A student is considered “unexcused” if he/she arrives in class excessively late (10 minutes or more).

    Students who are 18 or older may provide their own excuses for absences (EC 46012). The school reserves the right to notify parents when excessive absences are excused by an adult student.

    I. Homework Requests

    Homework may be requested from the receptionist once a student has been ill for two full days. Teachers may be contacted by phone or e-mail.

    J. Attendance Errors

    Correction slips may be obtained from the Attendance Office and submitted to teachers for signature. This form must be returned to the Attendance Office within two school weeks in order to receive the requested correction.

    K. Student Attendance Review Board

    According to EC 48260, a student is considered truant “who is absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof.” The formal procedure for dealing with truant students includes issuing letters of notification to parents of truant students, meeting with the Student Attendance Review Board as a means of intervention, and referring students to alternative classrooms or schools, as necessary. (AR 5113.1)

    L. Open Campus at Lunch Time

    The Board of Trustees establishes an open campus at all district high schools only during the lunch period (BP 5112.5). While off campus, students are expected to practice responsible behavior and to return to their next period classes on time. At times other than lunch, students shall not leave the school grounds without permission of school authorities. The principal is authorized to close the campus under the conditions of emergency or to ensure student health and safety.

    M. Tardy/Unexcused Absence Policy

    Attendance is an important factor in students’ success at school. Because attendance affects grades, the Drake staff desires a consistent policy for relating attendance and grades. Effective January 28, 1997 , school policy shall be that teachers will lower grades for tardies and unexcused absences as follows:

    A student is tardy when not ready to immediately work or follow instructions when the bell begins to ring. For the first period of the day, a tardy becomes an unexcused absence 10 minutes after the bell rings. For all other periods, five minutes after the bell rings a tardy becomes an unexcused absence.

    Tardies and unexcused absences both count toward lowered grades. (Refer to chart in Section G above.) For example, a student with six tardies and two unexcused absences in a class would have his/her grade in that class lowered by two-thirds (one-third for the tardies and one-third for the unexcused absences).

    Tardies do NOT count toward loss of credit and may NOT result in a failing grade. Students whose tardies become an unexcused absence but who are present in class will receive credit for work completed during the period. No make-up work will be accepted from students who are unexcused and not present in class.

    Every effort will be made to inform students of their ongoing attendance record. At any time a student or parent/guardian may check a student’s attendance record in the attendance office. Also, the attendance office will maintain a procedure for correcting errors in attendance recording.

    N. Student Residency/Inter-district Transfer Policy

    Under the California Education Code, students are required to attend school in the district where their parent or guardian resides, unless they obtain an inter-district attendance transfer. Students who reside outside the boundaries of the Tam District may attend district schools only if they have an Inter-district Transfer Request approved by both the student’s district of residence and the Tam District. Inter-district Transfer Requests must be approved annually for each student. The application process begins at the student’s district of residence.

    The Tamalpais Union High School District will approve an Inter-district Transfer Request into the District only if the transfer request meets the criteria set forth in BP/AR 5117-Interdistrict Attendance.

    Student residency is carefully monitored by school and district staff. When the District determines that a student residing outside the District boundaries is attending one of our schools without the legally required approved Inter-district Transfer, parents and student are notified and the student is dropped from the rolls within ten days. Students are not permitted to remain in the District through the end of the semester, as they have no legal right to do so.

    Students who become homeless or are placed in a foster home should meet with the school’s Homeless Liaison to discuss residency provisions that are available to the student.

    O. Student Employment

    Ongoing, regularly scheduled student employment will not be warranted under this policy. Students are expected to plan ongoing, scheduled employment opportunities outside the school day, enroll in the Workplace Learning course, or seek approval for a reduced instructional day. (cf 6178.1-Work Experience Education).