Carlsbad, CA asked in Education Law for California

Q: My son is in 6th grade missed several days due to illnesses . . Junior high is denying his application

My son has been sick up and on the school year. All of his absences. have an excuse most have doctors notes. The parents choice Public Junior High we are applying to is denying his admission due to excessive absences, even though they are due to illness. He meets all the other guidelines day, testing grades and behavior. he is actually scoring above State level. Can they legally exclude him if those absences were due to medical reasons. He is currently now better and his attendance will not be the same next year. This is a public school .

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, schools are required to excuse absences due to illness, medical appointments, or other reasons specified in the Education Code. If your son's absences were properly excused and documented, the school should not penalize him for those absences.

California Education Code Section 48205 states that a student's absence shall be excused for the following reasons:

1. Due to illness.

2. Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.

3. For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic services rendered.

4. For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of the pupil's immediate family.

If the junior high school is denying your son's admission based solely on excused absences related to illness or medical reasons, you may have grounds to challenge their decision. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Gather all documentation related to your son's absences, including doctor's notes and any communication with the school regarding the reasons for his absences.

2. Schedule a meeting with the school principal or administrator to discuss the situation and present your evidence that your son's absences were excused and should not be held against him.

3. If the school maintains its position, consider escalating the matter to the school district's superintendent or board of education.

4. If necessary, consult with an education law attorney who can advise you on your legal options and potentially assist in advocating for your son's rights.

Remember, the key is to demonstrate that your son's absences were excused and that he should not be penalized for circumstances beyond his control, especially when he meets all other admission criteria.

Michelle Alissa Ball
Michelle Alissa Ball
  • Education Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This sounds like a private school. Private schools often set their own entrance requirements or mandates for admission. Depending on the type of school, they may have even broader ability to exclude students They may have entrance mandates that include the prior year attendance, or other factors.

The state codes on public schools often don't apply to private schools.

A public school where a student resides must provide schoolage students in the district an education under the California Constitution, and should not factor past attendance in. There are no entrance requirements other than living in the district/school area.

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