Excused Absences – Valid Reasons Under State Law

Excused absences are ones that occurs for reasons which are considered valid under California state law.

Care must be taken to monitor how many excused absences your student has accumulated.  Excused absences contribute to excessive absenteeism, as do unexcused absences.  Having more than 14 excused absences is considered excessive, following district guidelines.

Excusable Absences

Under state law, Education Code Section 48205 allows absences to be excused for the following reasons:

  1.  Student illness,  including an absence for the benefit of the pupil’s mental or behavioral health.

  2.  Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer

  3.  Receiving medical, dentaloptometrical, or chiropractic services.

  4.  Attending funeral services of a member of the student’s immediate family, for no longer than one day if services take place in California, and three days if services are held out of state.

    Immediate family shall be defined as mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, son/son-in-law, daughter/daughter-in-law, brother, sister or any relative living in the student’s immediate household. (Education Code 45194, 48205)

  5.  Student’s jury duty service in the manner provided for by law.

  6. Illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the student is the custodial parent, including absences to care for a sick child.

  7.  Upon advance written request by the parent/guardian and the approval of the principal or designee, justifiable personal reasons including but not limited to:

    • Appearance in court

    • Attendance at a funeral service

    • Bereavement for an immediate family member

    • Observation of a holiday or ceremony of his/her religion

    • Attendance at religious retreats not to exceed four hours per semester

    • Attendance at an employment conference

    • Attendance at an educational conference offered by a nonprofit organization on the legislative or judicial process

    • Other reasons requested in writing by the parent/guardian and considered legitimate by the principal or his/her designee

      • Such absences shall have prior approval of the principal or his/her designee. Students who contemplate absence for reasons other than those listed above, should request projected absence be excused by presenting a note from their parent/guardian to indicate approval or disapproval or disapproval with reasons for disapproval if the request is denied.

      • A request from a parent/guardian that a student’s absence be excused shall not be granted if the principal or his/her designee believe that such approval would be educationally harmful to the student or set a poor example in matters of school attendance for the student or other students.

  8.  Serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Education Code Section 12302.

  9.  Spending time with a member of the student’s immediate family who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in Education Code Section 49701, and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from, deployment to a combat zone or combat support position. Absences granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be granted for a period of time to be determined at the discretion of the superintendent of the school district.

  10.  Attending the student’s naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen.

  11.  Participating in a cultural ceremony or event.

  12.  The student’s engagement in a civic or political event, provided that the the school is notified ahead of the absence.

  13. Absences authorized at the discretion of a school administrator, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 48260.


    Education Code Section 46014 allows absences to be excused for the following:

  14. Participation in religious exercises or to receive moral and religious instruction in accordance with district policy.

    • In such instances, the student shall attend at least the minimum school day.
    • The student shall be excused for this purpose on no more than four days per school month.