Parents are required to notify the school if their student is absent in order to justify the absence. This may be done by note or phone call to the office (754-2137).
Research clearly indicates that good attendance has a direct, positive effect on student achievement, promotion, graduation, behavior, and employment potential. We believe that it is important for our students who will someday be entering the world of work to learn that punctuality and excellent attendance are keys to job retention and success. When considering grade advancement at West Point Elementary, attendance is one of the four criteria for advancement. Students with perfect attendance are honored and awarded prizes at the end of each trimester.
State school attendance accounting procedures changed in 1998, in an effort to improve student attendance. We will be enforcing required attendance laws as follows:
- Justified absences include the following reasons: personal illness, medical appointments, death of an immediate family member, jury duty or other court appearance, or observance of a religious holiday. All other reasons for absences are unjustified.
- Repeated absences due to illness may require a doctor’s note.
- Absences for reason of family vacation are considered unjustified. Independent study contracts may be developed if a student will be absent from school for 5 or more days. In order to have the option of independent study, it is critical that you notify the office well in advance (at least 3 weeks in advance).
- When students have 3 or more unexcused absences, a truancy letter will be sent to you notifying you of the need to improve attendance. Should unexcused absences continue, additional letters may be sent. If attendance still continues after receiving two letters, a SARB hearing may be scheduled at the County Office of Education. Following that hearing, charges may be filed against guardians.
It is our hope that we can keep in close communication concerning school attendance so that a SARB referral does not become necessary.
To Go or Not to Go to School
Sometimes it is difficult to know when to keep your student home from school due to illness. Here are some guidelines to help you decide.
Stay Home If:
- Fever 101•F or higher (should be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school).
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- Rashes – any body rash not related to allergic contact especially if accompanied by fever.
- Thick, yellowish discharge from eye(s).
- Infectious Conjunctivitis (pink eye) – may return 24 hours after starting antibiotic.
- Cold sores or fever blisters – lesions must be dry to attend school unless student has age and maturity to use good hygiene.
- Severe diarrhea
- Head lice – may return after being treated.
- Ringworm – may return when treatment is started.
- Impetigo – may return 24 hours after treatment is started and lesions are dry.
- Scabies – may return 24 hours after being treated.
- Chickenpox – may return when ALL blisters are dry and crusted, usually 7-10 days.
- Strep Throat – May return 24 hours after treatment is started and no fever for 24 hours.
- Asthma – if needing a nebulizer (breathing) treatment more frequently than every 2 hours.
- Upper respiratory infections such as cold or bronchitis – keep home if have excessive cough, large amounts of yellow/green nasal discharge, or too ill to function adequately in the classroom. Much depends on individual circumstances depending on the student’s age, hygiene habits, and developmental level.
Reasons Not To Stay Home:
- Constipation with or without abdominal pain
- Cold without a fever (see explanation above)
- Asthma (unless needing a breathing treatment more frequently than every 2 hours)
- Cold/Cough unless accompanied by fever
- Temperature less than 100•F (see above)
- Poison Oak (if there is drainage, it should be covered by clothing or a dressing)
- Minor Anxiety
- Homework is not done
There are only four reasons an absence is excused: (Education Code 48205):
1. Pupil’s personal illness (not parent or sibling)
2. Quarantine directed by county or city health officer
3. Having medical, dental, optometry, or chiropractic services rendered
4. Attending funeral services of a member of the pupil’s immediate family
When a student has had 14 absences in the school year for illness, a physician must verify any further absences for illness. (Board Policy Administrative Regulations 5113)
Please remember that if your student needs to take medication at school both the parent and the physician must complete a “Medication Required During School Hours” form. This form is necessary for all medication both prescriptions and over-the-counter.
If you have any questions regarding these guidelines contact the school or the district nurse at 754-2322.