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Attendance Office

The State of California Education Code requires that every person between the ages of 6 and 18 attend school full-time, unless exempted. Therefore, schools are required to have written documentation for student absences and to record such absences as excused or unexcused.

In addition, we believe strong attendance is essential for success at school, thus every effort should be made by the student to be here every day that school is in session.  Attendance is taken at 7:50 AM. 

The following attendance procedures are provided for your information to assist John Muir High School in achieving the highest level of service for students, parents/guardians and faculty. Please ensure:
  1. Students arrive to school and class on time.
  2. Notify attendance office of student’s absence in a timely manner.
  3. Plan family vacations during non-school days.
  4. Try to schedule doctor appointments for your child after school hours.
  5. Allow your child to stay home only when he/she has a contagious illness or is too sick to be comfortable at school.
  6. Help prevent child illnesses from spreading at our school by getting your child vaccinated against flu and chicken pox.
  7. If your child has a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the school day, bring him/her to school before/after the appointment. The district receives full funding if a student attends for even part of the day.     
Good attendance benefits your child’s education. Every day a student misses school, he/she gets more than two days behind his/her peers, because he/she must make up missed learning and catch up with new learning at the same time.
Good attendance raises your child’s chance to score well on tests. Your child learns more about responsibility each day he/she attends school.

Excused Absences
The State of California Education Code defines excused absences as noted in the PUSD’s School Attendance Review Board (SARB) Informational Pamphlet. The following reasons are accepted as valid excuses:
  1. Illness
  2. Quarantine
  3. Medical appointment
  4. Funeral – immediate family only
  5. Immunization exclusions
  6. Jury duty
  7. Court appearance
  8. Observances of religious holiday or ceremony
  9. Detainment at Juvenile Hall, the Children’s Center, or other shelter care or other custodial facilities
  10. Appointments with attorneys, law enforcement officers, probation officers, or ICE officials
  11. When the pupil’s absence (due to personal or family emergency) has been requested in writing and the reason is stated in the note by the parent/guardian and approved by the principal. Note: personal and family emergency alone are not sufficient as reasons, examples are grandmother or other family member ill, in court, etc.
  12. Administrative summons or when detained by other classified or certificated personnel
  13. Employment conferences or appointments (students may be excused to leave school early to obtain a work permit no earlier than 2:30 pm on school days ending at 3:00 PM.)
  14. Absences for Religious Purposes. A pupil, with the written consent of a parent or guardian, may be excused from school in order to participate in religious exercises or receive moral or religious instruction for four or fewer days per month, provided that the pupil attends school at least the minimum days for his/her grade. (Ed. Code 46014)
  15. Absences for Obtaining Confidential Medical Services without Parental or Guardian Consent. The governing board shall notify pupils in grades 7 to 12, and the parents or guardians of all pupils, that school authorities may excuse any pupil from the school for the purpose of obtaining confidential medical services without the consent of the pupil’s parent or guardian. (Ed. Code 46010.1)
  16. Unexcused Absence. Students will not be excused for vacation. Notes that state “personal reasons” or “family emergency” will be rejected unless the note also states a specific reason as allowed above.

To Excuse an Absence
Because written documentation is required to excuse an absence, parents must provide a note to the school Attendance Office, send an e-mail to or your child may turn in their written note to the Attendance Office in Room A108 or you may fax the note to 626-791-3499. An absence is considered to be one or more periods in a school day, or a full day absence or consecutive days absence. (Forms are available in the Attendance Office).

Notes: Attendance Excuse & Permit to Leave Required Information.
The note must contain the following information:
1. Student Name (first and last name)
2. Student Grade (9, 10, 11, or 12)
3. The actual date(s) of absence e.g. 9/18/0#. Do not use “yesterday” or days of week, i.e.  Monday.
4. Student ID number (optional, but it helps to correctly identify the student)
5. Reason for absence (a student will only be excused for an absence reason as stated above.)
6. Notes must be written in pen. Notes written in pencil can be altered, and will not be accepted.
7. Parent’s home, cell, or work telephone number is required.
8. Permit to Leave: include time student must leave school.

Parents Calling the Attendance Office
Parents may call the Attendance Office to release a student from school for an appointment or emergency or to check the student’s attendance. The number to call is (626) 396-5600, extension 82017 or e-mail to If your call is answered by a recording, please leave a message. If there is an emergency, and you are unable to reach the Attendance Office, you may call the school operator at 82000 or the Main Office at ext. 82098.

Part Day absences & Permit to Leave
Students and parents should make every attempt to ensure that the student does not miss important classroom time and risk falling behind in their learning. Please try and schedule your student’s absence for doctor or dental appointments as close to the beginning or end of the school day as possible. We suggest that appointments be scheduled for early release days. If scheduling an appointment during the school day is unavoidable, the student who is not ill must attend classes for a partial day. The student may not be excused for a full day’s absence for an appointment unless the child is also ill or there are extenuating circumstances.

Students must get a Permit to Leave school before leaving school. 
Students who leave without first obtaining permission will not be excused even if a note is provided by the parent the following day.

Tardy Students
A student is marked “T” for tardy when late to class less than 30 minutes. A student absent more than 30 minutes should bring their note to Room A109 to be excused because this is an absence for truancy purposes. For a student who is tardy less than 31 minutes, the parent/guardian should write a note for the student to give directly to the teacher. A student entering any class after the second bell is tardy.

Make-up Work for Absent or Tardy Students
Students who have presented a legally excused absence note to the teacher will be issued an “Excused Admit.” The student takes the Excused Admit to each class for their teachers to sign. Students use the “Blue” slip of the Permit to Leave form to show the teacher they are excused. This procedure allows students to make-up missed work and exams as required by CA law.

Parents may obtain homework for students who have an excused absence of four or more days by contacting the counselor at (626) 396-5600. Parents, please do not send sick students to school to get homework. Sick children spread germs to teachers and classmates, and this practice disrupts teachers during class time.

Attendance Reporting
Average Daily Attendance (ADA) determines funding for the school. Therefore, it is very important that your child attend all classes every day.

Excessive Absenteeism
When absences become excessive, the school may request a doctor’s note or a visit to your home from our school nurse. In addition, if you are receiving cash aid from the Los Angeles County Human Services Agency for your child, your aid may be stopped or lowered if your child’s attendance does not improve.
  1. If a student accumulates 5 EXCUSED absences, a phone call will be made by the Attendance Coordinator and a letter of concern will be sent home.
  2. If a student accumulates 10 EXCUSED absences, a second letter will be sent home, immediately requiring that any further absences be accompanied by a doctor’s excuse.
  3. If a student continues to be absent, the absences will be unexcused and the procedure for unexcused absences will be followed.

Education Code Section 48260 defines a truant student as one who has been absent from school without a valid excuse three or more days, or tardy in excess of 30 minutes on each of three or more days, or any combination thereof, in a school year. You or your child may be taken to court, ordered to pay fines, may be at risk for reduction of CALWORKS or subject to other penalties for breaking the state’s attendance laws.
If a student is illegally absent from school he/she will not receive credit for work missed during the truancy. The student is required to make-up the time missed by attending after school detentions. Continued infractions may result in referral to SART.

Unexcused absences (Truancy)
Unexcused absences are defined as absences that are unnecessary and avoidable. This type of absence includes, but is not limited to, absences not verified by a parent/guardian within 72 hours and leaving class or campus without following the proper procedures. No make-up work is given, and three unexcused absences count toward the initiation of the SARB process.

Auto-Dialer – Muir calls the Parent/Guardian of Absent Students
Parents of absent students may be notified of the student’s absence by telephone. Each evening, the Attendance Auto-Dialer calls the home of students who have been reported absent in one or more classes. Whether a parent receives a call depends on the attendance data provided by the teacher on line. A parent may not receive a call if the student’s teacher has not reported attendance for the day, or if the school computer is experiencing technical difficulties. Additionally, because the auto-dialer is an automatic call generated by computer, parents may receive this call even if they have called or sent in a note. In order to be advised of your child’s absence, the parent/guardian must immediately advise the school of any change in telephone number and or address.

If you received the auto-dialer call, and your child says they were not absent:  the student must get a copy of their attendance report from Rm. A108, take the report to the teacher to get a correction, and then return the corrected report to Rm. A108. Corrections can only be made by the teacher’s signature verifying that the student was present.

Family Educational Trips
John Muir High School believes that students must be in regular attendance in order to benefit fully from the educational programs and services offered by the district. In accordance with School Board Policy, family trips for educational purposes and educational tours are considered excused absences.
Parents who plan to take their children on an educational trip while school is in session may request an excused absence for the student if the following conditions are met:
  1. The pupil’s parents/guardians submit to the office a written request for the excusal on a district form at least (5) school days prior to the trip.
  2. The pupil’s participation on the trip/tour has been approved by the principal.
  3. The student or parent presents to each of the student’s teachers a written request for assignments expected to be completed during the period of the student absence at least three (3) school days prior to the first day of student absence.
  4. The parent accepts total responsibility for the education of the student during the period of absence. The parent recognizes that classroom experiences cannot be duplicated and the absence could place that student at an academic disadvantage. Such responsibility includes, but is not limited to, monitoring the completion of all assignments and their submission to the teachers on the first day the student returns to school.
  5. Please do not schedule vacations during PSSA testing weeks. (See District Calendar)
Family Vacations
According to state law, family vacations cannot be classified as legal absences from school.  Although not legally excused, JMHS cannot and would not prevent students from accompanying parents on the trip. However, please be aware that (1) you are responsible for all missed work (2) you may not have the opportunity to “make up” tests and (3) parents may be notify of habitual truancy status if the absence from school is for three or more days. Parents are advised to notify the school (in writing) well in advance of the planned trip, to be deemed “an educational trip” by the principal as described above. The form is available in the Attendance office.

Our Goal is to assist you in educating your child. We can be successful if your child is in school every day and on time.
NOTE: Per California Education Code Section 48260, any student subject to compulsory education, who is absent from school without a valid excuse for three full days is truant. Education code Section 48260 also states that any student who is tardy or absent for more than any 30-minutes period during the school day, without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year is truant. Only absences for illness, doctor/dentist appointments, bereavement, and court hearings are considered excused by California Education Code.

Also be advised that PUSD considers 10 or more excused absences or 10 or more tardies less than 30 minutes during a school year excessive. Students that are truant or have an excess of excused absences or tardies will be referred to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) and which will parent and student participation in a hearing and./or mediation process involving school district and juvenile court officials

Students are expected to be in class, punctual, and prepared to participate in the learning process every day. Regular attendance and punctuality are essential if students are to make use of the educational opportunities at JMHS.
Teachers are to take Attendance on ABI using assigned login ID and password at the beginning of each period. If unable to access ABI, due to: internet access, or computer access, training, etc. Teachers are to notify the Attendance Office immediately [Room-A109, ext 82017]. A paper roster will be provided to record attendance for the day. Completed and signed roster must be turned in to the Attendance office for input and as part of the audit process.

If you are having a substitute please do not share your password, substitute will be provided with a roster/temporary ID for their use.

Note: If your class has perfect attendance it still needs to be recorded in ABI. Log on to ABI click on the appropriate class and when your list of students appears you only need to click the Submit button at the top/bottom of the screen.Please be advised that continued failure to maintain accurate attendance records by recording attendance in ABI as required by district policy may result in a “Needs to Improve” or “Unsatisfactory” rating on your summative evaluation for California Standards for the Teaching Profession 6.4 and 6.6:

To excuse an absence a student’s parents or guardian must notify the Attendance Office within 72 hours of occurrence with an acceptable reason:
  1. Personal Illness (I)
  2. Medical or Dental appointment (M)
  3. Legal proceedings (C)
  4. Emergency (E)
  5. Funeral (immediate family) (F)
  6. Quarantine (Q)
  7. Religious (R)
  8. Immunization (X)
  9. Parent request (G) will be considered as a “verified absence” – however will not be considered as excused

Unexcused absences (U) are those absences where the student fails to attend class (ditching, truant, or any other reason) and the parent or guardian has not notified the school in accordance with the required attendance procedures. If student on campus and not in class for a valid reason (i.e. Counseling, with an administrator) must be marked absent (A), if student has valid reason note/pass must be turned in to the Attendance Office for absence to be excused (V). Students may not make up work for unexcused absences. Any work that is not made-up in accordance with these procedures will received no credit.
Make Up Work
Teachers must allow students to make up work due to excused absences. Two days will be granted for make-up work. Any work that is not made up (UNEXCUSED ABSENCE) in accordance with these procedures will receive no credit.
Tardy (Excused and Unexcused)
Students have a responsibility to arrive on time. An unexcused tardy occurs when a student arrives after the bell rings without an acceptable excuse. Consequences for unexcused tardiness will be: [3 tardies = Lunch Detention?].

Weekly Sign Offs
A weekly SIGN OFF of attendance recorded will be placed in teacher’s boxes on Mondays, once the information has been verified and signed must be returned to the Attendance Office no later than Friday of same week.
Shahada Thornton
(626) 396-5600 ext. 82017