Del Norte Unified School District
"Equipping Students for Success"
Absence or Truancy?
Any school day that a student is not present for any reason is an absence, whether excused or unexcused. When a student misses a school day, parents or guardians are responsible for calling schools to give a reason for the absence. If a reason is not given for absence, they are considered truant. After 3 unexcused absences, which is also referred to as truancy, are counted, parents or guardians will be contacted.
What is Chronic Absenteeism?
Missing school can have serious consequences for student learning. Only having 5 absences in a school year is considered good attendance. When a student misses more than 10% or 18 school days in a year, it is called chronic absenteeism and they may not achieve their learning goals for the year. The California Department of Education monitors data on the CA Dashboard for the number of students that are chronically absent at a school during a school year.
WHAT is Being Done to Support Attendance
Monitoring and encouraging attendance throughout the school year is essential for student learning. A family may not realize how many days absent their child has been over the course of the school year. Informing families of the number of days is on every student’s report card and also in letters sent home.
Identifying and removing the barriers to attendance is how schools partner with parents to ensure every child meets their learning goals for the year.
District & County Office of Education
“Increase student attendance and to ensure support for students and families to ensure that students are ready to learn and actively engage in instruction and other educational activities,” is the second goal of the DNUSD School Board of Education’s LCAP. The desired outcome by 2023-24 is to maintain a 97% attendance rate district-wide, and in addition, have less than 10% of students chronically absent.
The school district and county office of education support attendance at every school by allocating $25,000 to maintain the schools’ incentives program. The school district supports attendance by providing high interest and engaging curriculum opportunities through access to music instruction K-8, and CTE and VPA instruction grades 9-12, as well as high quality library services, transportation and after-school programs. Del Norte Schools will continue to maintain Yurok and Tolowa language programs and the Native American Studies class at Del Norte High.
Communication about attendance policies is provided online at www.dnusd.org, in the Family Handbook, and in letters notifying parents every time a child has missed 3 days of school.
School attendance review teams (SART) which typically include the principal, attendance monitor or secretary and the school counselor meet weekly to discuss students that miss multiple days during each month and the increased communication and support that will be provided to families to increase their student’s learning opportunities.
School Site Councils approve the Site Plan for Student Achievement each year along with the principal to ensure the school’s plans for the year align with the school board’s goals. Input by families is important and is obtained when families attend meetings and complete surveys during the school year.
Scan of Environment and Attendance Tool (SEAT) is a checklist used for each site to know their strengths and opportunities for improving school climate and attendance. Data is collected by a team composed of people that are not school staff, such as school nurses, counselors and coaches. Schools are able to identify the issues that contribute to student attendance, and staff then discuss and take the next steps to address the root cause of chronic absenteeism at their school.
Click the above image to learn more about the Scan of Environment and Attendance Tool (SEAT)
School Attendance Review Board (SARB)
The Del Norte County Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) is a panel comprised of school representatives, county social service providers, the County District Attorney, Tribal representatives, and other qualified community members who meet bi-weekly to review chronic truancy cases and recommend corrective actions. Students and/or guardians referred to the SARB panel for review may face prosecution by the DA's office if corrective services do not lead to an increase in school attendance, pursuant to California Education Code Section 48200.
Attendance Works, whose mission is to advance student success and help close equity gaps by reducing chronic absence, has developed a range of resources specific to grades served (i.e., elementary, middle, secondary) and aligned to important strategies designed to improve attendance.
Chronic Absence, Connecticut State Department of Education
Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Parent Teacher Home Visit Project
Restorative Practices, Orange County Department of Education
National School Climate Center
The National Mentoring Partnership
Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Looking for more family and community support resources?
Click the links below...