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School begins at 8:00 AM for all students.

Call (760) 945-5300 extension 48007 to report absences.

School Absences (Board Policy No 5005)

If your child is unable to attend school, please call the school office the morning of the day your child is absent.  If you cannot phone us, please send a note the day your child returns to school giving the specific reason for the absence, your name, and your signature.


The only reasons for an excused absence are illness, doctor’s or dentist’s appointment; all other situations are unexcused absences.  Our school district, as well as the School Attendance Review Board, considers three unexcused absences and/or tardies as truancy.  The district has a policy that parents only have 72 hours (3 days) to verify an illness.    After this, it will be considered an “unexcused absence.”



On the first day of a student’s absence and on each subsequent day of absence, parents/guardians must present a satisfactory explanation or doctor’s note, verifying the reason for absence. The verification may be made in conversation or in a signed note. 



1. Required documentation should include all of the following elements: full name of student, date(s) of absence, specific reason of absence, name and/or identify (i.e. mother or father) of person providing the information, name and signature of person/employee making/logging the verification, date the verification was made.

2. Any student with 10 excused absences, verified by phone calls, will be required to provide a written explanation for any/all future absences. This verification must be written by the appropriate professional on his/her letterhead, addressing the medical, legal or bereavement reason(s). 

The Board of Trustees shall allow students to be absent for religious instruction or participation in religious exercises or instruction away from school property. Such absences shall be considered excused absences subject to the following: 

1. The student shall attend at least the minimum school day. 2. The student shall be excused for no more than four school days per month. 3. The principal has received prior written consent from the parent/guardian. 

Upon written request by a student’s parent/guardian and with the principal or designee’s approval, a student may be excused from school in order to observe a holiday or ceremony of the student’s religion, or to attend a religious retreat. Such absences shall be considered excused absences pursuant to applicable law. 

Unexcused absences from class exceeding 10 days in a school semester may be sufficient reason for a teacher to assign the student a failing grade for the class. The teacher may assign a failing grade in such cases. The student and parent/guardian shall be notified of each unexcused absence. 

The student and parent/guardian shall be given 72 hours to explain the absence. If the absence is not verified as an excusable absence, it shall be recorded as unexcused, together with the reason for the absence as given by the parent and the date when the explanation was given. The name of the person receiving any oral explanation of the absence shall also be recorded.


Early Sign Out

Be sure your child is in school every day, on time, and picked up in a timely manner. Late to school, late pick up in the afternoon and early check-out are considered tardies.  Please make every effort to leave students in school the entirety of the school day.  Picking up students early causes them to miss valuable instruction and disrupts classes.  District policies for early pick-up are clearly defined.  Please note: 

  • Only individuals listed as a student’s custodial parent or guardian will be permitted to pick up a child early from school.
  • If anyone other than the student’s custodial parent is picking up a student early, he or she will need to be listed as an emergency contact in our student database. Custodial parents may add individuals to their child’s emergency contact list by visiting the office or through Parent Portal.
  • Custodial parent must call at least an hour before dismissal to let office staff know the individual that will be picking up the child. The individual must be listed as an emergency contact and bring identification.
  • Any adult picking up a child early will be required to show a valid, government-issued picture ID.  
  • Any adult who does not meet the above requirements will not be permitted to pick up a student early.  
  • If your child will be signed out early for an appointment, please provide confirmation and/or medical note to verify.


SARB (School Attendance Review Board)


Who is referred to SARB? Under Education Code, Section 48263: Habitually truant students (grades 1-12) may be referred to SARB, as well as students with chronic attendance problems. (district attendance policy)


All absences must be verified within 72 hours or the absence becomes an unexcused absence or truancy 



If your child is excessively absent (10 days) from school for whatever reason – including truancy, illness and tardiness – he/she will be referred to Lake Elementary School’s Attendance Review Team.  If no improvement in attendance results, he/she will be referred to the district’s School Attendance Review Board.  This group is responsible for making sure all of our students attend school every day.  California state law requires children to attend school from six years of age to eighteen years of age.  The SARB Committee will meet with parents or guardians to provide encouragement in school attendance.  Ultimately, it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to make sure attendance is regular.  State law allows for disciplinary actions against parents/guardians for failure to place a child in school.



Students with excessive absences will be referred to a School Attendance Review Team (SART).  This process includes:


Step 1:  Attendance Letter #1 sent after 3 unexcused absences/tardies.

Step 2:  Letter #2 sent after 6 unexcused absences/tardies and a student could be placed on a school-based attendance contract.

Step 3:  Letter #3 sent after 9 unexcused absences/tardies. (A District SARB panel meeting could be scheduled & SARB Contract initiated)

Step 4:  Additional unverified absences/tardies will result in a referral to the District Attorney’s office for violation of SARB contract.

Of course, the most important reason for good school attendance is EDUCATION. Students who have poor attendance miss important concepts and information. In addition, they develop poor attendance habits, which can negatively affect their success in later life. The staff of Lake Elementary School will help parents in any way we can to ensure regular attendance for our students and we appreciate your support.

Intra/Inter District Transfers

Lake welcomes families from outside our neighborhood boundaries. Please be considerate of extra commute time needed to and from campus. Students who accrue many tardies, absences, and late pick ups jeopardize their transfer status at Lake. 

Leaving School Grounds 

For the welfare and protection of your child, your cooperation in the following procedures will be appreciated:

Students shall be released during the school day only to the custody of an adult in possession of a valid, government issued photo identification card and if:

- The adult is the student’s custodial parent/guardian

- The adult has been authorized on the student’s emergency contacts as someone to whom the student may be released and the custodial parent/guardian has given prior authorization by contacting the school

- The adult has been authorized on the student’s emergency contacts and the custodial parent/guardian cannot be reached, after the principal or designee verifies the adult’s identity.

- Please do not sign out your child during the last 20 minutes of school.  This is a critical time for final instructions and reminders.