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Child Welfare and Attendance

Child Welfare & Attendance

Child Welfare & Attendance

A specialized student support service that combines counseling and legal remedies to resolve complicated or persistent student attendance or behavior problems.

Child Welfare and Attendance is a specialized student support service that covers compliance with compulsory education laws, student admission and enrollment procedures, student discipline procedures, transfers to alternative programs, and school climate and safety. Child welfare and attendance combines the knowledge and skill of counseling with knowledge of education and the law to resolve complicated situations involving school choice, student discipline, campus safety, and programs for high-risk youth.

Contacts

Child Welfare Attendance Department

851 S. Hamilton Blvd, Portable 3

Pomona, CA 91767

 

Hours of Operation: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Office: (909) 397-4648, Extension

Fax: (909) 629-6389

 

Tatiana Gomez, CWA Coordinator, Attendance Supervisor

Extension: 28263

District Wide

Rudy Gutierrez, CWA Field Worker

Extension: 28198

Arroyo, Cortez Magnet, Kellogg, Roosevelt, Marshall MS, Ganesha HS (Cluster 3) &

La Verne Charter, Lincoln, San Jose (Cluster 1) 

Laura Muniz, CWA Field Worker

Extension: 28297

Alcott, Madison, Philadelphia, Washington, Simons MS, Garey HS (Cluster 2)

Julie Rodriguez, CWA Field Worker

Extension: 28296

Allison, Barfield, Harrison, Kingsley, Montvue, San Antonio, Emerson MS, Palomares Academy, Pomona HS (Cluster 1)

Arlene Quesenberry, Senior Technical Assistant, Attendance

Extension: 28261

District Wide

Yolanda Verdugo, CWA Field Worker

Extension: 28238

Armstrong, Decker, Diamond Point, Golden Springs, Pantera, Ranch Hills, Lorbeer MS, Diamond Ranch HS (Cluster 4) &

Lexington, Lopez, Westmont, Vejar, Fremont Academy (Cluster 2)

Mandated by the State of California

First Notification Mandate

In addition to the reporting requirement, the law states that the school district must notify the parent or guardian of the truant by the most cost-effective method possible, and that the notification must include specific information related to the student's unexcused absences. The EC Section regarding notification reads as follows:

EC Section 48260.5: Upon a pupil's initial classification as a truant, the school district shall notify the pupil's parent or guardian, by using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include electronic mail or a telephone call:

(a) That the pupil is a truant.

(b) That the parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the pupil at school.

(c) That parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290) of Chapter 2 of Part 27.

(d) That alternative educational programs are available in the district.

(e) That the parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the pupil's truancy.

(f) That the pupil may be subject to prosecution under Section 48264.

(g) For a pupil under 18 years of age but 13 years of age or older, that the pupil may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of the pupil’s driving privilege pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code.

(h) That it is recommended the parent or guardian accompany the pupil to school and attend classes with the pupil for one day. (Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 507, Sec. 8. (SB 816) Effective January 1, 2019.)

 

Habitual Truant Mandate

The law further requires that after a student has been reported as a truant three or more times in one school year and after an appropriate school employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one meeting with the parent and the student, the student is deemed a habitual truant. The intent is to provide solutions for students who failed to respond to the normal avenues of school intervention, and the most cost-effective method possible should be used to notify the parent or guardian about the meeting at the school. The EC Section outlining habitual truancy reads as follows:

EC Section 48262: Any pupil is deemed an habitual truant who has been reported as a truant three or more times per school year, provided that no pupil shall be deemed an habitual truant unless an appropriate district officer or employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with a parent or guardian of the pupil and the pupil himself, after the filing of either of the reports required by Section 48260 or Section 48261. For the purposes of this section, a conscientious effort means attempting to communicate with the parents of the pupil at least once using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include electronic mail or a telephone call.

Interventions

When a student is a habitual truant, or is irregular in attendance at school, or is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during school, the student may be referred to a school attendance review board (SARB) or to the county probation department pursuant to EC Section 48263. The student may also be referred to a probation officer or district attorney mediation program pursuant to EC Section 48263.5. The intent of these laws is to provide intensive guidance to meet the special needs of students with school attendance problems or school behavior problems pursuant to EC Section 48320. These interventions are designed to divert students with serious attendance and behavioral problems from the juvenile justice system and to reduce the number of students who drop out of school.

Referral to School Attendance Review Board

EC Section 48263

(a) If a minor pupil in a school district of a county is a habitual truant, or is a chronic absentee, as defined in Section 60901, or is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school, the pupil may be referred to a school attendance review board, or to the probation department for services if the probation department has elected to receive these referrals. The school district supervisor of attendance, or any other persons the governing board of the school district or county may designate, making the referral shall provide documentation of the interventions undertaken at the school to the pupil, the pupil’s parents or guardians, and the school attendance review board or probation department and shall notify the pupil and parents or guardians of the pupil, in writing, of the name and address of the school attendance review board or probation department to which the matter has been referred and of the reason for the referral. The notice shall indicate that the pupil and parents or guardians of the pupil will be required, along with the referring person, to meet with the school attendance review board or probation officer to consider a proper disposition of the referral.

(b)

(1) If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services can resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, then the school attendance review board or probation officer shall direct the pupil or the pupil’s parents or guardians, or both, to make use of those community services. The school attendance review board or probation officer may require, at any time that it determines proper, the pupil or parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, to furnish satisfactory evidence of participation in the available community services

(2) If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil or if the pupil or the parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, have failed to respond to directives of the school attendance review board or probation officer or to services provided, the school attendance review board may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, or the probation officer may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in that section. If the district attorney or the probation officer has not elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48263.5, the school attendance review board or probation officer may direct the county superintendent of schools to, and, upon that direction, the county superintendent of schools shall, request a petition on behalf of the pupil in the juvenile court of the county. Upon presentation of a petition on behalf of a pupil, the juvenile court of the county shall hear all evidence relating to the petition. The school attendance review board or the probation officer shall submit to the juvenile court documentation of efforts to secure attendance as well as its recommendations on what action the juvenile court should take in order to bring about a proper disposition of the case.

(c) In any county that has not established a school attendance review board, if the school district determines that available community resources cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, or if the pupil or the pupil’s parents or guardians, or both, have failed to respond to the directives of the school district or the services provided, the school district, pursuant to Section 48260.6, may notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48260.6.(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 507, Sec. 9. (SB 816) Effective January 1, 2019.)

Penalties (Student)

The law provides schools and school districts with discretion regarding student penalties for truancy as long as they are consistent with state law. The penalties for truancy for students defined in EC Section 48264.5 become progressively severe from the first the time a truancy report is required through the fourth time a truancy report is required. The EC Section regarding penalties for students who are truant reads as follows:

EC Section 48264.5: Any minor who is required to be reported as a truant pursuant to Section 48260 or 48261 may be required to attend makeup classes conducted on one day of a weekend pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 37223 and is subject to the following:

(a) The first time a truancy report is required, the pupil may be personally given a written warning by any peace officer specified in Section 830.1 of the Penal Code. A record of written warning may be kept at the school for a period of not less than two years, or until the pupil graduates or transfers, from that school. If the pupil transfers, the record may be forwarded to any school receiving the pupil's school records. A record of the written warning may be maintained by the law enforcement agency in accordance with that law enforcement agency's policies and procedures.

(b) The second time a truancy report is required within the same school year, the pupil may be assigned by the school to an after school or weekend study program located within the same county as the pupil's school. If the pupil fails to successfully complete the assigned study program, the pupil shall be subject to subdivision (c).

(c) The third time a truancy report is required within the same school year, the pupil shall be classified a habitual truant, as defined in Section 48262, and may be referred to and required to attend, an attendance review board or a truancy mediation program pursuant to Section 48263 or pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If the district does not have a truancy mediation program, the pupil may be required to attend a comparable program deemed acceptable by the school district's attendance supervisor. If the pupil does not successfully complete the truancy mediation program or other similar program, the pupil shall be subject to subdivision (d).

(d) The fourth time a truancy is required to be reported within the same school year, the pupil shall be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court which may adjudge the pupil to be a ward of the court pursuant to Section 601 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If the pupil is adjudged a ward of the juvenile court, the pupil shall be required to do one or more of the following:

(1) Performance at court-approved community services sponsored by either a public or private nonprofit agency for not less than 20 hours but not more than 40 hours over a period not to exceed 90 days, during a time other than the pupil's hours of school attendance or employment. The probation officer shall report to the court the failure to comply with this paragraph.

(2) Payment of a fine by the pupil of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for which a parent or guardian of the pupil may be jointly liable.

(3) Attendance of a court-approved truancy prevention program.

(4) Suspension or revocation of driving privileges pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code. This subdivision shall apply only to a pupil who has attended a school attendance review board program, or a truancy mediation program pursuant to subdivision (c).

 

Education Code Penalties (Parent)

Penalties against parents apply when any parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any student fails to compel the student to attend school. The penalties against parents in EC Section 48293 (a) become progressively severe with a second and third conviction. The EC Section regarding penalties for parents of a truant reads as follows:

EC Section 48293 (a): Any parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any pupil who fails to comply with this chapter, unless excused or exempted there from, is guilty of an infraction and shall be punished as follows:

(1) Upon a first conviction, by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).

(2) Upon a second conviction, by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250).

(3) Upon a third or subsequent conviction, if the person has willfully refused to comply with this section, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500). In lieu of the fines prescribed in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), the court may order the person to be placed in a parent education and counseling program.

 

EC Section 48293 (b): A judgment that a person convicted of an infraction be punished as prescribed in subdivision (a) may also provide for the payment of the fine within a specified time or in specified installments, or for participation in the program. A judgment granting a defendant time to pay the fine or prescribing the days of attendance in a program shall order that if the defendant fails to pay the fine, or any installment thereof, on the date it is due, he or she shall appear in court on that date for further proceedings. Willful violation of this order is punishable as contempt.

EC Section 48293 (c): The court may also order that the person convicted of the violation of subdivision (a) immediately enroll or re-enroll the pupil in the appropriate school or educational program and provide proof of enrollment to the court. Willful violation of an order under this subdivision is punishable as civil contempt with a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000). An order of contempt under this subdivision shall not include imprisonment.

Message from the California Department of Education

Expanded Duties of Attendance Supervisors
Under Assembly Bill 2815, which became law on January 1, 2017, the role of attendance supervisors has been expanded to include more effective practices to address chronic absenteeism and truancy.
 
Reducing California’s high chronic absenteeism rates is a priority in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). This update to California Education Code (EC) sections 48240–48244 can be a tool for meeting local goals to reduce chronic absenteeism rates. These changes in attendance supervision practices help promote a culture of attendance and improve local systems to accurately track pupil attendance by grade level and pupil subgroup.
Districts may find it helpful to review the effective practices described in this legislation when considering the duties of attendance supervisors and assistant attendance supervisors.
 
Identified duties for attendance supervisors in this legislation include the following:
  • Raise the awareness of school personnel, parents, guardians, caregivers, community partners, and local businesses of the effects of chronic absenteeism, truancy, and other challenges associated with poor attendance.
  • Identify and respond to grade level or pupil subgroup patterns of chronic absenteeism or truancy.
  • Identify and address factors contributing to chronic absenteeism and habitual truancy, including suspension and expulsion.
  • Ensure that pupils with attendance problems are identified as early as possible to provide applicable support services and interventions.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of strategies implemented to reduce chronic absenteeism rates and truancy rates.
  • Effective January 1, 2019, supervisors of attendance have a duty to ensure that students receiving individual instruction in home and hospital programs are excused from the regular school program until they return to their regular school program.

An attendance supervisor may refer chronic absentees and truants to critical support services and interventions which will help them get back on track with their education. Examples of these key services and interventions benefiting high risk youth listed in the legislation are as follows:
  • A conference between school personnel, the pupil’s parent or guardian, and the pupil.
  • Promoting co-curricular and extracurricular activities that increase pupil connection to school, such as tutoring, mentoring, the arts, service learning, or athletics.
  • Recognizing pupils who achieve excellent attendance or demonstrate significant improvement in attendance.
  • Referral to a school nurse, school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, and other pupil support personnel for case management and counseling.
  • Collaboration with child welfare services, law enforcement, courts, public health care agencies, or government agencies, or medical, mental health, and oral health care providers to receive necessary services.
  • Collaborating with school study teams, guidance teams, school attendance review teams, or other intervention-related teams to assess the attendance or behavior problem in partnership with the pupil and his or her parents, guardians, or caregivers.
  • In schools with significantly higher rates of chronic absenteeism, identify barriers to attendance that may require school-wide strategies instead of case management.
  • Referral for a comprehensive psycho-social or psycho-educational assessment.
  • Referral to a school attendance review board.
  • Referral to a county truancy mediation program.

California Definition of Chronic Absentee

California Definition of Chronic Absentee

A "chronic absentee" has been defined in EC Section 60901(c)(1) as "a pupil who is absent on 10 percent or more of the school days in the school year when the total number of days a pupil is absent is divided by the total number of days the pupil is enrolled and school was actually taught in the regular day schools of the district, exclusive of Saturdays and Sundays."

Chronic Absenteeism Matters to Parents and Families

Every Student, Every Day:

A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism

 

PARENTS AND FAMILIES

 

Why Chronic Absenteeism Matters for Parents and Families

 

Your child’s daily, on-time attendance in school is critical to his or her success in school and in life. It’s understandable that some challenges to your child’s school attendance are unavoidable, such as an illness or a family emergency. However, it’s important to understand the impact of absences from school, especially if they become frequent. Chronic absenteeism, typically defined as missing 10 percent 918 days) or more of a school year – as few as a couple of days per month – can cause your child to fall behind in school. Absences can add up and impact your child’s reading, writing, and math skills, which will have a negative effect on his or her future.

 

Did you know?

  •     Chronic absenteeism means missing 10% or more of school days in a year.
  •     5 to 7.5 million students are chronically absent each year.
  •     Students who are chronically absent are less likely to succeed academically and more likely to drop out of school.
  •     Attending school everyday increases a child’s chances of success in school and life.

 

Did you know?

A student is chronically absent if he or she misses as few as two days of school a month.

 

 

2 DAYS A MONTH x 9 MONTHS = CHRONIC ABSENCE

 

 

Take Action to Help Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism

 

Parents and Families Should:

  1.       Make getting to school on time everyday a high priority in your family.
  2.       Talk with your child about the importance of school attendance from an early age and the negative effects of too many absences.
  3.       When necessary, create a safe space for your child to share what’s keeping them from participating in school on a regular basis.
  4.       Have a back-up plan for getting your child to school when there are difficulties with transportation, family illness, or other challenges.
  5.       Schedule doctor and other appointments for after-school hours whenever possible.
  6.       Monitor students’ school attendance to make sure your child is in class every day.
  7.       Contact your child’s school to discuss supports and services that can help your child maintain regular school attendance.

Resources to Support Parents and Families to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism

 

  •     Attendance Works is a national nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness about chronic absenteeism, provides resources and handouts for parents and families. See more at: http://www.attendanceworks.org/tools/for-parents/.
  •     Raising the next generation is a shared responsibility. When families, communities and schools work together, students are more successful and the entire community benefits. Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Family & Community Engagement Webpage for more information at: http://www.ed.gov/family-and-community-engagement.
  •     The U.S. Department of Education provides links and resources to support parents and families to encourage their children to attend and succeed in school every day. See more at: http://www2.ed.gov/parents/landing.jhtml.
  •      Youth.gov. Learn more about the information, strategies, tools, and resources for youth, families, schools, youth-serving organizations, and community partnerships related to a variety of cross-cutting topics that affect youth. See more at: http://youth.gov and http://engage.youth.gov/.
  •     StopBullying.gov provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying. See more at: www.StopBullying.gov.

Definition of Chronic Absenteeism Indicator for the California School Dashboard

Definition of Chronic Absenteeism Indicator for the California School Dashboard

The California School Dashboard (Dashboard) provides information about how schools and districts are performing in kindergarten through eighth grade in reducing chronic absenteeism rates for different subgroups of students. Performance is based on the current chronic absenteeism rate and improvement or lack of improvement from the previous school year. To meet the definition of a chronic absentee for the purpose of the Dashboard, the kindergarten through eighth grade student must be absent on at least ten percent of the instructional days enrolled and must be enrolled a minimum of 31 instructional days. A chronic absentee must also have attended at least one day to meet the Dashboard criteria. Chronic absenteeism rates of more than twenty percent are considered very high (red), ten to twenty percent are high (orange), five to ten percent are medium (yellow), 2.5 percent to five percent are low (green), and very low are 2.5 percent or less (blue). Changes in chronic absenteeism rates vary from those which have declined significantly (by three percent or more) to those that have increased significantly (increased by 3 percent or more). To learn more about the Dashboard and find out how a school or district are performing on the Chronic Absenteeism Indicator, please visit the California School DashboardExternal link opens in new window or tab..