California - Chronic Absenteeism Early Warning Systems: Programs and Services (S/D)

Area: 
Programs And Services
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law encourages or requires districts to address truancy or chronic absenteeism through the provision of comprehensive student support services.

Callifornia Education Code 48263.5 Truants

(a)  In any county which has established a county school attendance review board pursuant to Section 48321, the school attendance review board may notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, or the probation officer may notify the district attorney, by first–class mail or other reasonable means, of the following if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in subdivision (b):

  • (1)  The name of each pupil who has been classified as a truant and concerning whom the school attendance review board or the probation officer has determined:
    • (A)  That available community services cannot resolve the truancy or insubordination problem.
    • (B)  That the pupil or the parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, have failed to respond to directives of the school attendance review board or probation officer or to services provided.
  • (2)  The name and address of the parent or guardian of each pupil described in paragraph (1).

(b)  Upon receipt of notification provided pursuant to subdivision (a), the district attorney or the probation officer may notify the parents or guardians of each pupil concerning whom notification has been received, by first–class mail or other reasonable means, that they may be subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290) of Chapter 2 of Part 27 for failure to compel the attendance of the pupil at school. The district attorney or the probation officer may also request the parents or guardians and the child to attend a meeting in the district attorney’s office or at the probation department pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to discuss the possible legal consequences of the child’s truancy. Notice of the meeting shall be given pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.


California Education Code 48263 Truants

(a) If any minor pupil in any district of a county is an habitual truant, or is irregular in attendance at school, as defined in this article, or is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school, the pupil may be referred to a school attendance review board or to the probation department for services if the probation department has elected to receive these referrals. The supervisor of attendance, or any other persons the governing board of the school district or county may designate, making the referral shall notify the minor and parents or guardians of the minor, in writing, of the name and address of the board or probation department to which the matter has been referred and of the reason for the referral. The notice shall indicate that the pupil and parents or guardians of the pupil will be required, along with the referring person, to meet with the school attendance review board or probation officer to consider a proper disposition of the referral.

(b) (1) If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services can resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, then the board or probation officer shall direct the pupil or the pupil’s parents or guardians, or both, to make use of those community services. The school attendance review board or probation officer may require, at any time that it determines proper, the pupil or parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, to furnish satisfactory evidence of participation in the available community services.

  • (2) If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil or if the pupil or the parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, have failed to respond to directives of the school attendance review board or probation officer or to services provided, the school attendance review board may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, or the probation officer may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in that section. If the district attorney or the probation office has not elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48263.5, the school attendance review board or probation officer may direct the county superintendent of schools to, and, thereupon, the county superintendent of schools shall, request a petition on behalf of the pupil in the juvenile court of the county. Upon presentation of a petition on behalf of a pupil, the juvenile court of the county shall hear all evidence relating to the petition. The school attendance review board or the probation officer shall submit to the juvenile court documentation of efforts to secure attendance as well as its recommendations on what action the juvenile court should take in order to bring about a proper disposition of the case.

(c) In any county that has not established a school attendance review board, if the school district determines that available community resources cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, or if the pupil or the pupil’s parents or guardians, or both, have failed to respond to the directives of the school district or the services provided, the school district, pursuant to Section 48260.6, may notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48260.6.


Callifornia Education Code 48263.6 Truants

Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse for 10 percent or more of the schooldays in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date, is deemed a chronic truant, provided that the appropriate school district officer or employee has complied with Sections 48260, 48260.5, 48261, 48262, 48263, and 48291.


California Education Code 48264.5 Truants

A minor who is classified as a truant pursuant to Section 48260 or 48261 may be required to attend makeup classes conducted on one day of a weekend pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 37223 and is subject to the following:

(a) The first time a truancy report issued, the pupil and, as appropriate, the parent or legal guardian, may be requested to attend a meeting with a school counselor or other school designee to discuss the root causes of the attendance issue and develop a joint plan to improve the pupil’s attendance.

(b) The second time a truancy report issued within the same school year, the pupil may be given a written warning by a peace officer as specified in Section 830.1 of the Penal Code. A record of the written warning may be kept at the school for not less than two years or until the pupil graduates or transfers from that school. If the pupil transfers from that school, the record may be forwarded to the school receiving the pupil’s school records. A record of the written warning may be maintained by the law enforcement agency in accordance with that law enforcement agency’s policies and procedures. The pupil may also be assigned by the school to an afterschool or weekend study program located within the same county as the pupil’s school. If the pupil fails to successfully complete the assigned study program, the pupil shall be subject to subdivision (c).

(c) The third time a truancy report is issued within the same school year, the pupil shall be classified as a habitual truant, as defined in Section 48262, and may be referred to, and required to attend, an attendance review board or a truancy mediation program pursuant to Section 48263 or pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If the school district does not have a truancy mediation program, the pupil may be required to attend a comparable program deemed acceptable by the school district’s attendance supervisor. If the pupil does not successfully complete the truancy mediation program or other similar program, the pupil shall be subject to subdivision (d).

(d) The fourth time a truancy is issued within the same school year, the pupil may be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court that may adjudge the pupil to be a ward of the court pursuant to Section 601 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If the pupil is adjudged a ward of the court, the pupil shall be required to do one or more of the following:

  • (1) Performance at court-approved community services sponsored by either a public or private nonprofit agency for not less than 20 hours but not more than 40 hours over a period not to exceed 90 days, during a time other than the pupil’s hours of school attendance or employment. The probation officer shall report to the court the failure of the pupil to comply with this paragraph.
  • (2) Payment of a fine by the pupil of not more than fifty dollars ($50) for which a parent or legal guardian of the pupil may be jointly liable. The fine described in this paragraph shall not be subject to the assessments of Section 1464 of the Penal Code or any other applicable section.
  • (3) Attendance of a court-approved truancy prevention program.
  • (4) Suspension or revocation of driving privileges pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code. This subdivision shall apply only to a pupil who has attended a school attendance review board program, a program operated by a probation department acting as a school attendance review board, or a truancy mediation program pursuant to subdivision (c).
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