Simon the owl visited school.


Noreida Perez
Attendance and SARB Manager II
Department of Prevention & Intervention

Fulton Ed Center
2011 Fresno St. Fresno, CA 93721
Phone: (559)457-3942
Fax: (559)457-6001 


Attendance is extremely important to a child’s academic success. The Education Code requires that children between the ages of 6-18 attend school full-time. (E.C. 48200). The Attendance and SARB (Student Attendance Review Board) office supports student attendance by:

  • Educating parents of the law and district policy
  • Enforcing the Compulsory Attendance Laws
  • Conducting Student Attendance Review Board Meetings (SARB)
  • Partnering with the Department of Social Services
  • Referring identified parents to the court system

The Importance of Kindergarten Attendance (Video)

Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) is committed to:

  • Working with students and their families to ensure that all students attend school regularly
  • Understanding there are a variety of factors that may influence school attendance and helping families to overcome issues-barriers
  • Providing strength-based and culturally appropriate interventions and services including:
  1. Case management
  2. Individual and group counseling
  3. Home visits
  4. Parent education
  5. Referrals to school/ community-based resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB)?

Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) was created to help truant students and their parents or guardians solve school attendance and/or behavior problems with the help of available school and community resources. The purpose of SARB is to work collaboratively on developing strategies (prevention, intervention, and enforcement) that will help students improve school attendance and behavior while diverting cases away from the juvenile justice system.

When does the Court get involved?

If a parent, guardian or caregiver fails to respond to the directives of the SARB Board or refuses the services provided, the district may file a complaint against a parent in court.

How can Attendance Social Workers help?

Clinical School Social Workers promote and support students’ academic and social success by providing strength-based services that may include:

  • Advocacy for Students, Parents and the School System
  • Parent Education
  • Staff Development
  • Student/Family Assessments
  • Community Based Referrals
  • Mental Health Services

What is the legal definition of a truant student?

A student is deemed a truant when he or she has been reported as having unexcused absences three or more times per school year.

When are truancy letters sent?

Truancy letters are sent to parents informing them that their child has reached three (3) or six (6) or nine (9) unexcused absences. This is a district-wide procedure that takes place on an ongoing basis. The truancy notification letters are based on the attendance information that is entered in the district computer system. This information is based on the explanation provided by the parent for their child’s absence. (E.C. 48260.5)

What reasons are considered appropriate for excused absence from school?

  • Personal illness
  • Head Lice (a student will be excused a maximum of three (3) consecutive days for head lice).
  • Medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic appointments
  • Attendance at funeral services for a member of the immediate family. i.e. 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. (Excused absence in this instance shall be limited to one (1) day if the service is conducted in California or three (3) days if the service is conducted out of state)
  • Jury duty
  • The illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child to whom the student is the custodial parent.
  • Principal discretion

Upon advance written request by the parent/guardian and the approval of the Principal or designee, justifiable personal reasons including but not limited to:

  • Appearance in court
  • Observance of a holiday or ceremony of his/her religion
  • Attendance at religious retreats for no more than four (4) hours per semester.                  
  • Employment conference or interview                  
  • Attendance at a funeral service for a person other than a member of the student’s immediate family                 
  • Service as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Elections Code 1230                 


When a parent/guardian has signed a School Attendance Review Board (SARB) or School Attendance Compact that states a doctor’s note must accompany a request for an absence to be excused, only for those days with proper documentation will be designated as excused.

What is the criteria for qualifying for a short-term independent study program?

  • Vacation
  • Funeral
  • Out-of-state/country travel
  • Religious purposes
  • Child care issues
  • Family emergencies
  • Extended illness
  • Pregnancy
  • Custody situations; and/or
  • Student safety issues                     

Additional Considerations for Independent Study

  • Advance notice must be given to the school site                  
  • Minimum of five (5) days and a maximum of fifteen (15) days         
  • Signed Independent Study Contract                  
  • Complete and return all assignments to the school in a timely manner  

Please work with your school office staff to request Short Term Independent Study if necessary.

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