kids raising hands

When Should My Student Stay Home from School?
Everyone in our community plays a role in keeping our campuses safe and in keeping students and staff healthy so they can attend school consistently. Please visit Healthy Behaviors and Healthy Campuses for more information about what to do when your student is ill or has any symptoms of illness.

How Can I Excuse My Student's Absence?
We know that life happens, kids get sick, and there are other unavoidable circumstances, but please do all you can to make sure your student attends school regularly. Whenever possible, schedule medical and dental appointments during non-school hours. If your student will be absent, please make sure to communicate with your school site as soon as possible to report an absence.

To excuse an absence, you may call the student's school site(s) directly or email the Attendance Administrative Assistant at the school site. A list of Attendance contact information for each site is available here.

Below are some of the reasons that qualify as an Excused absence for the State of California:

  • Student Illness and/or medical, dental, optometry, or chiropractic appointment.
  • Attending the funeral services of a member of the student’s immediate family (one day if the service is in California and three days if the service is out of state
  • Observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion, attendance at religious retreats
  • Serving as a member of a precinct board of an election
  • Spending time with a member of the student’s immediate family, who is an active duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support position.

Having an absence excused allows a student to make up missing work but does not provide funding to the district. The only way the district receives attendance funding is for the student to be in class or a sanctioned school activity, to be receiving home or hospital services as requested by a licensed physician, or to participate in short-term independent study. Short-term independent study is available for students who know in advance that they will be absent for three or more school days and enables the student to stay current with coursework provided by their classroom teachers. For more information, see Short Term Independent Study on the DSIS website.

Helpful Attendance Information


Student Protests and Disturbances/Expressions of Free Speech on Campus

Knowing there are widely held and differing opinions in our Davis community around controversial topics, DJUSD recognizes the rights of students to express their views in exercise of their First Amendment rights.  In the case of on-campus student protests or expressions of free speech on campus, expectations for student behavior will be maintained in order to ensure safety. We also encourage families to discuss with students their views about controversial events.

Generally, normal instruction will continue during any voluntary, organized activity on campus, and students who choose to participate in planned, on-campus activities are expected to return to class following such events.

Students who leave class to participate in off-campus or other unauthorized activities will be considered “unexcused.” An initial unexcused absence will result in a phone call notification of the absence to the parent/guardian.  Students who participate in a campus disturbance shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with Board Policy and Administrative Regulations (See Board Policy 5131.4 and Administrative Regulation 5131.4).

Rules of Attendance Accounting
Attendance Matters!

When students are absent from school, the State allows the absence to be excused for a medical illness, appointments related to health, and other reasons listed below.* Excused absences carry the right to make up work and a period of time to do that without penalty. It is essential for parents to inform the school of absences, and we will alert parents of attendance issues via automated calling systems.

Absences are marked unverified until we hear from the parent/guardian within 48 hours of the absence. The absence then becomes either excused or unexcused based on the specified reasons allowed by the State. If no call is received after two school days, then the unverified absence becomes an unexcused absence.

When students are unexcused, they do not have the right to make up missed work, and are subject to intervention if they accumulate more than three days of unexcused absence (truancy). Education Code requires that the District send a formal letter after three days of unexcused/unverified absence and additional letters for any more unexcused absences.

The need to clarify the reason for the absence is unrelated to collecting school funding. The State does not provide funding for the day if a student is absence for any reason, whether excused or unexcused. Keeping track of the reasons for absences is an Education Code requirement related to compulsory education and the parent’s responsibility to make sure their child is in school.

When children are ill, we want them to recover and avoid infecting others. However, in the case of an elective absence, we hope that parents will weigh the impact of lost instructional time for the child as well as the lost funding to the school. The district does offer short-term independent study to students who will be traveling for five or more consecutive days. Under independent study the missed days become instructional days, the absences are excused, and state funding is allotted for those days as long as all the assigned work is completed.

Please call your school if you have further questions. We want to work together for the benefit of all our students.

*State of California Excused absences: illness; quarantine; medical, dental, optometry, chiropractic service; funeral for immediate family member, limited to one day in California, three days out of state; jury duty; medical appointment for a child in the custody of the student; justifiable reason (court appearance, religious holiday/ceremony, employment conference) with written request of parent/guardian and approved by the principal or designee. Ed Code 48205

For more information contact Leigh Choate, Manager of Student Support Services (Attendance).
Q & A

What do I do if my child is absent? 
Notify the school within 48 hours of absence and provide the reason for the absence and the dates that apply. Upon returning to school, make sure to provide documentation that is signed by a parent/guardian and/or medical professional. If make-up work is allowable, make sure arrangements have been made with your student's teachers and that the work is completed within the designated timeline.

What if my child has to be absence due to COVID-19 illness, exposure, or quarantine? 
Contact the attendance office at your school site to notify us if an absence is related  absence is related to COVID-19. For more information, visit the Health and Safety website. 

What do I do if I know my child is going to be absent 5 consecutive days or more? 
Contact DSIS to determine if Independent Travel Study would be appropriate. It is crucial that all work assigned during Short Term Independent Study (Independent Travel Study) be completed and returned promptly when the student returns. Visit Short Term Independent Study to learn more.

How can parents help with student attendance?

  • Plan vacations during non-school days
  • Schedule your child's medical and dental appointments at the end of the school day
  • Make sure they go to school every day unless they are ill
  • Take an interest in your child's schoolwork
  • If your child starts to miss school, speak to the school and let your child know he/she must attend
  • If your child is ill, contact the school and explain the reason for the absence
  • Set a schedule at home for homework, meals, and bedtime/wake-up time to ensure success

Is regular attendance for kindergarten students required?
School age students, age 5-18 years, are expected to attend and participate in school regularly. There is no exemption for kindergarten students.

Who should be contacted if the family experiences a hardship such as loss of employment, housing or is dealing with a mental health issue?
The school should be contacted immediately if support is needed for any of the above.

State of California Education Code (Attendance)
View the California Education Code as it relates to Attendance. 
Absenteeism and GPA
View helpful resources that explain how absenteeism affects a student's GPA. 
College Visitation
Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, seniors only may receive a maximum of two (2) days for college visits as excused absences, provided the visits are pre-approved by an administrator, are followed with appropriate documentation from the institution of higher education and submitted for approval within 3 days of the visit. All other college visits will be considered unexcused.