INFORMATION FOR PARENTS » Attendance/Independent Study Contract

Attendance/Independent Study Contract

The best way for your student to keep up with their education is with an Independent Study Contract. Work will be assigned to go along with their classroom experience. Please call the office for more information.



Regular daily attendance is important for academic success. It is crucial that you arrive at school on time and attend school on the days your program runs. Attendance in every class is vital to your academic success.  Regular attendance is critical to a student’s success in school. The student who is frequently absent misses direct instruction from his/her teachers and the opportunity to collaborate with peers on topics.  Even though written work can be made up, the loss of the instruction and collaboration hinder the student’s ability to fully achieve the expectations for learning.  Any day or hour absent is a missed learning opportunity. Attendance is a key predictor of dropout students who create economic loss and jeopardize the future workforce since only 31% of dropouts keep a job for more than one year. In addition, the school loses funding for each absence, regardless of the reason; including illness or excused absences.


Because of Sycamore Academy Science and Cultural Arts’ (“SASCA”) commitment to providing high quality education, we are concerned when a student misses school for any reason. Students who are excessively absent from school are not able to accomplish their educational goals.  SASCA is a charter school specifically designed with critical skills and fundamental dispositions embedded in the day to day instruction.  Absent students are not able to fully access that component of our program.  According to the California Compulsory Attendance Laws (Education Code 48200), parents and students are responsible for regular school attendance. 


Truancies are not acceptable at SASCA. Truancy is defined as an absence or tardy of more than thirty minutes without a valid excuse. Valid excuses are outlined below. Repeated violation of the truancy policy will result in further disciplinary action up to and including involuntary withdrawal from the program. When families choose to attend SASCA, it is assumed that they are serious about their educational experiences and will avoid missing classes or activities.

Attendance Records

School officials will keep an accurate record of attendance, including accurate attendance records for each class.  Such records will be maintained by the classroom teacher and Attendance Clerk or designee.  Absences must be reported to the school office.  Attendance records will be used to enforce the Compulsory Attendance Law.  If truancy is suspected, the case must be investigated by school personnel and may be referred to local police and/or the local district attorney.



  • Excused absences are those that are recognized by the state as legal excused absences:
    • Student is personally ill, and his/her attendance in school would endanger his/her health or the health of others (Three (3) or more consecutive days of absence for illness will require a doctor’s note);
    • Serious illness in the student's immediate family necessitates absence;
    • Death of family member necessitates absence;
    • Special/recognized religious holiday observed by student's faith; and
    • Appearance in court


  • Unexcused absences are those not defined above, including, but not limited to:
    • Unverified absence;
    • Truancy;
    • Absence due to leaving campus without permission;
    • Absence due to taking an early vacation or extending a vacation;
    • A tardy of thirty minutes or more;
    • Absence due to oversleeping;
    • Absence due to transportation problems;
    • Absence due to not knowing it was a school day; and
    • Family emergency without valid reason, as determined solely by SASCA


  • School Excused Absences
    • Field Trips
    • Academic Events
    • School Office Appointments
    • Suspension
    • Athletes participating in athletic event


  • Excessive Absences
    • Three (3) or more consecutive days of illness shall require a doctor’s note upon return to school.
    • After three (3) unexcused absences or tardies of 30-minutes or more, or any combination thereof within a school year, the school will mail the parent the 1st Truancy Letter.
    • After five (5) unexcused absences or tardies of 30-minutes or more, or any combination thereof within a school year, the school will mail the 2nd Truancy Letter. The family will attend a meeting with the Director or Designee with the intent to create a plan for improving attendance.
    • After ten (10) days of unexcused absences and/or tardies the parents may be referred to the District Attorney.
    • Students who miss 5% or more of school for any reason, may be subject to retention.
    • Missing 10% of the total number of school days accumulated, whether excused or unexcused, is considered excessive and shall require a doctor’s note to excuse subsequent absences.
    • After fifteen absences for any reason (excused or unexcused absences or any combination thereof), your child may be dropped from the school’s roster and you would need to re-enroll. Admission will be based on availability at the time of re-enrollment.



Tardy is Truancy

A tardy occurs when the student is not in his/her assigned seat at his/her assigned grade level start time. Unexcused tardies are defined as arriving any time after a class/activity has begun without an excuse from a parent/guardian or SASCA staff member. Repeated violation of the tardy policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including involuntary withdrawal. 


Tardy of more than Thirty Minutes (“T-30”) is a ½ day Truancy

A T-30 tardy occurs when the student is not in his/her assigned seat within 30 minutes of his/her assigned grade level start time. T-30 tardies are considered ½ day truancy and will be counted against the student’s attendance. Unexcused tardies are defined as arriving any time after a class/activity has begun without an excuse from a parent/guardian or SASCA staff member.


  • Excused tardies include only the following:
    • Medical, dental, optical or other health‐related appointment (with note from the office where appointment was scheduled)
    • Circumstances discussed with the school ahead of time, and pre-approved by a school administrator
    • All late arrivals other than those described above will be considered unexcused


Regular attendance is essential to any school. A doctor’s release note must accompany the student when returning back to school from any doctor/dental/orthodontic appointment. A student who fails to attend school without a valid excuse is considered truant.


Parents/guardians should make every effort to schedule medical and dental appointments before or after school or during the time that school is not in session. Parents/Guardians should notify the school office at least 30 minutes prior to student’s start time if your child will be absent. The school will call to verify any absences not reported by you, all unanswered inquiries will be reported as unexcused. Any child who arrives after their designated start time must report to the SASCA office to check in and obtain a tardy slip.

For further information, please refer to the Attendance Policy Letter you received in your enrollment packet, or call the office.