EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES
When students are absent from school, they miss out on the whole educational experience of direct instruction and interaction with texts, other materials and classmates. Furthermore, when students are absent (excused or unexcused), Pine Valley loses much needed funding. Medical or dentist appointments, funerals, religious holidays and illnesses are the only legally excused absences. Parents are urged to use discretion in excusing their students from school. The average number of absences per year in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District is less than ten per student. Absences for reasons other than those listed above are unexcused. Please note that any absence (excused or unexcused) counts against perfect attendance. To cut down on excessive absences, we ask your support in arranging medical and dental appointments for after school or on student release days. Please do not excuse students for these reasons: 1) being unprepared for a test or project, 2) going on vacation, or 3) visiting with friends or relatives. These absences are unexcused, and parents will receive a truancy letter if they exceed 6 days in a school year.
If a student does not attend class and no valid reason is given, the absence will be classified as a “cut” and will be dealt with in the following manner: First Offense: Referred to an assistant principal. A parent will be notified and the student will be assigned Detention. Second Offense: The student will be referred to an assistant principal. An after-school student/parent conference will be arranged, and the student will again be assigned Detention.
Continued unexcused absences not verified by a doctor note or a Chronic Illness Form will result in the student being classified as an habitual truant, which will necessitate a referral to the School Attendance Review Board.
It is important to remember to update student emergency information at the beginning of every school year when doing the Annual Update. Please use the Parent Portal to fulfill this responsibility.
CLEARING AN ABSENCE
Since we always make student safety our priority, if your child’s absence is not confirmed each day by 9:30 A.M., parents will receive an automated email from the District and a phone call from Pine Valley shortly after 10 A.M. Absences still unverified at the end of the day will receive a follow-up email and automated phone call after 6:00 P.M. that evening. Please contact the Pine Valley Attendance Line if you get this message.
In accordance with State guidelines, it is the responsibility of the parent to verify all absences, including absences for part of the day. Parents are asked to call the special attendance number (479-7798) before 9:30 A.M. each day his/her student is absent, giving the following information:
- Name of Student
- Date(s) of the Absence
- Reason for the Absence
- Parent/Guardian Name
For a full explanation of district policy on attendance, please see the Annual Parent Information Packet (APIP) on the district website.
PLEASE NOTE: The office must have prior notification by a parent/guardian if a student is to be released to any other adult 18 or older. Valid identification must be presented before students will be released. It is important to update the student emergency contact information at the beginning of every school year when completing the Annual Update using the Parent Portal.
In the event of an extended absence (minimum of 5 school days), parents may request an Independent Study Contract in writing at least 7 days prior to the student’s absence. Contracts for 10-20 days must have the principal’s approval, and no contracts may exceed 20 days. Students pick up their class assignments from the office the day before their absence begins, and turn in all completed assignments to their teachers on the documented date of their return. If the assignments are not completed and submitted to the teachers on that date, students will not receive full credit for those assignments, their absence will be coded as unexcused, and they may possibly be refused future Independent Study Contracts. See the Attendance Secretary for details.
Students are expected to be in class on time and ready to begin work when the bell rings. The only valid excuses for a tardy are those previously noted: doctor or dentist appointments, funerals, religious holidays and illnesses. Students are not excused for oversleeping, a missed ride, or car trouble. The sixth unexcused tardy that a student accumulates for a given class will result in a referral to the assistant principal, school detention may be assigned and the parents will be notified. If the pattern continues, the student may be assigned other corrective measures.
Students that are tardy or absent for 30 minutes or more without a valid excuse on 12 occasions during a school year will receive a truancy letter from the district.
Call the Pine Valley Attendance Office before 9:30 A. M. if you know your student will be late for school. If you do not call, students coming directly to school from early appointments must bring a note when signing in with the Attendance Secretary. All late students must sign in and get an admit slip to class if they are more than 10 minutes late, and any tardy over 30 minutes, regardless of the reason, must be parent verified.
LEAVING DURING THE DAY
Students are required to obtain a “Permission to Leave Grounds” slip from the Attendance Secretary the day a student needs to leave school. A parent/guardian must either sign the student out of the main office or call the Attendance Secretary. No student will be released unless the parent/guardian has notified the Attendance Office and the parent/guardian has been verified. If the student returns to school on the same day, they must sign in at the office and receive a pass to return to class. Once again, it is very important to keep the student's emergency contact information current.
Like all middle schools in our district, Pine Valley is a closed campus. This means that students are expected to remain on campus during the entire school day, and no students may leave our campus without special permission from the office. Our students are expected to observe the same policy at our neighboring schools. Students are not to go on to the campuses of our neighboring schools without first getting permission from the school office. Also, as a closed campus, no other students are permitted to visit.