South Pasadena Middle School

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Attendance Clerk Email

Attendance Information


Leaving Campus During School Hours

Parents can send a note with a student to school in the morning.  The note can be turned in to the office before school begins and should include the date, time, and purpose for leaving campus. The office staff will complete a GROUNDS PERMIT form and provide a copy to the student.  When it is time for the student to leave campus, the Grounds Permit will serve as a pass so that the student can be dismissed from class and meet their parent in the office.  If a note is not provided, please allow extra time for the student to be called out of class. Students will not be called out of class until a parent is in the office.


Independent Study

Parents may request an Independent Study Contract from the Attendance Clerk in the office.  A notice of 10 school days prior to the student's departure is required.  In order to earn completion of independent study teachers must review the work assigned.  Only students who will be absent from school a minimum of five (maximum 10) consecutive school days may qualify for Independent study.  This is an option for students to remain on track with their schoolwork and for the school to receive its ADA funding.



All absences must be verified by a parent or the absence will be coded as truancy.


Absence Verification

Parents can excuse a student’s absence by writing a note or an email to the attendance clerk Kim Soto at [email protected] or by bringing in a written note to the school office. Please note that to improve the documentation process, we will no longer be taking phone notices of student absences.


Absence verification must be done within 3 school days of the absence (per district policy).   Please include a student's full name, date(s) of absence, and reason for the absence. A daily attendance message is sent home to all parents via voicemail and email to notify parents of any absence.  The attendance message is sent as a reminder to all parents.  Please note that the attendance email and voicemail will be sent home to all parents, including those who have already notified the attendance clerk by email.  It may take up to 2 school days to verify and change absence codes.


Excused Absence

Excused absences include illness (I), medical (X), dental (X), or religious reasons (X) per Educational Code 46010.


Unexcused Absences

School absences because of the following reasons: personal (P), out of town (U), family vacation (U), oversleeping (U), or car trouble (U), are not considered by the State of California as valid reasons for being absent from school. 


Missing Assignments Due To Absences

It is the responsibility of the student to email teachers, check teacher websites, and follow up with teachers on any missing assignments after any absence(s) in a timely manner.  Students will adhere to teacher make-up work policies.



A student is late to class if they arrive within 30 minutes of the start of class.  A student is tardy if they arrive more than 30 minutes late to class.  Truancies are when a student is absent without the consent of the parent (Ex. This includes skipping or cutting classes).  This category of attendance will result in consequences from the school administration.


Attendance Codes

Parents and students can monitor and track attendance online ( The following codes will appear under a student's attendance record if the student was absent due to any of the listed reasons below.




Excused/ Unexcused


Unverified Absence

Will result in a truancy if not excused in 3 days


Independent Study Completed

Different program, not considered an absence





Late:  less than 30 mins late to class



Independent Study Incomplete









Tardy: more than 30 min late class



Out of town, Family Vacation, etc.



School Activity

Present and participating in a school activity


Medical, Dental, Religious, Personal Counseling



Truant (absent to class without parent consent)



Late/Tardy/Truant Policy

Students are expected to be on-time and prepared for every class.  Students arriving after 8:00 am must check into the office to receive an ADMIT SLIP BEFORE going to class.  Each quarter a student begins with zero late, tardy, truancy marks.  Students who reach Step 3 in two or more quarters will be referred for a SART meeting.  Parents are notified after each of the steps listed below.



Step 1:  5th 1 Lunch detentions, discussion with the student
Step 2:  10th 1 Lunch and 1 Afterschool detention, student discussion, parent notification
Step 3:  15th Saturday School, student discussion, parent contact by phone or meeting
Step 4:  20th or More Attendance Probation:  Student Attendance Review Team (SART) meeting with student, parents, counselor, attendance clerk, and assistant principal.  Consequences include further detentions, the student is ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities for one quarter, and possible SARB meeting if the contract is violated.


Chronic Absence Policy

The state of California has a compulsory education law that states that students are required to attend school punctually and regularly.  When a student misses 10% of the school year (18 days), regardless of whether the absences are excused or unexcused, he/she is considered "Chronically Absent" (Ed Code: 60901 (c) (1)).  Absences can add up quickly; a child is chronically absent if he/she misses just two days every month.  The goal of the below criteria is to communicate with students and parents, identify the cause of absences and improve student attendance.  Our district goal is that all students have an attendance rate that is 95% or higher.


 Step 1:  ABSENT 6-9% OF DAYS  Warning notification sent to parents; meeting with the student.
 Step 2:  ABSENT 10% OR MORE DAYS  Parent meeting; agreed goals and limits set.
 Step 3:  Continued Chronic Absenteeism  Parent meeting; SART meeting; set agreed goals and limits.


Updated:  August 15, 2019