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California law requires that all children ages 6-18 be enrolled in full-time education. Attending school helps children learn and build relationships, as well as build social-emotional well-being. Strong attendance is linked to students being more likely to read at grade-level by the end of third grade and is also a key predictor of high school graduation. San José Unified uses a standardized attendance process when working with families to help students get back to school and engaged in their own learning.

Research shows that missing school can have a significant impact on learning, especially in earlier grades. San José Unified tracks two metrics for absences – Chronic Absenteeism and Truancy.

Chronic Absences

Chronic absenteeism counts excused and unexcused absences and is defined as students who have missed 10% or more of the school days in the school year.


Truancy counts unexcused absences or tardies over 30 minutes.

San José Unified uses various interventions when a student is at risk of accumulating absences or there are attendance concerns. The interventions are designed to remove barriers to attending school and to offer strategies and supports for students to re-engage in learning.

While attendance is continuously monitored, there are occasions when a student’s attendance does not improve. These cases may be referred to the District Attorney, the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB), or Truancy court. San José Unified does not share any information with Immigration Services.

The attendance process enables us to follow robust procedures and collaborate with key stakeholders to evaluate and address the needs of the student with his/her family. We are here to help your student succeed. If you have questions, please reach out to school administrators or the school attendance liaison.

Attendance intervention waterfall process