Excused and Unexcused Absences
Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:
(1) Due to the pupil’s illness, including an absence for the benefit of the pupil’s mental or behavioral health. The state board shall update its illness verification regulations, as necessary, to account for including a pupil’s absence for the benefit of the pupil’s mental or behavioral health within the scope of this paragraph.
(2) Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.
(3) For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic services rendered.
(4) For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of the pupil’s immediate family, so long as the absence is not more than one day if the service is conducted in California and not more than three days if the service is conducted outside California.
(5) For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by law.
(6) Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent, including absences to care for a sick child, for which the school shall not require a note from a doctor.
(7) For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of the pupil’s religion, attendance at a religious retreat, attendance at an employment conference, or attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization, when the pupil’s absence is requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board of the school district.
(8) For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.
(9) For the purpose of spending time with a member of the pupil’s immediate family who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in Section 49701, 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 paragraph shall be granted for a period of time to be determined at the discretion of the superintendent of the school district.
(10) For the purpose of attending the pupil’s naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen.
(11) For the purpose of participating in a cultural ceremony or event.
(12) Authorized at the discretion of a school administrator, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 48260.
(b) A pupil absent from school under this section 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 pupil is absent shall determine which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.
(c) For purposes of this section, attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.
(d) Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be absences in computing average daily attendance and shall not generate state apportionment payments.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Cultural” means relating to the habits, practices, beliefs, and traditions of a certain group of people.
(2) “Immediate family” means the parent or guardian, brother or sister, grandparent, or any other relative living in the household of the pupil.
Pregnant and Parenting Pupils
- A pregnant or parenting pupil is entitled to eight weeks of parental leave, which the pupil may take before the birth of the pupil’s infant if there is a medical necessity and after childbirth during the school year in which the birth takes place, inclusive of any mandatory summer instruction, in order to protect the health of the pupil who gives or expects to give birth and the infant, and to allow the pregnant or parenting pupil to care for and bond with the infant. It is the intent of the Legislature that the pupil, if the pupil is 18 years of age or older, or, if the pupil is under 18 years of age, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, notify the school of the pupil’s intent to exercise this right. Failure to notify the school shall not abridge the rights established by this paragraph or any other right established by this subdivision.
- A pregnant or parenting pupil who does not wish to take all or part of the parental leave to which they are entitled shall not be required to do so.
- A pregnant or parenting pupil is entitled to receive more than eight weeks of parental leave if deemed medically necessary by the pupil’s physician.
- When a pupil takes parental leave, the supervisor of attendance shall ensure that absences from the pupil’s regular school program are excused until the pupil is able to return to the regular school program or an alternative education program.
- During parental leave taken, a local educational agency shall not require a pregnant or parenting pupil to complete academic work or other school requirements.
- A pregnant or parenting pupil may return to the school and the course of study in which he or she was enrolled before taking parental leave.
- Upon return to school after taking parental leave, a pregnant or parenting pupil is entitled to opportunities to make up work missed during his or her leave, including, but not limited to, makeup work plans and reenrollment in courses.
- Notwithstanding any other law, a pregnant or parenting pupil may remain enrolled for a fifth year of instruction in the school in which the pupil was previously enrolled when it is necessary in order for the pupil to be able to complete state and any local graduation requirements, unless the local educational agency makes a finding that the pupil is reasonably able to complete the local educational agency’s graduation requirements in time to graduate from high school by the end of the pupil’s fourth year of high school.
- A pupil who chooses not to return to the school in which he or she was enrolled before taking parental leave is entitled to alternative education options offered by the local educational agency.
- In accordance with subdivision (d) of Section 221.51, a pregnant or parenting pupil who participates in an alternative education program shall be given educational programs, activities, and courses equal to those he or she would have been in if participating in the regular education program.
- A pupil shall not incur an academic penalty as a result of his or her use of the accommodations specified in this subdivision.
A complaint of noncompliance with the requirements of this section may be filed with the local educational agency under the Uniform Complaint Procedures set forth in Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
A local educational agency shall respond to a complaint filed pursuant to paragraph (1) in accordance with Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
A complainant not satisfied with the decision of a local educational agency may appeal the decision to the department pursuant to Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and shall receive a written decision regarding the appeal within 60 days of the department’s receipt of the appeal.
If a local educational agency finds merit in a complaint, or if the department finds merit in an appeal, the local educational agency shall provide a remedy to the affected pupil.