School Attendance Review Board (SARB)
Every Day Counts
California’s compulsory education laws require children between six and eighteen years of age to attend school, with a limited number of specified exceptions. Under state law, a pupil who, without a valid excuse, is absent from school for three full days in one school year, or is tardy or absent for more than 30 minutes during the school day on three occasions in one school year, is considered truant. Once a student is designated a truant, state law requires schools, districts, counties, and courts to intervene to ensure that parents and pupils receive certain services to assist them in complying with attendance laws. When these various interventions fail—meaning parents or guardians still do not send a child to school or a student misses an unlawful amount of school—the matter is referred to the courts. Courts can then use penalties or other measures to seek compliance. Essentially, these various interventions exist to ensure that pupils remain in school and that a pattern is not established that could lead to their dropping out of school later in their educational career.
What happens when a truancy is reported?
School-Level Interventions. The school must: (1) report the truant pupil to the district’s attendance supervisor, (2) notify the parent or guardian that the pupil is truant, and (3) provide the pupil and parent with certain interventions—such as providing the pupil with counseling and tutoring and requiring the parent to attend a parenting class.
District-Level Interventions. If the school-level interventions are unsuccessful, the school district will refer the student and the parent to the district’s SARB or, if the district does not have a standing SARB, to the county office of education’s (COE) SARB. In either case, the SARB is composed of parents, representatives from the school district, and members of the community at large—including representatives from law enforcement, welfare and mental health agencies, youth services agencies, and the district attorney’s office. The SARB members work collaboratively to diagnose the problem and recommend solutions to overcome the specific circumstances that are contributing to truancy. If parents refuse to respond to SARB directives, the SARB may refer the case to the district attorney for legal interventions. Alternatively, school districts may bypass the district attorney’s office entirely and file against offenders in traffic court.
County and Court Interventions. In addition to a SARB, most COEs operate formal truancy mediation programs in coordination with the district attorney and/or county probation offices. A SARB may refer cases to these programs as a last intervention before the pupil or parent faces legal prosecution. Typically, it is only in the most egregious cases where these efforts are unsuccessful and legal action is subsequently pursued by the district attorney. When legal action is needed, district attorneys have three options they may use to prosecute offenders. As described in Figure 1, the penalties associated with these options vary in severity—ranging from community service or participation in a parent education program to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
2020-2021 SARB Board
- Bob White, ATCAA Prevention/Youth Development Programs
- Jamie Kish, Center for a Non-Violent Community
- Mark Dyken, Executive Director, Resiliency Village
- Vanessa Hofmann, Me-Wuk Tribal Domestic Violence
- Diana Carpenter, Me-Wuk Tribal Social Worker
- Magdalena Bauman, Coordinator of Student Support TCSOS
- Rob Egger, TCSOS SARB Director
- Jessica Carter, TCSOS Alternative Education Counselor
- Annie Hockett, Tuolumne County Probation
- Laurie Darby, Tuolumne County Department of Social Services
- Loretta West, Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Counselor
- Steve Machado, California Highway Patrol
- Reiko Craig, Tuolumne County Child Welfare Services
- Kate Christie, Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office
- Mike Arndt, Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools
- Lisa Hieb-Stock, Tuolumne County Public Health
- Ashley Boujikian, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department
- Martha Stolp, Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools/Nurse
- Blaine Cowick, TCSOS Executive Director, SELPA
- Colleen Whitlock, TCSOS Director, Student Support Services
- Cassandra Jenecke, Tuolumne County District Attorney
- Sara Burgess, Tuolumne County Probation
- Kendra Eccles, TCSOS Nurse
- Michie Anderson, Tuolumne County Child Welfare Services
- Heather Davis, Tuolumne County Child Welfare Services
- Jen Carlson, Tuolumne Co. Child Welfare Services
- Cas LaFonn, Tuolumne County Child Welfare Services
2020-2021 SARB Hearing Dates
All hearings take place at the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Office, Room 217, on the 2nd Wednesday of the month except for December. There will be two SARB Hearings in May.
September 9, 2020
October 14, 2020
November 18, 2020
December 9, 2020
January 13, 2021
February 10, 2021
March 10, 2021
April 14, 2021
May 12, 2021
May 26, 2021