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Attendance/Absence Information


Parents must call to report their child's absence. There is a 24-hour Absent Line at 949-713-1089.
Late arriving students need to report to the Attendance Office to sign in and get a tardy slip.
Students need to bring a note from a parent explaining the tardy. Illnesses, medical, and dental reasons are excused.
Absences can only be excused within 72 hours. If we have not received a call within 72 hours, the absence will remain unexcused.
EARLY OUT: If a student needs to leave campus for a medical or dental appointment, the student needs to report to the Attendance Office before school with a note from a parent or guardian.
A Special Excuse will be given to the student to leave class at the stated time on the note, and the student will wait in the office for the parent or guardian.
The parent or guardian needs to come to the office to sign their child out.


Attendance Issues
Capistrano Unified urges parents to make sure their children attend school regularly and to schedule medical and other appointments so that a student misses none, or only a small portion of the school day. The district also asks that travel or other absences be avoided during the time school is in session. The school calendar is designed to minimize problems for families which plan vacations around traditional holiday periods, and thereby minimize student absences.
Following an absence, a student is required to bring a written excuse from home when returning to school. Illnesses, and doctor and dental appointments are considered excused absences. Children should not be sent to school when they are not feeling well. Absences without parent verification are recorded as unexcused.  If not verified, these unexcused absences will become a truant.
Our school administration requires "satisfactory explanation from the parent or guardian of a pupil, either in person, telephone, or by written note, whenever the pupil is absent for part or all of a school day." (Div. 2. Calif. Adm. Code, Title 5.)
A parent must call to report a student absent. For your convenience, the parent or guardian may phone the 24 hour Absent Line at 713-1089.
Excused Absence: Below is the text of Education Code 48205:
(a)  A pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:
  • Due to his or her illness.
  • Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.
  • For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic services rendered.
  • For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of his or her immediate family, so long as the absence is not more than one day if the service is conducted in California and not more than three days if the service is conducted outside California.
  • For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by law.
  • Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent.
  • For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion, attendance at religious retreats, or attendance at an employment conference, when the pupil's absence has been requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board.
  • For the purpose of serving as a member of an election precinct board.
(b) A pupil absent from school under this section shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit. The teacher of any class from which a pupil is absent shall determine that the tests and assignments are reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.
(c)  For purposes of this section, attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.
Independent Study Contracts
Students who will be away from school for more than three (3) days, other than illness, may be able to receive classwork and remain up to date.  To request an ISC, please notify the office AT LEAST TEN(10) SCHOOL DAYS PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF ABSENCE so that the request can be reviewed, and if approved, class assignments may be organized.  This process helps students to keep up with schoolwork, but there is no substitute for teacher instruction and class interaction.  Please schedule vacations appropriately.
Leaving School During the Day
No child is permitted to leave school once arriving on campus without permission from the school office. If parents are taking their child out of school early, they must go to the school office to have the child released. The office must be notified in advance if someone other than a parent is to pick up the child.  When possible, please send a note with your student and have them turn it in at the attendance window before school to get their early out slip.  Please make sure to bring some form of identification when picking up your child.
Children should be encouraged to be prompt as part of their training. They are expected to be at school on time. If a child is late, the child should bring an excuse from home to the school office. Frequent tardiness without a valid excuse is considered truancy under state law.
Late arriving students are to ALWAYS come to the Attendance Office to sign in with a note from a parent. The note should explain the tardy. Illness, medical, dental, funeral or court is excused. The student will then receive a tardy slip to class.
LFMS Tardy Policy  (Per Quarter)
1st Tardy = Warning
2nd Tardy and 3rd = Campus Cleanup
4th Tardy = Referral to Assistant Principal
District Tardy Policy
Students arriving late to school with a note written by a parent or guardian will still be considered tardy unless it is a reason excused by the California Education Code (i.e. illness, doctor/dental appointment). California Education Codes do not permit the school to excuse a tardy because a parent is running late.Therefore, according to the California Education Code, tardy reasons are limited to illness, medical/dental appointments, religious holidays and funerals. Tardies resulting from personal reasons (traffic, over-sleeping, carpool trouble or any other "personal" reason) will be unexcused.
Frequent tardiness without a valid excuse is considered truancy under state law.
Capistrano USD Policies and Procedures

A student is considered truant if tardy three times for more than 30 minutes each time, or if the student misses a day of school and it is considered an unexcused absence. After three unexcused absences, the student is referred to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB). The SARB page on the district website is linked here.
Unexcused absences are all absences that do not meet the following criteria listed in the California Education Code.  The criteria which allow for excused absences are: an illness, medical or dental need (a doctor's note may be required); the funeral of an immediate family member; a justifiable personal reason when the student's excused absence has been requested in writing in advance and has been approved by the principal or the principal's designated representative.