Compulsory Attendance Education Code
Schools are required to enforce compulsory attendance law. Pursuant to Education Code § 48200:
Each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years not exempted under the provision of this chapter or Chapter 3 (commencing with § 48400) is subject to compulsory full-time education. Each person subject to compulsory full-time education and each person subject to compulsory continuation education not exempted under the provisions of Chapter 3 shall attend the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes and for the full time designated as the length of the schoolday by the governing board of the school district in which the residency of either the parent or legal guardian is located and each parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of the pupil shall send the pupil to the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes and for the full time designated as the length of the schoolday by the governing board of the school district in which the residence of either the parent or legal guardian is located.
Unless otherwise provided for in this code, a pupil shall not be enrolled for less than the minimum schoolday established by law.
Pursuant to California Education Code § 48260 (a): “A pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the schoolday without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, shall be classified as a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.”
First Notification Mandate (Ed. Code § 48260.5):
Upon a pupil’s initial classification as a truant, the school district shall notify the pupil’s parent or guardian using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include electronic mail or a telephone call:
- That the pupil is truant.
- That the parent or guardian is obligated to compel to attendance of the pupil at school.
- That parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290) of Chapter 2 Part 27.
- That alternative educational programs are available in the district.
- That the parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the pupil’s truancy.
- That the pupil may be subject to prosecution under Section 48264.
- That the pupil may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of the pupil’s driving privilege pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code.
- That it is recommended that the parent or guardian accompany the pupil to school and attend classes with the pupil for one day.
Habitual Truant (Ed. Code § 48262):
Any pupil is deemed an habitual truant who has been reported as a truant three or more times per school year, provided that no pupil shall be deemed an habitual truant unless an appropriate district officer or employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with a parent or guardian of the pupil and the pupil himself, after the filing of either of the reports required by Section 48260 or Section 48261. For purposes of this section, a conscientious effort means attempting to communicate with the parents of the pupil at least once using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include electronic mail or a telephone call.
Irregular Attendance, Habitually Insubordinate or Disorderly During School Attendance (Ed. Code § 48263):
If any minor pupil in any district of a county is an habitual truant, or is irregular in attendance at school, as defined in this article, or is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school, the pupil may be referred to a school attendance review board or to the probation department for services if the probation department has elected to receive these referrals. The supervisor of attendance, or any other persons the governing board of the school district or county may designate, making the referral shall notify the minor and parents or guardians of the minor, in writing, of the name and address of the board or probation department to which the matter has been referred and of the reason for the referral. The notice shall indicate that the pupil and parents or guardians of the pupil will be required, along with the referring person, to meet with the school attendance review board or probation officer to consider a proper disposition of the referral.
If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services can resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, then the board or probation officer shall direct the pupil or the pupil’s parents or guardians, or both, to make use of those community services. The school attendance review board or probation officer may require, at any time that it determines proper, the pupil or parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, to furnish satisfactory evidence of participation in the available community services.