Attendance Policy

Summit is committed to building a consistent, positive environment for all its students, focusing on supportive relationships between students, faculty, and parents as a Summit community. We believe that the path to Personalized Learning and becoming a Self-Directed Learner ready for college and career begins with daily participation in the classroom where students are present, prepared, and connected.

Summit families and students each play a critical role in building this culture. Parent and guardians are responsible for ensuring their student arrives on time to school every school day either by drop off, carpool, or other safe transit. Students should have a safe way to get home after school or when they are done with their afterschool activities.

Students are expected to arrive on time every day school is in session and attend the full and complete school day. Students and parents are also responsible for working with teachers and mentors to keep students on track for the time they are absent from school.

If students struggle to meet our expectations of attendance, to embody our core characteristics, and to develop into responsible, college-going community members, Summit develops logical consequences where there is a focus on accountability, repairing harm, and reintegrating students into the community.

Family Expectations

Family Expectations

Every student’s parent or guardian is responsible for ensuring their child arrives on time to school every school day either by drop off, carpool, or other safe transit. Students should have a safe way to get home after school or when they are done with their afterschool activities.

Where notice prior to day of absence is possible, a student’s parent/guardian must call the school to speak with the Dean of Operations or Office Assistant regarding the date(s) and time(s) their student will not attend class or leave a message on the attendance line with this information. Where advanced notice is not possible, parents/guardians should call the school before school begins on the day the student will be absent for all or part of the school day.

To ensure the well-being of all our students, Summit has closed campuses. Once students arrive, they are expected to stay on school grounds until the end of the regularly scheduled school day. Students can be excused during the day before dismissal if a parent/guardian picks them up from school directly. Parents/guardians can also give written or verbal permission for someone else to pick them up or for the student to be released on his/her own. Anyone who is not a parent/guardian picking up a student must be listed on file at the school as an emergency contact or pre-authorized by the parent/guardian for pick-up. Written permission may be a text or email from a phone number or email address, respectively, of someone authorized for pick-up. Verbal permission may be a call or voicemail from a verified phone number.

Whoever picks up the students is expected to check in at the front desk and sign the student out. Students may be released by phone by a parent/guardian or designee from a verified phone number. Parents picking up students at the end of the regularly scheduled school day do not need to sign their students out. When appropriate, Summit informs a parent/guardian when a student who is 18 or older signs in and/or out during the day.

Summit may excuse students from the school for the purpose of obtaining confidential medical services without the consent of the student’s parent or guardian.

Summit values creating a safe, positive, and participatory environment for all students. Consistent student attendance is essential for this goal, and absences for any reason should be minimized or avoided when possible. Students will be considered to have an “excused” absence or tardy if they provide a written note signed by a parent or guardian that indicates they were absent because of illness, medical appointments, bereavement/death in the family, or appearance in court. Students or families are expected to provide this note to the front desk upon the student returning to school. This note can be an email from the email account on file for the parent/guardian. Students who are absent or tardy for other reasons and/or do not have a note signed by a parent/guardian will be marked as unexcused.

Parents/guardians can also excuse an absence or tardy by calling the school phone from a verified phone number and either talking with the Dean of Operations or Office Assistant or leaving a voicemail with a valid excuse.

Student Expectations

Student Expectations

Students at Summit are expected to arrive on time to every class or meeting with their teachers and mentors, every day. This means being present for each class at the appropriate start time. Students know their class schedule, which room each class is in, what time it starts and ends, and know how to use time during passing and break periods to arrive to their next class or meeting on time.

Students who are late arriving to school are expected to sign in at the front desk and receive a pass before going immediately to class. Upon entering, students will provide teachers with the tardy pass and join the class with minimal disruption to teaching and learning. Students who are more than 30 minutes late without a valid excuse will be considered truant.

Students who are more than 30 minutes late or absent from class for more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse will be considered truant.

When a student is absent, it is their responsibility to make a plan that compensates for the time missed. A student who is absent is expected to email each teacher whose class they missed and the student’s mentor, communicating the date, time, and reason behind their absence. When possible, this email should be sent well ahead of the absence. The student should communicate his/her plan to make up the missing work or activities and ask for feedback from the teacher. When necessary, the student may ask the teacher for input or may ask their mentor for support in making or managing such a plan.

Mentor check ins are incredibly important. Students are building relationships with their Mentor, who is the student’s coach, advocate, and college counselor. Mentors are critical to supporting students in becoming Self-Directed Learners, and building skills which will support them in college and throughout their careers. Students must contact their Mentor in person or via email to arrange another time to meet when they will be absent during their regularly scheduled check in. Where advanced notice is not possible, students must contact their Mentor in person or via email as soon as they are able to arrange another time to check in.

Excusing Absences or Tardies (CA)

Excusing Absences or Tardies [CALIFORNIA ONLY]

Absences and tardies from school shall be excused only for health reasons, family emergencies and justifiable personal reasons. A student’s absence and tardy shall be excused for the following reasons:

Note: The school has the discretion to include other reasons that are considered valid excuses.

  1. Personal illness
    1. When a student has had more than 2 consecutive absences and/or 10 total absences in the school year for illness, any further absences for illness must be verified by a physician to be excused.
  2. Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer;
  3. Medical, dental, optometrical, chiropractic or psychiatric/counseling appointments;
  4. Attendance at funeral services for a member of the immediate family:
    1. Excused absence in this instance shall be limited to one day if the service is conducted in California or three days if the service is conducted out of state.
    2. “Immediate family” shall be defined as mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, son/son-in-law, daughter/ daughter-in-law, brother, sister or any relative living in the student’s immediate household
  5. Jury duty in the manner provided by law;
  6. Justifiable personal reasons, when accompanied by a written request by the parent or guardian and approved by the School Leader or his/her designee, including, but not limited to:
    1. Appearance in court
    2. Attendance at a funeral service
    3. Observance of a holiday or ceremony of his/her religion
    4. Attendance at religious retreats
    5. Attendance at an employment conference
    6. Attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization
  7. Serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Elections Code § 12302.
  8. Spending time with a member of the pupil’s immediate family, who is an active duty of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from, deployment to a combat zone or combat support position. Absences granted pursuant to this section shall be granted for a period of time to be determined at the discretion of the Executive Director.
  9. If a student is the custodial parent of a child, his/her absence shall be excused when the child is ill or has a medical appointment during school hours.
  10. For the purpose of attending the pupil’s naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen.

Students absent for the reasons deemed “excused” shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit therefor. The teacher of the class from which a student is absent shall determine which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the student missed during the absence.

When students who have been absent return to school, they must present a satisfactory explanation verifying the reason for the absence. The following methods may be used to verify student absences:

  1. Written or email note to School Leader, Dean of Operations or Office Assistant from a parent/guardian.
  2. Conversation, in person or by telephone, between the School Leader, Dean of Operations or Office Assistant verifying employee and the student’s parent/guardian. The employee shall subsequently record the following:
    1. Name of student;
    2. Name of parent/guardian;
    3. Name of verifying employee;
    4. Date or dates of absence; and
    5. Reason for absence.
  3. Visit to the student’s home by the verifying employee, or any other reasonable method, which establishes the fact that the student was absent for the reasons stated. A written recording shall be made, including information outlined above.
  4. Physician’s verification
    1. When excusing students for confidential medical services or verifying such appointments, School staff shall not ask the purpose of such appointments but may contact a medical office to confirm the time of the appointment.
    2. When a student has had more than 2 consecutive absences and/or 10 total absences in the school year for illness verified by methods listed in #1-#3 above, any further absences for illness must be verified by a physician.

Satisfactory explanation must be provided within 5 school days of return to school in order for the absence to be excused.

Insofar as class participation is an integral part of students’ learning experiences, parents/guardians and students shall be encouraged to schedule medical appointments during non-school hours.

At the beginning of each academic year, notifications shall be sent to the parents/guardians of all students and to all students in grades 7 through 12, informing them that school authorities may excuse any student from school to obtain confidential medical services without the consent of the student’s parent/guardian.

Students in grades K-6 should not be absent from school without their parents/guardians’ knowledge or consent except in cases of medical emergency. Students in grades 7-12 should not be absent from school without their parents/guardians’ knowledge or consent except in cases of medical emergency or confidential medical appointments.

All excused tardies requires appropriate verification and documentation.

Excusing Absences or Tardies (WA)

Excusing Absences or Tardies [WASHINGTON ONLY]

A student’s absence and tardy shall be excused for the following reasons:

  1. Illness, health condition or medical appointment (including, but not limited to, medical, counseling, dental, optometry, pregnancy, and in-patient or outpatient treatment for chemical dependency or mental health) for the student or person for whom the student is legally responsible;
  2. Family emergency including, but not limited to, a death or illness in the family;
    1. Excused absence in this instance shall be limited to one day if in state or three days if out of state.
    2. “Immediate family” shall be defined as mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, son/son-in-law, daughter/ daughter-in-law, brother, sister or any relative living in the student’s immediate household
  3. Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction;
  4. Court, judicial proceeding, court-ordered activity, or jury service;
  5. Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview;
  6. State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055;
  7. Absence directly related to the student’s homeless or foster care/dependency status;
  8. Absences related to deployment activities of a parent or legal guardian who is an active duty member consistent with RCW 28A. 705.010;
  9. Absences due to suspensions, expulsions or emergency expulsions imposed pursuant to chapter 392-400 WAC if the student is not receiving educational services and is not enrolled in qualifying “course of study” activities as defined in WAC 392-121-107;
  10. Absences due to student safety concerns, including absences related to threats, assaults, or bullying;
  11. Absences due to a student’s migrant status; and
  12. An approved activity that is consistent with district policy and is mutually agreed upon by the principal or designee and a parent, guardian, or emancipated youth.

A school principal or designee has the authority to determine if an absence meets the above criteria for an excused absence.

Students absent for the reasons deemed “excused” shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit therefor. The teacher of the class from which a student is absent shall determine which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the student missed during the absence.

When students who have been absent return to school, they must present a satisfactory explanation verifying the reason for the absence. The following methods may be used to verify student absences:

  1. Written or email note to School Leader, Dean of Operations or Office Assistant from a parent/guardian.
  2. Conversation, in person or by telephone, between the School Leader, Dean of Operations or Office Assistant verifying employee and the student’s parent/guardian. The employee shall subsequently record the following:
    1. Name of student;
    2. Name of parent/guardian;
    3. Name of verifying employee;
    4. Date or dates of absence; and
    5. Reason for absence.
  3. Visit to the student’s home by the verifying employee, or any other reasonable method, which establishes the fact that the student was absent for the reasons stated. A written recording shall be made, including information outlined above.
  4. Physician’s verification
    1. When excusing students for confidential medical services or verifying such appointments, School staff shall not ask the purpose of such appointments but may contact a medical office to confirm the time of the appointment.
    2. When a student has had more than 2 consecutive absences and/or 10 total absences in the school year for illness verified by methods listed in #1-#3 above, any further absences for illness must be verified by a physician.

Satisfactory explanation must be provided within 5 school days of return to school in order for the absence to be excused.

Insofar as class participation is an integral part of students’ learning experiences, parents/guardians and students shall be encouraged to schedule medical appointments during non-school hours.

At the beginning of each academic year, notifications shall be sent to the parents/guardians of all students and to all students in grades 7 through 12, informing them that school authorities may excuse any student from school to obtain confidential medical services without the consent of the student’s parent/guardian.

Students in grades K-6 should not be absent from school without their parents/guardians’ knowledge or consent except in cases of medical emergency. Students in grades 7-12 should not be absent from school without their parents/guardians’ knowledge or consent except in cases of medical emergency or confidential medical appointments.

All excused tardies requires appropriate verification and documentation.

Excessive Absences or Tardies

Excessive Absences or Tardies

If students struggle to meet our expectations of attendance, to embody our core characteristics and to develop into responsible, college-going community members, Summit Public Schools develops logical consequences where there is a focus on accountability, repairing harm and reintegrating students into the community.

The objective of our absence and truancy policy is for students to attend school consistently so that they are advancing towards their academic goals and are contributing members of our school community. Like our graduated discipline plan, we have increasing levels of interventions to support students and families in meeting this objective.

Triggers & School Actions (CA)

Triggers, Concerns, and Actions – California Schools

Note that in the table below, all counts of absences and tardies are for a single school year.

Trigger Concern School actions
2 unexcused full day absences OR 2 unexcused tardies or class session absences during the day OR combination thereof Student is at risk for truant behavior
  • Send Truancy Letter #1 with copy of the truancy policy and make phone call home.
3 unexcused full day absences OR 3 unexcused tardies or class session absences during the day exceeding 30 minutes OR combination thereof First notification of truancy
  • Send Truancy Letter #2.
    • 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.
  • Hold Attendance Restorative Conference with student, mentor and school leader.
  • Schools must be available if families request a meeting.
  • [Student may also be required to attend makeup classes conducted on one day of a weekend.]
4 unexcused full day absences OR 4 unexcused tardies or class session absences during the day exceeding 30 minutes OR combination thereof Second notification of truancy
  • Send Truancy Letter #3.
  • Hold Attendance Review Meeting with student, family, and school leader to discuss the root causes of the attendance issue and develop a joint plan to improve the student’s attendance.
  • [Student may also be assigned by the school to an after-school or weekend study program located within the same county as the student’s school. If the student fails to successfully complete the assigned study program, the student shall be subject to classification as a habitual truant.]
5 unexcused full day absences OR 5 unexcused tardies or class session absences during the day exceeding 30 minutes OR combination thereof Third notification of truancy; student is habitual truant 
  • Send Truancy Letter #4.
  • Refer student to a school attendance review board (SARB) or to the county probation department; student, parent and referrer must attend.
  • Student may also be referred to a probation officer or district attorney mediation program pursuant.
  • If the student does not successfully complete the truancy mediation program or other similar program, the student shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
6 unexcused full day absences OR 6 unexcused tardies or class session absences during the day exceeding 30 minutes OR combination thereof Fourth notification of truancy
  • The student shall be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court that may adjudge the pupil to be a ward of the court.  If the student is adjudged a ward of the court, the student shall be required to do one of the following:
    • 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 student’s hours of school attendance or employment. The probation officer shall report to the court the failure of the student to comply with this paragraph.
    • Payment of a fine by the student of not more than fifty dollars for which a parent or legal guardian of the student may be jointly liable.
    • Attendance of a court-approved truancy prevention program.
    • Suspension or revocation of driving privileges. This subdivision shall apply only to a student who has attended a school attendance review board program, a program operated by a probation department acting as a school attendance review board, or a truancy mediation program.
Absent from school without a valid excuse for 10% or more of the school days in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date Student is chronic truant 
  • Send Chronic Truancy Letter
  • A District Attorney may exercise his or her authority to charge the parent of a chronically truant student with a criminal misdemeanor, under Penal Code section 270.1, when the guardian has failed to reasonably supervise and encourage the child’s attendance. This may result in fines or imprisonment for the parent/guardian.
Triggers & School Actions (WA)

Triggers, Concerns, and Actions – Washington Schools

Note that in the table below, all counts of absences and tardies are for a single school year.

Trigger Concern School actions
1 unexcused full day absence  Student is at risk for truant behavior
  • Make phone call home to inform parent/guardian about unexcused absence. 
2 unexcused full day absences  First notification of truancy
  • Send Truancy Letter #1. 
  • Schedule a meeting with the parent/guardian and student to discuss the causes of the unexcused absences and find solutions to prevent further absences. 
5 unexcused full day absences within 30 days Second notification of truancy
  • Send Truancy Letter #2
  • Enter into a written truancy agreement with the family, where the parent, student and school agree on the necessary steps to resolve the student’s attendance problem.
7 unexcused full day absences during a month or 10 full day unexcused absence Third notification of truancy
  • File a petition in juvenile court to order the student to attend school. 
    • If this court order is violated, the court will call for a Contempt Hearing and the student could be ordered to do community service or spend time in juvenile detention. 
    • The parent may be fined up to $25.00 for each day of unexcused absence.
  • The school district may also refer the family to a “Community Truancy Board” if there is one in the community. A Truancy Board is a group of citizens who help resolve truancy cases away from the court.
  • Schools must send the student a notice of the truancy court petition by certified mail with return receipt or by in-person delivery. The petition includes many important dates and deadlines that must not be missed by the student and the family. A student and/or parents can be represented by a lawyer in truancy court.