Daily Attendance Matters

Attendance Matters

Students are expected to attend school every day and to be on time. Children who miss school miss out on opportunities to learn, build lasting friendships, and develop the skills and attitudes needed to become good citizens and valued employees. There is a clear connection between student attendance and student performance in school. This is especially true for English Learners in terms of their gains on the English Language Arts and mathematics portions of the Testing.

Student absences also affect school budgets. Schools and school districts get a significant amount of their funding based upon the number of students who actually attend school each day. This is called Average Daily Attendance (ADA). Potential losses in ADA revenue affect all students because they can lead to budget cuts affecting a variety of programs, as well as individual schools. To learn more, visit the district"s Calculating ADA page.

Student Attendance Laws

All children between 6 and 18 years of age are required by California's Education Code to attend school, and their parents have a legal responsibility to ensure their child's attendance. The law also states that a student's refusal to attend school regularly can result in referral to the community-based School Attendance Review Board (SARB) Juvenile Probation, or the Juvenile Court System. Additionally, parents who fail to compel their child's attendance may face criminal prosecution and penalties.

Excused/Unexcused Absences

The only absences that are excused as mandated by the State of California are those due to illness, medical or dental appointments, funeral services and bereavement, court appearances, family emergencies, Independent Study Contracts (if completed), or religious holidays or ceremonies.

Unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, those due to oversleeping, transportation issues, going on vacation, or similar situations.

For guidance on when to keep your child home from school due to illness, see the Student Health page.

If Your Child Must Be Absent

Please call the office before 10:00 a.m. every day of an absence. We are required by state law to note the reason(s) for all student absences. There is a message machine for early morning calls. We use an automated calling system to let parents know when a student has been marked absent in a class, and we have no record of a parent's call excusing the absence.

Planned Absence in Excess of Five Days

If your child will be absent from school for five or more days (a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20), please contact the Attendance Office one week ahead (the teacher's contract stipulates this lead-time) and make arrangements for a short-term Contract for Independent Study (CIS) for the absence period. Academic assignments will then be given to the student to complete during the absence. When the student returns and turns in the successfully completed assignments, he/she will be given credit for the missed days. For attendance purposes, they will not be considered unexcused absences. Without the contract, however, the absence would be unexcused. Independent study contracts are not available for students receiving special education support.


Students arriving to school after the final bell (8:55 a.m.) must report to the ATTENDANCE OFFICE for a tardy slip before going to class. Students arriving late to school with a note written by a parent or guardian will still be considered tardy unless it is a reason excused by the California Education Code (i.e. illness, doctor/dental appointment). California Education Codes do not permit the school to excuse a tardy because a parent is running late, missing the bus (public transportation), oversleeping, traffic etc., Unexcused tardies will result in assigned campus beautification.


At Marston Middle School we pride ourselves in helping our students achieve academic excellence in all their classes. To achieve this goal, we have high expectations of our students; arrive on time to every class and be ready to learn.

If your child has multiple tardies, Ms. Nguyen will meet with your child regarding this issue. If your child has five tardies or more during the school year (tardies as recorded on their attendance record) this means he or she has been late to his/her classes five times or more. Because of these numerous tardies, your child will be assigned after school detention for four days. Detention will occur on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, after school in the library. After the completion of the after-school detention, five tardies will be cleared from his/her attendance record. In addition, your child can clear his/her tardies by attending our Saturday Enrichment Program. This will clear four more tardies and a day of unverified absence, unexcused absence, truant or illness. Saturday Enrichment Program dates vary from month to month. Please check the Marston Calendar.

If your child is taking a school bus home, there will be a late bus for them to do so on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please see the Late Activity school bus schedule for the school year.

Please discuss with your child the importance of going to class on time. Together we can help your child achieve academic excellence by being punctual to every class.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me or your counselor know. Thank you for your understanding and support in this matter.

Leave Early

Medical & Personal Appointments: We need a phone call or note that includes the reason for leaving, the date and time, a parent signature and a PHONE NUMBER where the parent can be reached for verification.



State Education Code requires that we notify parents if a child is considered to be truant. A student is classified as a truant if he/she has been absent from school without a valid excuse for three (3) full days in a school year, or has tardiness (lateness) or absence without a valid excuse for more than thirty (30) minutes on each of three times in one school year. (Education Code Section 48260)

Notification (via letter) is sent to parents at the time a student has an unexpected absence or tardy for the fourth (4) time within the same school year. (District Procedure 6150) The language in the notification letter is specified in District Procedure 6150, including the requirement that the letter include language describing the student as truant and what the consequences are for both student and parent for truancy.

Valid absences are absences that are "excused" according to the following reasons: illness, professional services, funeral services, court appearance, religious ceremonies, family emergencies. Unexcused: Vacations taken without a Contract for Independent Study (CIS), Truancy: an absence without parent or school permission.

Contract for Independent Study (CIS)

Families who need their children to be away from school for multiple days (a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20) may make arrangements in the Attendance Office one week prior to taking the time away from school. The teacher's contract stipulates this lead-time. All assigned work must be completed, turned in, and of satisfactory quality for all of the days of absence to be considered as "excused".

School Buses (VEEP)

Students tardy to school will be excused if their delay is the result of a bus service problem. Students will not be excused if they arrive late to school as a result of not being on time at the bus stop. Students are expected to arrive at their bus stop ten minutes prior to its departure time.

Students are expected to be in school, even if the bus is missed. Parents need to have an alternate plan in this event. A full day's absence because of missing the bus is considered truancy and Saturday School will be assigned.

The Late Activity bus schedule is as follows:   4:59 Roosevelt Middle   5:10 Memorial Academy

Attendance Recognition

Students who are present at school every day during each progress report period (six weeks) are recognized and excused from class early for an extended lunch period. We recognize outstanding attendance again at the end of the school year.

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