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Pupil Services and Attendance (PSA)

Compulsory School Attendance

The Laws You Need to Know

 

What are the school attendance requirements in California?

  • Every person between the ages of six (6) years and eighteen (18) years of age is required to attend school (Education code 48200)
  • Students are expected to attend school regularly and on time.
  • Parents and guardians are required to send their children to school.

What is considered a valid, legal absence?

  • Absences are allowed for the following causes, when verified (Education Code 48205):
    • ​A student's illness (not parent's or another family member).
    • Quarantine by a county or city health officer.
    • Medical, dental or eye appointment.
    • Attending the funeral of an immediate family member: one (1) day in California; three (3) days out of California. Immediate family member means student's mother/father, brother/sister, child, grandmother/grandfather, or spouse, spouse's mother/father, spouse's child, spouse's brother/sister, or any relative living in the immediate household of the student.
    • Court appearance when the student has subpoena with his/her name on it.
    • Religious holiday/retreat/ceremony (max of four (4) hours per semester) with prior written request from parent and approval from school.
    • Employment conference attended by student's parent/guardian with prior written request from parent and approval from school. Student who attends such a conference with parent/guardian is expected to complete all assignments and tests which can reasonably be provided.
    •  Students can spend time with an immediate family member on active duty when they are deployed, home on leave, or have just returned.
    • A valid excuse includes, but is not limited to, the previously listed reasons and many include other reasons that are within the discretion of school administrators and, based on the facts of the pupil's circumstances, are deemed to constitute a valid excuse.