Absences And Excuses

Excused Absences

A student's absence shall be excused for the following reasons:

1. Personal illness (Education Code 48205)

2. Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer (Education Code 48205)

3. Medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic appointment (Education Code 48205)

4. Attendance at funeral services for a member of the immediate family, which shall be limited to one day if the service is conducted in California or three days if the service is conducted out of state (Education Code 48205) Immediate family shall be defined as mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, son/son-in-law, daughter/daughter-in-law, brother, sister, or any relative living in the student's immediate household. (Education Code 45194, 48205)

5. Jury duty in the manner provided by law (Education Code 48205)

6. The illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child to whom the student is the custodial parent (Education Code 48205)

7. Written verification by the parent/guardian and the approval of the principal or designated site administrator, justifiable personal reasons including, but not limited to: (Education Code 48205)

a. Appearance in court

b. Attendance at a funeral service

c. Observation of a holiday or ceremony of his/her religion

d. Attendance at religious retreats not to exceed four hours per semester

e. Attendance at an employment conference

f. Attendance at an educational conference offered by a nonprofit organization on the legislative or judicial process

8. Service as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Elections Code 12302 (Education Code 48205)

9. To spend time with his/her immediate family member who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in Education Code 49701, and has been called to duty for deployment to a combat zone or a combat support position or is on leave from or has immediately returned from such deployment (Education Code 48205)

10. Participation in religious exercises or to receive moral and religious instruction in accordance with district policy (Education Code 46014)

a. In such instances, the student shall attend at least the minimum school day.

b. The student shall be excused for this purpose on no more than four days per school month.

Method of Verification

When a student who has been absent returns to school, he/she shall present a satisfactory explanation verifying the reason for the absence. Absences shall be verified by the student's parent/guardian, other person having control of the minor, or the student if age 18 or older. (Education Code 46012; 5 CCR 306)

The following methods may be used to verify student absences:

1. Written note, email, voice mail, or fax from parent/guardian or parent representative.

2. Conversation, in person or by telephone, between the verifying employee and the student's parent/guardian or parent representative. The employee shall subsequently record the following:

a. Name of student

b. Name of parent/guardian or parent representative

c. Name of verifying employee

d. Date(s) of absence

e. Reason for absence

3. Visit to the student's home by the verifying employee, or any other reasonable method which establishes the fact that the student was absent for the reasons stated. The employee shall document the verification and include the information specified in item #2 above.

4. Physician's verification.

a. When excusing students for confidential medical services or verifying such appointments, district staff shall not ask the purpose of such appointments but may contact a medical office to confirm the time of the appointment.

b. When a student has had five or more absences in the school year verified by methods listed in 1 through 3 above, has been late to school more than 30 minutes three or more times in the school year, and/or has more than 10 tardies to school, the district may require any further absences from the school be verified by a physician in order for the absences to be excused for illness.

c. In cases where a doctor's visit is not feasible, parents may bring their students to school to be evaluated by school staff.

5. In cases where students have been absent from school for extended periods of time due to hospitalization or temporary disability due to serious illness or injury, parents/guardians must provide a doctor's written release authorizing the student's return to school, in addition to written verification excusing the absence.

a. A doctor's written release authorizing a student's return to school shall also include any required accommodations, conditions, or specified limitations.

Assistive Devices

In cases where students are required to temporarily use assistive devices at school such as casts, splints, canes, walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, etc., students must first present a letter from the prescribing doctor to the School Nurse or designee that states the necessity for the student’s use of the device, any restrictions and the length of time that the restrictions and devices will be necessary. Without proper verification, the student will be sent home for safety reasons and it will be an unexcused absence at that time.

However, if the high school student is being followed by the school Athletic Trainer, contact the trainer for verification and allow the student to remain at school once verified under care of the Athletic Trainer.

Parent/Guardian will provide the following:

  • A completed PE-Activity Recommendation Form or equivalent identifying the limitations and duration of use, before the student will be allowed to use either crutches, a wheelchair or another assistive device. The statement will also indicate that the student received instructions on how to safely use the device(s). Only students who have submitted such a document or an equivalent shall be permitted in class with these devices.
  • The PE-Activity Recommendation Form or equivalent will include the anticipated length of time excused from P.E., recess or other physical activities.
  • The physician-approved equipment appropriate in size for the student. Student needs to be able to independently navigate the school campus with his/her wheelchair or other assistive device.
  • Notification to the school health office when the student’s condition changes.

When the school health office staff has received notification that a student must use either crutches, a wheelchair or other assistive device, the following steps will be taken:

  • The nurse will be notified when a student requires an assistive device due to an injury or illness.
  • School staff will make every effort to maintain student safety while assistive devices are in use. Refer to “Crutches or other Mobility Assistance Devices” Procedural Protocol (attached).


Revised: August 21, 2012
Revised: March 17, 2016
Revised: August 9, 2019

Crutches or other Mobility Assistance Devices Procedural Protocol