Attendance Policy



Philosophy:   Santa Barbara High School staff and students work together to create an atmosphere of accountability and responsibility.  Every staff member must be accountable for consistent and accurate attendance.  Every student will make choices that demonstrate the values of accountability and prompt, consistent attendance.  The Santa Barbara High School policy is intended to promote attendance in class as the highest priority.  When a student is absent, it is not possible to recreate activities that take place in classes on the day a student is absent.  Labs, lectures, discussions, and demonstrations cannot be repeated for individual students. 


The primary responsibility of the student is to be in class to maximize his/her opportunities for success.  Excessive tardiness and absences have a direct correlation to poor student performance and are detrimental to the learning environment.  Parents, students, teachers and administrators all have a shared responsibility to ensure that a quality education is priority.  Santa Barbara High School’s attendance policy is directed toward achieving that goal, and allows for adequate flexibility to provide for a reasonable degree of tardiness and absences.


Attendance Policy: Students will be dropped from a class when they have accumulated ten (10) tardies or five (5) truant absences.


Tardiness:   It is the responsibility of the student to be on time to all classes.  Seven minutes are allowed for students to pass from one class to another.  Teachers will make the determination regarding excused or unexcused classroom tardies.  Exceptions will be made by administration decision only.  While Ed Code allows for up to 30 minutes late, instructors are not responsible for providing make up for students who are habitually tardy. 


Truancies:   A student is truant when absent from school or a class without permission of the school or parent.  Truant students will be assigned two hours of discipline for each hour of school missed and may be cited by the Police.  No make-up work is permitted. Students may not leave school without being checked out by the Attendance or Health office.


Absences:  All unexcused tardies and absences will be dealt with in the same manner as truancy.  It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to notify the school within 72 hours of an absence by either a telephone call or a note to the attendance office.  Students who are absent for most of the school day due to illness, will not be permitted on campus to attend a class, take a test or turn in a paper/homework.  Absent students who are seen on campus are considered truant. Information for parents:


Telephone for reporting student absences: 966-9101 ext 257 or 965-6138 ext 999 (English) I ext 888 (Spanish).  A Spanish version of the entire Attendance Policy is available in the office by request.  California Law requires 180 days of annual school attendance.  Students are required to attend school unless they have parental permission to be absent.


Absences, Excused: Illness, dentist or doctor appointments normally will be excused with parent verification.  A verification of an appointment by the doctor or dentist (i.e., doctor’s stamp, receipt, etc., but NOT a doctor signature) must also be presented when the student returns to school.  Full credit in the class will be given upon completion of make-up work or tests.  Students must see their instructor for the time limit for make-up work and/or tests. 


Absences, Excused (not ill): These are absences due to death in family, religious, and educational instruction.  Absences for reasons such as court appearance, college visits, or family trips MUST be given prior approval by school administration before student is absent from school.  Notice must be received no later than two weeks before absence begins.  Full credit will be given upon completion of make-up work or tests.  Students must see their instructor for the time limit for make-up work and/or tests. 


Illness or Injury During School: A student who feels too ill to continue school must obtain a pass from his/her teacher to report to the Health Office.  Failure to report to back class or to the Health Office will be considered truancy.


Off Campus Passes:  Requests by a parent for a student to visit a doctor, dentist or other appointment should be made prior to the appointment time.  The student must bring a note, stating the time it will be necessary for the student to leave campus.  The note must be submitted to the Attendance Office before 7:45 a.m. or during lunch.  When returning from the appointment, verification from the doctor/dentist (doctor’s stamp, receipt, etc., but NOT a doctor signature) will be required.


18 Year Old Waiver: In order for 18 year old students to sign their own notes, a parent waiver must be on file in the Attendance Office.

Make-up Procedure: Students shall "make-up" assignments and tests during the time allotted by the make-up procedure.  Students will have only one opportunity to do so unless extreme circumstances, as verified by the Attendance Office, cause further absence on the "make-up" deadline date.  Make-up work shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the work missed during the excused absence.  The student must initiate the process.

Phone Messages: The main objective of a school is to educate the student.  In order to do that, the student must be in class.  When a student is called out of class to receive phone messages that are not an extreme emergency or can really wait until the student gets home it becomes a disruption to the education of the student. Neither staff nor students have time to deliver or receive messages. Please have your child call you at lunch to see if there has been a change in that day’s schedule.  Public phones are located at the front of the campus.


Attendance: Student/Parent Responsibilities and Guidelines


Full Day Absences:


Full day absences must be cleared within 72 hours.


A student can clear a full day absence by:

a.        Having a parent call the school to report the full day absence within 72 hours.

b.       Upon his/her return, the student can bring a note to school signed by the parent, clearing the absence.


Students returning to school after an absence, with a note from a parent, can drop the note off at the attendance office for verification. 


Students returning to school after an absence whose parents have called to excuse the absence can go straight to first or second period. 


All Absences not cleared within 72 hours of the absence will be considered truant absences and assignments will not be made up for credit.  Students will automatically be dropped from classes with five (5) truant absences.  Parents will be notified by phone and by mail regarding truant absences.


Partial Day Absences:


Students leaving campus for any reason throughout the normal school day must check out through the attendance office.


A student may check out during the day if:

  1. They have a signed note by the parent stating the reason for leaving and the time required to check out.  The note must have a parent signature and a phone number to verify the reason.  If the student is leaving for medical reasons, i.e. doctors, dentist, etc., the note must have the doctors name so the appointment can be verified.
  2. A parent phones the attendance office and checks the student out.


Students leaving campus for any reason must sign out at the attendance office.


Students must sign in at the attendance office when they return to campus.


Students must be in school all day in order to practice or participate in a game, practice, rehearsal or performance.  Requests for exceptions must be made through the appropriate Assistant Principal. 


Students leaving campus for any reason and not checking out through the attendance will be considered truant for that particular class period.  A parent phone call will not clear a truant absence when a student has left campus without authorization.


Students Arriving Late to School:

All students must sign in (signature and arrival time) at the attendance office before going to class.  A note signed by his/her parent or a phone call must be received within 72 hours in order to clear the absence. 


Formal Truancy Intervention and Parent Accountability Program


Informal Truancy Intervention: This will include assigned Saturday School, lunch detention, or any similar consequences as deemed appropriate by school administrators.        

Student Behavior



Offices Involved

18 Unexcused Absences


Letter #1


Notification to parents via written letter


School Administration

District Attorney

24 Unexcused Absences


Letter #2


Mandatory attendance at

after-school meeting (ASM)

With parent and student


School Administration

District Attorney


Law Enforcement

36 Unexcused Absences

Habitual Truancy


Letter #3

Assistant Principal private

meeting; DA Social worker

pre-TMT meeting

School Administration



60 Unexcused Absences

Continued Habitual Truancy



Letter #4


Truancy Mediation Team

meeting, Academy Referral

DA Social Worker post-

TMT meeting

School District

District Attorney


CPS, Mental Health

Law Enforcement

80 Unexcused Absences

Unimproved Truancy


Letter #5


School Attendance Review

Board and Informal probation,



District Attorney

SARB Board


SARB Board Leads to Court: Formal probation and/or prosecution of parents.


Copyright © Santa Barbara High School 700 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA 93103 Tel: (805) 966-9101 - TTY ext 281 Fax: (805) 965-6872
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