Attendance » Attendance Reporting

Attendance Reporting



Contact Information:


Tel:         510-558-3700 (ATTENDANCE REPORTING & GENERAL)

Email:    [email protected]


Regular attendance is expected from every student. When a student is absent from school, physically or virtually by way of online distance learning, their parent/guardian should verify the reason for the absence by explaining the reason for the absence. This is required from California Education Code Section 46012.
Verify a student absence by:
  • Conversation, in person or by telephone, between the school office and the student's parent/guardian.
  • Cornell voicemail 510-558-3700 or email [email protected] from parent/guardian before 10am on the day of the absence. The parent or guardian should give the following information:
  1. First and Last Name of student
  2. Name of parent/guardian making attendance call
  3. Date(s) of absence
  4. Reason for absence
Tardiness. Students are expected to be in their class line as soon as the bell rings. Habitual tardiness is disruptive to the teacher and the other students and can impact a student's learning.
Any student arriving after their bell rings must first go to the office for a tardy (pink) slip before entering their classrooms. We ask parents to set a routine for on-time arrival to school.  Chronic tardies can result in letters sent home, problem-solving meetings with school personnel, and/or wellness checks from law enforcement or community agency personnel.
Leaving School During the Day.  A note should be e-mailed, ahead of time, to the teacher and the attendance clerk when it is necessary for your child to be excused for any reason during the school day. Parents/guardians must come to the office to pick up and sign out their children. The office will call the classroom to have your child come up to meet you. If your child(ren) is returning back to school on the same day, upon return the parent must come into the office and sign their children back into the school.
Appointments. We encourage you to make appointments for your student outside regular school hours, if at all possible. If it is necessary for you to remove your child from school for an appointment, please email the teacher and the attendance clerk ahead of time, and come first to the office to sign out your child. The child must be signed out by an adult (parent or someone authorized on the emergency card) and signed back in upon arrival back at school.  Please provide a "school note" from your health care provider upon arrival back to school.
Absent for 10 days due to medical/illness. We are required to ask for a doctor's note to excuse any medical/illnesses after the 10th day.  As a general guideline, it is always better to have an excuse note than not, so if your doctor or dentist offers one, say yes!
Vacations. We strongly encourage you to plan your family trips to coincide within scheduled school breaks so that your child's attendance at school is not affected. Extra days outside of scheduled breaks are unexcused.
End of year absence information. Attendance is important and required up to the last day or school. Taking a vacation or going out of town for a family emergency during school is an unexcused absence, and subjects their child (or children) to laws related to truancy. The AUSD policy for students who leave for vacation or family emergencies during the last 30 days of school is that students who are absent 10 or more consecutive days of school and not returning before the last week of school will be dis-enrolled to avoid being reported as truant.


Students must be re-enrolled at the Enrollment Office after returning to Albany; however there is no guarantee that the student will receive the same school assignment. Returning students will be treated as new applicants and will be assigned to an elementary school based on space availability. Middle school and high school students will not be guaranteed to receive the courses previously selected for 2022–23. Courses, including electives, will be assigned on a space-available basis.
Excused Absences Unexcused Absences
  1. Bereavement - Attending the funeral services of a member of the immediate family (1 day for California service, 3 days for out of state).
  2. Completed Independent Study - Must be for a minimum of 5 days and arranged at least 10 days in advance. 
  3. Legal - Required appearance in court.
  4. Illness or Medical appointment - doctor's note required after 10th day.
  5. Religious Holiday / Ceremony
  1. Unverified - any absence that is not called in within 5 days is marked as unverified, even if the student is out for an excusable reason.
  2. Vacation - This includes vacations, retreats, family reunions, and trips planned far in advance.
  3. Incomplete Independent Study - If independent study work is not complete, the absence is not excused.
  4. Suspensions
  5. Tardies



Attendance FAQ


1. What do I have to do if my child is going to be absent from school?

Please call the attendance office at (510) 558-3701. You must leave your child’s first and last names, his/her grade the reason for the absence, the date of the absence and your name to verify that it was a parent/guardian that is verifying the absence. Or, you may send a note upon your child’s return to school.


2. What does it mean to“verify”my child’s absence?

When a student is absent, parents are required to call/send a note to the attendance department in order to validate the reason for the child’s absence. We call this process: Absence Verification.


3. What happens after I have called in my child’s absence?

The attendance clerk will then proceed to mark your child’s attendance record with an “Excused” or “Unexcused” absence according to Ed.Code and District policies.


4. What happens if I forget to call my child’s absence on the day of his/her absence?

You may call to verify your child’s absence up to 5 days after your child has been absent. Absences that are not verified within the time allowed will be considered unexcused absences.


5. What is considered an Excused Absence?

By law [EC § 48205], excused absences are: illness (fever 100° or more, your child must be fever free without any medication for twenty four hours before returning to school], persistent runny nose with yellow-green mucous discharge, rashes [unless there is a note from your physician stating that your child is not contagious], vomiting [If your child is sent home vomiting he/she needs to be vomit free for twenty four hours before returning to school], diarrhea [If your child is sent home from school with diarrhea he/she needs to be diarrhea free for twenty four hours before returning to school], medical/dental appointments (doctor’s note required for verification), death in the family, specific religious reasons, required appearance in court, and exclusion from school for contagious disease.


6. What if my child’s absences do not fall under any of the Excused Absences categories?

State law [EC § 48260-48273] is very specific about these types of absences. A student who is absent from school without a valid excuse will be marked “unexcused” for the day. These types of absences are also called “Truancies”.


7. I thought “truancy” indicated that a child skipped/ditched school. Why would my child be considered “Truant” if I have called to verify the absence?

In accordance with Education Code of the State of California [EC § 48260-48273], any pupil who is absent from school for 3 partial or whole days, or more without a valid excuse, or tardy in excess of 30 minutes or more (Tardies are only excused with a parent note for illness, doctor/dental note for appointments), is “truant”. Compulsory Education Law therefore, requires a student to attend a full day every day!


8. What is the process for a child with more than 3 unexcused absences/tardies?

You will receive a letter from the school upon the 3rd and the consequently upon the 5th absence/truancy. On the second letter (5th absence/truancy) you will be asked to attend a SART meeting. Additional unexcused absences will result in a referral to the School Attendance Review Board and possible referral to the District Attorney for prosecution.


9. What can I do if my child needs to be out of school for a length of time?

If your child must go out of town for five or more days, you may request that your child is signed up for an Independent Study Agreement. Please note that teachers need at least 10 school days of notice in order to prepare materials without interrupting their instructional time. Independent Study can only be granted once per semester and cannot occur the last two weeks of the school year.


10. Why is attendance such a big issue?

Regular attendance is vital to student’s success in school. The student, who is frequently absent, misses social interaction and direct instruction from his/her teachers even though written work can be made up. Any day or hour absent is a missed learning opportunity. Attendance is a key predictor of academic achievement:

Students who attend school regularly have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance. This relationship between attendance and achievement may appear early in a child's school career. A recent study looking at young children found that absenteeism in kindergarten was associated with negative first grade outcomes such as greater absenteeism in subsequent years and lower achievement in reading, math, and general knowledge.


11. I thought schools got “paid” when kids are out ill/”excused”?

Schools do NOT receive funding even if the absence is excused. This law went into effect in 1998. Any absence is a loss of revenue as well as instructional opportunities.


12. How much revenue is really lost due to attendance?

The State of California funds attendance not absences. That is why schools in California are funded on Average Daily Attendance (ADA). ADA is the primary funding source for all schools/school districts in California. The current funding amount is $57 per student per day. 


13. What about homework, if my child is absent can I request homework to be sent home?

A homework request can be made through the office if a student is out 3 consecutive days due to illness.  Other wise the parent/guardian or student can contact his/her teacher for missing work. Students are given the opportunity to make-up schoolwork missed due to illness or a valid excused absence upon their return. As a general policy, a student is allowed 1(one) day to complete make-up work for each day of excused absence from school.  

Independent Study
For unavoidable absences of 5 days or longer please refer to our Independent Study webpage.