FAQ - Parents & Students

What does SARB stand for, and what exactly do local School Attendance Review Boards do? SARB is an acronym for School Attendance Review Board. Local School Attendance Review Boards are comprised of school and community officials who meet regularly to diagnose and resolve persistent school attendance and behavior problems with students in their district.

What does the County School Attendance Review Boards do?
The County SARB meets quarterly and serves as a vehicle for inter agency communication and collaboration, establishes policy for local School Attendance Review Boards, conducts local School Attendance Review Boards appeal hearings, provides training for local School Attendance Review Boards and attendance clerks, and serves as a link to CASCWA (California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance).

What are the ages of students who can be referred to School Attendance Review Boards? California education law requires students between the ages of 6 and 18 to attend school daily except for 16-18 year old students who have graduated or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) and obtained permission from their parents to leave school. Any student who meets these age requirements, and who is having attendance or behavior issues, could potentially be referred to School Attendance Review Boards.

Can kindergartners be referred to School Attendance Review Boards for attendance? Yes. Kindergarten is not mandatory in California unless the student has reached the age of 6. At that time, he or she falls under the same compulsory education laws as any other student, and must regularly attend school regardless of grade level.

Why does daily attendance matter?
Children who miss out on school, even if they are simply tardy, miss out on opportunities to learn, build lasting relationships, and develop the necessary social skills and attitudes needed to become good citizens and valued employees. There is a clear connection between student attendance and student performance in school, and data shows that higher attendance correlates strongly with higher achievement for all students. Student absences also affect school budgets, which directly affects all students. Schools and school districts get a significant amount of their funding based on the number of students who actually attend school each day. This is called Average Daily Attendance (ADA).

Who is responsible for generating and sending attendance letters?
It is the joint responsibility of the attendance clerk, counselor, registrar, and/or administrator, depending on the district.

What if a student is absent for just one class period or tardy more than 30 minutes?
The state mandates that any unexcused absence totaling more than 30 minutes in duration count as one truancy, regardless of whether or not the student attended classes for the rest of the school day.

Do school personnel participate in School Attendance Review Board hearings?
It is required that the school send a representative (usually an administrator) to the hearing so that he or she can present the case, make a recommendation to the board, and follow through with the site responsibilities. However, when the School Attendance Review Boards panel deliberates before coming to a decision regarding the student, the school representative is asked to leave the room along with the student and family.

Can special education students be brought to the School Attendance Review Board?
Yes. However, the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team must determine that attendance or behavior is not part of the student’s disability and that it is an appropriate referral. The Individual Education Plan must be current, and the decisions of the IEP team always usurp those of the School Attendance Review Board.

My child has been scheduled to be brought before our local School Attendance Review Board. What can I expect to happen at the hearing?
The School Attendance Review Board panel members will introduce themselves, and the chairperson will explain the purpose of School Attendance Review Board. The school representative will then present the case and supporting information regarding the child’s attendance or behavior problem. The panel will then ask clarifying questions of the child, family, and/or school representative in order to fully understand the situation. The child, family, and school representative will then be asked to leave the room as the School Attendance Review Board panel deliberates. When a decision is reached, all parties are asked to re-enter the room and the School Attendance Review Board contract is read aloud and signed by all involved.

What can local School Attendance Review Board recommend for students?
When a student is sent before the School Attendance Review Board, the School Attendance Review Board panel is responsible to decide the best academic placement for that child. The panel will either send the child back to the school site from which they came, or require that they be placed at an alternative site or program. School Attendance Review Board can also suggest that the student or family explore counseling programs, parenting classes, or assistance from other agencies and programs. The panel can also refer students or parents to the District Attorney’s Office for possible truancy prosecution.

What if I don’t agree with the decision made for my child by the local School Attendance Review Board?
Unfortunately, by the time a student reaches the point of a School Attendance Review Board hearing, the student’s academic placement is completely in the hands of the School Attendance Review Board panel. If your student was sent to an alternative school or program by the School Attendance Review Board, and you do not agree to the placement, your only option is to enroll your child in a charter or private school. However, your child will not be able to re-enter a comprehensive, mainstream school site without fulfilling the mandates of the School Attendance Review Board contract.

Can I appeal the actions of my local School Attendance Review Board?
Yes. You may request an appeal within 10 days of a local School Attendance Review Board meeting. Submit a written request for appeal to:

Shasta County School Attendance Review Board
1644 Magnolia Ave. Box 24
Redding, CA 96001

However, please note that the County School Attendance Review Board will hear appeals only to determine if correct procedures were followed prior to and during the local School Attendance Review Board hearing, not because you are dissatisfied with the decision of the local School Attendance Review Board.

What are the possible legal repercussions if I’m prosecuted for truancy?
Infraction or misdemeanor charges, fines, probation, or possible jail time.