Students across the country are academically at risk when they miss 10 percent or more of school days. Absences from school, especially in the earlier grades, often leads to lower third-grade reading proficiency, course failure, and eventual dropout, and hits students in underserved communities and children of color particularly hard.
The San Mateo County Office of Education joins school districts, other county offices of education, and community organizations in reducing chronic absenteeism, where students miss 10 percent or more of school days each year. It also provides resources for school districts with students who may be facing homelessness.
San Mateo County Truancy Program
The San Mateo County Truancy Program is a county-wide response to truancy for those students with serious attendance problems. It was developed through a collaborative effort between the 23 school districts, the County Office of Education, the District Attorney's Office, County Counsel's Office, officers of the Juvenile Court, the Probation Department, the Human Services Agency and several police departments.
Definition of Truancy
According to the California Education Code, a student is considered truant when the following occurs:
- Any pupil who is absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions during one school year, or any combination thereof, is a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district. (EC § 48260)
- 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 a 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/herself after the filing of either of the reports required by Section §48260 or Section § 48261. (EC §48262)
- Extenuating circumstances may dictate that the days of truancy may be consecutive (i.e. student may have not returned to school) if every effort, to conference with the parent/student and provide support and interventions, has been made and documented per EC Section §48260 or EC Section §48261.