What is an Excused Absence?

What is an Excused Absence?

We greatly appreciate it when a parent/guardian contacts the school to inform us about a student's absence.  Sometimes, the absence is recorded as unexcused as the reason given does not meet the guidelines prescribed by State law.  In addition, if a parent/guardian does not inform the school of the reason for the absence after five (5) days, the absence turns into an unexcused absence.

California Education Code states the parameters of what constitutes an excused absence and are used to calculate funding for schools.  When a student is unexcused, the school does not receive funding for that day.  More importantly, when students are not in the classroom they lose out on opportunities to receive direct instruction from the teacher, ask questions, and confer with their peers.  In addition, when a student has an unexcused absence, the teacher is not required to provide school work for the day of that absence.

A student will be excused from school when the absence is due to:

  • Personal illness or injury
  • Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer
  • Having medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic services rendered
  • Obtaining confidential medical services without the consent of the student’s parents or guardians (according to Title X law and regulations)
  • Attending the funeral service of an immediate family member; one day if the service is in California and three days if outside of California
  • Jury duty in the manner provided for by law
  • Illness or medical appointment during school of a child whose custodial parent is the student
  • Spending time with an immediate family member who is an active-duty member of the uniformed services and who has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support position.
  • Participation in the entertainment industry as noted under Education Code. Students with these work permits may be excused for a period of not more than five consecutive days, with a maximum of five absences per year.
  • Justifiable personal reasons include, but are not limited to, a court appearance, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a religious holiday or ceremony, attendance at a religious retreat, or attendance at an employment conference when the student’s absence has a written request from the parent and approval by the principal or a designated representative. 
  • California law defines members of the “immediate family” as the mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, or spouse of the student, and son, daughter, brother, or sister of the student, or any relative living in the immediate household of the student.

Students who have multiple absences whether they are excused or unexcused will be monitored. Parents/guardians may receive letters informing them of excessive absents/truancy.  

If families need assistance with improving the attendance of their student, they can contact the student's counselor.

Last Name A-G - Fatima Haghi, [email protected]

Last Name H-N - An Vo, [email protected]

Last Name O-Z - Stephanie Hosking, [email protected]

If absences are related to health problems, please contact Challenger's school nurse, Birgitte Noesgaard, [email protected].

Please contact Challenger's attendance clerk, Maria Yap at [email protected] if you have any questions regarding your student's attendance as listed in PowerSchool.  


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