HEMET – Hemet Unified School District’s school attendance program was recognized by the California Department of Education as a model school attendance review board. HUSD’s program was one of 27 within the state to be recognized for innovative practices to reduce suspensions, expulsions and chronic absenteeism.
HUSD staff works diligently to communicate with parents and students the importance of students being in school every day. If a student is absent, the school is unable to give them the necessary resources and information they need to succeed in their educational journey. Therefore, the staff works with students and their families to ensure they are receiving enough support to allow their student to come to school every day and minimize interference with instruction.
“We will do anything within our power to provide the opportunity for a child to be successful,” Tracy Piper, director of pupil services and student support services, said. Piper said that this year the staff’s goal is to be proactive and reach families before absenteeism becomes an issue. After a student has three absences, a letter will be sent home. At six absences, the student and their family will meet with the attendance clerk and an administrator.
This process allows staff members to gain a better understanding of how to support the family and identify possible barriers they are experiencing in getting their child to school. HUSD works diligently to provide support to families to ensure students are given the opportunity to attend school every day.
California laws concerning attendance are continuously changing, and the district is working to ensure that families are aware of the new laws. Beginning next school year, if a student is late 30 minutes or leaves school 30 minutes early, they will be considered truant.