Average Daily Attendance (ADA): This is commonly understood as the percentage of pupils who typically attend class each day, calculated by dividing the number of pupils present by the total number of enrolled pupils. However, in California, ADA also refers to the formula used to determine how much funding a school district should receive from the state. In this case, total ADA is defined as the total days of student attendance divided by the total days of instruction during which the student is enrolled.
Excused Absence: There are nine types of excused absences defined under Education Code Section 48205, six of them appropropriate for elementary students. Parents must verify student absences and the school will determine whether to classify the absence as excused or unexcused depending on the reason. Illness may also be verified by a public school nurse, physician, or other qualified school employee.
Chronic Absentee: A student absent for any reason on 10% or more of the school days. when the total number of days the student is absent is divided by the total number of days the student is enrolled. Unlike truancy, this measure includes ALL absences – including excused absences – and assumes excessive absence impedes learning. (EC § 60901[c]) Truant: Any pupil who is absent from school without a valid excuse as defined by the Education Code excuse (unverified or unexcused absence) for three full days, or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof. (EC § 48260[a])
Habitual Truant: A pupil is deemed to be an habitual truant if he or she has been reported as a truant three or more times in a school year provided the district has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with the student and his/her parent/guardian. (EC §§ 48262, 48264.5)
Chronic Truant: Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse for ten percent or more of the school days in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date, is deemed a chronic truant, provided that the appropriate school district officer or employee has complied with EC Education Code sections 48260, 48260.5, 48261, 48262, 48263, 48291, and EC Section 48263.6.
Student Attendance Review Team (SART) / Student Attendance Review Board (SARB)
When a student’s absences and/or tardies become excessive (5 or more unexcused absences and/or 5 or more tardies – arriving after the morning bell), a SART meeting may be called to address the issues contributing to the student’s poor attendance record. A SART meeting includes the school’s principal, counselor, resource officer, and parent/guardian. If the SART contract does not encourage improved attendance, then a referral will be made to SARB, the next step in the process, where an outside attendance panel and a district attorney will be assigned to the case.
Please be sure to make attendance a priority with your child(ren).