HAMILTON PS-8 SCHOOL ● 102 EAST CLINTON AVENUE ● FRESNO, CA 93704
PHONE: 559-248-7370 ● FAX: 559-248-7371

ATTENDANCE LINE: 559-248-7111

Attendance Office Information

If a student is absent from school, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to inform the Attendance Office the reason for the absence on the day the student is absent.  If absences are for multiple days, parent needs to call the school each day of absence or notify the attendance office that the student will be gone for multiple days.  If parent or guardian is not able to call in to clear the absence, then a note needs to be sent with student when the student returns to school.   Notes can be given directly to the office or to the teacher. If absences are not cleared in a timely manner, District Truancy Letters will be mailed home regarding these unclear unexcused absences (see Truancy Letter Information Below).

When a teacher marks a student absent for the day/period, an automated attendance call will go out on day of absence after 9:00 a.m. to inform parent/guardian that student is marked absent for the day.  If you received this call, please call in as soon as possible to clear the absence.  If absence is not cleared during the day of absence, a second automated attendance call will be made in the evening starting at 6:00 p.m.  If absence is not cleared, then a 3rd call is made the following day to clear absence by attendance office personnel. 

It is vital that phone numbers are current & up-to-date, therefore, please stop by office to update emergency card with new phone number(s) as soon as possible.

If calling during non-office hours, Hamilton’s voice mail is available to leave messages for attendance – 559-248-7111.  Please be sure to include the following information when leaving a message regarding an absence:

  1. Student Full Name
  2. Grade/Room/Teacher
  3. Date(s) of Absence
  4. Reason for Absence
  5. Name of Person Calling In
  6. Phone Number

Tardies/Late to School

All tardies/lates to school are considered unexcused unless a Dr. note is provided.

Middle School – Grades 7/8 – School Starts at 8:00 a.m.
Elementary School – Grades K-6 – School Starts at 8:30 a.m.
Pre-School Starts at 8:00 for a.m. class & 11:30for p.m class

Elementary School:  If elementary student arrives tardy between 8:30-8:45, they can go directly to class.  Teacher can change absence to tardy during this time.  Make sure teacher is aware that student is tardy. 

If student is late to school after 8:45they needto report to the office for a tardy slip.  Please call the school or provide a written note if student misses school after 30 minutes or stop by office to inform student is arriving late to school

Middle School:  If middle school student arrives tardy between 8:00-8:15, they can go directly to class.  Teacher can change absence to tardy during this time.  Make sure teacher is aware that student is tardy. 

If middle school student is late to school after 8:15they need to report to the office for a tardy slip.  Please call the school or provide a written note if student misses school after 30 minutes or stop by office to inform student is arriving late to school

For students that are in Grade 7 & 8, if student is late to school but misses an entire period, that is considered an absence to that period and needs to be cleared by parent/guardian with a phone call or parent note.

Truancy Letters

FUSD will send Truancy Letters to inform parents that their child has reached three (3) or six (6) unexcused absences.  Unexcused absences can be any of the following combinations: 1) Absences that were not cleared, 2) Tardies for more than 30 minutes, or 3) Absences that are cleared but are “Unexcused” (see other side of sheet for information on excused vs. unexcused absences). 

What is the legal definition of a truant student? A student who has been reported as truant and who is again absent from school without a valid excuse one or more days or tardy on one or more days. (Amend. Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010)

District Truancy Letters are generated weekly based on attendance codes entered for each student attendance; therefore, please clear absences as soon as possible. 

Attendance Conferences

When the second Truancy Letter is mailed out, this will automatically generate an Attendance Conference with an administrator at the school site.  The Second Truancy Letter (T2) will include date and time of conference with administrator.  It is important parent/guardian attends attendance conference.  It is documented if parent is a “no show” and the District Attendance Office will automatically be notified.

Questions and Answers about Attendance for Parents/Guardians

What is the law regarding attendance?

The parent or legal guardian of a child between the ages of 6-18 years old is responsible for enrolling their child in school and making sure they attend school regularly.  (Education Code 48200 & 48293)

Isn’t the absence excused if I call the school? NO – See Below

Excused Absences

Parent or guardian notifies the school of the absence due to personal illness, death in the immediate family, or doctor’s appointment for student.Parent can only excuse up to 14 days in a school year as sick without a dr. note.These absences are the only ones recognized by State of California as “excused” & valid reason to miss school.

After 14 excused absences, each absence from then on must be cleared with a note from the doctor or absence will be coded as “Parent Request” (PR) and are unexcused.

Excessive excused absences will result in school and/or district interventions.  FUSD sends “Excessive Excused Absences Letters” (EEA) to inform parents when their child has reached seven (7) & again at fourteen (14) excused absences.  Once parent received 2nd EEA letter, then a doctor note needs to be provided so that the absence is excused.  If none is provided, then the absence is cleared as “PR” (Parent Request) and is considered unexcused.

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES Any absence without a valid excuse.    

3 or more unexcused absences  =  Student is classified as truant.School interventions begin.

6 or more unexcused absences = Student is classified as a habitual truant.District interventions begin.

What is the legal definition of a truant student?

A student who has been reported as truant and who is again absent from school without a valid excuse one or more days or tardy on one or more days. (Amend. Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010)

What is a habitual truant?

A student is deemed a habitual truant when he or she has been reported as a truant three or more times per school year. The school district must make a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with a parent or guardian of the student and the student himself, after the filing of reports (Section 48260 or Section 48261. (Amend. Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010) E.C. 48262)

When are truancy letters sent?

Truancy letters are sent to parents informing them that their child has reached three (3) and then again at six (6) unexcused absences. 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)

(Example: Parent calls and states that she is planning to take Jennifer on a family vacation for three days. The parent requests Jennifer’s homework and Jennifer returns the homework when she returns from vacation. Will this parent receive a truancy letter? Yes!)

Although the district encourages parents to spend quality time with their children, the Education Code does not recognize a family vacation as an excused absence. The district recommends planning family trips when school is not in session. If that is not possible, we strongly suggest utilizing Short-Term Independent Study, but must be planned with enough time to make the necessary arrangements.

Parents/Guardians are ultimately responsible for student attendance and clearing absences.

Per the State of California, the ONLY absences that are EXCUSED are due to illness and/or medical appointments up to 14 days without a doctor’s note.  After 14 days, a doctor’s note will be REQUIRED to clear the absence as EXCUSED.  Any other reason for absence is coded Parent Request (PR) which is UNEXCUSED.  All tardies including reverse tardies are UNEXCUSED.  Please make sure to always ask for a medical doctor’s note to excuse an absence, tardy and/or reverse tardy.  Truancy letters are mailed out from the district.

It is very important that your child is in school, in school on time and stays for the whole day.

Your child’s participation in Hamilton school’s activities could be effected by UNEXCUSED absences and/or tardies.

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