Administrative Departments » Attendance


Attendance hotline 858-679-2610 available 24 hours

Madhu Sakthivel, Attendance Assistant

[email protected]


Satisfactory school progress is dependent upon regular attendance. The only excused absences are those resulting from illness, medical/dental appointments, court appearances, or a death within the immediate family. All other absences are considered unexcused.

Notifying the school of absences, tardies and/or early dismissals:

  • Please call the Hotline as early as possible, it is checked throughout the day.
  • Written notes are accepted and should be given to the Attendance Assistant.
  • Only parents and legal guardians may call the hotline or write attendance notes.


If your student is absent, please call the attendance hotline, (858) 679-2610, before 11:00 a.m. each day the student is absent. PLEASE do not call the office to report routine absences – use the hotline!

Parent or legal guardian please call and state the following information:

  • Your student’s first and last name
  • Their grade
  • The date of the absence(s)
  • The reason (if sick, please list symptoms)
  • Your relationship to the student
  • A phone number where you can be reached. 

Note: Students will be listed as truant if we do not receive a call or note from a parent or guardian.



The law in California regarding compulsory school attendance for minors is very specific and carries penalties for both parents and minors for failure to comply with these regulations.  The process is explained below with the purpose of providing full disclosure about the legal responsibility all parents have to make sure their children attend school on time, every day. Thank you for your cooperation as we work together to provide your children with the finest education.

  • Excessive Excused Absences:
    • 12 full-day excused absences in one school year are considered excessive. Parents will receive a letter from the school office as notification.  16 absences will trigger a 2nd letter, and 20 will trigger a 3rd.
  • Truancy:
      • 3 truancies (unexcused absences) in one school year will trigger a letter home.
      • 6 truancies will trigger a 2nd letter, and 9 will trigger a 3rd.

Copies of the above letters are sent to the district’s Student Attendance and Discipline office.

Students with truancies or excessive excused absences will be referred to a Student Attendance Review Team. This team is comprised of Poway Unified School District personnel and works with the student and parents to eliminate attendance problems and issues appropriate disciplinary measures.


The following are considered truancies:

  • Being absent from school without the knowledge and consent of a parent.
  • Leaving the school grounds during the day without permission.
  • Staying out of class without permission.


If a student is not in their seat by 8:00am (9:20 am on Wednesday), he or she is tardy.

If your student’s tardy is to be excused, please either:

  • Accompany your student to the office, and sign them in.
  • Call and leave a message on the Attendance hotline.
  • Send a note with your student. Notes should be taken to the Front/ Attendance desk, not your student’s teacher.

Students cannot excuse themselves for being late or absent until they are 18 years old. Parents may excuse 2 tardies per trimester. If a student has more than three tardies, students will be assigned to detention.

Tardies accompanied by a note from the doctor or dentist will always be accepted and not counted against a student. Unexcused tardies will be assigned detention.


Parents may not excuse tardies which occur between classes during the school day.

If your student believes a tardy was given incorrectly, please have the student email the teacher to clear the tardy. 


Student safety is a major concern for us. Students must be signed out at the front office before departing early.  To prevent delays for you and help us minimize interruptions to the classrooms:

  • Please call the Attendance Hotline or send a note with your student for the Attendance assistant.
  • Students must be signed out at the Front Desk before departing early.
  • Parent/ guardian should be prepared to show their ID.
  • Students are not allowed to wait in front of the school to be picked up during school hours.
  • Please meet your child at the Front Desk to be signed out at the time of departure.

Parent or legal guardian please call the Attendance Hotline and state the following information:

  • Your student’s first and last name
  • Their grade
  • The time your student needs to leave school
  • Whether or not your student will return that day
  • Who is picking up your student? 

Note: We will not release your student to anyone but a parent/guardian unless we have prior approval. The designated person must show ID and be over the age of 18. If your student returns to school after being picked up early, please have him/her check back in at the Front Desk before heading to class.


Attendance is also vital for school funding, and any absences reduce the funding the school gets from the state (unless the student is on an Off-Campus Independent Study Contract [OCIS]).


  • OCIS Contracts: If there is a planned extended absence (5 school days - 14 school days for the entire school year), please see the Attendance Assistant at least 2 weeks prior to the absence to set up a homework contract.
  • An OCIS contract allows your student to complete missed work and helps the school to continue to be funded by the state.
  • Absences accumulated while on an OCIS Homework Contract do NOT count toward a student's absence total (unless the student does not complete all assignments before returning to school).
  • For planned absences less than 5 days please notify the teachers and the attendance hotline.