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BOARD OF EDUCATION, MDUSD, AND SILVERWOOD POLICIES

All board policies may be viewed in detail by accessing the website www.mdusd.org, clicking on the Board of Education tab, select Board Policies in the side menu, and accessing Gamut online.  Silverwood’s campus policies parallel those of the Board and MDUSD.  Additional information regarding Silverwood campus policies is in bold

Safety

Emergency information must be updated for each student at the beginning of each school year by the parents/guardians.  As the legal guardian, you are responsible for keeping this information up to date. 

In case of a real emergency, the school will always try to contact the parents/guardians first, and then proceed to those contacts you have listed.  However, if we are unable to reach any of the contacts on the emergency form, it will be necessary to call 911 or the local police for assistance.  The family of the student involved will be responsible for any costs incurred.  

The district does not carry insurance for students injured on school property. It must, however, make accident insurance available for purchase by parents through an insurance carrier per California Education Code requirements. The information regarding student insurance is sent home with students at the beginning of each school year. It is available at any time during the school year and forms should be given to parents of new students as they are registered.

A school nurse is not available to elementary schools on a daily basis.  Minor injuries requiring cleaning, simple bandages, or ice will be taken care of by office staff.  Injuries requiring further care will be referred to parents/guardians. 

When students are sent to the office with symptoms of illness – vomiting, fever, diarrhea, rash, etc. – the office staff will call parents/guardians to arrange for the student to be picked up as soon as possible to prevent the spread of illness.  Please do not send your student to school if he or she has any of these symptoms present within a 24-hour period of any given school day.  

District Nurses are present at school sites on a weekly basis and will administer hearing and vision screening to students in kindergarten and second grade.

Silverwood will not administer any medications during school hours, with the exception of an emergency situation, without the Authorization to Administer Medication During School Hours form filled out and signed by both parent/guardian and medical professional overseeing the prescribed medication.  This includes items such as cough drops and eye drops as well as inhalers and other prescription medications.  Forms are available in the school office.   Silverwood’s policies are in accordance with the following Board policies.

The Governing Board recognizes that during the school day, some students may need to take medication prescribed or ordered by an authorized health care provider, to be functional at school and participate in the educational program. The Superintendent or designee shall develop processes for the administration of medication to these students. For any student with a disability, as defined under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, necessary medication shall be administered in accordance with the student's individualized education program or Section 504 services plan.

If a parent/guardian chooses, he/she may administer the medication to his/her child at school or designate another individual who is not a school employee to do so on his/her behalf.

In addition, upon written request by the parent/guardian and with the approval of the student's authorized health care provider, a student with a medical condition that requires frequent treatment, monitoring, or testing may be allowed to self-administer, self-monitor, and/or self-test. The student shall observe universal precautions in the handling of blood and other bodily fluids.

Any medication prescribed by an authorized health care provider may be administered by the school nurse or other designated school personnel only when the Superintendent or designee has received written statements from both the student's parent/guardian and authorized health care provider. (Education Code 49423; 5 CCR 600)

To the extent that the administration of a medication, such as epinephrine auto-injector or glucagon, is authorized by law, the Superintendent or designee shall ensure that unlicensed personnel designated to administer it to students receive appropriate training from qualified medical personnel before any medication is administered.

Safety drills are held monthly and a record is kept of the time it takes to evacuate or secure the school site.  Silverwood’s evacuation plan is posted in all buildings on campus.  Four kinds of safety drills are performed throughout the year:

FIRE DRILLS

Fire drills will be scheduled monthly at different times during the school day.  Routes will be explained to students during the first few days of school. 

  • Students, staff, and any campus visitors will remain quiet so that they can hear instructions
  • Students, staff, and any campus visitors will walk quickly but not run to their designated classroom evacuation spot
  • Students, staff, and any campus visitors will wait quietly until the office informs everyone that the drill is complete
  • Students, staff, and any campus visitors will then return quickly and quietly to classrooms

EARTHQUAKE DRILLS

Students will experience one earthquake drill during the school year, usually in October as part of “The Great Shake Out.”  Instructions will be given prior to the drill.  Families can view the instructions for The Great Shake Out at the website http://www.shakeout.org/california/.  During this drill, students, staff, and campus visitors are instructed to drop, cover, and hold on.  Once the office staff informs those on campus that the shaking has stopped for the purposes of the drill, evacuation procedures as in a fire drill are followed. 

In the event of an actual earthquake, Emergency Procedures would be followed after shaking has stopped and those on campus are evacuated (outlined further along in this tab).

SHELTER-IN-PLACE DRILL

A shelter-in-place drill is conducted once or twice a year (alternating with Intruder drill) to be sure students, staff, and visitors on campus know what to do in the event of a gas leak or environmentally dangerous air quality issue.  During a shelter-in-place drill, students, staff, and visitors on campus are instructed to go to the nearest enclosed classroom/building.  Staff will ensure that doors and windows are closed securely, and A/C units will be powered off.  An announcement will be made signaling the end of the drill.

INTRUDER DRILL

An intruder drill is conducted once or twice a year (alternating with the Shelter-in-Place drill).  During an intruder drill, students, staff, and visitors on campus are to go immediately to the nearest classroom/secure building.  Staff will ensure that doors are locked, windows and window coverings are closed, and lights are out.  Students, staff, and visitors on campus are instructed to go to the furthest corner of the room away from doors/windows and be as silent as possible until office staff makes an announcement signaling the end of the drill. 

During an actual emergency, Silverwood staff and MDUSD may or may not be able to send out a school/district-wide message with further instructions and information for families.  If you do not receive verbal instructions or information, you can expect that Silverwood will have the campus set up for emergency evacuation and student pick-up.  This will be a process, and it is expected that everyone follow staff instructions once entering the campus in order to maintain calmness and safety. 

Typically, you will find staff to direct you, and an area designated for emergency pick-up of students.  To complete this process, parents, guardians, or those listed on a student’s emergency contact list are the only people who will be permitted to sign a student out, and ID will be required.  Please always be sure your student’s emergency contact list is completely up to date.  You can come into the office at any time to view/change emergency contact information.

Skyhawk Parent & Student Handbook

Dates & Schedules

Regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences are held the last two weeks before winter recess for grades TK-5.  During this time, students will be on a minimum-day schedule, being dismissed according to Wednesday bell schedule every day of the week.  You will receive advanced notice.  This is only one method of accounting for your child’s progress in academic, social, physical, and emotional development.  A far more accurate interpretation of growth can take place when parent and teacher maintain a close working relationship in planning and working together towards the optimum development of the student.  Individual parent-teacher conferences are the best means of interpreting your child’s progress, attitude, and capabilities.  We hope you make a special effort to attend.  Special conferences about any concern involving your child can be made by contacting the teacher via hand-written note, email, or a phone call.

On January 1, 2014, California Education Code Section 60640 established the CAASPP System of assessments.  The CAASPP-CalEDFacts Web page provides a more detailed overview of the system.  The CAASPP System includes the following required assessments and tools:

May/June              Tentative class placement developed by staff.  Parents may pick up a STUDENT INFORMATION SHEET in the office during a two-week period in May.  This time period will be announced via school messenger.  Through this process, parents are provided with the opportunity to give the school any additional information regarding special program needs for their child(ren).

Summer                Moving students are transferred out, new students are enrolled, and class/grade-level adjustments are made.

Late August           Class assignments will be available at Skyhawk Day before the beginning of the school year.  You will receive a post card in the mail with the date for Skyhawk Day.

August/September Combination classrooms are formed or dissolved as needed to accommodate any decline or increase in enrollment.  If individual student placement problems persist after the first month of school, changes will be considered at that time.  Changes caused by students leaving or entering at any given grade level during the summer can affect the number of classes at a grade level and whether or not combination classrooms are necessary.

Criteria considered in making up classrooms:  Any of the following may be used to balance classrooms – total number of students divided equally in each class; balance of boys and girls, ethnic balance, structure of class, assessment of students’ needs, parent information regarding students’ needs, a reasonable range of ability of achievement in each class, separation of some students, academic balance, leadership balance, last-minute class configuration changes due to over/under enrollment.

Policies

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Title IX applies to institutions that receive federal financial assistance from ED, including state and local educational agencies. These agencies include approximately 16,500 local school districts, 7,000 postsecondary institutions, as well as charter schools, for-profit schools, libraries, and museums. Also included are vocational rehabilitation agencies and education agencies of 50 states, the District of Columbia, and territories and possessions of the United States.

Educational programs and activities that receive ED funds must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. Some key issue areas in which recipients have Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment. Also, a recipient may not retaliate against any person for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy, or made charges, testified or participated in any complaint action under Title IX. For a recipient to retaliate in any way is considered a violation of Title IX. The ED Title IX regulations  (Volume 34, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 106) provide additional information about the forms of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

The Governing Board desires to provide a rich, research and standards-based curriculum that motivates every student to succeed. The Board shall adopt instructional goals and objectives which reflect the district's philosophy and delineate the skills, knowledge and abilities students will need in order to lead successful, productive lives.

In order to offer a curriculum that enables students to meet these goals, the Board shall establish curriculum priorities and guidelines for the district. These priorities shall be based on student needs as determined by demographics, data related to student achievement within the district, and the recommendations of staff, parents/guardians and community members.

The Superintendent or designee shall establish a curriculum development process which provides for the ongoing development, review and evaluation of the district's curriculum in keeping with these priorities.

The Governing Board encourages parents/guardians and other interested members of the community to visit district schools and view our educational programs. The Superintendent or designee shall invite parents/guardians and the community to open house activities and other similar school events.

To minimize interruption of our instructional programs, the Superintendent shall establish rules and procedures to facilitate campus visits during regular school days. Visitors who wish to visit a campus site during school hours should make prior arrangements with a site administrator or designee. Visitors who seek a conference with a teacher should request that an appointment be scheduled. Teacher conferences shall be set within a reasonable time of the request.

To ensure the safety of students and staff and avoid potential disruptions during school hours, all campus visitors upon entering school grounds must identify themselves to the front office staff.

No audio or video recording devices may be used in a classroom without the teacher and principal's permission

In addition to the Board policies, Silverwood requires a 24-hour notice of a classroom visitation request.  An administrator may be present per parent or teacher request, or at the discretion of the administrator.

The Governing Board recognizes that participation in fund-raising for nonprofit, nonpartisan charitable organizations can help students develop a sense of social responsibility.

When approved in advance by the Board, funds may be solicited or materials distributed for those nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations that are properly chartered or licensed by state or federal law. (Education Code 51520)

With the approval of the Superintendent or designee, official school-related organizations may organize fund-raising events involving students.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that parents/guardians are informed of the purpose of all fund-raisers benefiting the school or school groups. After the fund-raiser is held, parents/guardians shall be told how much money was raised and how it was spent. Parents/guardians shall be encouraged to offer their suggestions for the use of money raised to improve school facilities or to finance supplementary educational experiences.

Whether solicitations are made on behalf of the school or on behalf of another charitable organization, the Board particularly desires that no students shall be made to feel uncomfortable or pressured to provide funds. Staff is expected to emphasize the fact that donations are always voluntary. No students shall be barred from an activity because they did not participate in fund-raising.

We love classroom and campus volunteers!

Teachers may have a variety of needs requiring volunteers.  ALL volunteers must be cleared by MDUSD prior to volunteering (see instructions below) and must sign in at the office upon arrival.  Volunteer days, times, and duties are at the discretion of the teacher and should be planned prior to a volunteer signing in.  Once signed in to volunteer in a particular classroom, volunteer must remain with that classroom only and request from the teacher any changes to the previously made arrangement.

MDUSD Volunteer Instructions

Please note:  You will not be added to our list of volunteers until all requested documents have been returned to our District office and your fingerprints have been cleared by the Department of Justice.

If you have any questions, please call (925) 682-8000 ext. 4153

An application for free- or reduced-price meals can be picked up at the Silverwood office or online at www.mdusd.org under the departments tab Food & Nutrition Services. 

Cafeteria lunches cost $3.25 per day.  Second-chance breakfasts cost $2.00 and are available for the first 10 minutes of morning recess for students in grades 1-5. Meals can be purchased by sending money with your student, by filling out a lunch account envelope and submitting payment in the Silverwood office, or by creating an online account at Food & Nutrition Department, MDUSD – please note that Titan has replaced myschoolbucks.com for lunch accounts.

Silverwood cafeteria balance procedures:  Reminders of balances will be sent home.  Please keep lunch accounts current.

SSC is composed of a minimum of 5 staff members and 5 parents.  The Council is responsible for designing the Single Plan for Student Achievement and seeing that the Plan is properly implemented.  Council meetings are open to all members of the community.

The MDUSD Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) template is used to provide details regarding your school’s actions and expenditures to support pupil outcomes and overall performance. The SPSA describes goals and specific actions to achieve improved outcomes for all pupils and each subgroup of pupils identified in Education Code section 52052, including pupils with disabilities, related to each of the state priorities and district priorities/strategic plan/initiatives.

The SPSA is a comprehensive planning tool. Your school may reference and describe actions and expenditures in other plans when detailing goals, actions, and expenditures. The information contained in the SPSA may be supplemented by information contained in other plans that are incorporated or referenced as relevant in this document.

Silverwood’s SPSA can be viewed by accessing the website www.mdusd.org, departments tab School Support, and scrolling down the left menu to Single Plans for Student Achievement.

The Governing Board believes that appropriate dress and grooming contribute to a productive learning environment. The Board expects students to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to wear clothes that are suitable for the school activities in which they participate. Therefore, students are to dress appropriately on all school campuses and at all school activities in the district. Students have the right to make individual choices from a wide range of clothing and grooming styles, but they must not present a health or safety hazard or a distraction which would interfere with the educational process. Students and parents/guardians shall be informed about dress and grooming standards at the beginning of the school year and whenever these standards are revised.

Students should project an appearance that is conducive to a safe learning environment. Dress which is disruptive and contrary to school rules regarding drugs/alcohol/violence, and gangs is not permitted. Student clothing, emblem, badge, jewelry, symbol, or other insignia which creates a clear and present danger on school premises or the disruption of the orderly operation of the school is prohibited. Students and parents/guardians shall be informed about the school dress code at the beginning of the year and when revised. A student who violates the dress code shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

In addition to Board policy, Silverwood has determined that the following are considered inappropriate and/or unsafe for school:  flip-flops and backless and/or open-toed sandals, very short shorts, very baggy/sagging pants, see-through tops without suitable undergarments, very short tops exposing the midriff area, strapless tops, and tops with spaghetti straps.  Hats are not allowed in the classroom, and make-up is not considered appropriate at the elementary school level.

The district believes that all students have a right to a safe and healthy school environment. To that end, the district, schools, and community have an obligation to promote mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance. The district will not tolerate behavior that infringes on the safety of any student.

A student shall not intimidate or harass another student through words or actions, including cyber activity that impacts the learning environment and/or student safety. Such behavior includes direct physical contact, such as hitting or shoving, verbal or written assaults, such as teasing or name-calling, social isolation or manipulation, and cyber activity that includes transmission of harassing communications, direct threats, or other harmful texts, sounds, or images on the Internet, social media or other technologies.

This policy applies whenever a student is on school grounds, traveling to and from school or a school sponsored activity, during the lunch period, whether on or off campus, and during a school-sponsored activity. It also includes off campus bullying that has impact or potential impact on school activity, school attendance, or the educational performance of a targeted student/s.

Students who act in violation of this policy may be subject to school/district disciplinary procedures up to and including expulsion.

In addition to Board policy, Silverwood’s standards for behavior include the following:

  • Students will enter the classroom in an orderly manner, on time, and ready for work.
  • Students will observe classroom standards concerning procedures such as: sharpening pencils, getting needed materials, moving about the classroom, respecting the privacy of others, following directions, and caring for the tools of learning.
  • Students are not to bring toys, radios, or personal equipment to school without permission from their teacher.  Such items brought by permission of the teacher shall stay in the classroom.
  • Students may only bring cellular phones and other personal electronic signaling devices per AR 5131(E) as enclosed at the end of this tab.  These devices will remain in backpacks until the end of the school day.
  • Students will report playground issues to a noon supervisor, teacher, or other employed adult nearby, whether the issue is a conflict or an injury.  Most playground issues will be settled by the adult addressed.

The Governing Board recognizes that homework serves multiple purposes and contributes toward building responsibility, self-discipline and lifelong learning habits that influence students' ability to meet the district's academic standards. The Board expects students, parents/guardians and staff to view homework as a routine and important part of students' lives.

It is the student's responsibility to do homework assignments independently, in collaborative study groups and/or make use of other available resources. The Board encourages teachers at all grade levels to work with parents/guardians in a mutually supportive and respectful partnership to help their students succeed in their academic achievement. When students repeatedly fail to complete their homework, parents/guardians shall be notified and asked to contact the teacher.

Students who miss school work because of an excused absence shall be given the opportunity to complete all assignments, class-work, homework and tests that can be reasonably provided. As determined by the teacher, the assignments and tests shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the assignments and tests missed during the absence. Students shall receive full credit for work satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time. The teacher shall provide the student access to the topics covered during the student's absence. Teachers shall inform students and parents/guardians of the makeup work plan at the beginning of each grade/course.

The Governing Board encourages the cooperation of the parent/guardian, classroom teacher, specialists and administrators through participation in a Student Success Team (SST) process. An SST is a process of general education that uses a problem solving approach to assist students who are not progressing at a satisfactory rate. The Superintendent or designee shall establish Student Success Teams to clarify problems and concerns, develop strategies, organize resources and provide a system of follow-up and accountability. The Board expects that SSTs will assist school staff in meeting the needs of students and their families in a consistent, effective and positive manner.

The Governing Board recognizes that class time should be dedicated to student learning. The Board believes that classroom interruptions which are not related to the educational program should be kept at an absolute minimum.

Silverwood’s staff asks that you respect the learning environment of the classroom and confirm after-school plans before your student arrives at school.  Messages will be posted on the respective teacher’s mailbox, with the exception of absolute emergencies, and teachers often only check mailboxes at their lunch time.  Email is a good way to communicate direct messages to teachers as well.  Items left at home may be brought to the office; the office staff will alert the respective teacher that a student has an item in the office, and the student will come up to retrieve it when time allows. 

Birthday treats are welcome; please check with your child’s teacher regarding his/her classroom policy for treats.  Balloons, clowns, etc. are not allowed at any time.

The Governing Board recognizes that animals can be an effective teaching aid. In addition, instruction related to the care and treatment of animals teaches students a sense of responsibility and promotes the humane treatment of living creatures.

Animals may be brought to school for educational purposes, subject to rules and precautions specified in administrative regulations related to health, safety and sanitation. Teachers shall ensure that these rules and precautions are observed so as to protect both the students and animals.

Seeing-eye dogs and service dogs may accompany students and staff at school as needed and should have their service bib visible or easily identifiable.

Silverwood requires administrative permission prior to bringing any animal onto campus.  Dogs, no matter how friendly, are a danger on a school campus full of active children.  Your cooperation in keeping pets at home will aide in maintaining a safe school situation.

Families are encouraged to label student outerwear and loose belongings such as backpacks, lunch bags, and water bottles.  Items left on the playground or in the cafeteria or quad/pod areas will be kept in the lost-and-found bin just outside of the Silverwood library.  Periodically we will remind families to check for left-behind items prior to donating all articles to charitable businesses.  Small items – jewelry, glasses, etc. – are usually brought up to the office, so be sure to check there if you’re looking for a lost item of that kind. 

Families will be asked to sign a Responsible Use Agreement at the beginning of each school year which defines use of technology on campus.  A student will not be permitted to use any of the school technology without a current agreement on file. 

School books and supplies are free to students in California Public Schools.  Students are held responsible for damage to books and school property beyond reasonable wear and tear.  Textbooks, library books, and work books that are lost should be paid for by the student.  Report cards may be held until fees are paid.  Students are encouraged to take pride in their school materials and facilities.

Attendance

Silverwood is a locked, unsupervised campus until 8:00 AM each school day.  Students should not be dropped off before this time.  Once they arrive, students should proceed to the playground.  Once the final bell rings, they are expected to be in their seats, ready to learn. 

During morning arrival, students are invited to participate in our "Walk & Talk" program.  It is the simple practice of mindfully connecting with classmates through conversation.  This can be a wonderful time to connect and build relationships.  Morning transitions can be challenging for all children, and our Walk & Talk reframes the morning into a safe, exciting, positive transition time for our students.  The Walk & Talk is a community building, regulating time for children to experience patterned, rhythmic movement which will prepare their minds and bodies to calmly enter the classroom.

During 8:00-8:10 am, the play equipment (play structure usage, balls, tag games, tetherballs, running, etc.) will not be available.  This is so all students can safely participate in our Walk & Talk morning routine.

If you are walking your student onto campus, please set a good example: be considerate of Silverwood neighbors’ property and driveways, and utilize the crosswalks.  After 8:00 AM, you may enter campus gates and either walk your student to the playground to drop off, wait in the quad area outside of the library, or say good-byes at your student’s classroom just before the final bell.  When the final bell rings, all parents/guardians, unless volunteering in a classroom, are asked to exit the campus. 

Families driving students to school are expected to follow traffic safety laws, diligently watching for pedestrians, and following the arrows both into and out of the main parking lot which is used as our drop-off and pick-up area.  Please be considerate of other drivers – pull as far forward as possible, do not drop your child off at the curb closest to the office, and do not park and exit your vehicle.   The parking spaces are for staff only, with the exception of the spaces marked for visitors.

The kindergarten bus circle is an area for kindergarten drop off and buses only.  Parking is never permitted in the kindergarten bus circle (with the exception of buses and emergency vehicles). 

At dismissal, bus riders will walk to the bus circle to board their respective bus.  Students being picked up by family vehicle will walk to the designated cones where there is supervision.  Please do not ask your student to walk to another location for pick-up, as you place them in the position of breaking either your rule or the school rule.  If students are asked to walk off campus to be picked up in the surrounding neighborhood, school staff has no way of knowing if they have arrived at home safely or if someone has not arrived to pick them up in a reasonable amount of time. 

If you arrive at campus on foot or park in the surrounding neighborhood and walk onto campus, we ask that you do not enter the campus until 2:30 and stay in the quad area once you arrive until just before the dismissal bell.  Please always use crosswalks and refrain from walking through drop-off and pick-up traffic at all times.   And do please be considerate of Silverwood’s neighbors’ property and driveways, as well as respecting the job our Student Safety Patrol does directing pedestrians and drivers.  For liability reasons, please do not utilize the kindergarten playground after dismissal.

Students arriving and departing on bicycle, skateboard, or scooter are to dismount and walk once they reach school property.  Helmets should be worn, and all traffic safety laws need to be adhered to, so please teach your student(s) the appropriate rules of these methods of transportation.

When it is raining, students should go directly to the Multi-Use Room (Cafeteria) upon arrival and remain there until the bell rings or they are excused by an adult employee.  There is no change in arrival or dismissal time due to inclement weather.  Dismissal procedures remain the same. 

Always check in at the office when tardy to avoid being marked absent.  Students in grades 1-5 who arrive prior to 8:30 a.m. will be instructed by the office to head to class where teachers are completing attendance and will document the late arrival.  Students in grades 1-5 who arrive after 8:30 will receive a tardy slip from the office, and the time of arrival and reason for tardiness will be documented in attendance.  Parents/Guardians of TK and Kindergarten students may be asked to contact the office regarding late arrivals.

Students are encouraged to establish a habit of promptness and are at a disadvantage when they arrive late as they frequently miss directions given by the teacher.  In addition, tardy students cause a classroom disruption for the teacher and other students. 

Tardy letters will be periodically sent home to families of students who are perpetually tardy.  A tardy over 30 minutes will be reported as a partial-day absence.  Partial-day absences require the same verification as full-day absences. 

The Governing Board believes that regular attendance plays an important role in student achievement. The Board recognizes its responsibility under the law to ensure that students attend school regularly. Parents/guardians of children aged 6 to 18 are obligated to send their children to school unless otherwise provided by law. The Board shall abide by all state attendance laws and may use appropriate legal means to correct the problems of excessive absence or truancy.

Absence from school shall be excused only for health reasons, family emergencies and justifiable personal reasons, as permitted by law, Board policy and administration regulations. (Education Code 46010, 48216, 48205) Parents may be required to furnish proper medical and/or verification of absence for continued excessive absenteeism as determined by the principal and/or District Student Services Administrator (5 C.A.C. 5306 and 5421)

Inasmuch as class participation is an integral part of students' learning experiences, parents/guardians and students shall be encouraged to schedule medical appointments during non-school hours.

Student absence for religious instruction or participation in religious exercises away from school property may be considered excused subject to law and administrative regulations. (Education Code 46014)

VERIFICATION OF STUDENT ABSENCE

When your student is absent from school, please send a written note, an email, or call the office (925) 687-1150 and include your student’s name, teacher’s name, the reason for the absence, the date(s) of the absence, and your relationship to the student.  Not all reasons will be excused.  Unexcused absences or unverified absences are considered truancy.

If it becomes necessary for your student to leave school earlier than our scheduled dismissal, parents/guardians are required to come to the office to sign the child out.  The office staff will call your student’s classroom and ask that your child be sent to the office.  For your child’s protection, it is our policy not to release your child to anyone other than the parent/guardian without your permission.

According to Ed. Code, an under-30-minute early sign-out will follow the same reporting procedures as an under-30-minute tardy.  An over-30-minute early sign-out will follow the same reporting procedures as an absence.

If it becomes necessary to take your child out of school 5 days or more, you are urged to pick up an Independent Study Contract from the office a minimum of two weeks before the absence.  The teacher will assign work to be completed.  In this way, your child can keep up with the daily work assignments, and the student will be counted as “in attendance,” thus guaranteeing state funds to the school district.  Upon return from the trip, the student is to turn in all assigned work to be verified by the teacher. 

Intra- and Inter-district transfers are processed at the district level.  Forms are available online.  Transfers are processed with strict deadlines, and both sites and the district will make those deadlines known to families via recorded messages and websites.

An Intra-district transfer is a transfer of a student from one MDUSD school to another MDUSD school.

An Inter-district transfer is a transfer of a student from outside MDUSD to within MDUSD, or vice versa.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

If you change your residence address during the school year, please bring your new residency verification to the office as soon as possible.  If you have moved outside of your student’s current school attendance area, the office will ask you to fill out a Change of Address form.  This form will allow you to choose between having your

student remain at the current school through 5th grade, to only finish out the school year at the current school, or to begin immediately at the new school of residence.  Once the Change of Address form is signed and sent to the district office, it acts as your student’s transfer to remain at the current school for whichever amount of time has been indicated on the form.

It is essential that your student’s school has a current valid residence address for your student.

The State and District require that school’s report three kinds of attendance issues:

  1. Excessive tardies
  2. Excessive excused absences
  3. Excessive unexcused and unverified absences, including tardies over 30 minutes (Truancy)

EXCESSIVE TARDIES

The first letter will be generated when a student has had 5 or more tardies up to the date of reporting.  This letter is generally informational to make sure parents/guardians are aware of the issue. 

Letter 2 is generated when a student has reached 10 or more tardies up to the date of reporting and has already received letter 1.  Though still informational, this letter requests that families contact the school to discuss if there is an ongoing issue creating tardiness.

Letter 3 is generated when a student reaches 15 or more tardies up to the date of reporting and has already received both letters 1 and 2. 

Once letter 3 has been sent and tardies continue to be an issue, the student’s attendance will reflect tardy truancy and parents/guardians may be called in for a Student Attendance Review Team (SART) meeting at the school site.

EXCESSIVE EXCUSED ABSENCES

Letter 1 will be generated when a student has been absent for excused reasons for 6 or more days up to the date of reporting.  This letter is generally informational to make sure parents/guardians are aware that the student’s absences are above average range.

Once letter 1 has been received and a student continues to be absent in excess of 9 or more days up to the date of reporting, letter 2 is sent informing parents/guardians that an absence verification from a medical office will be required to excuse any further absences. 

Without medical verification, future absences will be considered unexcused and will be pulled into truancy reports and letters home.

EXCESSIVE TRUANCY

Absences are considered “verified” once we receive written, emailed, or phoned information from a parent/guardian with reason for the absence within 72 hours of the absence itself. 

Unverified absences are truancies.

Absences which are verified but are for unexcused reasons (out of town, overslept, transportation difficulties, etc.) are truancies. 

Truancies are the highest level of priority attention at both the site level and district level.  Once a student has been pulled into letter 1 reporting and has 6 or more truancies up to the date of reporting, letter 2 is sent home requesting that parents attend a Student Attendance Review Team (SART) meeting at the school site. 

Letter 3 is generated when a student has reached 9 or more truancies up to the date of reporting and has received letters 1 and 2.  At the letter 3 stage, parents/guardians are asked to attend a follow-up SART meeting at the school site.

If truancy continues beyond letter 3 and all attempts made to remedy the issues, a student’s attendance record will be referred to the district Student Attendance Review Board  (SARB) for review. 

To improve student attendance, the Superintendent or designee shall implement positive steps to identify the reasons for a student's unexcused absences and to help resolve the problems caused by truancy. Such strategies shall focus on early intervention and may include, but not be limited to, communication with parents/guardians and the use of student study teams.

SART meetings are held at the school site, and typically include parents/guardians, administrator, attendance secretary, and often the district’s Child Welfare Liaison; students may be asked to attend in some cases.  SART meetings are often in group format with several families attending.  Parents/guardians can expect to be given a copy of their student’s current attendance report and will receive a copy of the SART form which will be referred to during the meeting and signed by all attendees.  SART attendees will attempt to identify the reason(s) for student truancy in an effort to help alleviate it, and also inform parents/guardians of the implications of excessive truancy upon a student’s future academic success.

Habitually truant students may be referred to a school attendance review board, a truancy mediation program operated by the county's district attorney or probation officer, and/or juvenile court in accordance with law.

For purposes of California's welfare system (CalWORKS), a student shall be determined to be regularly attending school unless he/she has been referred to the county district attorney or probation office pursuant to Education Code 48263.

The SARB panel is made up of members from a variety of community agencies, representatives from the Police Department, Probation, a parent, and Student Services staff.  The school Administrator is present and may be accompanied by the Attendance Secretary. 

If attendance improves as a result of the SARB intervention, the SARB panel dismisses the student, and the site continues to monitor attendance.  If students/families do not comply with the SARB’s directives, SARB may refer them to Truancy Court.  Likewise, non-compliance can result in referral to the Deputy District Attorney.  If there is an adequate record of the school district’s compliance with steps for improving attendance, the case may be prosecuted.

Silverwood Website

Silverwood’s website will be updated on an as-needed basis.  The calendar will contain additional dates along with those contained in the Dates & Schedules Tab of this page.  Information sent out in recorded and emailed school messages will often be added to the website as well.