Accurately reporting absences is important. 

Please reach out every time, using one of the three options below, and provide the following information.

Student’s Name


Date(s) of Absence

Absence Reasons

Person Reporting Absence

Relationship to Student

Phone Number


Click each item below to learn more.


The Administration recently shared new guidance that reflects a change in policy away from the state of emergency to a new framework that encourages attendance in school whenever possible. 

Read More

To determine if a child with symptoms can stay at school, the guidance begins by ruling out any child who either needs emergency care, or whose symptoms are to the point that they are unable to participate meaningfully in child care or school activities, OR they result in a need for care that is greater than the staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children. Children in those cases need to be either provided with emergency care, or potentially sent home until symptoms improve. For symptomatic children who do not meet the above criteria, the guidance provides recommendations based on common symptoms – for example, with cough and cold symptoms (which may include a runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, sneezing, congestions, body aches, or cough), the child may attend school or child care unless the child has one of the following:

This is just one example of common symptoms. The guidance addresses several others, including abdominal pain/stomachache, diarrhea, earache, and fever.

The guidance also provides recommended protocol on both sending a child home and returning the child to care or school. As a reminder, the guidance provides considerations for children in a variety of settings, including child care centers, early childhood education sites, preschools, all K-12 schools (public, private and charter), and before and after school programs. The guidance has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics CA, the CA Association of Communicable Disease Controllers, and the CA School Nurses Organization.

Help us Improve Attendance at BVUSD!

This year, we are partnering with Attendance Works, a non-profit with a mission to improve attendance. Improving attendance requires participation from the entire community. Per the Attendance Works program, here is a summary of what families can expect:

District & School Site Attendance Support

BVUSD School and district leadership is initiating a “Call to Action” in an effort to improve attendance.  Our community will notice a commitment to the following: 

Teachers know first hand that too many absences can disrupt learning, not just for the absent student but for the entire classroom.”  Teacher strategies will include: 

Parents and families are essential partners in promoting good attendance because they have the bottom-line responsibility for making sure their children get to school every day. This Parent Handout (used with permission from Attendance Works) outlines family strategies including:

How does attendance impact everyone?

It is easy to believe that missing a day, or even a portion of a school day, does not have much of an impact. Please reconsider this assumption, because absences impact the learning of their entire classroom, the achievement of their entire school, and the resources available across the entire district.

Why do students need to attend school every day?






BVUSD is obligated to uphold strict attendance policies, but they are not set locally; most are set by the state.

The following FAQs address state definitions and district obligations.

Click each item below to learn more.

Who determines whether an absence is excused vs unexcused?

State law. There is some flexibility for a particular pupil's circumstances, but schools must follow state law.

Reasons for Excused Absences

EC Section 48205
(Amended by Statutes. 2022, Chapter 921, Section 1. [Senate Bill 955] Effective January 1, 2023.)

Who determines the number of absences allowed before truancy or chronic absenteeism?

The state, not BVUSD.

Definition of a Truant

The California Legislature defined a truant in very precise language. In summary, it states that a student missing more than 30 minutes of instruction without an excuse three times during the school year must be classified as a truant and reported to the proper school authority. This classification and referral help emphasize the importance of school attendance and is intended to help minimize interference with instruction. Effective January 1, 2013, the law was amended to authorize school administrators to excuse school absences due to the pupil’s circumstances, even if the excuse is not one of the valid excuses listed in the California Education Code (EC) or the uniform standards established by the governing board of the district.

EC Section 48260
(Amended by Statutes 2012, Chapter 432, Section 1. [Assembly Bill 2616] Effective January 1, 2013.)

Definition of a Chronic Truant

EC Section 48263.6
(Added by Statutes 2010, Chapter 647, Section 1. [SB 1317] Effective January 1, 2011.)

Who determines when a District must notify families of truancy or absenteeism?

Per Education Code, BVUSD is required to notify via the Notification Mandates. See below: 

First Notification Mandate

In addition to the reporting requirement, the law states that the school district must notify the parent or guardian of the truant by the most cost-effective method possible, and that the notification must include specific information related to the student's unexcused absences.

EC Section 48260.5
(Amended by Statutes 2022, Chapter 301, Section 10. [SB 1057] Effective January 1, 2023.)

Habitual Truant Mandate

The law further requires that after a student has been reported as a truant three or more times in one school year and after an appropriate school employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one meeting with the parent and the student, the student is deemed a habitual truant. The intent is to provide solutions for students who failed to respond to the normal avenues of school intervention, and the most cost-effective method possible should be used to notify the parent or guardian about the meeting at the school.

EC Section 48262
(Amended by Statutes 2010, Chapter 724, Section 22. [AB 1610] Effective October 19, 2010.)

Who determines when and how a District must escalate its response to ongoing truancies and/or absenteeism.

Districts have some discretion, but the state and penal code mandate certain interventions and notifications. 


When a student is a habitual truant, or is irregular in attendance at school, or is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during school, the student may be referred to a school attendance review board (SARB) or to the county probation department pursuant to EC Section 48263. The student may also be referred to a probation officer or district attorney mediation program pursuant to EC Section 48263.5. The intent of these laws is to provide intensive guidance to meet the special needs of students with school attendance problems or school behavior problems pursuant to EC Section 48320. These interventions are designed to divert students with serious attendance and behavioral problems from the juvenile justice system and to reduce the number of students who drop out of school.

Referral to School Attendance Review Board

EC Section 48263
(Amended by Statutes 2020, Chapter 323, Section 2. [AB 901] Effective January 1, 2021.)

Penalties (Student)

The law provides schools and school districts with discretion regarding student penalties for truancy as long as they are consistent with state law. The penalties for truancy for students defined in EC Section 48264.5 become progressively severe from the first time a truancy report is required through the fourth time a truancy report is required.

EC Section 48264.5
(Amended by Statutes 2022, Chapter 301, Section 11. [SB 1057] Effective January 1, 2023.)

California Education Code Penalties (Parent)

Penalties against parents apply when any parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any student fails to compel the student to attend school. The penalties against parents in EC Section 48293(a) become progressively severe with a second and third conviction.

EC Section 48293
(Amended by Statutes 2006, Chapter 273, Section 1. Effective September 14, 2006.)

California Penal Code Penalties (Parent)

In addition to the penalties for parents in EC Section 48293, California Penal Code Section 270.1 is effective January 1, 2011, and provides penalties for a parent or guardian of a pupil of six years of age or more who is in kindergarten or any of the grades from one to eight.

California Penal Code Section 270.1
(Added by Statutes 2010, Chapter 647, Section 2. [SB 1317] Effective January 1, 2011.)


Click each item below to learn more.

Compulsory Education Law

Per the California Department of Education: 

"California compulsory education law requires everyone between the ages of six and eighteen years of age to attend school, except students who have graduated from high school or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam and obtained parental permission. Some students, however, violate compulsory education laws and have a pattern of unexcused absences. Although truancy and excessive absenteeism are not new problems, they cause costly, long-term problems for the students, school, and the community."

Chronically Absent

This is a student who is absent for more than 10% of the school year for any reason (excused or unexcused), including illness.  With a 180 day school year, a student is chronically absent if absent 18 days over the course of the school year.


Students missing more than 30 minutes of instruction without an excuse three times during the school year are classified by the California Legislature as truant.  Education Code 48260 (a) also states that a student who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than a 30 minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year or any combination thereof, shall be classified as truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor/superintendent.

Habitually Truant

A student who has been reported as a truant three or more times within the same school year, provided the district has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with the student and the student's parent/guardian after either of the two previous reports.

Chronically Truant

A student  who has been absent from school without a valid excuse for 10 percent or more of the school days in one school year. This equals 18 total days in a school year with 180 days

Excused Absence

Per California Education Code  (Education Code 48205) and District Policy, Valid excuses are generally limited to the following

Absence Verification

Typically, any of the  following methods may be used to verify student absences

When a pattern of chronic absenteeism due to illness develops, additional verification may be required to confirm illness. This may include

Student Attendance Review Boards (SARB)

School attendance review boards (SARBs) are composed of school and community members who diagnose and attempt to resolve persistent student attendance or behavior problems.

Per the California Department of Education:

"In 1974, the Legislature enacted California Education Code (EC) Section 48320 to enhance the enforcement of compulsory education laws and to divert students with school attendance or behavior problems from the juvenile justice system until all available resources have been exhausted. EC Section 48321 provides several organizational structures for School Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) at the local and county level to create a safety net for students with persistent attendance or behavior problems. Although the goal of SARBs is to keep students in school and provide them with a meaningful educational experience, SARBs do have the power, when necessary, to refer students and their parents or guardians to court."

Read more here.


Attendance definitions, notifications, and consequences may seem harsh, but most are not locally determined.

Click each item below to learn more.

Improvement Strategies

Per the California Department of Education:

"The following practices have been identified as strategies and activities that have a positive effect in encouraging students to regularly attend school."

What is BVUSD required to do?

Like all California school Districts, BVUSD is mandated by Education Code Article 48260.5 to do the following: 

How are Truancy & Chronic Absenteeism Handled?

Initially, Chronic Absenteeism (excessive excused absences) is treated differently than Truancy (3 or more unexcused absences). Eventually however, both can lead to a SARB referral, and in serious cases misdemeanor prosecution and costly fines for parents. 

Truancy Process Details

Addressing Truancy (3 or more unexcused absences)

Per Education Code and District policy, when a student has been identified as a truant as defined above, the following steps shall be implemented based on the number of truancies the student has committed:

Initial truancy -Three (3) instances of unexcused absences

Written Notification and/or Phone Call: The student's parent/guardian shall be notified that:

Second truancy 

Third truancy  (habitual truancy)

SARB will receive: the student's parent/guardian and information and documentation of the interventions undertaken at the school. 

The student’s parent/guardian will receive written notification with the name and address of the SARB department and the reason for the referral. This notice shall indicate that the student and the student's parent/guardian shall be required to meet with the SARB officer to consider a proper disposition of the referral.  


If the student does not successfully complete the truancy mediation program the student shall be subject to items listed under “Fourth truancy” below.  (Education Code 48264.5)

Fourth truancy (or failure to complete SARB truancy mediation program)

Chronic Truancy (unexcused absences exceeding 10% of school days)

Chronic Absenteeism Process Details

Addressing Chronic Absenteeism (excessive excused absences)

Per Education Code and District Policy: 


School sites track absences and truancies. When it becomes necessary to issue formal notifications to families, or initiate any of the other support interventions, these details will be noted in student information systems (e.g., Aeries), student files (e.g., student cumulative record), and shared with the child's teacher, school principal, and other support staff as necessary. 


School staff will communicate with the student and the student's parents/guardians to determine the reason(s) for the excessive absences, ensure the student and parents/guardians are aware of the adverse consequences of poor attendance


As part of the plan, it may become necessary for parents to verify any additional absences with a doctor's note, a home visit, or another appropriate means. 


The student may be referred to a Student Attendance Success Team (SAST) to assist in evaluating the student's needs and identifying strategies and programs and resources to assist the student. As part of the meeting, the SAST may create a Student Attendance Success Plan (SASP). 


When necessary, the student may be referred to a School Attendance Review Board (SARB) program, a truancy mediation program established by the district attorney or the probation officer in accordance with Education Code 48263.


BVUSD Policies & Regulations