For Families » Attendance Information

Attendance Information

Attendance Information Page


Absence Reporting Line: (510) 538-8833 extension 9180

** We do not accept email notifications to verify absences.** 

Every day counts in a child’s education! 

Attendance is compulsory by law and is the responsibility of all students and parent/guardians. 

Prompt arrival to class is essential for academic success.  Missing class for any reason (absences and/or tardiness) interferes with student progress, since each class contains instructional information or activities that are essential to the student. Every day a student misses school, he/she gets more than two days behind his peers, because he/she must make up missed learning and catch up with new learning at the same time. Every day a student is in school, he/she benefits from direct instruction and raises his/her chances to score well on fundamental testing while learning a valuable lesson in the life skill of responsibility. Absences, excused or not, also take away valuable funding from our school.

Attendance Policies

Parents/legal guardians must contact the school EVERY day a student has/will miss his/her assigned classes. EACH absence(s), including the reason for the absence, must be verified by the parents/legal guardians within 72 hours of the absence or the absence will be permanently changed to an “unexcused absence.”

How do I verify my student’s absence?

Absences can be verified by calling the Absence Reporting Line at (510) 538-8833 extension 9180 OR by sending a note with the student to the Attendance Office. All messages and notes related to absences or tardiness must be processed by the Attendance Office.

The following information is required for messages and notes: 

  • Name of the Student (please include the spelling of the name when leaving voice message) and grade level.
  • Date(s) of the absence. (When reporting a partial day, such as 0 period, please include the class period that was/will be absent from school.)
  • Specific reason for absence(s). PLEASE INCLUDE IF YOUR STUDENT HAS HAD A FEVER RELATED TO THIS ABSENCE. (If a reason for the absence(s) is not given, the absence(s) will be considered a “miscellaneous” reason which is not excused.)
  • Caller's name and relationship to the student.
  • Caller’s daytime telephone number should we have questions.


An automatic attendance phone-dialer, working in conjunction with our attendance records, will attempt to make calls to the primary phone number on the evening whenever an absence(s) were are not verified.  Failure to verify the absence(s) within 72 hours will result in the student receiving an unexcused absence(s) and possible truancy consequences. 


A doctor note(s) are required for reported illnesses of 3 or more consecutive days (and/or in excess of 10 or more days within a school year) upon the student’s return to school.

Please read the H.E.A.L Health Flyer For Parents which offers helpful ideas and suggested guidelines regarding student attendance.

What if my student will be tardy?

Tardy students must report to the Attendance Office to check in and obtain a pass to be admitted to class.

Parents/legal guardians are advised to report the reason for tardiness through a note written by a parent/guardian, calling the attendance office, or meeting with the attendance clerk.  Late arrivals due to doctor/dental appointments: please bring a note signed by your student’s health care provider documenting the date of the visit. (In observance of HIPAA Privacy Rules, health care provider notes do not have to disclose the reason for the appointment just a confirmation that the student is under his/her care and was seen for an appointment.)

If the student is tardy less than 10 minutes into a class period, without valid reason and/or verification, the student may go straight to his/her class where the teacher will note the attendance status accordingly.

What absences/tardies are excused?

Verified absences when reported within 72 hours of the absence and as defined by California Education Code 48205.



Excused absence:  school-sponsored activity (e.g., athletic events, drama, music, student government, counselor, assessment); illness/medical/bereavement (e.g., personal illness, medical/dental/optometry appointment, funeral service-immediate family member, quarantine); prior approval from principal/designee (e.g., religious holiday, extended bereavement, court appearance, religious retreat-four hours per semester).

Unexcused absence:  parent notifies school of absence not allowable by law (e.g., vacation, work, oversleeping, baby-sitting, visiting relatives, traffic/car problems, ill relatives, appointments for relatives); school directed exclusion (e.g., suspension, lack of immunization); absence cleared by parent after the 72 hour time limit.

Unverified absence = Unexcused absence: after the 72 hour time limit required for parent/guardians to notify the school regarding their child’s absence, an unverified absence will be noted as an unexcused absence.

What if my student needs to be released early?

** Due to safety concerns, we will not accept phone calls or email requests to release your student during the school day. **

If a student must leave early, he/she should bring a note to the Attendance Office on the morning of the early release to obtain an off-campus pass for the time he/she is to be released.

The following information is required for notes: 

  • Name of the Student.
  • Date and time the student is requested to be released.
  • Specific reason for the early release (If a reason for the absence(s) is not given, the absence(s) will be considered a “miscellaneous” reason which is not excused.)
  • Parent’s/legal guardian’s signature.


Upon receipt of the note, the student will be given an off campus pass and will be instructed to watch the time, show the pass to his/her teacher at the time of release, then proceed to the designated area the parent/guardian has instructed him/her to meet. This process is to reduce the amount of time that the student is missing class instruction and excessive interruptions to classrooms.

Students released early for medical/dental appointments are requested to return with a note from the health care provider or have his/her off campus pass stamped or signed by the health care provider documenting the date of the visit. (In observance of HIPAA Privacy Rules, health care provider notes do not have to disclose the reason for the appointment just a confirmation that the student is under his/her care and was seen for an appointment.)

If a note has not been provided for the student to be released early, a parent/legal guardian or authorized emergency contact person must come into the Attendance Office with photo identification to request the student’s early release.

** Students who are released early are required to check back into the Attendance Office so that we can confirm their presence on campus  for  safety reasons.**

What if my student has been/will be absent and we would like to request homework?

Please do not interrupt classes to request homework. Homework requests may be officially requested through the attendance office for students who are absent for 3 or more consecutive days due to illness.  Pending the official request and/or teacher response: it is recommended that the parent/guardian assist the student in checking for assignments on his/her specific teacher’s website. To access a teacher’s website, please go to the Canyon Middle School website at, on the upper right side of the page click the “Faculty & Staff” tab /apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1397670&type=d&pREC_ID=1575737 then use the drop down menu to “teacher directory”, /apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1382364&type=d&pREC_ID=1563808  a new window will open giving an alphabetical order listing of teachers, search for your student’s specific teacher and on the far right you will have a direct link to that teacher’s website.

It is recommended that, regardless if work has been requested, upon return of the student, he/she should personally check with all of his/her teachers for any missed assignments and/ or tests   that could not be posted online during the student’s absence.

Independent Study Contracts

In order to maximize student achievement and social/emotional growth and in accordance with California Education Code, it is expected that students will attend school every day.  However, family situations do arise which necessitate emergency travel.  When these rare situations arise, families may arrange a Short Term Independent Study Contract with the school.  These contracts are appropriate for unavoidable emergency absence of no fewer than 5 consecutive school days.  

A completed Short Term Independent Study Contract request form (available in the Attendance Office) must be submitted to the Attendance Office or Assistant Principal, at least 10 school days prior to the absence. The Independent Study Contract request must include the dates of absences, return to school date, and reason for the request.  The absence duration should be as brief as possible, as absences of more than a few days will negatively impact student learning. Independent Study Contracts for family vacations or leisure travel that can occur during schools breaks is strongly discouraged, since Independent Study Contracts cannot replicate the classroom instructional experience.  

All requests must be approved by site administration.  If approved, all the required contract forms must be signed by the student and parent/legal guardian and the student must pick up all assigned work on the last day of attendance prior to the first date of the contract.  Once the student returns to school, all completed work and contract assignment forms must be turned into the Attendance Office before the student returns to class.  If the student does not complete all assigned work, future requests may be denied.  Independent Study Contracts at the end of the school year must be completed no later than 15 school days prior to the last day of school.  Independent Study contracts cannot be established during the first 10 days of the school year.  

Note:  If a student on an IEP is requesting a Short Term Independent Study Contract, the Program Specialist must be notified immediately so that appropriate IEP documentation can be determined.