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Attendance Education Code

The state of California have made substantial changes in the way schools are now funded. These changes in law mean that the school will receive no funding for students who are absent, regardless of the reason. Currently schools receive state funding only for students who actually attend school for at least part of the school day. Each day a student is absent, for whatever reason, the district loses $36.00. In addition, research has proved that each day a student is absent requires two days to make up the work from class, and those 6 hours of instruction are lost. Jefferson Middle School and the Torrance Unified School District appreciates your help in scheduling all non-school related appointments after school hours and during the school breaks throughout the year and summer.

Although the District will not receive funding, the Torrance Unified School District requires written parental explanations for the absences noted below:

Education Code 48205 mandates the following: 

Valid Absences:

A pupil excused from school when the absence is:

1. Due to his or her illness.

2. Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer

3. For the purpose of having medical, dental optometry, or chiropractic service.

4. For the purpose of attending the funeral servicers of a member of his or her immediate family (sibling, parent, grandparent), 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.

5. For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided by law (18 years old).

6. Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent.

7. 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 his or her religion, attendance at religious retreats, attendance an employment conference, attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization when the pupil’s absence has been 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.

8. For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.

9. For the purpose of spending time with a member of the pupil’s immediate 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. Absences granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be granted for a period of time to be determined at the discretion of the superintendent of the school district.

Unexcused Absences - According to state guidelines any absence not covered under the above list will be considered unexcused. Unexcused absences may result in a failing grade and/or other consequences. Vacation is an unexcused absence. If the vacation is for 5 days or more, the option of Independent Study is available.

Truancy - A student is classified truant when he/she is absent three or more days without a valid excuse, OR tardy greater than 30 minutes or a combination of the two. Upon a pupil's initial classification as a truant, the school district shall notify the pupil's parent or guardian, by first-class mail or other reasonable means (Education Code 48260). Parents are also advised, that students who are classified as truant may be referred to the School Attendance Review Board (Education Code 48260.5).

School Attendance Review Board (SARB) - SARB has representatives from schools, law and social service agencies, community groups, L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services, and probation. It is the responsibility of SARB to review cases of students having attendance and/or behavior problems and make recommendations for corrective actions.


JMS Attendance Office

Attendance Office Contact
Mrs. Christina Paredes
(310) 533-4794 ext. 8583

Good attendance benefits your child’s education. Research is clear that students who attend school regularly do better academically and are more likely to establish work habits that help them succeed in life and work. California State law requires daily school attendance until the student graduates reaches the age of eighteen or passes the California Proficiency Exam.

Please notify the attendance office if you child is absent by sending a note, phone call or e-mail.
The note should contain:
– Student Name
– Date or Dates of Absences
– Reason for Absence
– Parent or Guardian Signature

Homework request is only requested on the second day of absence. You may also check for your child’s homework assignments.

Regular school attendance is the most valuable gift you can give your child!


Consequences for Unexcused Absences or Tardies

Every day school is missed, 6 hours of in person instruction is lost. 

Disciplinary Action for Unexcused Absences and/or Tardies:

  • Initial 3 tardies and/or absences – SARB Warning Letter #1 sent home
  • 5 or more tardies and/or absences – SARB Warning Letter #2 sent home and a mandatory SART (School Attendance Review Team) Meeting and Contract must take place
  • Tardies or absences noted after SARB Warning Letter and SART Meeting/Contract - Result in the family referred to the SARB (School Attendance Review Board) for a Hearing. The Board includes law enforcement, DCFS, School Administrators, District Administrators, Social Services agencies, and Community organizations and agency. Both the Student and Parent(s) are required to attend a SARB Hearing.‚Äč
  • School Consequences for Unexcused Absences:
    • 3 tardies = after-school detention
    • 6 tardies = Saturday school detention (per quarter)