POSITIVE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
The Attorney General focuses on reducing elementary school truancy. Wealth of statistics shown here.
Truancy toolkit highlighting the importance of reducing chronic absenteeism.
Excessive Excused Absences After 12 notices parents have excused their student, a doctors' note is required for each subsequent absences. SI&A sends notifications home for the purpose of reminding parents of the duty and importance of daily school attendance.
Truancy Notices Up to three truancy notices may be sent to families of students who have three or more unexcused absences. The purpose of these letters is to improve student attendance, which ultimately improves school success.
ON CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM AND TRUANCY
“The old saying is true: a big part of success is showing up. To learn in school, children need to be in school and to stay in school,” “Poor attendance leads to poor work, poor grades-and eventually poor career prospects. Regular attendance is essential for success in school and in life.” - Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
With the statewide focus on increasing student learning time, there are many resources available to parents and schools for improving school attendance. Resources recommend from the California Department of Education Include:
Handouts for Parents (multiple languages)
Ventura County SARB Process Flow Chart
POSTIVE ATTENDANCE FOR ALL
Positive, daily attendance is essential for student learning and correlates with student success even at the end of the school year. Missing school equates to missed learning opportunities.
Simi Valley Schools do everything possible to support positive school attendance. In 2018-19, we started working with Panorama Education to identify student needs related to student connectedness and positive social emotional learning. Our focus is to engage students in school at the highest level by connecting with families and students, providing schools of choice and exciting programs of interest to our community; and supporting students when challenged.
Simi Valley Schools is also served by School Innovations and Advocacy, to identify students at risk dropping out as demonstrated by poor attendance, in as early as elementary school.
Our partnered communications which is helping to improve attendance for chronic absentees include:
Excessive Excused Absence letters which notify parents, when a child has more than 12 excused absences within a school year. After 12 excused absences, Board Policy, requires a doctor's note with each illness excuse. Additionally, other excused absences are defined in the California Education Code.
Truancy notices are generated when a student has 3 or more unverified absences or an excuse, not considered valid by Ed Code. Ed Code does not recognize vacation, transportation "emergencies", or funerals more than three days when out-of-state. Upon the second Notice of Truancy, schools meet with families to:
- Identify the reason or problem interfering with attendance
- Offer assistance through community resources, school help, and family follow through
- Closely monitoring the students' attendance for improvement
School Attendance Review Board (SARB). After these previous interventions, the case may be referred to the District SARB. District SARB meetings are held at the Simi Valley Police Department. The SARB consists of a Student Support Administrator, School Resource Officer, District Attorney, Public Health and School Nurse, School Psychologist, Community Advocate, Probation Officer, Interface, Ventura County Behavioral Health, and CalWorks, and is authorized by Ed Code to work with families to solve issues of concern, provide community resources, and in extreme cases, make a referral to the district attorney for prosecution.
Our goals are always to work with every student to maximize their experience in our schools. Please contact your school for suggestions or questions related to school attendance.
FROM THE STATE SARB HANDBOOK
Chronic absence in kindergarten predicts chronic absence the following year, setting a potential detrimental habit of poor attendance. Research also shows that students who are chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are far less likely to read proficiently by 3rd grade.
BENEFITS OF SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
The University of Chicago finds:
Positive attendance is the best indicator of a student’s success.
Just 5 days of school missed – excused or unexcused – can dramatically affect a student’s chance for success.
High-performing students are affected by absences, not just average and poor-performing students.
Positive attendance is a strong predictor of graduation.
In the Simi Valley Unified School District:
School attendance is best in 1, 2, 3, & 11th grades, with the least excused absences.
Students' chronic absences are highest in pre-school and 12th grades.
Overall attendance was 95.57% in 2015-2016 and 95.80% in 2014-2015.
For every 1% of absence (less than 2 days per year), students loose $1 million in programs, services, and materials. More importantly, they loose the opportunities for learning with being in school.
Our next step in SVUSD, is to reward and acknowledge students with positive attendance.
This video shares the importance of identifying and understanding the impact of chronic absences (2-3 per month), which may occur for a variety of reasons, on student learning. Strategies for reducing absences are shared. While in our district, "chronic" absences are defined as more than 12 absences in a school year, as opposed to 10 shown in this video.