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Attendance Policy

Attendance guidance for Emerson Family Handbook in a link to the downloadable document, followed below.

The Importance of Attendance

Showing up every day is one of the best things you can do for your child's education. Evidence shows that missing fewer than nine days per year has a significantly positive impact on students’ academic and social success from kindergarten through high school. 

Students with positive attendance are more likely to read at grade level, graduate from school, and build habits for success in college and career. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day. 

Everyone and Every day counts at Emerson Elementary School, and we are committed to partnering with you and your child to achieve the goal of positive attendance. 

Together, we can support positive attendance through Emerson’s Core Attendance Beliefs:

Emerson Core Attendance Beliefs

  Students will Families will School will

Be Respectful 

help my family by waking up on time and getting ready for school.

contact the main office 

promptly to report an absence.

contact family to verify absence and check if any support is 


Be Responsible 

get plenty of sleep and be ready for school the next day, and make up any work I miss when I am absent

create routines at home that help my child be prepared and ready for school each day.

provide a safe, welcoming, and engaging school experience

Be Reflective

talk to a trusted adult at school if I am feeling anxious, 

uncomfortable or unsafe.


know, understand and follow the Emerson (OUSD) 

attendance policy.

Communicate with school when challenges to attendance arise.

provide information, resources and interventions to support positive attendance, and partner with families to correct truancies and/or chronic absence.


Grid describing what a chronic absence is.

What to know about ABSENCES and TARDIES 

Parents or guardians must call or visit the office to notify staff on the day of an absence to provide the reason and/or to excuse the absence. Please refer to the school calendar for breaks and early release days so you can schedule appointments and family vacations in order to minimize your child’s absences.

Excused Absences Unexcused Absences Tardies

Five types of absences can be excused with required documentation: 

  1. Personal Illness (a doctor’s note is required after 3 consecutive absences, and after 14 non-consecutive absences) 
  2. Quarantine 
  3. Medical/dental/vision appointment (an appointment slip is required) 
  4. Funeral service for immediate family member (one day for in-state and 3 days out of state)
  5. Illness of student’s child 

Upon advance written request and Principal approval, absences for other justifiable personal reasons may be excused: 

  • Funeral service 
  • Court appearance 
  • Employment conference 
  • Religious holiday or ceremony (not to exceed four hours per semester)

All other absences are considered unexcused, for example: 

  • family vacations 
  • moving 
  • over sleeping 
  • family member illness 

If the parent or guardian does not call or visit the office to provide an excusable reason or documentation, the absence will be marked unexcused. 

When a student is late, they miss breakfast, social connection time and important instructional time.

Students who arrive after 8:30 will be marked tardy and must check in at the front office before going to class.

Tardies may be excused with a doctor’s note or appointment slip. Unexcused tardies that are 30 minutes or more are considered a truancy.

When absences and tardies become a concern: Truancy and Chronic Absence 

On average over the past 5 school years, 22% of Emerson students are chronically absent due to excused and unexcused absences. The impact on academics and graduation rates is well documented. 

The fiscal impact of low attendance can be devastating and impair Emerson’s ability to provide needed programs and resources to our students. We are committed to reducing student absences regardless of the reason. Students who attend school today will succeed tomorrow!

What is the difference between CHRONIC ABSENCE and TRUANCY?

Chronic Absence Students who miss 10% or more of school days (which is 2 or more days in each month, or 18 days in the school year) for any reason during the school year are considered chronically absent.
Truancy Students with 3 or more unexcused absences and/or 30-minute tardies are considered truant.

As a district, we are responsible for upholding California Education Law: 

  • Education Code Section 48200: Students between the ages of 6 and 18 are required to attend school. 
  • Education Code Section 48260.5: Habitually truant students may be subject to prosecution, fines, community service, and loss of driver’s license. Parents of truant students are obliged to compel the attendance of the student at school. Parents are advised to meet with school officials, investigate alternative education programs in the district, and attend classes with the student for one day. 
  • Education Code Section 48263: Habitually truant may be referred to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB). Education Code Section 48292: and Penal code Section 272: Failure to attend school as required may result in the filing of a complaint against the parent with the District Attorney’s Office.

We can work together to prevent truancy and chronic absence!

If you are facing any challenges with daily attendance, please reach out to your child’s teacher, or We are here to partner with you and provide support resources to help you and your child succeed. The image below shows Emerson’s approach to prevention and intervention for chronic absence and truancy.

sample attendance pyramid with examples

Important Contact Information

To clear absence(s) call: 

Ms. Sandra
Attendance Specialist

(510) 879-2115 Main Office 

Email Me

ParentSquare message: Sandra Burton

Shawn Stibbins

Email Me

Antionette Holland
Administrative Assistant

Email Me

Jalyn Crum
Community Schools Manager 

Email Me

Verna Springer
After School Coordinator 

Email Me

Download the document