FAQ - Parents & Students

What does SARB stand for, and what exactly do local SARBs do? SARB is an acronym for School Attendance Review Board. Local SARBs 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 SARB do?
The County SARB meets quarterly and serves as a vehicle for interagency communication and collaboration, establishes policy for local SARBs, conducts local SARB appeal hearings, provides training for local SARBs 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 SARB? California education law requires students between the ages of 6 and 18 to attend school daily except for 16-18 year olds 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 SARB.

Can kindergartners be referred to SARB 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 SARB 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 SARB 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 SARBed?
Yes. However, the IEP team must determine that attendance or behavior is not part of the student’s disability and that it is an appropriate referral. The IEP must be current, and the decisions of the IEP team always supersede those of the SARB panel.

My child has been scheduled to be brought before our local SARB. What can I expect to happen at the hearing?
The SARB panel members will introduce themselves, and the chairperson will explain the purpose of SARB. 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 SARB panel deliberates. When a decision is reached, all parties are asked to re-enter the room and the SARB contract is read aloud and signed by all involved.

What can local SARBs recommend for students?
When a student is SARBed, the SARB 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. SARB 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 SARB?
Unfortunately, by the time a student reaches the point of a SARB hearing, the student’s academic placement is completely in the hands of the SARB panel. If your student was SARBed to an alternative school or program, 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 SARB contract.

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

Shasta County School Attendance Review Board
3711 Oasis Road
Redding, CA 96003

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

What are the possible legal repercussions if I’m prosecuted for truancy?
Infraction or misdemeanor charges, fines, probation, or possible jail time. Suspension of a high school truant’s driver’s license, or prevention of a high school truant obtaining a driver’s license before the age of 19.

I am a high school student who had my driver’s license suspended. How do I get it reinstated?
In most cases, the judge will want to see that you have completed a full year of satisfactory attendance. Once you have done this, you may contact the Truancy Prosecution Specialist at 225-0238 and ask to be placed on the juvenile court calendar to appear before the judge. On your court date, you must present evidence of your record of satisfactory attendance. At that time, the judge will decide whether or not to reinstate your driver’s license.