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Attendance, Discipline and Forms *

To Report an Absence

Please email to Ms. Amy Whittaker at When reporting the absence please include the following information in your email:

  • Your child's full name as shown on their school records;
  • Their teacher and grade level;
  • The reason for their absence; and
  • Your name and contact phone number. 

Attendance Policies

All children are expected to attend school each day unless they are ill or a family emergency arises.

Please pay close attention to your child’s future by seeing that he/she is in school and on time each day. When students miss school, they quickly fall behind on their learning. Students who are frequently absent also create added work for teachers who have to try to "catch them up" on their instruction. Attendance problems hinder progress. Even if you get the missed assignments for your child to do at home, it is not the same as your child being in class and participating. Teachers are not obligated to provide make-up work for unexcused absences. However, students are allowed to make up work missed because of a justified absence.

Please call (805) 520-6745 and press 1 to report your child’s absence before 9:00 a.m.
Sycamore's automated telephone system will contact you in the evening for any absence not reported before 9:00 a.m. You are required to send a note to your child’s teacher when he/she returns to school. The note should include student’s name, date(s) of absence, teacher’s name and room number, reason for absence, your signature (with relationship to child).

Justified Absences:

  • Illness (doctor’s note required after the 5th consecutive day)
  • Medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic appointments
  • Quarantine
  • Funeral for member of immediate family (one day in California and three days if out of California)**
  • Bereavement (for as many days as required if relative lived in the same home with child)
  • Exclusion for failure to meet immunization requirements (5-day limit)

Unexcused Absences:

  • Truancy
  • Personal reasons
  • Suspension
  • Detention in Juvenile Hall
  • When parents say “please excuse” and do not give a reason
  • Family Vacation

Justified Absences that must be approved in advance by the principal:

  • Participating in an event on another SVUSD school campus
  • Court appearance
  • Job interviews
  • Religious holiday
  • Appearance at a SARB meeting
  • Attendance at a funeral of non-immediate family or friends
  • Immigration Hearing
  • Other exceptional circumstances approved by the principal

** Relatives considered “Immediate Family” are: mother, sister, step-sister, father, brother, step-brother, step-parent, niece, nephew, guardian and grandparents.

Dress Code

The Principal or Principal’s Designee has the right to determine if attire is appropriate for school or any school activity. Violations of the dress code will result in appropriate disciplinary action including but not limited to the following: student changing clothes, parent notification, and/or parent conference.

Specific Dress Code Guidelines:

  • Articles of clothing or jewelry that pose a threat to safety of the student or others shall not be worn on campus or at school-related activities.
  • No articles of clothing related to a group which may provoke others to acts of violence or to be intimidated by fear of violence shall be worn on campus or school-related activities.
  • Shoes must be worn at all times. Shoes must have an enclosed toe and heel.
  • Clothing and jewelry shall be free of writing, pictures or any other insignia which are crude, vulgar, profane, or sexually suggestive, or which advocate racial, ethnic, or religious prejudice, the use of drugs or alcohol or any illegal activity or which bear drug, alcohol, or tobacco company advertising, promotions, or likeness.
  • No gang-related apparel will be allowed.

Sexual Harassment Policy

The District has a sexual harassment policy that covers students and adults. Any individual who believes there has been an act of harassment on the basis of gender against any person or group in any course, program or activity provided through the district, may file a complaint under state law. Students may be suspended or expelled for sexual harassment conduct and parents may be held financially liable for the conduct of their children. Complaints may be filed through district staff, the State Department of Education and/or the Office for Civil Rights (Calif. Code of Regulations, Title V212.) (Ed Code 212.6, 48980 (f) (Board Policy 5144.2)

Discipline Policies

Discipline Policy (BP 5144)

The Governing Board desires to prepare students for responsible citizenship by fostering self-discipline and personal responsibility. The Board believes that high expectations for student behavior, effective classroom management and parent

involvement can minimize the need for discipline. Staff shall use preventative measures and positive conflict resolution techniques whenever possible. Board policies and regulations shall delineate acceptable student conduct and provide the basis for sound disciplinary practices. Each school shall develop disciplinary rules to meet the school’s individual needs. When misconduct occurs, staff shall implement appropriate discipline and attempt to identify and address the causes of the student’s behavior. Continually disruptive students may be assigned to alternative programs or removed from school in accordance with law, Board policy and administrative regulation. At all times, the safety of students and staff and the maintenance of an orderly school environment shall be priorities in determining appropriate discipline. Staff shall enforce disciplinary rules fairly, consistently and without discrimination.

Recess Restriction

A teacher may restrict a student's recess time when he/she believes that this action is the most effective way to bring about improved behavior, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The student shall be given adequate time to use the restroom and get a drink or eat lunch, as appropriate
  2. The student shall remain under a certificated employee's supervision during the period of restriction.
  3. Teachers shall inform the principal of any recess restrictions they impose.

Detention After School

If it is necessary to keep a student in grades Kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade after school, the teacher will inform the parents/guardians prior to the afternoon of the day the student will stay.

Students in Grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 may be detained up to 15 minutes without providing advanced notification to parents/guardians. According to state law, (Ed Code 44807.5,2, C.C.R. Title 5, Sec. 353) a student may be legally kept after school for 1 hour. 

In the event the student rides a bus and detention is necessary, the parent/guardian will be required to arrange for transportation. If you have extenuating circumstances, you must write a note to the teacher in advance so your student can serve their detention during recess.

Community Service

As part of or instead of disciplinary action, the School Board, Superintendent, Principal or Principal’s designee may, at his/her discretion, require a student to perform community service on school grounds, or with written permission of the student’s parent/guardian off school grounds, during non-school hours. Such service may include, but is not limited to, community or school outdoor beautification, campus betterment, and teacher, peer or youth assistance programs. (Ed Code 48900.6)

Zero Tolerance

According to Education Code (ED 48915), students possessing, selling, or otherwise furnishing any knife, gun, explosive device or other dangerous object at school or school activities off school grounds shall be subject to discipline up to, and including expulsion, consistent with district policies and regulation, as well as state and federal law. By law, the Principal must then file expulsion papers with the school district for any of the above listed offenses.

According to Education Code, no student may carry on their person or have in a backpack or purse any knife, gun, explosive device or other dangerous object. (This includes knives of any size.) This also includes any look-alike weapons (water pistols, cap guns, poppers, fireworks). Any student who possesses toy or imitation firearms, knives, explosive devices or dangerous objects at school or school activities off school grounds will be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension or expulsion.

Reasons for Suspension

(Education Code sections 48900, 48900.2, 48900.3, 48900.4, 48900.7)


  • (1) Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person, or
  • (2) Willfully used force or violence upon the person or another, except in selfdefense.

b) Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive or other dangerous object.

c) Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant of any kind.

d) Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant of any kind, and then either sold, delivered or otherwise furnished anything in lieu of it and represented the replacement as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant.

e) Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion.

f) Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property.

g) Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property.

h) Possessed or used tobacco, or any products containing tobacco or nicotine products.

i) Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity

j) Had unlawful possession of, or unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any drug paraphernalia.

k) Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of school officials or other school personnel.

l) Knowingly received stolen school property or private property.

m) Possessed an imitation firearm.

n) Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault, or committed a sexual battery, as defined in the Penal Code.

o) Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a complaining witness or witness in a school discipline proceeding.

p) Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold the prescription drug Soma.

q) Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing as defined in Section 245.6 of the Penal Code.

r) Engaged in an act of bullying, including but not limited to, bullying committed by means of an electronic act directed toward a pupil or school personnel.

t) Aided or abetted the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury.

u) As used in this section, “school property” includes, but is not limited to electronic files and databases.

w) It is the intent of the Legislature that alternatives to suspension or expulsion be imposed against a pupil who is truant, tardy, or otherwise absent from school.

(E.C. 49800.5) Pupil’s presence causes a danger to persons or property, or threatens to disrupt the instructional process.

(E.C. 48900.7) Pupil has made terrorist threats against school officials, or school property, or both.

The following three (3) violations apply to pupils in Grades 4 through 12:

(E.C. 48900.2) Committed sexual harassment as defined in section 212.5 of the California Education Code.

(E.C. 48900.3) Caused, attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or participated in an act of hate violence.

(E.C. 48900.4) Engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation against district personnel or pupils.

Reasons for Expulsion

Rationale for expelling under 48900 or 48915(A):

Other means of correction are not feasible OR due to nature of act, student presence causes a continuing danger