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Absence Procedure

Attendance Policies and Procedures


The final school-level decisions regarding interpretation of all policies and procedures shall rest with the Mitchell Senior administration.


Regular attendance is essential for academic and social success. Students demonstrating good attendance expectations will be celebrated. Parents are responsible for making sure their children are at school daily and on time. The California Education Code (Sec. 48200) requires that all children between the ages of six and eighteen attend school. Students who miss an excessive number of school days without communication from parents may be dropped from the school roster. Students who must miss more than five consecutive days of school should apply for independent study (see page 19). 

  • Truant - Students who are absent from school for more than 3 days without a valid excuse or notification.
  • Habitual Truant - Students who are absent from school for more than 3 days without a valid excuse or notification on three separate occasions.
  • Truant Tardy - Students who are more than 30 minutes late to school without a valid excuse.
  • Habitually Truant Tardy - Students who are more than 30 minutes late to school without a valid excuse on three occasions.
  • Excessive absences - Students who miss more than 20 days of school regardless of reason.


**Habitually truant students and students with excessive absences, regardless of reason, will be referred to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB), including the Merced County District Attorney’s Office**


ATTENTION: Reporting an Absence

Parents must immediately call the school at 357-6124 or email through Parent Square to report absences.


*Students arriving late to school MUST report directly to the attendance window for an admission slip.*


Tardy Policy

It is the responsibility of students to make sure that they are at school and in class on time. The school policy states that students must be in the room, at a minimum, to be considered present; however, individual teachers may require that students be in their desk, or on their PE number,  in order to be considered present. It is the student’s responsibility to know each of their teacher’s attendance policies. 


All tardies count against students for any attendance rewards, including perfect attendance


For the purpose of extracurricular activities, the first four (4) tardies of each quarter are warnings and are not counted against the student as far as interventions; however, students will receive consequences for any tardies accumulated beyond the first four (4)  tardies (see below). 


In an effort to hold students accountable for tardies, on the fifth (5th) tardy students lose all eligibility for participation in extracurricular activities including sports, dances/socials, trips, attending after school events, and any other event that is sponsored by Mitchell Senior. 


If a student becomes ineligible based on reaching tardy five (5) or above, the student can make the choice to remove the tardy or tardies above 4 by serving a lunchtime or after school campus beautification. One lunchtime or after school beautification must be served for each tardy above 4 to “erase” the tardy or tardies. The student will remain ineligible until the clean up(s) are completed and the student has moved back to tardy four (4).


Tardy Interventions

  • 1-4 tardies:  Warning
  • 5 and above tardies:  Lunchtime or after school campus beautification to “erase” tardies and become eligible for extracurricular activities. 
  • Excessive tardies:  Meeting with School Personnel/Administrator and Parent, Attendance and/or Behavior Contract, and loss of school rewards or extra privileges, possible School Attendance Review Team (SART) and/or School Attendance Review Board (SARB).


Tardies are reset at the beginning of each quarter, allowing for a “fresh start.”


Early Checkout

Checking students out early from school is highly discouraged. When a student is checked out early it can affect the student’s attendance record and academic success. In the event that a student needs to be released from school early, students will not be called to the office until the parent/guardian has arrived at school to pick them up. Students will not be called early to wait in the office. Students are not allowed to sign themselves out or walk home when a parent/guardian is not available to pick them up due to suspension, illness, etc. 


Diana M. Dietz


Mitchell Senior Elementary

1753 5th Street

Atwater, California  95301

(209) 357-6124 FAX (209) 357-6506

[email protected]