Lake Elsinore Unified School District

Skip to main content
En Español
Child Welfare and Attendance » Attendance Support

Attendance Support



Bert Merlo

Coordinator, Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA)

[email protected]




[email protected]


 Shanah Tompkins

SARB Liaison

[email protected]



Marisol Aguilar

SARB Liaison

[email protected]



What do I have to do if my child is going to be absent from school? 
To report an absence email or call your school site directly, or message through Parent Square. You must include the student's name, ID number, grade, and reason for absence. Also email the teacher(s) to let them know that your child will be absent. Or you may send a note upon your child’s return to school. If you have questions or need further clarification, please contact our office at [email protected]



What does it mean to “verify” my child’s absence? 
When a student is absent, parents are required to call or send a note to the attendance office in order to validate the reason for the child’s absence. We call this process: Absence Verification. 



What happens after I have called in my child’s absence? 
 The attendance clerk will then proceed to mark your child’s attendance record with an “Excused” or “Unexcused” absence according to Education Code and District policies. 



My child is sick, shouldn’t my child stay home?The health and safety of our students is the highest priority. If your child has a fever, is vomiting or has other severe symptoms, your child is too sick to come to school. Parents are allowed to excuse up to 10 days without verification of illness from a medical professional. If you bring your child to see a doctor, make sure to obtain a doctor’s note stating the date seen, any additional days they recommend your child stay home. Upon your child’s return to school, provide the documentation to the front office (not to teachers), and these absences will be recorded as verified and will not take away from the 10 parent-verified days. That said, if your child is feeling ill in the morning but is doing better as the day progresses, please consider bringing them to school for a partial day. That’s always better than missing a full day.


What happens if I forget to call my child’s absence on the day of his/her absence? 
You may call to verify your child’s absence up to 5 days after your child has been absent. Absences that are not verified within the time allowed will be considered unexcused absences. After our attendance month accounting cycle closes, unexcused absences due to no-verification cannot be overwritten or changed. 


What is considered an Excused Absence? 
By law [Ed. Code 48205], excused absences are: 
·       illness [fever 100° or more, your child must be fever free for twenty four hours before returning to school] 
·       persistent runny nose with yellow-green mucous discharge 
·       rashes [unless there is a note from your physician stating that your child is not contagious] 
·       vomiting [If your child is sent home vomiting he/she needs to be vomit free for twenty four hours before returning to school] 
·       diarrhea [If your child is sent home from school with diarrhea he/she needs to be diarrhea free for twenty four hours before returning to school] 
·       medical/dental appointments (doctor’s note required for verification) 
·       death in the family 
·       specific religious reasons 
·       required appearance in court 
·       exclusion from school for contagious disease 


How many Excused Absences can my child have in one school year? 
While we know students do become ill and are unable to attend school, the average number of days missed due to illness is 3 (three) per school year. 


What if my child’s absences do not fall under any of the Excused Absences categories? 
State law [Ed. Code 48260-48273] is very specific about these types of absences. A student who is absent from school for reasons other than those listed in section 5, will be marked “unexcused” for the day. These types of absences are considered “Truancies” after three unexcused absences. 


I thought “truancy” indicated that a child skipped/ditched school. Why would my child be considered “Truant” if I have called to verify the absence? 
In accordance with Education Code of the State of California [Ed. Code 48260-48273], any pupil who is absent from school for 3 days or more without a valid excuse, or tardy in excess of 30 minutes or more (Tardies are only excused with a parent note for illness, doctor/dental note for appointments), is “truant”. E.g., student cuts 1st period on 3 separate days or student cuts one period for 2 days and is absent for one full day. 


What about coming in late (tardy) or leaving early for an appointment? 
A student that is late to school in excess of 30 minutes during a school day, should come to school with a doctor’s note or parent note stating the reason for the tardiness.  Without a valid reason, the student is considered “truant.”  Compulsory Education Law therefore, requires a student to attend a full day every day.


What is the process for a child with more than 3 unexcused absences/Tardies? 
You will receive a letter from the school upon the 3rd (third) and the consequently upon the sixth absence/truancy. On the second letter (6
thabsence/truancy) you will be asked to attend a School Attendance Review Board (SARB) meeting. You may also be required to attend an informational meeting with the Principal. Additional unexcused absences will result in a referral to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB)and possible referral to the District Attorney for prosecution. 



What can I do if my child needs to be out of school for a length of time? 
If your child must go out of town for three or more days, you may request that your child is signed up for a Short-Term Independent Study Agreement.  


Why is attendance such a big issue? 
Regular attendance is vital to student’s success in school. The student, who is frequently absent, misses social interaction and direct instruction from his/her teachers even though written work can be made up. Any day or hour absent is a missed learning opportunity. Attendance is a key predictor of dropouts. Dropouts create economic loss and jeopardize future work force since only 31% of dropouts keep a job more than a year. Also, the school loses funding for each absence, regardless of the reason, including illness or excused absences. 


By working together, all of us—educators, schools, public officials, public agencies, civic organizations, businesses, philanthropic groups, families and students—can help all children get to school every day so they have an opportunity to learn, flourish and realize their dreams.

Mental Health Resources


Behavioral Health Supports


Abuse, AIDS, alcoholism, depression, divorce, drugs, gangs, homelessness, pregnancy, sexuality, violence, suicide. Operated by teens, for teens, Teen Line helps adolescents address their problems through a confidential peer hotline and community outreach program. Toll-free in California, it’s a place to talk things out with another teen in a safe, non-judgmental environment. 

Crisis Line for Teens The California Youth Crisis Line (CYCL) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week as the statewide emergency response system for youth (ages 12-24) and families in crisis. 1-800-843-5200

The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth and young adults, ages 13–24, over the phone, online and via text.


  • Trevor Lifeline (24/7): (866) 488-7386
  • Trevor Text: Text the word “Trevor” to (202) 304-1200 to text with a trained counselor on Fridays from 1–5 p.m.
  • Trevor Chat: Confidential chat service with a trained volunteer counselor available 7 days a week, from 12 noon –6 p.m.

Suicide Prevention  

According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 10-14 and the second leading cause of death among persons 15-34.  If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, tell a school administrator, counselor or trusted adult.  DON'T keep this a secret! GET HELP!

ARE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IN CRISIS? You are not alone, and help is available. If you are located within the U.S. visit The Lifeline

What You Need to Know

  • Suicide is a complicated behavior. It is not caused by a single event such as a bad grade, an argument, or the breakup of a relationship
  • In 90% of suicides there is an underlying, treatable mental disorder like depression or substance abuse.
  • Mental disorders affect the way people feel and prevent them from thinking clearly and rationally. Having a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, and help is available.
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention lists the risk factors for suicide and frequently asked questions
  • Tips for PARENTS