Below are frequently asked questions about attendance at Golden Oak Montessori. Questions can be directed to the Attendance Clerk in the school office at 510.931.7868.
My child is absent from School. What do I need to do?
Please call the Office at (510) 931-7868 and press Option 2. Leave a message with your child’s name, the reason for the absence, the date of the absence, and your name and relationship to the student so we can verify it is indeed a parent/guardian verifying the absence. Alternately you can email your child’s teacher, or send a note to your child’s teacher upon your child’s return to school.
What does it mean to “verify” my child’s absence?
When a student is absent, parents are required to call/send a note to the office in order to notify the school of the reason for the child’s absence. We call this process: Absence Verification. Often our Attendance Clerk will call home if a student is absent and we have not received a same-day phone call.
What happens after I have called in my child’s absence?
The Attendance Clerk will mark your child’s attendance record with an “Excused” or “Unexcused” absence according to California Ed. Code and local policies.
What happens if I forget to call my child’s absence on the day of his/her absence?
You may call to verify your child’s absence up to 5 days after your child has been absent. Absences that are not verified within this time will be considered unexcused absences.
What is considered an Excused Absence?
Absence from school shall be excused only for health reasons, family emergencies and justifiable personal reasons, as permitted by law or Board policy. A student's absence shall be excused for the following reasons:
- Personal illness
- Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer
- Medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic appointments;
- Attendance at funeral services for a member of the immediate family. Excused absence in this instance shall be limited to one day if the service is conducted in California or three days if the service is conducted out of state. "Immediate family" shall be defined as mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, son/son-in-law, daughter/daughter-in-law, brother, sister or any relative living in the student's immediate household.
- Participation in religious instruction or exercises in accordance with school policy. The student shall be excused for this purpose on no more than four school days per month.
In addition, a student's absence shall be excused for justifiable personal reasons such as:
- Appearance in court;
- Attendance at a funeral;
- Observation of a holiday or ceremony of his/her religion;
- Attendance at religious retreats for no more than four hours during a semester.
- Attendance at the pupil’s naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen.
What if my child’s absences do not fall under any of the Excused Absences categories?
State law [EC § 48260-48273] is very specific about these types of absences. A student who is absent from school without a valid excuse will be marked “unexcused” for the day. These types of absences are also called “Truancies.” Students shall be classified as truant if the student is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year, or if the student is 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. Such students shall be reported to the Head of School or designee.
What about coming in late (tardy) or leaving early?
According to State Law [EC § 48260-48273] a student that is absent from school in excess of 30 minutes (arriving late / leaving early) for an unexcused reason is also considered “truant.”
Why is attendance so important?
Regular attendance is vital to student’s success in school. A student, who is frequently absent, misses social interaction and direct instruction from his/her teachers. Any day or hour absent is a missed learning opportunity.
Don’t schools receive funding for students if the absence is excused?
The State of California funds attendance not absences. Schools do NOT receive funding even if the absence is excused. Every day a student is absent, it is a loss of revenue to the school as well as instructional opportunity to the student.