• Regular and prompt attendance is essential for success in middle school. If a student misses school because of illness, doctor appointment, or emergency, they must have a note signed and dated by a parent or guardian explaining the reason for the absence, or a parent or guardian may call the office before 9:00 a.m. on the day you are absent  Ed. Code Section 48260 states, “any pupil subject to compulsory fulltime education…who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy for more than any 30 minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, is a truant…” 



    A re-admit slip must be obtained from the office BEFORE THE FIRST BELL for any absence (full day or part day). Students will not be re-admitted to classes without a re-admit slip from the office. If a readmit slip is not brought to class, students are sent back to the office to get one.

    Excused absences per Education Code are given only for the following reasons:

    • illness of the student,
    • student medical or dental appointments,
    • death/funeral of immediate family member, or quarantine,
    • mandatory court appearance of the student.

    All other absences must be recorded as unexcused for purposes of reporting to the State. It is the student’s responsibility to collect and complete the assignments missed during an absence. 


    Independent Study

    Students who will be absent from five to ten days may request that the principal approve an Independent Study contract.  Absences of more than ten days must be approved by the SHUSD Superintendent.  As long as the contract is fulfilled, any days missed during the duration of an Independent Study contract is considered to be days of regular school attendance.  

    Please note that no Independent Study contracts will be approved during the months of December and January.  Unexcused absent days during those months will be subject to the School Attendance and Review Board (SARB).


    Homework Requests

    Students/parents are encouraged to request homework on the day of the absence. Please phone the office prior to 9:00 am to order homework for pickup after 4:00 pm. Teachers can also be contacted via e-mail. Students are encouraged to review assignments listed on ABI or teacher Haiku pages. 


    Tardy Policy

    Students are expected to arrive at school on time; unexcused tardies are unacceptable. For all periods, students are expected to be in class when the tardy bell rings. 

    If students are late to school by less than 10 minutes, they pick up a tardy slip in the office and then go directly to class for 1st period. If students are tardy and are later than 10 minutes for 1st period, students will be kept in ALC for the remainder of the period and will have to make up missed work.

    Excused tardies do not pertain to the above rule. Any tardy or absence due to appointments with a physician or a dentist will only be excused with a note from the physician/dentist. Students are expected to be on time to all classes 2nd -7th period.

    Excessive tardies /absences are not taken lightly. Regular and prompt attendance is essential for student success. California State Ed Code deems that full-time school attendance is mandatory, and St. Helena Unified School District adheres to laws as outlined in the California Education Code.

  • If a student needs to miss school due to family priorities (business trips, vacations, etc), students and their parents must make arrangements ahead of time in order for the student to receive homework for the missed time. The arrangements are made by filling out a Planned Absence Form, which is available from the Principal’s secretary. The point of a Planned Absence Form is to give teachers the time necessary to gather the work for the students to complete while they are away from school. Therefore the timeline on the form is crucial. If a student’s absence is to be from 1-7 days, the student must complete the form and return it to the office five days in advance of the time being missed. If the student’s absence is to be longer than 7 days, the form must be turned in ten days in advance of the student’s absence. It is important for parents to know that Planned Absences are unexcused absences, because according the California Education Code, the only excused absences are those relating to illness or deaths in the family.

    The procedure for completing the form is as follows: The parents complete and sign the form along with their child. Then the student brings the form to all his/her teachers and obtains their signatures, which acknowledge the upcoming absence. Finally, the form is returned to the Principal’s Secretary. If the form is returned by the due date, the student is given a slip that allows him/her to collect homework from all the teachers to complete during the absence.


    If you become ill during day, your teacher will send you to the office with a pass. Students must always check in with their teacher before coming to the office. Your parents will be contacted by the office staff, if necessary. Students are not to call their parents from the pay phone OR classroom. No medication of any kind will be given to student without a doctor’s written authorization (cards available in office). All medications, inhalers, etc. are kept in the office.