It is the parent's responsibility to call the school and report the reason for a student's absence within 72 hours. Parents can check the status of an absence through Parent Portal.

Examples of Excused Absences:

  • Illness or injury
  • Medical appointment (doctor, dentist, optometrist, etc.)
  • Attendance at a funeral for member of the immediate family
  • Religious holiday observance
  • Independent Study Contract (not applicable for a vacation)

Examples of Unexcused Absences:

  • Family vacation
  • Private business
  • Illness of a parent or sibling
  • Lack of transportation


Please make every effort to leave students in school the entirety of the school day. Picking up students early causes them to miss valuable instruction and disrupts classes. District policies for early pick-up are clearly defined in Administrative Regulation 5142 (AR5142). Please note:

  • Only individuals listed as a student's custodial parent or guardian will be permitted to pick up a child early from school.
  • If anyone other than the student's custodial parent is picking up a student early, he or she will need to be listed as an emergency contact in our student database. The custodial parent must also deliver a signed, dated letter in advance notifying the office as to which emergency contact will be picking up the student and the date and time of that pick-up. Custodial parents may add individuals to their child's emergency contact list by visiting the office or through Parent Portal.
  • Any adult picking up a child early will be required to show a valid, government-issued picture ID.
  • Any adult who does not meet the above requirements will not be permitted to pick up a student early.


ATTENDANCE: Education Code section 48200 requires every person between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age to attend school full time unless exempted. Students not in attendance will be excused only if their absence is due to illness, doctor/dental appointment, funeral attendance, specific religious day observance or an approved Student Independent Study Contract. Independent Study Contracts are not available for "vacations" that occur during the instructional year (per Education Code). Please plan vacations for designated times based upon the school calendar. It is the parent's responsibility to notify the office about a student's absence and provide the reason. Any absences that don't fall under the prescribed Excused reasons in Education Code will be marked as Unexcused. You can check the status of your student's absence in Parent Portal.

If your child is at Lake on an intra-district transfer, it may be revoked at the end of the year for unsatisfactory attendance, including Truancy. Truancy is defined further in VUSD Board Policy #5113.

Per VUSD Board Policy #5113, absences must be cleared within 72 hours of the student's absence, otherwise they will be marked as unexcused or truant. Absences remaining unverified are considered unexcused absences and when your child accumulates three or more unverified absences they are considered a truant. A student with ten (10) or more excused absences,verified by phone calls, will be required to provide a written explanation for all future absences. This verification must be on appropriate professional letterhead (eg.Dr.) addressing the medical or legal reason(s) for absence(s).

Students with excessive absences will be referred to a School Attendance Review Team (SART). This process includes:

Step 1: Attendance Letter #1 sent after 3 unexcused absences.

Step 2: Letter #2 sent after 6 unexcused absences and a student could be place on a school-based attendance contract.

Step 3: Letter #3 sent after 9 unexcused absences. (A District SARB panel meeting could be scheduled and SARB Contract initiated.)

Step 4: Additional unverified absences will result in a referral to the District Attorney's office for violation of SARB contract.

Of course, the most important reason for good school attendance is EDUCATION. Students who have poor attendance miss important concepts and information. In addition, they develop poor attendance habits, which can negatively affect their success in later life. The staff of Lake Elementary School will help parents in any way we can to ensure regular attendance for our students and we appreciate your support.


Schools are required to enforce Compulsory Education Law. When children do not attend school punctually or are absent the entire school day, the reason must be identified and recorded as either excused or unexcused. Classroom teachers will record the students either absent or tardy and school attendance personnel will verify the reason why the student is absent or tardy.

Verification of student absences may be made by district school employees only. This includes a school or public health nurse, an attendance supervisor, a district employed physician, a principal, a teacher or any other district employees assigned to make such verification.

Absence from school shall be allowed only for: personal illness or injury, quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer, medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic services rendered, attendance at the funeral services for a member of the "immediate family", jury duty in the manner provided by law, student who is custodial parent of a child who is ill or has a medical appointment during school, exclusion for failure to present evidence of immunization, exclusion from school because student is either the carrier of a contagious disease or not immunized for a contagious disease.

Immediate family shall be defined as mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, son/son-in-law, daughter/daughter-in-law, brother, sister, or any relative living in the student's immediate household. (Education Code 45194, 48205)

Students shall not be absent from school without their parents/guardians' knowledge or consent except in cases of medical emergency or confidential medical appointment.

Parents/guardians shall notify the school within 72 hours of the last day of the student's absence. (72 hours equals three days).

  1. Absences remaining unverified for three or more days after the student's return to school will be considered truant or unexcused.
  2. a. Less than three unverified absences are considered UNEXCUSED.
    b. Three or more unverified absences are considered TRUANT.

On the first day of a student's absence and on each subsequent day of absence, parents/guardians must present a satisfactory explanation, verifying the reason for absence. The verification may be made in conversation or in a signed note.

  1. Required documentation should include all of the following elements: full name of student, date(s) of absence, specific reason of absence, name and/or identify (i.e. mother or father) of person providing the information, name and signature of person/employee making/logging the verification, date the verification was made.
  2. Any student with 10 excused absences, verified by phone calls, will be required to provide a written explanation for any/all future absences. This verification must be written by the appropriate professional on his/her letterhead, addressing the medical, legal or bereavement reason(s).

The Board of Trustees shall allow students to be absent for religious instruction or participation in religious exercises or instruction away from school property. Such absences shall be considered excused absences subject to the following:

  1. The student shall attend at least the minimum school day.
  2. The student shall be excused for no more than four school days per month.
  3. The principal has received prior written consent from the parent/guardian.

Upon written request by a student's parent/guardian and with the principal or designee's approval, a student may be excused from school in order to observe a holiday or ceremony of the student's religion, or to attend a religious retreat. Such absences shall be considered excused absences pursuant to applicable law.

Unexcused absences from class exceeding 10 days in a school semester may be sufficient reason for a teacher to assign the student a failing grade for the class. The teacher may assign a failing grade in such cases. The student and parent/guardian shall be notified of each unexcused absence.

The student and parent/guardian shall be given five days to explain the absence. If the absence is not verified as an excusable absence, it shall be recorded as unexcused, together with the reason for the absence as given by the parent and the date when the explanation was given. The name of the person receiving any oral explanation of the absence shall also be recorded.

If a student receives a failing grade because of unexcused absences exceeding the above maximum, school records shall specify that the grade was given because of excessive unexcused absences.